April 2017
Queensland Sporting Hovercraft Club

Dear Air Cushion Vehicle enthusiast,
The Queensland branch of The Australian Hovercraft Federation held a planning meeting on Tuesday, 18th April 2017, at the Coopers Plains Library in Orange Grove Road.
This meeting was attended by:-

President:- Ben Woodhead
Vice President:- Peter Venn
Treasurer:- Phillip Audsley
Secretary:- Steven Odgaard
Publicity Officer:- Steve Stephens

Other members attending were James King, Micheal Stephenson, Dieter Renisch, Gunter Prischl, Kim Allen, Dwayne Morgan, Angus Kerr, Arthur Stead and Les Taylor.

Visitor for the evening was Winsome Anderson.

Cruise report - Muriel St, Redland Bay - Sunday 9th April 2017.

The last club cruise was held on Sunday 9th April 2017, launching from 96 Muriel Street, Redland Bay courtesy of Peter and Elaine Venn.
Those attending the cruise with craft were:-

Peter Venn Turbo TP6
Ben Woodhead Turbo XP960
Les Taylor Turbo 235 Superwedge - Phoenix.
Kim Allen Turbo Wedge 240 - Zesty.
Peter Venn Expo Turbo 240 - Static Display
Steven Odgaard Bill Baker Vehicle 2 - Static Display

Late summer rains ushered in cooler weather and President Ben showed off his reliable 4 stroke powered Turbo XP960 and carried his entire family on the cruise to Russell lsland. Kim Allen took Christine and Hayley in Zesty and Les Taylor carried James Allen in Phoenix.
Peter Venn sat with Melvin, Deepa, Rose, and Ryan Muthusamy in the TP6 for a photo shoot then took Melvin and his daughter for a joy ride in the passage before departing with a repaired Yamaha engine for delivery to Steve Stephens on Russell Island. lan Lind went for the ride in the TP6 to catch up with the other 3 craft.
They delivered the engine to Steve Stephens at the Lions Park / Jamie Hall memorial and swapped seating on the return due to higher than expected wind on the broadwater.




Turbo TP6

Ben returned with Gowan at 11:30am in the Turbo XP960, Les Taylor carried Hayley in Phoenix and Kim Allen returned with Christine and James at 11:33am. Peter Venn followed up on rear guard with Narelle and Calum Woodhead and lan Lind and landed back at base at 11:35am in time for a cup of tea at Elaine's diner. Steven boiled the billy at the sand patch near the ramp for his work colleague Melvin Muthusamy and family.

Ben Woodhead

Les Taylor

Kim Allen

Peter Venn

After lunch Ben Woodhead and Les Taylor went for a cruise to the end of the Redland Bay Channel, then Ben let Steven take his new craft for a test run at 2:00pm. Peter Venn had the original number 3 Expo Turbo from World Expo 88 available but it was not used and Steven Odgaard brought the Bill Baker 2 along for a static display.

Steven Odgaard

Ben Woodhead

Expo Turbo


Those attending the cruise for today were:-
Ben, Narelle, Gowan, and Calum Woodhead, Les Taylor, lan Lind, Kim, Christine, Hayley, & James Allen, Arthur and Judy Stead, Dwayne Morgan, Steven Odgaard, Melvin, Deepa, Rose and Ryan Muthusamy, Don Stone from the Mirrianne 42ft timber 1954 boat, Peter, Elaine, Stephen, Beren, Samantha and Daphne Venn. 25 people plus grandchildren.
Left at 3:45pm after watching a video clip of the TP6 taken from Stephen Venn's quad-copter.

Local News:-
Ex-Cyclone Debbie causes major Logan River flooding

Ben Woodhead

Kim Allen

Ode to the floods
April Cruise
Up the mighty Logan

Rally Competitor Profile
Winsome Anderson will be doing the Australian National Rally commentary at Lake Coolmunda in July and would like all rally competitors to submit their profile asap so that spectators and competitors have some interesting information-flow during the weekend.
Ths should include your name and background, craft details including model, registration, name, colors, engine, power, history, etc.
Please put yours together and e-mail it to  winsomeanderson@hotmail.com  NOW.
Example Rally Competitor Profile

Out Of Town Visitor
James King was in town after returning from 6 weeks in Singapore while upgrading his piloting skills for the A330 Airbus. He attended the meeting to address us regarding his large pile of correspondance with the department which has lead to a meeting in the George St offices later this week.
As if that wasn't enough, James also announced that Elisha is now expecting their first child early in the new year! Congratulations!

Name Change for the Club
A vote was put for the club to have a name change, and after some discussion and a divided opinion, it was decided to include a poll in the newsletter so everyone gets to vote on it.

