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November 2013

The official magazine of the

Hovercraft Club of Great Britain

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November 2013 ell what to write....the racing season has ended, I’m now bored and I’ve got more jobs to do around the house and garden that get put off in the summer months!

I’ve been following the recent threads on the HCGB page on Facebook regards the racing Formulas and future proofing our sport. If you’ve not had the chance to read through these there are some very valid and interesting points raised, argued and counter argued. Obviously on Facebook these aren’t ‘official’ conversations and defining discussions but either way it’s interesting to so see so many people ‘throwing their hat into the ring’ and giving an open and frank discussion on the subject. This is reinforced by the geographical spread of all contributing, Brits, Europeans, Americans and Australians. One wonders if such a frank expression of points on the thread would have occurred on our HCGB web page.......strange. Maybe the world of

social media has officially taken over all our lives! My personal opinion, not one of the HCGB or the Club Magazine, any changes which are bought in have to be carefully introduced and monitored as we have to be mindful that we are only just seeing the ‘green shoots’ of recovery from a global recession, which has effected everyone. We in the UK have seen a marked improvement in our grids in the 2013 season, but any changes to the Formulae have to be made with one eye on finance. We have to ensure the starter Formulae are retained at a cost where we can still healthily attract new membership, and not make the sport elitist. Skiing suffers from a somewhat elitist tag, being an avid skier myself this can be done on a budget and for sure we, the Rhodes/Clarkes are far from elitist!!! But the common perception of the sport is that and everyone goes to Courchevel and quaffs champagne by the bucket load! The obvious areas which are discussed at the end of every season are F50 and F3. Not to cover old ground with F3, yes it’s not an EHF or WHF formula, but watching Ricky Goosey, Jamie Lewenedon, Phil Hall, Francis Moralis and Tony Broad and co. go at it this year you would wonder why it’s not! The developments and investment the aforementioned have all undertaken have made the F3 a must watch race! Then back to F50, the old Rotax is now no longer a production engine I believe, the Hirth replacement has been trialled, but as yet we still only have one doing the rounds. Maybe the first step with F50 would be to bring all the regulations into line, a point raised by a few in the Facebook chats. Possibly the enforced use of a standard Rotax exhaust, and the removal of the tuned exhaust. I believe the rules do state a tuned exhaust requires a drop in RPM or something similar... is this monitored would be my first question...... but maybe as the entry formula, standard and off the shelf should mean standard and off the shelf, including manifold and pipe, across the board, across the formula, across the world? Surely it is that simple... but as with Motorsport I’m certain it’s not. We only have to look at F1 on how not to make changes work.... Pirelli being the starting point, back in the 80’s the best driver and car won... the team which took risks with fuel and tyre strategy, drivers whom drove the wheels off the car, won. Now days we have Qualifying Three, where cars aren’t recording a time, drivers following a racing line to avoid piles of discarded tyre rubber off the racing line.... my aging memory reminds me the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Nikki Lauda, Michael Schumacher (in his pomp), Nelson Piquet (Senior not Junior!!!) and Keke Rosberg use to perform daring overtaking manoeuvres off the racing line. Now day’s if the modern driver attempts this, he clogs up the aerodynamics on the front spoiler with Pirelli’s discarded tyre rubber and retires the car!! I love F1 but the constant rule changing has taken its toll and yes, strategy wise it’s intriguing, but it lacks the breathtaking overtaking from yester-year. A prime example of this is Lewis Hamilton, behind the four time World Champion (whose name escapes me..... cough cough!!), Lewis is possibly the fastest driver on the grid, but watching him ‘tip-toe’ around circuit after circuit looking after his tyres must be soul destroying for him, it is for me the armchair viewer, I WANT HIM TO RACE!!!!!!!!! F1 is a money making machine where Bernie Ecclestone collects his profits by the lorry load, but I believe this constant changing of rules for profitability has made the sport somewhat lose its appeal. Saying that Sky have offset this slightly by applying their ‘magic dust’, which makes the old BBC coverage look old and dated. Back to the topic of discussion, we must be mindful as a minority sport, changing the rules for changing the rules sake doesn’t always make the sport better.... as I say my idle ramblings.... Laters Darren and Sarah

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Contents 06 Diary It’s a date 12

07 Chairman’s Desk The latest update from our chairman 08 Continue of Chairman’s Desk The latest update from our chairman 09 Notice’s and Comments www/ 10 Summary of EHF Conrad Beale 12 Chilterns Chit Chat Makyla Greaves


14 Forty years ago Granville Spedding 16 Hovercraft insurance James Winchester 17 MHA Model of the month 18

18 You can race this hovercraft Daneil Turnbull 19 AGM 20 Photo Competition Clive Mason 22 Hovercraft for sale

Cover pic: Stevie Gill Photo taken by: James Rudd



Diary2014 MARCH 15-16 HCGB AGM & Symposium Weekend Burton Upon Trent

JULY 19-20 National Race Meeting Claydon House

MAY 3-5 National Race Meeting Magnolls Farm


MAY 24-26 National Race Meeting Hackett’s Lake

AUGUST 23-25 National Race Meeting Gang Warily

JUNE 7-8 National Race Meeting Rother Valley

SEPTEMBER 6-7 Possible Race Meeting TBA

JUNE 14-15 Possible Hover-in TBA

SEPTEMBER 20-21 National Race Meeting Towcester

JUNE 21-22 EHF Race Meeting Prudhomat, France

OCTOBER 4-5 Possible Race Meeting TBA

JULY 5-6 Possible Race Meeting TBA Whilst every attempt is made to keep calender items up to date, some calender items may alter after print or the Editor is not made aware of changes-please check relevant UK or European websites for most up to date calenders. If you know of any changes or updates, or wish an event to be listed, then please contact the Editor at

LightHovercraft Published by The hovercraft Club of Great Britain Ltd Editors Darren Clarke Sarah Gill

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Distribution Roger Allman Tel: 07765 303755 Contributions Last date for contributions is the of a month.



