Modern-day challengers have a clear benchmark against which to measure their skill and ingenuity. The World Water Speed Record is the pinnacle of sporting achievement on water – a compelling contest by man and machine, played out on a backcloth of wind and wave, distance and time.
The World Water Speed Record has a long and colourful history. Previous holders and challengers have included the American inventor Alexander Graham Bell, the fabled British soldier and author “Lawrence of Arabia”, and the legendary English “speed kings” Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell with their iconic Bluebirds.
Quicksilver is a new boat for a new generation, inspired by the past. We are striving to extend the reach of human endeavour and advance Britain’s technological achievements on the world stage.
The Quicksilver World Water Speed Record Challenge is a collaborative venture uniting highly-skilled people and firms across the broad span of British industry, drawn together by the author Nigel Macknight. Its ultimate aim, to bring this prestigious international prize back to these shores after a long absence.
It is sobering to reflect that it is now almost 60 years since the last British boat to hold the record was built.
We all know Britain can do better than that.
Australia has held the World Water Speed Record for 34 years, in spite of competition from America. The record stands at 317.60 mph (511.11 kph). It is 46 years since Britain last held the record, way back in Donald Campbell’s time. The Quicksilver team aims to break Australia’s long hold on it and return it to the shores of our nation, which has made more water-speed history than any other.
Quicksilver is steadily taking shape on a diet of loyal support, some small-scale private funding, and tremendous enthusiasm for the task in hand.
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With Quicksilver, the philosophy is to employ modern technology in design, construction and operation in order to increase safety margins very substantially beyond what has been feasible in the past.
Furthermore, uniquely, Quicksilver has a modular construction. No other machine in speed-record history, on either water or land, has been designed to be modified rapidly, ‘in the field’, as Quicksilver has. This modular design philosophy will permit us to undertake an on-going development programme; a step-by-step approach which emphasises safety, without detracting from the essential excitement of the challenge of going faster on water than anyone has ever gone before.