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keith rhodes - n/a
21-Jul-07, 04:15 PM
it was good to see a decent crowd at claydon dispite the weather. thanks to all those who did the business http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_razz.gif

talking to long standing members about when BP used to be involved(fuel sponsorship i think?) there used to be many more members than the club has now.

as a new member from last season i wonder what the reasons for a decline might be as (generally speaking) there are significant numbers of adults with more expendable income now than say 20 years ago and ameteur motor sport partisipation is certainly a growth area. for example bike and car track days invariably get booked up solid resulting in overcrowding on sessions.

from my own perspective - i got interested because i heard about an event, went to see, found that people would talk to strangers if they showed interest and decided to give it a bash. i dont think thats uncommon at all. i would expect that any "unconnected" potential newcomer would use this route in.

should we be doing more to promote events? maybe advertise on billboards on the three local towns before each event. maybe get a feature in moter bike/ car mags. maybe invite spice along?

maybe the scout movement as team projects? maybe some lotto funding for a few sponsored junior teams from "disadvantaged" partisipants?

maybe it's all been done before???

is it that we cannot cope with crowds? even if entry is free?

Keith Oakley - n/a
21-Jul-07, 05:45 PM
Craft numbers at race meetings are currently roughly half what they were in the late 70s/80s. Theres a number of reasons but perhaps the biggest is that schools and other youth organisations no longer build craft because of the current health and safety regimes. Craft teachers are understandably no longer willing to allow kids to do 'real' engineering and take them away for a weekend to a perceived 'risky' event.



BP money wasn't used for fuel, it was largely used to encourage schools and youth organisations to build craft. By mail shots to all secondary schools in the UK, and funding an annual schools event there was considerable interest in the sport. Many of these kids took up hovercraft as a sport after they left school and these became the backbone of our membership.



Many of these 'ex kids' are of a demographic thats now starting a family. I think the baby count this year is around 8 and is a substantial reason why the racing numbers are down 20% on last year.



Claydon is successful in part because there is an excellent local branch that does many of the things you suggest. But some branches have lost critical mass to the point where simply organising an event is a challenge let alone doing some of the good things you suggest. And don't just reply 'they' should do something because on something like this 'they' is all of us!



So wot do we do about it?

hovmart - n/a
21-Jul-07, 07:57 PM
evolution, not all ways a good thing ?

keith rhodes - n/a
22-Jul-07, 04:13 PM
keith wrote



"Many of these 'ex kids' are of a demographic thats now starting a family. I think the baby count this year is around 8 and is a substantial reason why the racing numbers are down 20% on last year."



the timing of 8 babies so far this year indicates certain activity during last seasons racing calender http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_eek.gif

does that mean that with the inclement weather this season even more babies will be made http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif

so twenty years from now the grid will be full again http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

keith rhodes - n/a
22-Jul-07, 04:24 PM
seriously though.

does the general council have (or has had ) a "promotions" type officer.

would the club commit some of it's funds to a publicity programme?

is the club looking for someone or a small group to put ideas forward as a task outside of the general running and racing work?



and has it been done before or not?



all replies welcome

team black - n/a
22-Jul-07, 04:59 PM
and has it been done before or not?






Many times



I was Youth Officer in the aftermath of BP's withdrawal from sponsorship. Their money was just about enough to tip the balance towards making it worth while for schools to participate. DT has now gone to individual design projects and there's very little curriculum benefit from involvement in projects, though there are a few on a smaller scale than hovercraft.



Scouts, Cadets etc fall foul of H&S and unless there's someone prepared to really push at it, get dispirited.





As for promotion to the wider public there have been many attempts and large amounts of money ploughed into it. Ultimately the size of the club has been fairly static since the mid 90's.



Proably best to accept that we're a quirky little sport and that every couple of years people will come out of the woodwork because of the Worlds

Don83000 - n/a
22-Jul-07, 06:19 PM
http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_eek.gif Why is nobody using hovercrafts to help out in the now flooded areas of the UK surely this would help with peoples conception of what hovercrafts are all about being able to get to places that can at time only be helped by the air sea rescue chaps with their helicopters and some good media coverage could be had for free. Maybe screaming 2 stroke craft would not be a good idea but there seem to be quite a few of the four stroke craft getting about so why not use them to help out in these areas.