Printed by ADH printing 2 Boyne Rise Kingsworthy Winchester Hants SO23 7RE


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Small adverts are free to HCGB members and run for three issues unless reqested otherwise. The opinions expressed in any item or article in this magazine are those of the contributor. They do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or policies of the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain Ltd. The entire contents of Light Hovercraft are copyright and permission to reproduce any part must be sought from the Editor. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, we do not accept any responsibility for any inaccuracy.

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The Chairman’s Desk Chapter Twenty Eight

FOR SALE OSPREY 5 For sale OSPREY 5, white hull + seating some red trim, skirt in good condition. New radiator, with 12 warranty. Peugeot petrol engine. Little use, very good condition. C omes complete with 4 wheel, Hayling Trailers purpose built braked trailer. Ready to cruise . OFFERS IN THE REGION OF £4995 ono. Kevin Juggins Mob : 07977810228 FOR SALE HIRTH 2705 R06 2 stroke engine 65 HP, Dual ignition, Pull start, complete with Hirth 3.16:1 gearbox reduction drive, Hirth exhaust, Rotax after muffler, rectifier only had 87 hours use - £550 ono Colin Gates, 01227 792461 or 07795 410160 e-mail colin@gates51.wanadoo.


Planning he passage of time is very subtle for all those

members who are planning new craft for next season’s racing championships. It feels like a long time before the trek to Magnolls farm in May next year. We tell ourselves that there is plenty of time to build a craft. Please wake up and realise that it is over a month since the last race meeting at Towcester and time goes faster in the New Year. For those members who enjoy the less frenetic pastime

of cruising, it must be wonderful to look at your craft after you have cleaned it and consider what minor alterations might need attention some time in the future. The Model makers amongst us must love the winter season of tinkering in a nice warm environment whilst deciding on the temperature of their workshop/ shed/garage. Theirs tends to be a more continuous progression. There is increased emphasis on Engineering in education. The recent report about the lack of female engineers was highlighted on the news. This is where you can have a beneficial influence. I have been trying to encourage hovercraft building as a way of moving youngsters to experience all the different aspects involved in producing and flying these machines. This club still has access to a number of free hulls that can be donated to groups who wish to take up the challenge of building and successfully flying their own creation. If you know of this type of group, please contact me? Despite Carla’s tremendous work in reminding forgetful members at a race meeting that they are required to purchase a wrist band if they wish to be on the race site, my concern is that we may still have a shortfall. An interim assessment of revenue against expenditure for the racing series will take place shortly as soon as we have the figures. We may have to alter the charges in order to ensure that we do not lose money for the club. Our total club membership is now close to 600 people and looks as though it is still growing. One of the items that are frequently discussed at Council meetings is the cost of the magazine and whether this cost as well as all the other costs associated with the running of this club are covered by the revenue from subscriptions. The race series is set up to try and break even every year and should therefore not impact on the overall financial status. We are one of the very few organisations who produce a magazine every month. Without the hard work of our editors, this would not happen. The club must also financially cover the cost of production and distribution out of subscription revenue. In order to assess whether our subscription charges are value for money, please can you (the members) send me your views with comparisons of charges against other similar type of organisations. There has been a Stanford Hall re-union hover-in organised by Lee Willars which was well attended. I understand that the drinks at the Chequers pub still have the same effects on the drinkers. Unfortunately other commitments meant that I could not attend. Hopefully there should be a report in the magazine from this event.



Filming at Magnolls farm on Friday 18th October 2013 with Mike Bushell and the BBC went off with a tremendous amount of fun. Charlie Peach was back from Kuwait and had arranged for the track to be cut. Mike King had generously allowed his 503 to be used as the training craft. Phil Hall, Francis Morales, Jake Cooper, Phil Tattersall, Nils and David Atkins, Franklin Newton, and Steve Milligan all brought craft. Steve had to go to work on the Friday so Mike King tried to break the craft instead. Keith and Anita Oakley, Graham Nutt, Phil Tattersall and David Atkins spent some time testing the latest camera and television gadgets using real hovercraft movements. These are exciting innovations for next season’s media coverage of hovercraft events. The finished BBC television item is due out in November and I will circulate the time and date as soon as I know. The weekend at Magnolls farm continued with members of the North West Branch having a Hover-in. Some pictures appeared on Facebook with the occasional comment. It seems that Steve Milligan managed to fix the problems in the craft that appeared when Mike King was in charge. Hover-ins are terrific ways of gently introducing new members and potential members to the joys of hovercraft. It would be great if we can have a number of them throughout the winter because they are also an opportunity to test all types of craft, carry out hovercraft training and generally get together as well. If any one has a site we can use, please let me know. Unfortunately with the restrictions at Jake’s place, we cannot use that location. Russ Pullen had organised a Cruise for the weekend of 26th/27th October 2013 and encouraged attendance. He later discovered that being out of the country on those dates does restrict his ability to take part. It was quickly reshuffled to 2nd/3rd November 2013. Mike King has been searching for suitable moulds to make a cruising craft but I do not think he would be ready in time. The World Championships 2014 have been agreed and there is a website to visit where you can obtain information to view the site via satellite. The dates are from the 5th August to 10th August 2014. Combine this with a European summer holiday and it could be a great adventure. The dates for the next ‘final’ Rhone Raid are being discussed and Philip Blennerhasset should soon publish details about the Irish International Hovercraft Cruise. The racing calendar is being populated and dates for cruises are being discussed. Who said we have nothing to do! If you wish to discuss anything, my contact details are at the back of the magazine. Send in your thoughts!!! Chris

