Malcolm Campbell Plans Attempt on Boat Record on Lake Okanagan [1948]

Kelowna — Sir Malcolm Campbell, world record holder on land and water, plans to seek a new world speedboat record with his jet-propelled Bluebird II at Kelowna in July.

Sir Malcolm said he will come here provided financial and other arrangements can be completed.

Kelowna city council, board of trade, and representatives of Sir Malcolm, have been negotiating for three months. Provincial government has been consulted.

The British speed king holds the speedboat record of 141.74 miles an hour, established September 19, 1939, on the Detroit River.

At that time Bluebird II was powered by a Rolls-Royce engine. It is now jet-propelled. Potential horsepower jumped from 1800 to 7000.

Present power plant is a Goblin jet engine identical with that used in twin-tailed Vampire fighters being supplied to the RCAF and the DeHaviland Swallow in which Geoffrey DeHaviland was killed in 1946 while traveling at an estimated 630 miles and hour.

The engine develops a static thrust of 3000 pounds.

Last summer at Lake Coniston, Lancashire, trials with the jet plant pushed the Bluebird II close to the Detroit River record.

But removal of the propeller changed the boat's performance, giving it a tendency to "porpoise' or "snake' and it was impossible to hold it on a straight course. The Bluebird is being redesigned to correct this difficulty.

Sir Malcolm anticipates a speed of 200 miles an hour under good conditions.

Minimum course of eight miles is needed for the test. At least two courses are available on Lake Okanagan off Kelowna.

W.T. Buss, T.B. Buss and F.S. Moore of South Kelowna were responsible for the initial move to bring Sir Malcolm to the Okanagan.

The Buss brothers are British boat manufacturers who are establishing a Canadian factory here. They are good friends of Sir Malcolm, and almost immediately after their arrival last year they advised him Lake Okanagan is a "natural" for his purpose.

Currency restrictions prevent financing the trials from Britain. Arrangements are being made here to meet the cost.

It is expected Sir Malcolm will be accompanied by his daughter and two or three mechanics. They will probably be here for a month or six weeks.

The trial is expected to be the outstanding tourist attraction of the year for this province.

(Reprinted from the Vancouver Daily Province, March 1, 1948)