ChrisC - n/a
22-Jul-07, 06:29 PM
Where is ASRH? http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

GavinParson - n/a
22-Jul-07, 09:15 PM
cos if it's not a national race meeting no-one wants to know

hover t - n/a
22-Jul-07, 09:54 PM
Hi Chris

I think the ASRH may have turned into the Burnham Area Rescue Boat (B.A.R.B.). http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_eek.gif

try This link

http://burnham-on-sea.com/barb/hovercraft-launch.html

Don't know why its a rescue boat when they have a bbv 6? http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif



All the best

Trev

Cpl. Bee - n/a
22-Jul-07, 10:35 PM
The Scout troop I am a leader on simply doesn't have the money to make one but they want to see what it's like.



It's not particularly about H&S as their H&S says that basically they are to follow HCGB racing rules - Wear a correctly fitting and certified helmet, a bouyancy aid and the person flying it is to have a HCGB licence either competition or cruising, the craft is to be scutineered etc. you know the drill.



It's hardly H&S as we all go through it and they just want to be safe as the pilot is also in charge of members of the scout association of any age.

Sandra Barlow - n/a
23-Jul-07, 10:07 AM
Don, I trust that you have offered your services of your hovercraft to help then??!

Don83000 - n/a
23-Jul-07, 01:05 PM
Having not got a working craft at present as one is having a re-fit whilst a new one is nearing completion it would not be possible at present which is a shame because as well as helping people it would be a good exercise and great fun I think.

But I think Gavin has hit the nail on the head as he says if it has nothing to do with racing nobody wants to know the fact that it would bring hovercrafting to the forefront and receive good media coverage in a positive light and as a follow on maybe more people would be interested in getting involved either in cruising or racing seems to be of little interest to the club in general and as I see it its for reasons like this that numbers are dropping.

Flyboy999 - n/a
23-Jul-07, 01:29 PM
Hey Dragon instead of you taking a pop at other people how's about lets take a look at what you have done to help with the floods or anything else for that matter now let me take a wild guess NOTHING yep that would sound about right.Being new to all of this I must say there does seem little encouragement to get involved with a club that only seems interested in racing as it will be a family size craft I am about to start building I must say most of the encouragement I have so far received to build a craft has come from the American site which is why I am going to build one of their designed craft as I see they seem to be getting popular here I think they look good and importantly seem a lot quieter than British craft.

nickyd - n/a
23-Jul-07, 01:42 PM
Wow this is absolutely amazing!!!



Keith starts off a thread on a very interesting topic about how to attract new members to the club.



It then very quickly declines into a slanging match, loosely based, if at all, on the original subject.



So the thread that was started to try and find ways to encourage people into the sport has more than likely helped drive a few more people away!!



Can these pointless posts be deleted and the original topic be restarted and debated sensibly??



Nick

Sandra Barlow - n/a
23-Jul-07, 01:47 PM
Hi,

sorry, think you have mis-understood. Don is often very vocal about his cruiser and its benefits and quite rightly as he said this is the ideal time for them to be helpful.



As for me doing nothing - you obviously don't know me so would not know what I do. But let me assure you I do support the Club - often in ways that goes un-noticed but that's fine by me. I also support my husband who does enough for both of us!



What I object to are sweeping statements being made about Club members in general.

And your personal slur on me was uncalled for.

Flyboy999 - n/a
23-Jul-07, 02:18 PM
http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_redface.gif Sorry Dragon I do apologise to you but it did look like you was having a go or making a snide comment but obviously I was wrong.

As for Nick pull your neck in its not a heated debate as yet just people putting their side to how they see it and in the big world outside of the hcgb Free Speach is supposed to be allowed but it seems to be if YOU dont like it you want it censored. http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

nickyd - n/a
23-Jul-07, 02:33 PM
You just don't get it do you 'Flyboy999'!!