Hi there…… If I was going to write a report on the racing at Towcester, it would be somewhat short, in my case about 5 laps. The bit I did manage I really enjoyed. Right up to the point I hit the bank……… The first few minutes after that were a blur. Jake Cooper was in the lead with Chris Daly in second. I was chasing Chris and getting closer to him. I thought I could catch him on the transition coming out of the large lake. Del later said that I very nearly overtook him but at that point I wasn’t physically attached to my craft. Whist lying on the ground being treated the inevitable questions came out of my mouth: Have I done enough laps for points? Is the craft alright? Although I knew in my bones that it was not. Did anyone get a picture? Rebecca Taylor was right there on the spot but had to confess she did not get a shot because at the time I was flying straight at her quite literally. And eventually…. Have I actually broken anything? Claire told me the news and I need to apologise for squeezing the life out of her fingers whilst being treated. I am sorry that I missed Hannah’s celebration. Thank you to Alison Wallace for dressing the marquee and to all of you who made a fuss of Hannah in my absence. Louise very thoughtfully sent me a CD with lots of pictures from the night. Looks like you had fun. A very big thanks to: the marshals and medics for stopping me from hurting myself further and treating my broken body; Del Smart for taking mummy to hospital, buying me supplies and visiting me; Jake, Anne and Becky Cooper for helping me escape Northampton General and getting me back to Salisbury; Kevin and Julia Foster for driving the car and trailer back home; Louise for taking the time to send me the pictures; Bob Coles for sending over helpful equipment for broken ankles; all my friends who have sent get well messages, flowers, cards and last but not least to my husband that lovely practical man who has adapted the house so that I can get about. It just goes to show the type of family we have together as a club. I love you all xxx Zoë



Job Vacancy……..Trophy Co-Ordinator Responsibilities 1) Source & order trophies for national race meetings and get them to each event. 2) Source & order trophies for season championships and get them to the AGM. 3) Write to all season trophy winners to re-call the returnable trophies for the AGM - some people may elect to have them engraved and take them directly to the AGM. Others will send them to you and you will need to get them engraved and take them to AGM. 4) Prepare list of trophy recipients and supply to person awarding trophies at AGM. 5) Arrange for the AGM trophies to be laid out before the AGM presentation dinner, record winners and send information to magazine for publication. Time Commitment An hour or two per month. Please contact or 01949 875725 for more details.

For Christmas last year myself and my mum contacted Chris Daley about arranging a surprise present for my partner and stepfather for Christmas. Chris created some fantastic happy Christmas vouchers . So we booked to come the weekend just gone as it was the weekend of my stepdads birthday. What a fantastic experience you made this and actually I was quite jealous I Didn't book this for my self. Both my children had great fun watching there daddy and papa ride the "hovercraft spaceship" Chris made the day extra special by having a long conversation telling us about your competitions ect and as you had a quite day allowed them to have a bit of fun with some extra use of a spare hovercraft. This truly made his birthday extra special and was the best Christmas present to date so just wanted to thank you all for indeed a fantastic day and for going that extra mile (Melanie Joyce)

Midlands branch games and video night 11th Jan 2014 From 7.00 Conservative club, Barrow on Soar Leicestershire, LE12 8QA Skittles, games, videos, raffle and good company – all proceeds to the local air ambulance No food this year but Chip shop and Chinese are only a short walk away LightHovercraft


Summary of EHF meeting Hannover 2013 Proposed race events 24/25May 2014 Hacket lakes UK 21/22 June 2014 Prudhomat France 30/31 August 2014Saalburg Germany 20/21 September 2014 Towcester UK The proposals for the EHF at Hackett lakes & Towcester were accepted. The proposals are attached at the end of this document. General An announcement was made notifying the EHF members that the WHC 2014 has been cancelled due to some issues over noise. The WHC has issued a statement regarding the situation & that a rescue package is being considered. It was suggested & agreed that there will be increased effort to monitor noise during EHF events & feedback noise readings to drivers. The proposed race events have been accepted & the race dates are shown above. Some special conditions were accepted for the UK rounds which are a combined event (see proposals below).

Proposal for EHF Race Meeting to be held at Hacketts Lake, Nottingham, England 24th & 25th May 2014 The Hovercraft Club of Great Britain would like to host a round of the 2014 European Championships at Hacketts Lake, Nottingham. This location is close to the Big Lake site used in 2012 and has been used for HCGB National Championships for the last 3 years.

equipment for those who would like to stay on or return to participate in other UK Championship events. •We plan to have a hot meal and bar available for Saturday evening. Details of this will be confirmed as soon as possible. To make it financially possible for the event to happen with no race entry fees for the non-UK entrants, it must also be a HGCB National, and we will take HCGB points from the EHF races on Saturday & Sunday.

HCGB is confident that by combining a round of the UK Championships with a round of the EHF Championships we will attract a great turn out of competitors.

Because of this: •UK National F3 drivers will take part in FS •UK Formula F35 races will be included

There are some important points: •There are no showers on this site, and no permanent water supply • There will be no race entry fees for nonUK entrants •Site fees will be payable by all Nationalities. •Insurance will be available for non-UK resident HCGB members at a cost of £25 per craft for the weekend •Non-UK resident drivers can use their own insurance if they have it – proof must be presented at Registration on Saturday •Depending on numbers, we may be able to provide quite secure local storage for a small fee for any EHF craft and

in each race session •UK Open races will be included in each race session •There will be HCGB National Racing also on the Monday (day 3) •Race programme for Saturday and Sunday is as proposed below •Saturday and Sunday will be run to EHF rules •Start grid for the first race will be based on 2014 HCGB National grid positions, alternating with EHF positions from 2013; HCGB 1st, EHF 1st, HCGB 2nd, EHF 2nd, HCGB 3rd, EHF 3rd etc. •Prize giving for the EHF Championships will be held on Sunday. Prizes will be

Craft construction changes Tow ropes now minimum 6mm diameter, other existing requirements on tow ropes still apply. It was confirmed that the 503 test exhaust is available at all EHF meetings – held by Magnus Countries who’s craft logbooks do not comply with the regulations have agreed to work towards resolving the situation. Competition rule changes Penalty for hitting Buoys or cutting course markers will remain in place. It was recognised that drivers should be informed when a penalty has been applied. Rule regarding one driver, one craft (3.3H) has been suspended. Junior age limit is revised. The age limit to qualify for juniors will as per each countries National rules. Therefore allowing a competitor who can race in juniors at a national level to be able to race in Juniors at a European event. Race director to determine maximum number of laps. Rule regarding race of 10 mins to be removed. A proposal suggesting a staggered grid was declined. Race director to monitor driver clothing coverage. Torso’s need to be covered & some two piece race wear seem to fall short of that requirement. Appeal procedure changed to allow any 3 persons to be nominated.



awarded for 1st to 3rd place for Novice, Junior, F50, FS, F2 and F1 only. •Monday will be run to HCGB rules •Race programme for Monday will be as standard HCGB running order •HCGB prize giving on Monday •All non-UK drivers taking part for UK National points must also be planning to race on Monday or racing at other UK National race meetings. They must tell us about this intention on Saturday at Registration, and we will not charge HCGB Race Fees for non-UK resident drivers at this event.

