American powerboat ace and former speed record-holder Lee Taylor was killed on thursday (13 November) when his rocket-powered U.S. Discovery 11 disintegrated while he was trying to set a new world speed record.
???V ZOOM OUT Discovery 11 speedboat being towed in water
GV Speedboat with voice of racer Lee Taylor shouting instructions
GV Pilot boat leaving speedboat while Taylor comments
GV Speedboat taking off at high speed and breaking up at 31 sec.
GV Parts of boat flying in air
SV Rescue launch gathering remains of speedboat, as helicopter flies overhead
SV Taylor's wife and daughter with friends after crash
TRANSCRIPT: TAYLOR: "The pilot boat is moving in, damn it."
TAYLOR: "I'm waiting, but the engine's not. It's cooking like hell."
SPORT: POWERBOAT RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: American powerboat ace and former speed record-holder Lee Taylor was killed on thursday (13 November) when his rocket-powered U.S. Discovery 11 disintegrated while he was trying to set a new world speed record. Before the attempt he commented that water conditions were good but not perfect. He said "We could go with everything perfect, but it could still be our last run." Minutes later, he disappeared when his 2.5 million dollar, aluminium and stainless steel craft, shattered at a speed of about 260 miles-per-hour (420 kph). Taylor held the speed record for 11 years from 1967. Thursday's attempt was t better Australian Ken Warby's record of 319.727 miles-per-hour (513 kph). The cause of the crash is not yet known.
SYNOPSIS: The 5000 pound (2,260 kilo) missile-shaped Discovery 11 appeared to be ready for the run but things were not going well.
The powerful rocket engines pushed the speed to about 260 miles-per-hour, then disaster.
Rescuers found the wreckage, but no sign of Taylor. His fascination for speed began as a teenager and a crash in 1964 before his first record attempt left him in a coma for 18 days. Taylor's wife and daughter were among the spectators watching his last attempt.