Warby hoping for 2021 return

David Warby is hoping to have Spirit of Australia back on Blowering by the end of 2021.

David Warby and his Spirit of Australia II team are hoping to return to Blowering Dam before the end of the year to resume their campaign for a new world water speed record.

The plan to run the jet-powered boat on Blowering later this month has, like so many other plans, been shelved because of the Delta strain resurgence of Covid-19.

“We can’t go anywhere, so I don’t expect us to be down there until later in the year,” Mr Warby said.

The team is based in Newcastle, which was locked down long before the rest of regional NSW.

“Some of the team is in Sydney and they can’t go anywhere either,” he said.

“It’s in the hands of all that at the moment. We are hoping to get down there by the end of the year. Once we get the green light we will be planning our next run.”

Mr Warby is attempting to break the world water speed record of 511.11km/h set by his father Ken on Blowering in 1978.


The team has been carrying out maintenance on the boat and its trailer, but hasn’t been able to get the boat on the water anywhere.

“We really need to be down there to run it. “

Spirit of Australia II’s last run on Blowering in May brought frustration but also progress.

“We had problems with the starter motor and a ruptured fuel tank,” Mr Warby said.

However, the boat attained a speed of 380km/h and held it for one and a half kilometres, the longest such run it has had.

It showed that the research the team has put in with help from Australian Defence and the University of Newcastle was working.  

“The boat is handling well; it is ready to go; we have fixed all the issues,” Mr Warby said.


“The last run we had, the handling was good and the major modifications we made before we came down really paid off. It would have been interesting if we had had a couple of more runs.”