Proposal for EHF Race Meeting to be held atTowcester Race Course, Northants, England 20th & 21st September 2014 The Hovercraft Club of Great Britain would like to host a round of the 2014 European Championships at Towcester race course, Northants. HCGB is confident that by combining a round of the UK Championships with a round of the EHF Championships we will attract a great turn out of competitors.

There are some important points: •There is currently an application for a dog track to be constructed by the owners of the site. This may affect the hovercraft event & there is a chance the event will be cancelled, possibly at short notice. •There will be showers at this site. •There will be no race entry fees for nonUK entrants •Site fees including camping will be payable by all Nationalities. •Insurance will be available for non-UK resident HCGB members at a cost of £25 per craft for the weekend. •Non-UK resident drivers can use their own insurance if they have it – proof must be presented at Registration on Saturday •We plan to have a hot meal and bar available for Saturday evening, but we may have to share the facilities with others if the dog track is open for business. To make it financially possible for the event to happen with no race entry fees for the non-UK entrants, it must also be a HGCB National, and we will take HCGB points from the EHF races. Because of this: •UK National F3 drivers will take part in FS •UK Formula F35 races will be included

in each race session •UK Open races will be included in each race session •Race programme for Saturday and Sunday is as proposed below •Saturday and Sunday will be run to EHF rules • Start grid for the first race will be based on 2014 HCGB National grid positions, alternating with EHF positions; HCGB 1st, EHF 1st, HCGB 2nd, EHF 2nd, HCGB 3rd, EHF 3rd etc. • Prize giving for the EHF meeting, UK meeting, EHF Championship & UK junior Championship will be held on Sunday. Prizes will be awarded for 1st to 3rd place for Novice, Junior, F50, FS, F2 and F1 in the European series & Novice, Open, Junior, F35, F3, F50, FS, F2 and F1 in the National Series. Prize giving is likely to take some time & we ask for participants patience. • All non-UK drivers taking part for UK National points should have competed in previous UK events & they must tell race control about their intention on Saturday at Registration. We will not charge HCGB Race Fees for non-UK resident drivers at this event.



Chilterns Chit Chat Our Devoted Paramedics – Makyla Greaves I don’t think that there is a single one of us out there whether a driver, marshall or simply a member who have not met the paramedics that we are fortunate enough to have who provide exceptional medical cover for us at our racing venues across the UK in various forms. It seemed appropriate now we are at the end of the racing season to properly introduce them to the membership, to understand the skills that they have and also, some of the skills that are not so obvious to us but are well within their capabilities. I decided to put pen to paper and do a bit of research. Obviously not all of the information could be printed due to the content (just kidding). This is an insight into those who keep us safe and who are there at all of the meeting s as an insurance policy in case we have any mishaps.

and he is 37 years old (yes, we know he doesn’t look a day over 36!). He has worked with the Ambulance service for the last 13 years and has gleamed a wealth of experience during this time as an Ambulance Technician . (actually, when this goes to print, Paul could in fact be 38 years old as he keeps reminding me that it is his birthday early Oct). Paul is a very keen and enthusiastic medic that we have as part of our dedicated team and as such, can always been seen with a smile on his face. This just shows the passion that he has in order to provide the medical cover that keeps us safe. For the last 5 years, Paul has been providing vital medic cover at many an equestrian event throughout the UK and for the last 2 years, he has been indulging in working as medic and rescue at various motor sport events, the obvious highlight of his time has been working with our goodselves! (even working on the Top Gear set doesn’t come close!)

To give them even greater credit than just their medical credentials, they have made a 100% effort to get to know us, they socialise with us and have made a real effort to understand the way that the club works and the quirkiness of the different venues that we operate on. This is certainly a partnership that we should move forward in a positive direction for the coming season(s).

Since the start of the 2012 racing season, Paul has been a regular face donning the green uniform, and on occasions, a splash of orange! His first meeting that year was at Hacketts and he was gently broken into the fold.

A testament to the above is their commitment to the club by volunteering as British marshalls to assist at the forthcoming World championships in 2014 so that they can be there as support for UK competitors and officials following the tragic events of the last championship. This is my view goes above and beyond any expectations that we could possibly have of the boys in green…this certainly takes their commitment to a different level, hence for the article…so here goes…..

A trip in a hovercraft was required whist medic assistance was needed at Cholmondley earlier this year, a valuable experience which Paul has been able to learn from and he has understood some of the complexities and characteristics of our racing machines.

Pauls favourite venue is in fact, Gang Warily (could possibly be due to the closeness of home comforts!)

Paul says that he does have time for hobbies and he said that he likes shooting horses whilst riding on a jet ski! No no… my mistake, he like shooting, horse riding and jet skiing but not all the same time, my mistake (I must really listen more carefully!) Describing himself as a superhero, Paul aspired to being Spider Man, however, no explanation given but on speaking with Paul, there was copious amounts of laughter so I guess we will have to come to our own conclusions!

Paul Jones Paul is based in Eastleigh, Hampshire



An unknown fact to all of us….Paul is a black belt in Judo. Paul has his obvious qualities that

enhance a team of dedicated individuals whom we call our medics! Oh and by the way….did I mention that he would be 38 soon?

