David Warby hopes to claim his dad's world water speed record on Blowering Dam in 2017

NEED FOR SPEED: World water speed record holder Ken Warby and his son, David, are ready to launch a boat to beat the best at Blowering Dam.
NEED FOR SPEED: World water speed record holder Ken Warby and his son, David, are ready to launch a boat to beat the best at Blowering Dam.

It’s a run almost 40 years in the making, but the son of world water speed record holder Ken Warby will soon tackle Blowering Dam in a bid to unseat his father.

In 1978, Ken Warby ripped across the dam at 511km/h to claim the title and now David Warby, with the help of his old man, hopes to go one better.

In a temporary workshop on an industrial estate in Newcastle, shared with bikies, panel beaters and car repairers, father and son worked side by side, building a new boat – Spirit of Australia II.

The new boat, which has a jet engine taken from an Italian Fiat Gina G-91 fighter plane, is 50 per cent more powerful, lighter, faster and (theoretically) far safer. 

Almost a dozen men have died trying to beat the 1978 record, but the Warbys have left nothing to chance. They hope to start testing early in the new year.

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