You apologise to one long standing club member then have a pop at another. You really know how to make friends don't you http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif



I just don't feel the most constructive way to encourage people into the club is by existing members having a pop at each other.



A constructive debate is very different from snide remarks and offensive comments.



Nick

sixpackpert - n/a
23-Jul-07, 03:18 PM
http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_redface.gif Sorry Dragon I do apologise to you but it did look like you was having a go or making a snide comment but obviously I was wrong.

As for Nick pull your neck in its not a heated debate as yet just people putting their side to how they see it and in the big world outside of the hcgb Free Speach is supposed to be allowed but it seems to be if YOU dont like it you want it censored. http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif




May I suggest you pop along to Whittlesey this weekend and have a chat with some of us drivers and some of the constructors of craft (both racing and cruising) and put some names to faces.



There is a wealth of knowledge out there but unfortunately due to snide comments and general abuse that has happened in the past on this board some people in the know just don't bother posting anymore. http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_cry.gif

Flyboy999 - n/a
23-Jul-07, 04:41 PM
Why do you think I would get any more help regarding building a cruiser at Whittlesey than I did at Claydon as when I asked ?'s there all I mainly got was that these are racing craft and nothing like cruising craft they are a whole different ball game and that pretty much was the end of the conversation so to say there is encouragement I'm sorry but I just dont see it unless I wanted to go racing but it does seem from a beginners point a closed shop so to speak which is a shame so now you can probably see why I am frustrated but at least I am not far from plenty of beaches etc and have plenty of friends (unlike Nick thinks ) that I will be able to go cruising with and one of them is considering building a cruiser also he came to Claydon with me and came away with the same impression.

Russ Pullen - n/a
23-Jul-07, 05:05 PM
BAck to the point about attracting ne wmembers, its all about getting the right type of people to view some type of relevant meeting thats relevant to their perception of what a hover should be used for and/or get a ride in a hover - always the biggest hook.



After two successful meetings in 2005/6, its such a shame that Ramsgate didn't happen this year. I spent the saturday down the seafront with the girlfriend (as it was her birthday, I took her somewhere posh... http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif ) Numerous people that know my involvement were disappointed that me we weren't racing and wanted to know why. Others i overheard exchoed the same, one guy actually going off on one because he'd "driven 50 mile to see the hovercrafts" (sic) and we weren't racing - turns out that the radio was publicidsing that we were there and we were also listed with a big picture in the loacal rag and on posters.....



Ramsgate was probably the most relevant and highest profile showcase for our sport that the club's had in many years. Together with the ZapCats, we were absolutely the talk of an event that also boasted quarter million pound offshore powerboats. Even the powerboat guys were taking us seriously.



It was a brilliant shop window for the club and I was gutted to let it go. http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_sad.gif

nickyd - n/a
23-Jul-07, 05:52 PM
Couldn't agree more Russ.



You just love the digs don't you Flyboy999. I don't recall saying you have no friends....



You obviously didn't come and see me at Claydon else I would have pointed you in the direction of the likes of Keith Smallwood, Ewan Black, Ken Rigley and Bryan White who, whilst are well into the racing scene, also spend a lot of their time building and using cruising craft around the country/world.



I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I hope you stick with it nevertheless as any member be it racing or cruising is a valuable member.



Now lets get back to the original point!

http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_smile.gif

Nick

team black - n/a
23-Jul-07, 07:45 PM
This is all starting to sail a bit too close to the wind for my liking. All take note: CALM DOWN

keith rhodes - n/a
24-Jul-07, 07:10 PM
if i may draw your attentions back towards the point of the original question and debate:-

russ made a good point about local radio hyping an event which although it didn't happen indicates that media coverage will have some impact.



so a cheap way of achieving this might be (as an example) a club media representative meets the local press/ radio /tv on event friday lunch time for a preview and a ride in an available craft. in return for which they plug the event.



there will be lots of other ideas i'm sure that have and have not been tried. the question is will the key people pulling the strings in the club support someone (spiritually and finacially) to do this promo work? is there any interest in trying this or am i on my own thinking that something could be done to help?



if i am correct the club has around 40k contingency so would a (voulantary) media rep get funding of say 2k p.a. for such work .

i'd like to see strength of feeling on that - if anyone's bothered.



please - no more backbiting.