Philip Towers Noticing the same surname, Phil is brother to Rodger and he is 31 years old and is based in Dorset. Phil currently works as a military paramedic for the Royal Navy and this in itself proves the dedication that he has to providing second to none medical cover for the British public, but, more selfishly, to us in the HCGB This career has spanned some 13 years and includes working as a commando trained medic with the Royal Marines and 3 Commando Brigade. On top of this, Phil has completed 4 operational tours of duty in Afghanistan. In his spare time you might think that maybe Phil would take things easy…. wrong! Phil spends his spare time climbing, skiing and diving. On top of the standard training that Phil has undertaken, Phil specialises and lectures in medicine in Austere environments and pre hospital medicine ranging from first aid up to paramedic post graduate level skills. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Phil also holds qualifications in dive medicine, major incident management and paediatric pre hospital care and well as tropical medicine and advanced life support. At a level of Paramedic, Phil became a medic for the HCGB in 2012 and the first meeting of that season for him was Claydon, (working with his big bro). That was it….he was hooked! Phil’s favourite racing venue that we have is Rother Valley, but, he is yet to go out in a hovercraft (something that we will have to put right!) When I asked Phil what superhero he aspired to, he stated, Peter Pan. This is the character that his Son believes is very much like his Dad. Could this be for his young, boyish looks, or just because, Phil

doesn’t really want to grow up properly. Yet again, Phil provides some qualities that complement the skill set of the other medics, a vital part of the jigsaw. When asked for an interesting fact that no one else in the HCGB knows, Phil said that he enjoys gardening and keeps chickens. Bet you didn’t see that one coming….what a rock and roll lifestyle he leads.

Jim Cladingboel Jim is based in Basingstoke and he is 38 year old and currently works full time as a paramedic and trainer. This is a career that has spanned over 10 years now. Outside of “the fulltime job”, Jim spends his time working in the glamourous film industry providing medic and crash crew cover. Recent film accolades (name in lights even), include Fast and Furious 5 and more recently, the release of Rush.

As well as being a paramedic, Jim has undertaken extensive training throughout his career including C spine clearance approval which has been invaluable especially in our own arena preventing resource drain on the local ambulance services and giving us immediate piece of mind. Jim started his medic cover for the HCGB over two years ago and has enjoyed every season to date. Sometimes the environment can be challenging, however, there is never really a dull moment. The medic team, in Jim’s own words, “are second to none and have such a passion for the sport that they provide assistance for”. The favourite race venue for Jim this season was Gang Warily as provided a varied medical response and some interesting situations were overcome. As a superhero, Jim describes himself as Batman….a character who works hard and plays hard! Being able to dovetail in to the skills that the other medics have ensures that we have the best possible team attending as an insurance policy for our own well beings.

In addition to the film work, Jim also provides medic cover at numerous motorsport events including motocross and moto gp, but of course, his favourite is covering our very own hovercraft events. Despite all of the above, there are always times for hobbies and these include riding his motorbike and attending and taking part in track days (as you can see, a bit of an adrenalin junkie!). Jim has been out in a hovercraft and got the same sort of feeling as when blasting around on his motorbike. A grin appears on his face whenever he has got into a craft and has almost been tempted to race…( still to be worked on!) The gym also gets a look in from time to time just to keep the fitness levels in check. Jim has been involved in motorsport throughout his career and this is one of the main reasons that he is passionate about being a medic for the HCGB. The love of speed and seeing the skills put into practice by the drivers in not only hovercraft but in many other types of motor vehicles provides a healthy balance between work and hobbies.

Rodger Towers Rodger is based in Nottingham and is 34 years old. He has been with the Ambulance service since January 2001 and since 2004 he has been working on front line A and E, not only ambulances, but, also on fast response vehicles. Rodgers current title is Hazardous Area Response Team Paramedic. The skill set that Rodger has to his name is extensive. He is fully trained in pre hospital trauma life support and advanced life support (this is over and above paramedic requirements). He has a natural aspiration towards water rescue medic cover and as such, he is a swiftwater rescue technician (soon to be instructor) and a swift water rescue boat operator. These skills are certainly invaluable to us as a club and a resource that we need to develop further to maximise our resilience with water/medic cover.

Rodger has various hobbies and you will notice that there is a general theme amongst them all….he is obviously into action hobbies rather than knitting or cross stitch! Hobbies include kitesurfing, wakeboarding, kayaking, climbing. If that wasn’t enough, he is also a keen volunteer for a water based search and rescue team. Despite all of that, Rodger still comes along to support the HCGB with our events, even on just a social side when not working. This really shows that the bond is there. The first meeting that Rodger attended was at the Big Lake in 2012. Despite the slightly inclement weather and the thought of dealing with lots of cases of trenchfoot, it certainly didn’t put him off at all. He did have a go in a craft earlier this year at Charlie’s with Honor. I asked Rodger, “what was your favourite meeting?”, “if you could describe yourself as a superhero, who would you be?”, and, “can you give me one interesting fact about yourself that no one in the club would know?” This was Rodgers response:Favourite meeting was Claydon 2013. This was for the social side as he was not working that weekend. Rodger was involved with the Meerkats by towing down their trailer unit (interesting experience) and joined in with the social activities put on by the Chiltern Branch…. very interesting post it note game! Roger was also awarded official of the weekend for his fire fighting skills for which he was touched. He did say, however, he is still yet to get his boots cleaned! As a superhero, Rodger described himself as Flash after taking a test…… describing himself as fast, athletic and flirtatious. Sounds pretty fitting to me and obviously means he has fitted in very well! An unknown fact to the HCGB is, Rodger is training his Sprocker Spaniel, aka Jasper, to be a drowned victim search dog. Yet another testament to Rodger’s ability for emergency search and rescue and just being able to make a difference to the community. Again, inspiring complement our perfectly.

attributes, that other paramedics



Photo 1

FORTY YEARS AGO – GRANVILLE SPEDDING BD During the racing season it is better to read of events which keep us informed of our spectacular sport. Yet some past events are always worth a mention to remind us all of our illustrious past achievements. Water Speed Record (photo 1) The Council of the day ratified the speed record of 31.8mph over a measured distance of 500 metres at Home Pierpoint National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham by “Dair-E-Goes” piloted by C Ferguson with D. Gray as a Passenger.

