August 2003
Queensland Sporting Hovercraft Club
A branch of the Australian Hovercraft Federation Inc (Vic)

Cruise report - Rehearsal for Riverfestival - Sunday, 10th August 2003.

Dear Air Cushion Vehicle enthusiast,
On Sunday, 10th August the hovercraft club had a practice for Rivergames 2003.
Four air cushion vehicles turned up, but only three practised on the river. There were
Angus Kerr and Len Challen in a Revtech Rocket,
Bryan Davidson in a Turbo Wedge 240 and
Phillip Audsley in a Turbo Wedge 225.
The three craft set off from the boat ramp in Riverside Drive at 1 minute intervals from 11:50 am. Angus and Len arrived at the State Library pontoon within 3 minutes, and Phillip and Bryan took about 5 minutes. They practised an individual introduction lap, Angus, Phillip and Bryan in that order starting and returning to the Library pontoon. This took about 4 or 5 minutes.
The tide was running out, and this set a desired race start condition to simulate conditions on the 30th August.
With Winsome Anderson and Steven Odgaard in position near River Lookout, and Racheal Leigh Johnson and Kerri Newton on the Goodwill Games Bridge, Steven gave the signal and the race began. Angus and Len in the Rocket took off to a resounding lead with Bryan following in 2nd place. Just as the craft approached the ¼ distance point, a city cat pulled out of Southbank. Angus and Bryan passed in front of the ferry, but Phil was too late and had to slow down to 6 knots, and then pass behind the ferry.
This was a good exercise, and I later reminded all members that this will be a distinct possibility on race day, as the ferries must continue to run, even during Rivergames.
Len lost his hat so Angus slowed down so that Len could peel it off the wire fan guard, held there by the powerful suction force. Bryan continued his pace and for a short time overtook Angus and Len. Angus realising he was about to take 2nd place opened up the throttle again and passed first under the Goodwill games bridge by a narrow margin. This confused the Marshalls standing on the bridge, but Winsome and Steven were able to make out the result from their far off position by the River Lookout. The walkie talkies worked well between Steven and Racheal Leigh on the steel bridge.
Mobile phones were also used as a back-up for communications. Hand signals between Steven and the Air Cushion Vehicles worked reasonably well but on the 30th, a walkie talkie with one of the ACV commanders will be a better way of directing.
Angus/Len and Bryan had taken 2½ minutes to travel the distance between bridges, and Phillip took 4 minutes.
On the return, Angus/Len had trouble. The twin cylinder engine began to misfire on one cylinder and the back-firing caused the muffler connection in the exhaust pipe to separate. Angus was stranded for about 20 minutes until Bryan was directed to go back and pick up his passenger. With only one person in the craft, the Rocket was now able to reach planning speed on one cylinder and return safely to the boat ramp.
Phillip executed the entire event in about 17 minutes while Angus/Len and Bryan (rescuer) were on the river for about 40 minutes.
Thanks to the land crew for there assistance and patience during this important rehearsal:-
Winsome Anderson - Commentator,
Racheal Leigh Johnson - Marshall,
Kerri Audsley backup marshall and photographer,
Craig Gibbings - car driver/ road transport,
Peter Frankland - craft handling at launch pad, and
Tony Hogben - craft handling at launch pad.
On the 30th August, we may have 2 additional craft.
Turbo Razor from Taree NSW commanded by Neil Batley.
Hoverguard 800 from Southport commanded by Angus Kerr ( Len will take over with the RevTech Rocket.)
Confident of having at least 3 air cushion vehicles with a slim possibility of 5.
Peter Frankland and David Venn (participants in 2002), passed on their apologies for the 30th August 2003. Peter has to work at the Brisbane Planetarium and Peter Venn and son David are attending a wedding. Barry Fennell of Maryborough also passed on his apologies as he has to work with the ambulance service on the 30th.
Call for Riverfestival is 2:00 pm on Saturday, 30th August 2003.
Meet at the boatramp in Riverside Drive, South Brisbane.

World Hovercraft Championships:-
Roger Ullman, the UK representative for the World Hovercraft Federation has put a proposal to reduce the frequency of the meetings of the World Hovercraft Championships.
How do you feel about this proposal ?

Some months ago, the UK Cruising & Coastal Events Committee (CACEC) asked HCGB Council to consider whether the frequency of the World Hovercraft Championships (WHC) may be changed from a 2 yearly event to every 3 or 4 years. The reason given was that when the requirement for shipping craft by container occurs (for WHC events held outside Europe) our domestic race season is compressed, creating a conflict of dates for cruising events.

Some historical data:-
To date, eight WHC meetings have been held, with three quarters of them in Europe. This equates to only two meetings outside Europe in the last fifteen years. The next one will be held in Europe again, in Germany (Berlin), so it won't be a problem.
There was a discussion on this very topic, at the WHF Meeting held in Terre Haute last September, with a suggestion to change to 3 years. The overwhelming consensus, of those at the meeting, was to stay with a bi-annual event.
Talking with friends about the bi-annual frequency of the WHC, it was suggested that if the event was less frequent, then others would be able to afford to go as well. Afford is usually thought of in a financial sense, but covers other reasons, such as holiday entitlement and the shear volume of arrangements involved.
The discussion at Terre Haute was between those who were at the meeting and, by inference, could afford to attend. This precluded views from all those not at the WHC, for whatever reason, but who may wish to "join-in the fun" under different circumstances.
Another factor we tend to overlook. Here in the UK, besides the WHC, we have the opportunity to compete in the Nationals and the European Championships. For some others worldwide, the only chance to race is at the Worlds. One meeting every 3 years (or 4 to match the Olympics) wouldn't be much fun!
Anyone wishing to compete on a 4 year cycle can always miss every other 2 yearly event.
For these reasons, a sounding of opinion, both in the UK and worldwide, may be useful. I am contacting the new WHF Secretary on this subject and am inviting views from UK drivers who may be tempted to WHC meetings, should they be held less frequently.
Roger Allman, UK rep. for WHF

Next Queensland branch meeting:-
7:30pm - Tuesday 16th September 2003.
SAAA hall at Archerfield Aerodrome.
Beatty Road Qld 4108.

Topics on the agenda:-
Updates on racing at Canberra in the 40th anniversary endurance event and a run down from the air cushion vehicle display on the Brisbane River during the Riverfestival.
Trophies prepared by Accolade Awards will to be presented to the winners.
We also have a guest speaker, Brian Forbes who will to speak about a locally assembled two cylinder two stroke engine which is suitable for jet-skis, jet boats and ACVs.

Steven Odgaard
QSH secretary