Options are:

  1. Leave it as the current name: Qld Sporting Hovercraft club.
  2. Change it to Qld Recreational Hovercraft club.
  3. Change it to Qld Hovercraft club.

This name change will not come into effect until after the National Rally.
Please send in your vote to vk4khq@ozemail.com.au and stevenodgaard@telstra.com asap so that we can get a balanced view of everyone's wishes.

Seagrass and Bird disturbance Avoidance

Interstate News:-
AHF meeting

There will be an AHF meeting to discuss the National Rally on Wednesday 7th June 2017 at 7:00pm.
This meeting will be held at at Ben Woodhead's place for the Qld Division and on skype for the other states.
Paul Moody asked for more text input into the forum to secure reader interest.
Hovercraft Club Of Victoria re-location at Lake Narracan to the North Shore.

Annual General Meeting:-
The Club AGM was held following the regular monthly meeting.
All positions were declared vacant and the election of office bearers proceeded as follows:-

President - Ben Woodhead continue as President
Vice President - Kim Allen
Treasurer - Phil Audsley continues as Treasurer
Secretary - Steven Odgaard remaining as Secretary
Publicity Officer - Steve Stephens keeps doing publicity & newsletters
AHF state delegates - Steven Odgaard
- Les Taylor
- Ben Woodhead

Australian National Rally:-
The next Australian National Rally will be held from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th July 2017 at Lake Coolmunda near Inglewood in southeast Queensland. This rally is being organised by the Queensland Sporting Hovercraft Club on behalf of the Australian Hovercraft Federation.
The local State Member Lawrence Springborg has advised he wishes to attend the rally.
Check the rally site for details - rally.qhover.com
A $250 advertising budget for the Australian National Rally has been approved. This will be spent on adverts in the local regional newspapers and will encourage publication of media releases from the club.

Next club cruise:-
The next club cruise will be held on Sunday 7th May 2017 at Moogerah Dam near Aratula.
Some members will be out there from Saturday afternoon.
Check in at the caravan park kiosk in Muller Park Road, then go through the boom gate and veer rightish to the weedy area on the right-hand side of the boat ramp for a 9:00 am start.

Contact for the event is Steven Odgaard on 0400 798 404.

Next Queensland branch meeting:-
The next club meeting will be held on Tuesday 16th May 2017 at 7:30pm.
It will be held in the Coopers Plains Library at 107 Orange Grove Road, Coopers Plains.
There is plenty of parking at the rear of the library building via Bosworth Street off Orange Grove Road.

UBD Reference - Map 200 D-13.

Anyone with an interest in air cushion vehicles is welcome to attend.
We discuss technical topics and plan cruises.
You are welcome bring something for “show & tell” that may interest other members, and we have a good audio visual setup so you can show your pix or short video clips too.

Steven Odgaard
QSH secretary

Seagrass and Bird disturbance Avoidance
Throughout the last 3 years of communication between our club and Qld Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), which is part of the department of National Parks, Sport, and Recreation (NPSR), it has been regularly mentioned that their primary concern with hovercraft usage within the National Marine Parks is for the protection of seagrass and migratory birds.
Moreton Bay Marine Park (MBMP) and The Great Sandy Straits Marine Park (GSSMP) are both listed as significant RAMSAR sites which deserve substantial protection at an international scale.

At a local level, our seagrass meadows are the feeding grounds for dugong and turtles, and provides a protective habitat for many small species. Seagrass meadows are dynamic in nature but need relatively clear, shallow water to exist. They are affected by mainland pollution and fresh water run-off which includes transported sediments and man-made pollutants. Seagrass meadows are also regularly destroyed by stormy sea conditions and boats which churn through it with their propellors, keels, and rudders, not to mention their underwater exhausts which deposit particulate matter and carbon monoxide onto the fragile plants. In slightly deeper water, there is the added damage caused by anchoring, where the tackle slowly rotates around the anchor to cause "crop circles" which are visible on aerial mapping. There are also a number of moorings which have been historically located amongst shallow seagrass meadows, where the boat is actually "high and dry" at low tide, after dragging its hull or keel around the mooring block with excessively long tackle.

These areas are also often hot-spots for crab pots, which can be dragged around by the currents. The seagrass meadows regularly change size, shape, and location due to these outside influences. An area which was previously rich can become barren while new meadows form in nearby areas.