AirLubricat was also taken to the show by Roy Barnes – remembered fondly by many older members. After the show they took Eureka for a spell of hover cruising. They camped for a week at Killis, Perthshire, and after a one mile trip down the river they were able to cruise into Loch Tay. No objections were made when seeking permission to use the slipway at Killis, and their longest recorded trip in the Loch was 6 miles. Whilst they were at the show they took

Photo 2 Another Early Record The Council ratified, though unseen, the longest recorded distance on British Inland and Coastal Water of 295 miles in craft No. 76 – Skima 4. Barry Oakley and D McClunan accomplished this feat also in 1973, though where they did this, on what river etc, was not recorded.

Eureka to South Queensferry on the Firth of Forth. After paying the slipway fee of 22p (including 2p VAT) they cruised alongside somewhat bemused power boats and water skiers who seemed to enjoy watching the craft drive up and down the slipway – new experience for them.

This is a photograph (Photo 2) of Skima 4 on a flooded road in Welshpool in 1974. Photo from the Club archive supplied by Gordon Taylor.

To complete their week Keith and Anita decided to try the West Coast just north of Oban. They launched from a sand and shingly beach in a force 4/5 wind. These conditions caused peaky 18” waves, so that the tops of the waves came up the lift duct and hit the fan. The fan did not shatter, the engine stalled only momentarily as the water hit it, something was rather unusual for the ‘craft. During the whole of the time the only problem was a V belt falling apart.

Hovercruising in Scotland ‘73 Anita and Keith Oakley had been invited to give demonstration at the Royal Highland Show near Edinburgh with two craft Eureka and Bullet, a modified Hoverlark. The two ‘craft were stacked on a trailer towed behind an A40 a sight guaranteed to make a Scotsman blink.



This excursion led to Keith and Anita organising some wonderful hover holidays on Loch Lubnaig – more of that from next year. Unfortunately I could not find a photograph of Eureka in the archive. MAF Hovercraft Trials in the Solent. This prototype four-seater hover-craft was built by the pupils of Sir George Monoux School for the Mission Aviation Fellowship for use on Lake Chad in central Africa. At the handing over ceremony the headmaster of the school reported that the construction the hovercraft had been a very valuable exercise for the boys. The keys of the white and yellow ‘craft were then handed over to the director of “MAF London”. (Photo 3) The hovercraft was to be extensively tested in trials

conducted from the Royal Navy Air Yard at Fleetlands near Gosport. The moving force behind the MAF project was an engineer who went to Lake Chad in 1966 as part of a new flying programme for the area. During that time he saw the need for a hovercraft to carry out medical, missionary and other transport duties around the shores of the Lake. Lake Chad was the size of Wales (then) with large areas of very shallow and disease ridden waters, with a population of around 250,000 people. A suitable hovercraft at the right price was not available so Tim Longley the engineer in question drew up specifications for a ‘craft which was approved by MAF, and in conjunction with Mike Ive a master at the school and Tony Burgess a civilian scientist at the Inter-Services Hovercraft Unit at Lee-onSolent, detailed design and construction

began at the school, and 1973 saw its completion. August 10th saw the craft first hover on Lord Maynard Reservoir at Walthamstow, where the pupils saw the results of their hard work.

Photo 3

Squadron Leader Blatch who took the controls of the hovercraft said “it is well up to the standard of professionally built production-line hovercraft” Praise indeed. At the same time as this, Pindair Ltd also received an order from MAF for a two or four-seater Skima craft. HoverAid – the hovercraft charity using ‘craft in Madagascar has links with the club too. Keith Smallwood provided a Vortex hovercraft a couple of years ago. To raise funds they have an annual charity auction and this year Chris Daly has kindly offered a Hover Experience to the highest bidder.



GOOD NEWS FROM A-PLAN - Specialist Hovercraft lnsurance - NOW AVAILABLE A-Plan Marine lnsurance in Parkstone, are please to announce that we have now negotiated a specialist Hovercraft Scheme with one of the leading Marine lnsurers in the Market. A-Plan has been established for 50 years and currently looks after the insurance needs of more then 500,000 clients. Operating from 70 branches, throughout the United Kingdom, we strive to provide a very personal and professional service. Here in Parkstone we specialise in Marine insurance and have negotiated exclusive facilities that enable us to provide very competrtive Marine insurat,*e for L'siii cotrulreluiai ' and pleasure use with excellent personal service. We have recently noticed that options for Hovercraft lnsurance are very limited, and that a majority of providers deal only by email or post. A-Plan lnsurance is pleased to say that our personal and local service means, you can contact our specialised team here on the South Coast by phone or visit any of our local branches for a face to face contact. Our Hovercraft Policy is available for only t95.00 for Third Party Only Cover and from as little as e200.00 for comprehensive cover with minimal excess's. Cover is for Private and Pleasure use and covers use at all club events automatically. (subject to terms and conditions) Should you require any additional information, please feel free to contact myself on the number above. lndependent lnsurance Consultants . Branches throughout 20 Counlles . Established over 50 years A-Plan lnsurance is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Registered Office: Des Roches Square, Witney, OX28 4LE . Registration Number 750484 Car.Van.Motorcycle.Breakdown.Buildings.Contents.Travel .Liabilily.Tools.Commercial .PeI .Landlord.Marine

