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Reproduced courtesy of Graeme Andrews

Ken Warby and Robert Apathy on SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA

Date: 1978
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
Object Copyright: © Graeme Andrews
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: ANMS1163[289]

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    Ken Warby and Robert Apathy on SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA during the celebration of a new world speed record by SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA on Blowering Dam.
    THey are holding up the poster presented to him by staff of the Oriental Hotel in Tumut.

    SignificanceAlthough Ken Warby's journey was initially a primarily solo venture, he did gain supporters as he went on. Some of these supporters were the residents of Tumut, the town located near Blowering Dam. Locals and small business owners appreciated the outside interest to the town that Warby's attempts bought and that it is now associated with his long standing record.
    HistoryIn 1975 Ken Warby after carrying out a test run of SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA at Lake Munmorah in New South Wales, was contacted by the president of the Tumut Progress Association.
    Tumut is located in the Snow River Rivers region of New South Wales and home to a Lake Blowering. The lake was formed as part of the Snowy River Hydro scheme and after Blowering Dam was completed in 1968 it formed a lake approximately 44 kilometres long. It was this area that the Tumut Progress Association proposed Warby run SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA on during his record attempt. Warby went to visit the town that year and agreed to the site and the local paper, the Tumut and Adelong Times, promoted his attempt at Blowering as a way to generate tourism and committed the support of local business including the police and emergency services.
    However, along with national critics, Tumut had a small contingent of Warby 'knockers'. These were the Blowering Boat Club members who bitterly resented the closure of the lake to them so Warby could run SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA. Although Warby had negotiated terms and conditions at length, some Tumut residents were opposed to the record attempt being carried out on their lake.
    In 1978 however, Warby was able to repay the Tumut Progress Association’s early faith in him. He set the new world water speed record for which he and Lake Blowering are now known for.
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    Photographer: Graeme Andrews

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