Wind hampers Warby

Dave Warby testing Spirit of Australia II on Saturday.

ROUGH water made the going tough for Dave Warby as he practiced for a world water speed record on Blowering Dam on the weekend, but he was happy with the run.

Big crowds gathered at The Pines on the Blowering Reservoir on Saturday and Sunday as Dave and the crew gave jet-powered Spirit of Australia II its first run on Blowering, where his father set the record he is attempting to break in 1978.

Wind was blowing and the Blowering surface noticeably choppy on Saturday as the boat was lowered by crane into the water.

A minor battery terminal problem caused a delay in the lead-up, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.

“The boat went better on Sunday, and we got it up to 230km/h, but it was still way too rough,” he said.

“At 230km/h it got a bit bumpy.” While the conditions were far from ideal, Warby, and the crew, including his Dad, were happy with Spirit of Australia II.

“The power and the handling were really good,” Dave said.

“It got on top of the water no problem and all the signs were positive.

“There is plenty of power and it feels good. It was not just about driving the boat; it was about getting logistics and safety right.”

Dave was happy with the amount of people who turned up. “We caught up with a lot of people and met a lot of people.

It was good that so many are interested in what we are doing,” he said. He was especially grateful for the volunteers and emergency service personnel who made sure everything ran smoothly.

“Rotary, the SES, RFS, Police and Maritime were fantastic,” he said. “Having everyone there was the best part of the weekend.”

Dave and his boat and crew will return to the same spot in November to test the boat and mark the 40th anniversary of his father first breaking the record in 1977, a year before he set a new record of 511.11km/h in 1978.