Yours sincerely James Winchester



Model Hovercraft Association Model of the month The Model Hovercraft Association was formed in 2004, with a view to bringing some organisation to the development of model hovercraft, which previously had been well served by relatively isolated pockets of interest. The Association’s activities include lectures and films, videos and other visual material on all aspects of model hovercraft from research, through construction and operating. Visits to locations and firms/ manufacturers of interest, and social events are also organised. The Association is run by a Management Committee consisting of those with experience in appropriate fields. Prior to September 19th 2004, when the MHA was formed, a group of hovercraft modellers had been meeting on a regular basis at the Hovercraft Museum at Lee on Solent, Hampshire, to discuss model hovercraft and run their models. This group, called the Model Hovercraft Group, formed after the successful International Model Hovercraft Seminar held on the 18th/19th October 2003. The group enjoyed several presentations and guest speakers covering several aspects of hovercraft, full size and model. They also constructed a water feature for use during racing days at the Museum as well as a round the pole demonstrator so that children could have a go. The group

felt that as the interest was growing in model hovercraft around the country that a more formal organistion was required and hence the Model Hovercraft Association was created. If you are fascinated by model hovercraft, or hovercraft in general, and you want to join an association of like minded people, you've come to the right place.

• Research, education and discussion on the design, operating and trading aspects of model hovercraft and the understanding of the technical principles involved. • To hold meetings to further the objectives above and to present papers, films, videos etc, and to exchange information. • Regular distribution of a Newsletter. • Establishment of a database and library for books, photographic materials and papers on the history and development of model hovercraft.

With an increasing interest in radio controlled and other model hovercraft, the Model Hovercraft Association was set up to carry the development of this interest forward. If you are interested in any aspect of model hovercraft, whether it be research, design, building, or operating, then the Model of the month Model Hovercraft Association is for you. This is true if you are an Model Name: Aero Racer already established expert,or are just starting out. Model Scale: N/A Following an Inaugural general meeting held on the 19th September 2004 at the Hovercraft Museum, Lee-on-Solent, the Model Hovercraft Association was formed. The principle aims and objectives of the MHA include:-

Model Size: 750x450

• The encouragement of interest in the building and operation of model hovercraft.

Materials: Correx and polystyrene


Number of motors:1 Power source: one 11.1 volt Lipo Skirt Type: Bag

Interesting feature: A version of this kit appeared on ITVs Benidorm series Build time: 3-4 days as it’s a kit available from

We are seeking a club member with enterprise to take over the running of the information trailer and the sale of club merchandise. The job entails:- Representing the Hovercraft Club - Promoting Hovercraft Club merchandise and distributing publicity material - Bringing the information trailer to race meetings and other events where possible - Stocking the trailer with suitable merchandise - Having a suitable towing vehicle and storage facility if possible - Dealing with enquiries from the public at race meetings - Keeping the trailer in a clean and roadworthy condition Rewards of the job:- Continuing the excellent work of the previous manager - Promoting the Club - Increasing Club revenue - Full petrol expenses and insurance cover costs when towing the trailer to HCGB events If you think you might be able to help or would like to know more about the role please send an email to



YOU CAN RACE THIS HOVERCRAFT This could be you! Learn to drive, compete, and gain that crucial experience of racing before you purchase your own machine. A craft is available that has been specifically built for new members to have a go at racing. It is a simple single engined craft suitable for new Novices and Juniors, and is available at most race meetings. The skill and insight you gain will be valuable in deciding what type of craft you may wish to build or buy in future. This craft can be brought to all race meetings and comes with a race kit of spares and consumables to see you through a race weekend. You will need to provide: • helmet • buoyancy aid/life jacket • overalls and gloves • petrol • race entry fee • boundless enthusiasm! Hot food and drink are often available on site. Warm waterproof clothing is recommended suitable for the British weather. At least one change of clothes is recommended, you may well get wet. A donation towards the upkeep of the craft is recommended at £50 for a 2 day race meeting. Club Membership and provisional Novice racing Licence will be required. Get membership at, you will need to register, and then add a paid subscription. Buy your Novice racing licence from the Racing Services area in the club shop, which can also be accessed from www. Any queries contact You will also need to pass a manoeuvrability test before racing. If you would like a go or to find out more, contact Daniel Turnbull Tel 01332 700658 or email




March 15th-16th 2014 The 2014 AGM weekend is 15 - 16 March at the Hilton at St George’s Park, Newborough Road, Needwood, Burton Upon Trent DE13 9PD. Plans are progressing well. Carla Thomas and Del Smart are co-organising the event and would appreciate any offers of help, support or alcohol! The Hilton at St Georges Park is a modern hotel (built approximately 2 years ago) and includes a spa, health club and indoor swimming pool. It is a big leap upward in standard from the Hilton Northampton and includes a huge fully equipped ballroom where the evening dinner and award ceremony will be held. The ballroom has a private bar and enough space for a stage, dance floor and dining tables. During the daytime HCGB will have a large private function room with a separate large breakout area for tea and coffee plus access to the library for any other committee meetings that might be required before and after the AGM. Talks and presentations are still being planned but should include talks from Char Font and Tony Broad, a tech talk from Jamie Lewendon and presentation from One Industries regarding helmet fit and function and body armour use. The evening presentation meal starts at 7pm and includes a 3 course meal and prize presentation followed by music provided by Co-Jones. If anyone has any other ideas for talks or presentations please contact either Carla Thomas or Del Smart. All bookings need to be done on the HCGB shop.











