David Warby and his Spirit of Australia II team are putting the weekend’s practice session at Blowering Dam down as another learning experience.
While the weather was perfect for spectators – and there were many of them there – the wind made the surface too choppy for Warby to build up a significant amount of speed, especially on Sunday.
“It was basically surf,” Mr Warby said.
“It was way too dangerous to be out there.”
It was the team’s first run on Blowering since August 31-September 1 last year, and their first with the new T-tail fin.
“With a bigger fin, the wind blows the boat around more,” Mr Warby said.
Warby got the jet-powered boat up to 300km/h on Saturday, and was planning to push it beyond 400km/h on Sunday, but the weather wouldn’t allow him to get anywhere near that.
However, he and the team are not considering the weekend to be a waste, but rather a legitimate stepping stone on the way to attempting the world water speed record.
“We got a good run on Saturday; and we got enough out of the weekend to tell us what we need to do, so it was not all a loss,” Mr Warby said.
“We learned a lot. We’ve still got to make modifications to the wing.”
The team changed its starting system, which ran much more smoothly than before.
“It’s a lot better now, and the team co-operation was great despite us not having been there in 14 months,” Mr Warby said.
Perhaps Mr Warby’s favourite aspect of the weekend was having the biggest crowd yet gathered on the Blowering shores for his record campaign.
“I was amazed at the amount of people who turned up,” he said.
“I really want to thank the people for coming out. It gives an indication of what it will be like when we go for the record.”
Once again, he appreciated the help of the SES, Roads and Maritime, Rotary, VRA and other groups who helped over the weekend.
“The community support is just amazing,” he said.
He saved his biggest thank you for Tumut auto electrician Darrel Hursey, without whom the boat may not have got on the water.
“The support trailer’s axle broke on the way to the dam on Saturday, and he fixed it,” he said.
“He is also one of our rescue divers, and I can’t thank him enough.”
The team and boat will be back at Blowering sometime in late February or early March 2021.
“We’ll start again where we left off after letting everyone enjoy the dam over summer,” Mr Warby said.
“We are really looking forward to coming back.”