Technology, history and human endeavour meet in the Quicksilver project – the determined bid that’s under way to regain the World Water Speed Record for Britain. It is 48 years since Britain last held this prestigious international prize, and the laurels won for the nation by Donald Campbell and our previous record-breaking legends are wearing decidedly thin!
Intent on reversing the slump in our water-speed fortunes, dozens of British engineering companies have rallied behind the Quicksilver quest, and this collaboration is enabling considerable progress to be made with the design and construction of the 350-mph, turbofan-powered superboat upon which British hopes rest. The world record stands at 317.60mph, to long-time holder Australia.
The challenge of travelling on water at such breathtaking speed places an exceptional weight of demands upon the Quicksilver team. Its founder and leader – Nigel Macknight – will be presenting for us a dynamic multi-media update on the project’s progress. There will also be dramatic footage of previous water-speed attempts, illustrating the high points and low points of 100 years of water-speed history.
About the Speaker
Nigel Macknight is the leader of a team working very hard to win back, for Britain, the World Water Speed Record. He is also the driver of the boat his team are building for this purpose, which is called Quicksilver. Construction of the craft is well advanced, although there is still much work to do before they can float it on the water and begin trials.
The record has stood for 36 years, set by Australia, at a speed of 317.60 mph.
Nigel's talk combines “action” film-clips, black-and-white and colour stills, and computer-generated images and animations – some of this set to music. It all makes for a compelling presentation, which does tend to be very well-received. Of course, there is historic footage featuring Donald Campbell and other previous water-speed competitors, as well as bang-up-to-date material of his own.
During a large part of Nigel's life he has earned a living as a writer, and this brought him into contact with many fascinating characters, one of whom was the astronaut Buzz Aldrin. His talk features some references to this period of his life, which also included flying twice with the Red Arrows.
6:30pm Coffee and Biscuits available
7:00pm Welcome & Lecture
Followed by a time for questions.
This event is free and open to visitors. Please register for this event.