Spirit of Australia put through its paces on the Manning River

David Warby in Spirit of Australia during the boat's test run on the Manning River.
David Warby in Spirit of Australia during the boat's test run on the Manning River.

THERE is a possibility the 2017 version of the Spirit of Australia could be put through its paces on the Manning River again before driver David Warby has an attempt on the world water speed record.

This is currently held by his father, Ken, who clocked 317.58 miles per hour on Blowering Dam near Tumut in 1978 in the original Spirit of Australia. Ken Warby now lives in the US but returned to Australia earlier this month for a reunion of power boat drivers held at Tuncurry and organised by the Mid North Coast Speedboat Club.

David Warby, from Newcastle, has been building the boat for the past five years. Some members of his new team were part of the successful attempt in 1978. The boat is stored  at ‘The Hanger,’ (as Ken calls it) when in Taree by Bill Nelson. Mr Nelson and Ken Warby have been mates for many years.

David Warby had his first run on the water in Spirit of Australia in Taree a fortnight ago. This attracted a considerable crowd to the riverbank and created enormous interest on You Tube.

"It was just a bit of a shakedown, as it was the maiden run for the new boat,’’ Warby said.

Both David and Ken were ‘ecstatic’ with the boat’s performance, with Spirit of Australia reaching speed around 110 miles per hour.

As was the case in 1978 Blowering Dam will again be the venue for the record attempt and the team expects to head there for further testing in September.

However, there is a possibility Warby will venture back to Taree if another shakedown is required beforehand.