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Ken Warby's jacket

Date: 1980-1981
Dimensions:
Overall: 720 mm
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transfer from Powerhouse Museum
Object Name: Jacket
Object No: 00008926
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Description
    This red and white cotton jacket was worn by Ken Warby when he toured North America in 1980-1981 after becoming the fastest man on water in his hydroplane SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA on Blowering Dam near Tumut, New South Wales in 1978.

    Warby decorated his jacket with sponsors’ badges and embroidered lettering. His major sponsor, Speedo is acknowledged with a colourful cloth badge sewn onto the front of the jacket alongside an embroidered Australian flag. The back of the jacket has 'Spirit of Australia The World's Fastest Boat U.S.A. Tour 1980-81' in white cotton.
    SignificanceThis Australian made jacket was worn by Ken Warby during his promotional tour of the United States of America in 1980-81, as the holder of the world water speed record in SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA.
    HistorySPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA is an Australian designed and built jet-powered, wooden, 3-point hydroplane that has held the world water-speed record since 1977. Breaking both the 300 mph and 500 km/h barriers, SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA raised the world record to 511kph in 1978 at Blowering Dam near Tumut NSW.

    Ken Warby, SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA's designer, builder and driver, achieved his world water-speed records on a shoestring budget. Warby built his hydroplane over two years in the backyard of his suburban Sydney home, using stringers, brackets, stock bits of timber, plywood, screws, epoxy and a military-surplus jet engine that cost $65. He eventually launched the boat in 1974.

    Warby first claimed the world record in 1977, taking his home-made hydroplane to a speed of 464.44 km/h. In 1978 he returned to Blowering Dam in the southern highlands of New South Wales and pushed his record to 511.11 km/h (317.68 mph), where it still stands.

    Warby was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in recognition of his achievement. More information about SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA's construction, configuration and condition can be found on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Ken Warby's jacket

    Primary title: KEN WARBYS' OVERJACKET, ORANGE/ RED DRILL LUMBER STYLE JACKET WITH NUMEROUS APPLIED EMBROIDED LABELS INCLUDING "KEN WARBY WORLD CHAMPION 317 - 60 MPH"

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