LouiseBeale - n/a
24-Jul-07, 09:24 PM
I would love to see some of our money spent in a wise manner such as this Keith. I have said it often.

Iceman - n/a
25-Jul-07, 07:33 AM
Hi Keith,



There are two BIG problems with your idea, firstly, as soon as you pay one person to work for the club, you will find that some of the other volunteers will feel that they will want renumeration for their efforts too. I have seen precisely this scenario in a different organisation and it has made it very difficult for them to find new volunteers to do anything. Our organisation is run by very generous volunteers who offer their time and expertise, if we can find someone with media skills then we can see if media exposure will benefit the club.



The second problem is one I have pointed out many times before, hovercraft racing will never attract major interest or tv coverage. If you consider that karting is the biggest form of motorsport in Britain with race meetings occuring every weekend around the country (and some of those drivers make it to F1) and yet, you never see any coverage on tv! Think of all the other minority sports and then think about how often you see those on tv. Without big names or a sponsor, we have very little chance of getting air time.



Local news programmes and newspaper articles prior to local race meetings are a good source of potential member grabbing and this should be exploited by the organising branch where possible. Local club members will have a much better idea of which radio stations etc to approach, and to have an 'outsider' to

come along and take over might upset some people.



Another area where we have lost out is the dropping of the BP competition for schools. If we could ressurect that concept with a new sponsor then we would open the doors to thousands of kids and we have seen the benefits of that in the past with many of our current racers coming into the sport through that route.



I think before we look too much at marketing, we should first have a look at our 'product'. (I am talking about racing here as I am not involved in cruising, but that aspect of the sport is important too obviously). Perhaps the current racers all look too slick and expensive? Maybe if we could encourage and support more home built craft or ask the manufacturers to develop more sets of plans to allow a wider choice of craft tht people can build themselves,afterall, that is how the club started in the first place. Consider how many people pop up on here asking for help and advice on self build craft.



We need to open as many doors as we can.

team black - n/a
25-Jul-07, 08:34 AM
Hi Keith,



Another area where we have lost out is the dropping of the BP competition for schools. If we could ressurect that concept with a new sponsor then we would open the doors to thousands of kids and we have seen the benefits of that in the past with many of our current racers coming into the sport through that route.








Unlikely. As I said before, DT has gone away from practical skills and team efforts and now focuses on design and individual work. The BP money was enough inducement to keep interest going but I think the horse is dead and no amount of flogging is going to bring it back to life.



Having come in via the schools/youth route, I would not chose hovercraft now, more likely to go down the NatSKA route and do karting since the scale is smaller and the technology is more accesible. Many schools have gone this way since the Rover (kart-based) challenge

Don83000 - n/a
25-Jul-07, 02:38 PM
Ewan (Team Black) considering how many children etc read this forum I am a bit surprised by your comment as surely if they are thinking of taking up the sport this could make them think twice with you ranking as a moderator and therefore must be seen as having some standing within the club.



Quote :- " Having come in via the schools/youth route, I would not chose hovercraft now, more likely to go down the NatSKA route and do karting"

LouiseBeale - n/a
25-Jul-07, 04:04 PM
Team black is not Jamie!

sixpackpert - n/a
25-Jul-07, 04:15 PM
Team black is not Jamie!




correct Ewan is far uglier http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif



<font size="1">please don't sin bin me Ewan[/COLOR] http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

team black - n/a
25-Jul-07, 05:39 PM
Ewan (Team Black) considering how many children etc read this forum I am a bit surprised by your comment as surely if they are thinking of taking up the sport this could make them think twice with you ranking as a moderator and therefore must be seen as having some standing within the club.



