October 2012
Queensland Sporting Hovercraft Club

Dear Air Cushion Vehicle enthusiast,
The Queensland branch of The Australian Hovercraft Federation held a planning meeting on Tuesday, 16th October 2012, at the RC primary school, 350 Mortimer Road, Acacia Ridge.
This meeting was attended by:-

Treasurer:- Phillip Audsley
Secretary:- Steven Odgaard

Other members attending were Neil Budworth.
Visitors for the evening were Rita Chaffey and Kerri Audsley.
Arthur Stead phoned in during business time and gave a report on the start of the second leg of the Murray River cruise - Echuca to Khancoban (718 kms).

Cruise report - Logan River, Eagleby - Sunday 14th October 2012.

The last club cruise was held on Sunday 14th October 2012, launching from the Eagleby boat ramp near the Pacific Motorway bridge. Those attending the cruise were:-

Angus Kerr and Ann Torrance - Viper 65hp.
Neil Budworth - Turbo Wedge 265.
Steven Odgaard and Rita Chaffey - Expo Turbo powered by a 51hp Yamaha PE485.

The three craft launched into the Logan River at the Eagleby boat ramp and headed upstream under the Pacific Highway bridges and past Slacks Creek and under the Beenleigh line Train Bridge and landed at Waterford. Angus and Ann continued further upstream to meet with some friends for lunch in a waterfront house at Tygum Lagoon - Waterford West. Neil, Rita and Steven enjoyed a pot of tea at the Bistro in Fitzy’s Waterford hotel.

After lunch, we returned to Eagleby and then decided to do a short run downstream. The chap on the houseboat came out and reminded us of the 6 knot (no wash) sign as he usually does. We ventured downstream past Chantilly Park, the Eagleby sugarcane fields, Logandale Estate, the golf course and turned around at the Albert River junction. A ski boat gave us a run up river and then turned in front of our path to cause a large wash. Angus and Steven handled this without any problem but Neil was shaken by this sort of sky larking. We took another break at Skinner’s Park boat ramp and then finished back at Eagleby at 1:30 pm.

The only mechanical problem was in the Vortex starter motor. Neil also found that his Rotax choke levers worked in reverse of what he thought was a rich fuel mixture. When this was realized, a customary hot engine fan start was ceremoniously executed.

Murray River cruise:-
Arthur Stead rang through again on Sunday 28th October 2012 to report the successful completion of the hovercraft cruise along Australia's longest river, the Murray, from mouth to navigatable source.
Distance 2433.3 kilometres.
1st leg - Wednesday 9th May to Wednesday 23rd May - 1715 kilometres.
2nd leg - Thursday 18th October to Wednesday 24th October - 718 kilometres.

Arthur Stead, Sam Waugh and John Mendam in 3 Revtech Renegades with road support from Judy Stead, Lorraine Brighton and Joy Sleiger, launched from Echuca and had a trouble free 718 kilometre cruise on the upper reaches of the Murray River, finishing at Khancoban, only 30 kilometres from the summit of Australia's highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko.

A break down with the Volkswagon Combi Van at Howlong saw a remarkable act of generosity by the owner of a tow truck operation in this small town. The kind gentleman offered the use of a spare 2000 model Ford Falcon station wagon to tow Joy Sleiger’s trailer after the Combi broke down. The Falcon was used to complete the road trip to Khancoban and then to return the Revtech to Primbee NSW before being returned to Howlong for the Combi recovery.

Unfortunately Peter and Elaine Venn who started the 1st leg were unable to complete the 2nd leg of the journey due to work in Western Australia. Peter and Elaine however have been contributing some exciting reports from their long trip, East to West across the Australian continent.

Report from Denmark, Western Australia
We left Albany this morning after staying in a free camp at “cosy corner” and headed toward Denmark. We decided to take a quick look at the caravan park on the mouth of the river for future reference on our way through.

We were looking at the pelicans on the river when we were approached by the owner of the caravan park (forgotten his name but will find out). He was keen to have us stay and offered us free camping as he really wanted to talk hovercraft. He took us to his house about 2 kms away and showed us his craft. He has a huge shed with all sorts of boy’s toys and the hovercraft was stored in the back of this shed. We didn’t stay but had quite a bit of time with him and his son Paul.

He would be interested in selling the craft as he is having trouble getting permission to use it on the river and inlet by his caravan park. We didn’t see it going but we did see video of it and it seems to go quite well. It is 5.8m long and he has a purpose built trailer to go with it. I will tell you more about it when I see you.
Made contact with Jeremy and have arranged to meet with him when we get to Perth.

All the best
Peter & Elaine

UK update from Russ Pullen:-
Hi Steve!
Thanks for keeping these mails coming, its good to stay in touch with Australia and it keeps the motivation high to get back as soon as possible!

We've had a busy summer here at Flying Fish. Emma & I have overhauled every part of the business, revising the Marlin II - the design of which is now about 85% new - and releasing the larger Coastal-Pro, which has immediately proved to be a good seller! We've also developed the Briggs engine into a reliable but powerful 50-55bhp engine which is working very well for us.

As far as the business is concerned, we've moved to a 1050m2 factory and employ 14 people. We're about to change our manufacturing process to a resin-infusion foam core construction which (with information blatantly plagiarised from our visit to Ross McLeods fabulous Airlift factory!) will make for a lighter and stronger craft. We're actively seeking dealers around the world and have taken on some very good businesses to represent people in the USA, Finland, Russia and Asia - we're delighted to have Magnus Ivanoff on board as well. This has been made possible by our decision to bring some investors on board to allow us to grow the company more quickly than would otherwise have been possible.

So yes, a busy year which has also seen me appointed as cruising director for the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain, so when I'm not building or selling them... I'm out playing with them! I've taken on board the QSH Club idea of having dates in the diary every month (though I ran that throughout summer - winter needs a little more weather checking here!) and its worked really well - KNOWING that there will be some type of event on THAT day makes owners reliable and attendance good - thank you for that! Type 'medway hovercraft' into Youtube or my user name 'ffhover' and you'll see plenty of videos of our adventures!

Attending a couple of race meetings proved that it's not quite out of my blood yet, so I've ordered my Formula 2 hull for the 2013 season.....much to Emma's disgust!

Best wishes from the poms.
Take care

Next club cruise:-
The next club cruise will be held on Sunday 25th November 2012 at Pelican Park, Clontarf.
Meet at 9:00 am at the Clontarf boat ramp in Pelican Park opposite Thomas Street.

Neil Budworth is particularly interested to use his Turbo Wedge 265 on the shallow sandbar in the Pine River mouth next to Queensland’s longest bridge - the Ted Smout Bridge being just a few metres longer than the Houghton Highway Bridge and the Hornibrook Highway; a mere pier of its former via duct past.

UBD Reference - Map 91 F18.
Contact for the event is Steven Odgaard on 0400 798 404.

Kedron Brook Floodway is occasionally used as plan B in case of strong winds.
Regroup and launch in the protected waters opposite the Nudgee transfer station.

Next Queensland branch meeting:
The next club meeting will be held on Tuesday 20th November 2012 at 7:30pm.
It will be held in the Staff Room at Our Lady of Fatima RC primary school, 350 Mortimer Road Acacia Ridge.

Hope you can come. All welcome.

Steven Odgaard
QSH secretary