Photo Competition Winner chosen by: Ali Rouse, School teacher from Market Harborough 1st Place: Beatrice Badelt 2nd: Claire Mason 3rd: Lee Willars With no information about any of the pictures or who took which one, Steven selected his two favourites Other entries were from... Dave Maging (01), Louise Beale (02), Rebecca Taylor (03), & Adam Polfrey (04)




Hovercraft for sale F3 Meteor Racing Craft Fully recondition hovercraft currently being carried out, available in any colour that the customer would like, integrated hull fitted with standard TZR 250 engine. Brand new set of skirts fitted. This can be built to any spec wanted. Price depends on spec wanted. From £1700 upwards Call Ricky Goosey: 07875335702 For Sale – Mr Bump Lee Willars built, modified Eagle Racing Hovercraft Elegantly finished as Mr Bump Built and raced in 2012, finishing 3rd Overall in F50 Hull, Engine Frame, Steering, Splitter Plate, Fuel Tank and Skirt only (No Engine) Two careful owners, c/w HCGB Log book and very minor ‘war wounds. Engine frame to suit Rotax 503 c/w Gearbox. Stick an Engine in and your ready to race!! Collection only - £1,500.00

F3 BBV Competitive craft Shaft with front fan Turnbull design hull Blue craft TZR250 fully working engine. Located near York, North Yorkshire. Cost: £2,200 (ono) Call Fran on: 07760 417485

Contact Clive Mason Mob – 0772 9783989 Email –

local branches most of the local branches meet regularly, normally in a pub, to sit around and chat hovercraft or organise an upcoming meeting or event. feel free to contact them and they will be more than happy to welcome you along to the meetings.


North West Gordon Taylor Bolton 1st Tuesday of month 8.00pm


South West Wayne Hill Bridgewater 2nd Sunday of month 12.00pm


Southern Kevin Foster Romsey 3rd Tuesday of month 8.00pm




Midland Daniel Turnbull Barrow-on-Soar 2nd Monday of month 8.00pm


BRANCH South Downs Twig CHAIRMAN Susan Ives CONTACT MTG AREA Haywards Heath TIME 1st Thursday @ 7.30pm

Chilterns Makyla Greaves 07973 523370 Aylesbury 1st Tuesday of month 8.15pm


South East Russ Pullen Canterbury, Kent 7.45pm

Club Contacts Hovercraft Club President Tony Drake Information Officer and Publications Rev Granville Spedding 26 Milverton Close Lostock Bolton Lancs, BL6 4RR Tel: 01204 841 248 Chairman Public Relations Chris Daly (Council) 33 Hawthorne Crescent Burbage Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 2JP Tel: 01455 614 724 07952 643 778 Secretary Roger Morton (Council) 67 Albert Streeet St Albans AL1 1RT Tel: 01727 757310 07795 199009 EHF & WHF Rep Conrad Beale Tel: 01295 771 087 prefer contacts by email please HCGB Membership Carla Thomas (Council) 40 Grebe Road Bicester Oxon OX26 6EL. Tel: 01869 369944 07808 614770 do it online at

Gill Crane (Council) 17 Cartbridge Cotgrave Nottinghamshire NG12 3PF Tel: 07891 113596 Deborah Hunt (Council) 19 Glynswood Camberley Surrey GU15 1HU Tel: 07917 303063 Ros Atkins (Council) 47 Philip Road Ipswich IP2 8BQ Tel: 07811 481103 Treasurer Paula Broad 15 Sagar Street Eccleston Lancashire PR7 5TA Tel: 01257 452 883

Vice Chairman Insurance Officer Competitions Committee Chairman Kevin Foster (council) 5 Purley Way Plaitford Romsey Hants SO51 6ER Tel: 01794 322 471 Recreation Activity Coordinator Russ Pullen Tel:

Club Archivist Gordon Taylor 29 Mytton View Clitheroe Lancashire BB7 2QE Tel: 01200 426 689 Youth Development Keith Lovell Competitions Secretary Tracey Taylor 53 Shepherds Croft Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 1US Tel: 01453 757 226 Technical Advice Jonathan Spedding 17 Winchilsea Avenue Newark Nottinghamshire NG24 4AD Tel: 01636 672 082, 07802 714 102 Safety Officer Carl Smith Ellis Close Barrow-on-soar Leicestershire LE12 8PT Tel: 01509 412 993

Racing Licences Racing Log Books Diary Secretary Louise Beale do it online at All the above available from the online shop at Racing Scrutineering Secretary Jim Lyne (Council) 45 Starboid Road Bishops Itchington Southam CV47 2TQ Tel: 01928 612 878 Transport Officer Michael Lambert Granary House Lamberts Lane Ossington Newark Notts NG23 6JB Tel: 01636 821 302 07788 725 923 Web Master Chris Barr

Magazine Editors Darren Clarke Tel: 07990502207 Sarah Gill 187 Homesdale Road Bromley London BR1 2QL Tel: 07974 466 357

Club Publications (Mail Order Only) HOVERCRAFT CONSTRUCTOR’S GUIDE (£12.95 -- now £10.00) Still a useful tool in learning of the hovercraft principles and what is needed before starting to build a hovercraft

FLYING WITHOUT WINGS (DVD) (£15.00 -- now £10.00) A 25 minute DVD which demonstrates how hovercraft are used. Includes footage from sites we no longer used and now more of a historical archive. Produced in 1995.

Available on CD-R and also containing the following:Construction Regulations for Racing Hovercraft Construction Regulations for Cruising/Recreation Hovercraft Guidelines for safe operation of Cruising Hovercraft New Racing Driver Guidelines.

Most of the club information booklets are now available for members as downloads on the club website Including:-

GUIDE TO MODEL HOVERCRAFT (£6.00) Specifically produced for youngsters to make their own models using bits and pieces found around the home -- including elastic bands, card and plastic cups, etc.

Constructions Regulations for Racing Hovercraft Construction Regulations for Cruising/Recreation Hovercraft National Hovercraft Racing Competitions Regulations (revised each year) New Racing Driver Guidelines Guidelines for the Safe Operation of Cruising Hovercraft



Racing & Cruising hovercraft 1 to 4 seats Hovercraft plans & kits 2 & 4 Stroke engines supplied Rotax engine servicing and repairs Black skirt material ÂŁ6.50 including vat Largest range of components available Engineering service for one off parts

Formula 1 National Champion 2002

K & M PRODUCTS 5 Church Street, CarIton-Le-Moorland, Lincoln LN5 9HR For Further information please send 5 First Class stamps for our comprehensive catalogue



Tel or Fax: Ken Rigley (01522) 789842 Tel Workshop (01636) 611223 Tel Mobile 07976 776945


The Hovercraft Club of Great Britain is the National Organisation for Racing and Recreational hovercraft.