AN STRADAG and Helen Loney  - 1 Nov 2005




World Unlimited Electric Water Speed Record Smashed



On November 1st 2005, 24 year old Helen Loney piloted ‘An Stradag’, Henry Engelens 15ft electrically powered hydroplane to a new World Unlimited Electric Water Speed Record average of 68.09mph.


The previous UIM record of 50mph had been set some 16 years before by the same boat, then piloted by 75 year old Fiona, Countess of Arran. The new record was set in sunny calm

conditions on Coniston Water, in the English lake district, at the very place where Donald Campbell had crashed in Bluebird K7.




Helen Loney - Pilot



The 4 revolutionary electric motors, powered by 12 Chloride Motive Power batteries, were designed by Cedric Lynch and built by Agni Motors of Gujurat, India.


Helen was accompanied by her cuddly duck mascot ‘George’ as she flew down the lake at 70.610mph on her first run and 65.561mph on the return, giving an average speed, and new record, of 68.09mph.


When she got back ashore Helen said “I felt like I was flying, the sensation was incredible. But I think we can go faster still, it depends on the team working out why my return run was slower.”


The team plan to run several more times this week, if the conditions are suitable, in an attempt to further increase the record to over 70mph.  For further details of the An Stadag record setting team visit their web site “”



An Stradag in her bright new livery




Full speed ahead for British team’s World Electric Waterspeed Record attempt


When Henry Engelen purchased “An Stradag”, the boat piloted by Fiona Countess of Arran, which set the first World Electric Waterspeed Record, he certainly didn’t expect that many of the original team involved in 1989 would still be around and moreover, would be prepared to challenge once again for a new world record over 70mph.


Alongside the boats original designer Lorne Campbell and electric motor specialist Cedric Lynch of Agnimotors the project will again be technically co-ordinated by the Thames Electric Launch Company (TELCO). Additional sponsors include Chloride Motive Power Batteries, Curtis Instruments and Albright International who will be supplying power, controls and technical know how.



Henry Engelen (owner) Helen Loney and designer Lourne Campbell



While Henry plans to take the helm during development trials in early October, with weight being a critical factor in the attempt, he has recruited 24 year old Helen Loney of Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club. Helen, who has been club champion over the last two years is the current holder of the Donald Campbell Salver, so she should not only have the experience required but also the pedigree, as both her father and grandfather were championship winning powerboat drivers in their time.


Over the last few months the boat has been totally refitted at Henwood and Dean’s boatyard in Henley, with the installation of brand new motors, which, when coupled to much improved batteries will provide over double the hp of the original 1989 motors. Alongside these advances will be improved controls, aerodynamics and propellers.

The attempt itself will take place during the annual October Speed Record Week, held for the first time this year on Coniston Water in the English Lake District, the venue of many world records for Donald Campbell’s Bluebird K7, due to the introduction of a 10mph speed limit on Windermere.


For further details of the An Stardag record attempt visit the teams web site at :- “”  October 2005






Designed by Lorne Campbell An Stradag is a purpose built 15ft x 8ft hydroplane weighing just 210 lbs.Built originally by Nick Barlow of Wilment’s shipyard, Southampton she is constructed of cedar and Sitco spruce stringers, gaboon marine plywood and epoxy resins which makes her not only extremely strong but very light.




An Stradag in original livery




Supplied by Cedric Lynch of Agri Motors they are designed with a disc armature. They bring together the advantage of a conventional wound armature formed into a self-cooling flat unit which is highly powerful versatile and lightweight. The disk armature has magnets either side doubling the flux density which shortens the magnetic path.

The technology is mostly un-heard of, but with a power to weight ratio and power to volume higher than most other motors it is extremely efficient. This time the motors for the attempt have a dramatic increase in power from the originals used in the 1989 An Stradag, which with a similar total weight, well provide a significantly more efficient motor unit for the new attempt.



