Thirty years have passed and still no-one has successfully beaten reigning world record-holder Ken Warby and his fast boat.


Fondly named Spirit of Australia, Ken’s wooden three-point hydroplane raced against the clock in 1974 to reach 267km/h, claiming Australia’s fastest boat record – sadly not enough to beat the 458.98km/h world record. In 1977, though, a determined Warby returned to the shoreline to best that speed by 6km/h with a staggering speed of 464.44km/h. Then, on October 8, 1978, at Blowering Dam, NSW, the old pro proceeded to blow his own world record off the water with an eye-popping 511km/h.

This October 2008 will be exactly 30 years since that day, and with so far no adequate contesters stepping up to defeat the champ, it may as well be Ken himself. As we transcribe away he’s tinkering and perfecting his new boat Aussie Spirit. A new 9000 horsepower engine will form the grunt of his custom-built creation, a slight improvement on Spirit of Australia’s quite tame 6000hp engine.

The iconic older boat can be seen by the general public hanging in all her glory in the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Where // Spirit of Australia is on permanent display at the ANNM at No.2 Murray St, Darling Harbour. Check out, or call the museum on (02) 9298 2780.

Did you know? // Ken Warby is the first person in history to design, build and drive his own boat to the world water speed record, and who broke the world record by the largest single margin in history – 46.67km/h.



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