Seagrass basically filters and traps mobile sediments, provides habitat for small creatures, and food for grazing dugongs and turtles, etc. There are a handful of different species within Moreton Bay, and all of them are fragile and need to be protected from manmade dangers. As hovercraft owners, we are aware that although our craft are exponentially safer to both flora and fauna, we are also unique in that we can easily access those same areas which are often protected from incursion by other vessels because of the shallow water. We need to be seen as responsible operators by avoiding damage and minimising disturbance to these ecosystems. Fortunately for us, this is easy as long as we don't traverse the exposed seagrass when it is "high and dry".
The second concern is the disturbance of migratory wading birds. Their annual trans-global migration between Australia and parts of the northern hemisphere are seasonal, and they take advantage of our rich feeding grounds on the mudflats. After their mega-effort of arriving here, they are in dire need of food to rebuild their energy and body weight in preparation for the return migration. Every single disturbance to these vulnerable birds takes its toll, no matter whether it is passing boats, jetskis, hovercraft, walking visitors or their dogs. Although it has been conclusively proven that hovercraft are virtually harmless to these feeding grounds and their plentiful supply of edible residents, it is imperative that we don't approach these areas when they are occupied by flocks of birds. If the birds start paying attention by looking toward you, then you are already too close and need to slow down and change course away from them, then maintain that distance every time.
Our negotiations with the department have been leading to the club demonstrating our responsible attitude through more education.

Their attitude is to "regulate by restriction" until a case is proven to be reasonably harmless to the environment. This is why the blanket bans on traversing seagrass, sand and mud banks was originally put in place, thanks to ignorance and mis-information.
The glaring facts about unrestricted boats and jetskis (due to their sheer numbers), and the continuing prop-strikes, keel-strikes, and furrows carved through shallow areas are totally ignored by the department while we remain treated as "Controlled" or "Restricted" vessels.

We are hopeful of getting these anomalies sorted out in the near future, thanks to the club's continual pressure which has been accelerated more recently by the substantial efforts put in by James and Elisha King and others.

Kim Allen and James Allen on a Hovercraft in the floodwaters at Yatala. Picture: John Gass

HUNDREDS of southeast Queens land residents are today cut off from their homes or sticking it out in flood-damaged properties after ex Cyclone Debbie's last hurrah caused major flooding and evacuations.
People in Beenleigh, Logan and on the Gold Coast's north fled to higher ground early yeserday after warnings the Albert and Logan rivers could reach record levels.
The iconic Yatala Pie Shop and the Beenleigh train station went under as Logan Mayor Luke Smith warned the Albert River was at an "unprecedented state".
"We've never seen this kind of inundation we've had right now in the Albert River catchment," Mr Smith said.
The upper reaches of the Albert River spilt onto flood plains stretching from Logan to Beaudesert, cutting off roads and turning communities into virtual islands.
The Logan River was almost at its predicted peak a day early and 211 houses were expected to flood, with a total of 323 properties affected.
Residents in parts of Alberton, Staplyton, Woongoolba, Gilberton and Steiglitz were told to leave their homes, with evacuation centres set up at Beenleigh and Logan.
Queensland fire and rescue chief Katarina Carroll said almost 1300 calls for help came in overnight as the southeast region dealt with the deluge of rain within 24 hours.
There were another 108 water related rescues as people clambered onto roofs to escape rising waters after people continued to drive or play in flooded areas.
Last night about 46,000 people remained without power in the southeast while Scenic Rim residents were asked to ration water, with four treatment plants offline.
Roads north & south of the Gold Coast had lengthy traffic jams as thousands of residents fled.
An ode to the floods by SJ (Gyro) Odgaard 14/4/17
- inspired by AB (Banjo) Paterson.

The men from Fenced-off River. Thursday 30th March 2017

There was movement at the BP station, for the word had passed around
that the big wet from way up north had moved on down to town.
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray,
Ben Woodhead and Kim Allen came down to lend a hand, and so
no better riders held the helm for they behold were crafty,
'twould lead the rest. Staff at Yatala were slow, held up by Albert of the overflow
and counting now their options, for long pond may lead to old regret.
Kim could skim where neither horse nor man would swim
and Ben bore the badge of gameness as he let his ambition fly
in the midst of Debbie's dark and furious eye.
But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up
He was something like a race horse and rides in marvel guise.
There was Neil who made his pile when Libby sold the cup
All the tried and noted riders from the stations far and wide
had mustered at the Budworth homestead for a mop and squeegee cleanup.
The puff and stormy settled and a back fire snuffed the battle in defeat,
where around the overflow the silted reed beds sweep and sway,
the men from fenced off river had no mud beneath, their feet.
The Courier had its say for these be household words today.

Ben Woodhead Facebook post for Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April, 2017.

Hello everyone, here is the latest information from Ben and Kim regarding their busy weekend around the Logan River area, running a hovercraft ferry service for some of the people who were stranded due to the flooding which followed Cyclone Debbie up north.

