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Reproduced courtesy of Graeme Andrews

Ken Warby's parents being interviewed at Blowering Dam

Date: c 1977
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Graeme Andrews
Object Copyright: © Graeme Andrews
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: ANMS1163[294]

User Terms

    Ken Warby's parents, Neville and Evelyn, being interviewed at Blowering Dam.
    Ken Warby had decided to become the fastest man on water from a very early age. Realising their son would not be dissuaded, Neville and Evelyn Warby supported him on his journey and were present on both days at Blowering Dam when the world record was set.
    SignificanceThis photo of Ken Warby's parents shows that although Warby himself was calm and relatively relaxed throughout the 1978 record, they were not and still worried enormously about his safety and feared the worst would happen.
    HistoryAlthough Ken Warby's parents had long been involved in his speed boat racing starting from a teenager, his quest to break the world speed record and later the 300 mph barrier was always a concern for them, particularly his mother Evelyn. They were present at Blowering Dam in 1977 and 1978 to witness Warby and SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA set new records but it was said that Evelyn 'shook and shook' and asked Warby at the end "You'll finish now? No more?"

    SPIRIT 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.

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    Photographer: Graeme Andrews

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