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SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA

Date: 1972-1974
Dimensions:
Overall: 1080 x 8230 x 2440 mm, 1524 kg
Vessel Dimensions: 8.22 m × 2.37 m (26.97 ft × 7.78 ft)
Medium: Plywood, fibreglass, wood, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with the assistance of Speedo Group Ltd
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Hydroplane
Object No: 00000003
Place Manufactured:Tumut
Related Place:Tumut,

User Terms

    Description
    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 m/h and 500 km/h barriers, SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA raised the world record to 511.11km/h in 1978 at Blowering Dam near Tumut NSW.
    SignificanceSPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA has held the world water-speed record for over thirty years. It is one of the few surviving examples of a speed record-holder, and was designed and built in Australia by its driver Ken Warby MBE.
    HistoryKen Warby, SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA's designer, builder and driver, achieved his world water-speed records on a shoestring budget. The boat was built over two years in the backyard of his suburban Sydney home, using stringers, brackets, stock bits of timber, plywood, screws and epoxy, and launched in 1974.

    Warby first claimed the world record in 1977, taking his home-made hydroplane to a speed of 464.44 km/h and breaking American Lee Taylor's ten-year-old record of 458.98 km/h. But where Lee Taylor's record had cost close to $1 million in 1967, Warby built his boat in a suburban backyard with a military-surplus jet engine that cost $65. 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 m/h), 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 www.anmm.gov.au/arhv.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA

    Assigned title: Schnellboot SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA

    Assigned title: Speedboot SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA

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