Hi Steve, this is my face book post for Friday 31st of March 2017:-
Had a rather manic day. Woke up at 4:00 am because Calum decided to. Saw a report on the Logan flooding, a mate of mine is building a house on the Logan in a particularly flood prone place, so I felt obliged to check it so pulled on some shorts and a work top and checked it out, then warned him when half his acre block is under. Came home, hooked up the hovercraft and started driving. I knew I'd be needed somewhere, and went up through Waterford, then back through Beenleigh listening to the radio and it was all bad. Went down to Beenleigh south, down near the brewery, and the roundabout had a bit of water on it and there where a couple of blokes and the manager from the Yatala BP saying his staff were stranded, so I said I'd get them out.

Drove over the roundabout to a Shell service station on higher ground on the service road where 2 tradies helped me get the hovercraft off the trailer, and I shot down more than 500m of flooded road, dodging roadsigns and lamposts and trucks over their roofs. Get there, walk into the service station and say to the staff "does anyone want to be rescued by hovercraft", (blurry photo they all have their mouths open. lol). Anyway, rescued 2 Macdonalds employees 1st run, then 2nd run 1 BP employee, then 3rd run 1 employee, then the 2 tradies say the roundabout is under water and the levels have come up 1.5m in half an hour, so we quickly loaded the hovercraft, drove up the road, and I quickly got the 2 Macdonalds employees in the car who were walking up the road, and had to drive OVER the roundabout through 700mm water depth for 300m to get to dry land.

Had to leave 2 Macdonalds and about another 20 people on the island petrol station, so I went south on the Pacific Motorway to Yatala south, then back-tracked to the Yatala north exit, then started unloading and started the hovercraft, but the engine throttle stuck open. A local garage guy helped me fix the stuck throttle. Launched to the BP at Yatala, picked up 10 people back to safety in good time, then the hovercraft blew the alternator belt so I went to a scrap yard and got a belt for free, then went and did a few more runs until a heater hose blew off the radiator and overheated the engine. I fixed that while chatting to TV Channel 9 on the phone. That's how the footage taken by a local business got me on tv.

Then Kim Allen rocked up, and we started quite literally a free ferry service. We even rescued a 14 year old deaf cat from a pet delivery business who is still stranded with goats and chickens on the 'BP island' for a guy who had driven from Ipswich to collect his pet. Guess we may be busy tomorrow.
Thank you for all the thanks, but we are not doing this for praise, if we can help we will, and we have the machines to do it - so we will.

This is my post for Saturday:-
From yesterday, went out at 6:00 am and flew the drone over the Logan River's lower catchment - still much in flood. Took the family out with hovercraft in tow for a tour to see if we could help anywhere. Ended up driving around the roundabout at 7:00 am that had been 4 metres under water only 15 hours earlier! Made the national papers with 3 photos.

The local State Emergency Services didn't want us, so feeling a bit useless after yesterday's shinanagins, we launched in the lower Logan River, still very much in flood, and went up to the Airlift Hovercraft factory which had been flooded and was deserted. Took some pics then we headed up the river and I spied a tractor with 2 people in 800mm of water on the side of the river. It turned out to be Ross Macleod, the owner of Airlift Hovercraft, so I rescued his wife and managed to get her to the factory, then Ross chugs round there on his tractor, through flood water up to a metre deep for more than 1 kilometre through the fields.

We then flogged it up the river to the motorway crossing. Kim refueled while I hovered round the carpark which was under 3 metres of water, dodging lamposts. We then cruised back down the river, avoiding trailers, upside down and sunken boats etc, and got back to the mouth of the Logan River only to receive a call from a mate Neil Budworth whose house (on stilts) was going under underneath (not the house) so we had to rescue all his tools and boat etc. A full on day again!

Thanks Ben. Quite a weekend for hovercrafting! If other QSH club members have also been involved, please let me know asap so I can pass it on.
See you on the (flood) water,
QSH publicity.
High and dry on Russell Island,
S.E. Queensland.

Here is an example of a Rally Competitor Profile:-

Competitor: Steve Stephens (Qld Sporting Hovercraft club publicity officer)

Craft: "No Wheel Drive" is a Turbo Super Wedge 240 fibreglass 3 seater. (blue with black duct. Registration XC943Q), running a Yamaha PE485 250cc, 50 horsepower, air-cooled 2 stroke snowmobile engine with 9 by 4Z blades in an 840mm duct.

Comments: Steve uses his hovercraft mainly for diving around the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in South East Queensland. It's a great diving platform and can handle a reasonable amount of chop in sheltered waters, but like all small hovercraft, it can't take much wind.

More waffle: Steve is the publicity officer for the Queensland Sporting Hovercraft club which is based in Brisbane but has about 30 members spread across Australia. If you are interested in hovercraft, come over and talk with any of the owners.
You can also visit the club's website at qhover.com for more information.