Chloride Motive Power are the UK's largest supplier of batteries for traction and motive power use. Part of the giant multinational Exide Technologies Group, they drive fork-lift trucks, airport tow-tractors, milk-floats, boats - in fact anything that needs silent, safe, non-polluting power. They offer a comprehensive range of sales and service options, dealing in every variation of lead-acid technology; traction, flooded cells, gel cells, and AGM. The AGM, Absorbed Glass Mat, cells used in An Stradag employ the latest spiral-wound technology, with the acid held in an absorbent mat. The cells are completely sealed, and will not leak if they are turned over. The AGM technology gives maximum current, deep-cycling capability, minimal gassing, and long service life. They can be supplied for traction motive power use or engine-start applications. The twelve 12V cells in An Stradag will give a maximum 1000 amps for one minute, enough time to complete the flying kilometre at over 72mph on water- or 300mph in the UK world electric car Challenger!




An Stradag's propellors



Electronic Controllers

Curtis UK have supplied the electronic controllers that deliver the battery power to the motors. Part of the multinational Curtis Group, their products are used invirtually every application of electric motive power, from cars to boats and fork-lift trucks. The controllers use solid-state technology to convert the voltage of the batteries to high-frequency current that allows infinitely variable control of the motors, with minimum power loss, and every possible safety feature. One controller supplies each motor with a maximum 148V, and up to 350 amps.


Battery Master Switches

Albright have supplied the battery master switches to the project, just one of their wide range of contactors and switches up to 1800 amps used throughout the dc electric power market.




REKINDLING THE SPARK: Museum exhibit returns to record-breaking.


An Stradag, the inboard electric hydroplane with which Fiona Countess of Arran created a World Electric Water Speed Record of 50.825 mph back in 1989, is to run again. Since 1990, An Stradag has been on show, first at the Motorboat Museum in Basildon, then at the Lakeland Motor Museum in Cumbria. During this time, an American electric hydroplane has lifted the WESR to 70.6 mph.


A Lakeland businessman, Henry Engelen, has now acquired the boat, not as a museum piece, but to make it speed again. While it will keep the name An Stradag (Gaelic for “The Spark”) originally given it by Lady Arran, new and more powerful engines and more efficient controllers will be installed. Cedric Lynch, designer of the original engines and now working with Agnimotors, considers that from the lessons learned during the past sixteen years, his permanent magnet, radial armature engines can each attain 10 hp more than their predecessors. Agnimotors, currently setting up a factory in India to manufacture Lynch units, have agreed to sponsor this update. With a total of 120 hp, An Stradag should be able to bring the record back from the USA by a good margin.

Additional sponsors include CMP Batteries Ltd, part of Exide Technologies, who will be providing high-energy quick discharge jet aircraft starter batteries and the technology to re-charge or replace them after the first of the two obligatory kilometre runs. The 12 battery pack will discharge completely in 2 minutes during the run. While co-ordination of the project is being carried out by the Thames Electric Launch Company (TELCO), new drawings have been made by the boat’s original architect, Lorne Campbell, to refine both on-deck erodynamics and propeller efficiency.




An Stradag and famous signatures


During the summer, the re-fitting of the boat has been taking place at the Henwood and Dean boatyard at Henley-on-Thames. Propeller and engine trials will take place on Chasewater Lake in Staffordshire. Challanging for Lady Arran’s record is 24-year-old Helen Loney of the Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, who has gained many race victories at the helm of her Yamaha-engined powerboat in the North of England while her husband, her father and even her grandfather have raced powerboats on Lake Windermere over the years.

At the time of its original record, An Stradag became “the talk of the town” and was a special attraction at the 1990 Earls Court Boat Show.  Its appearance on Dutch television sparked off a Dutch Electric Boat Association responsible for the 5,000 electric boats cruising the Netherlands today.



An Stradag hydroplane hull



Recently, the Lake District National Park officially decided to allow the October Speed Record Week, now banned from Lake Windermere, to take place on Coniston Water. This will therefore be the venue where this silent and non-polluting racer will make its attempt. There is already a fleet of electric hire dayboats, and two solar-powered passenger launches on Coniston, so An Stradag will be among its own.





Electric Record Team
Co. Lonestar Advertising Ltd
Cregg House,
Greg Street,
Cheshire, SK5 7 BX
United Kingdom

Tel: 0161 476 6187

Fax: 0161 476 0868














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