Quote :- " Having come in via the schools/youth route, I would not chose hovercraft now, more likely to go down the NatSKA route and do karting"




Don- read what I said; as a youth worker I would not bring a group into hovercrafting- a professional opinion and based in long standing experience. Individual young people may well read this be dissuaded, but the fact still remains that hovercrafting is an inaccessible technology compared to karting, requires far more resources and is hugely frustrating to run as a youth project. The National Curriculum does not encourage it and most teachers are far more concerned with achieving GCSE and league table results.



In truth I suspect that the general public are more likely to be dissuaded from membership by the pathetic slanging matches that so frequently end up on this board.

keith rhodes - n/a
25-Jul-07, 05:53 PM
thanks for the reply iceman.

good points and welcome contribution. may i add:-

1.i did say voluntary which i intended to imply for nothing.

2. i think someone has pointed out that the smaller local area branches are already stretched out to put on the event which is why claydon was realtivly well attended as they get more help

3. i was thinking more along the lines of a person dealing with media only for all the events taking responcibility off the organising branch directly and instead co-ordinating with them on past practice, local media contacts ( phone numbers for radio stations newspapers and tv)and the nearest large urban connurbations where a billboard advertising that particular event is promenent. E.G. say a busy roundabout where promenence to our percieved target audience is likely to be driving by.



do i take it you think this might put someones nose out of joint? my thinking was they might be grateful for the help?

can anyone in this situation comment please





4. media skills - well as in most things one volunteer is better than 10 pressed men. i think im correct in saying that Bob Beech and co did enough to get their event on local tv this year didn't they? Bob's no media mogul but he's a nice affable man (and i think thats what it takes) who clearly did enough there to make a useful contact for the future. thats the kind of feed/lead to run with

5. i agree the local paper fed with pre race info is easy to do and can simply be mostly duplicated for each event

what would be harder would be to convince say "red bull" to sponsor a seasons racing events without the perception that they will get a suitable ammount of publicity AND interaction with their own target audience. sponsors generally are driven by potential sales of their own product rather than the unconnected event.

6. i also take on board your idea of a low cost series to attract people in. maybe a self build plywood sub class in 503 with a max limit of a rotax 503 sponsored by??? could be done - again when we could prove enough bang for the bucks with such sponsors.



so where do we go now?

i note louise's comment which may be indicative of the opinion of the "shakers and movers".

do we have the chance to have a chat saturday tea time at whittlesey?

i am interested in partisipating in something if we can get tacit agreement and feedback from upon high!

bryan - n/a
25-Jul-07, 07:52 PM
Hi flyboy999 I am sorry for the lack of response at Claydon. Some of our racers are commited to the inshore events and this is a good thing but alot of these people have never enjoyed the thrill of cruising.Although i enjoy inshore racing and was lucky enough to finish that weekend in first place in F2.Over the last year i have commited alot of resources

trying to combine crusing and racing into one craft. Its launch at Peaches Pad was met with mixed comments none bad to my face!

The craft is now ready for the Rhone Raid in France next week.

So if your cruiser is ready by October 6th please bring it along to our planned Treasure Hunt on the Severn you would be more than welcome.

keith rhodes - n/a
25-Jul-07, 08:42 PM
in respect of flyboy's comments i do think inand racing and cruising are two different aspects of hovercrafting. i can see why you might not have recieved a positive feedback.

yet at a cruising event im sure you'd recieve a more convivial responce

turning yet again to how we might promote the club as a whole i admit i don't know what the spectator potential is for cruising. as an adventure to report on the recent articles from a trip in scotland look interesting but it does seem very much more a participant rather than specticle affair.

would it be too presumptious to contemplate that inland participants "discover" cruising more so than newcomers going into that sphere?

so what would be a good way of promoting cruising along with inland racing for the benefit of the club as a whole????

keith rhodes - n/a
25-Jul-07, 08:52 PM
and whilst im at it!

ewan is likely to be right not to target schools as funding apart from all else would probably not work out.

maybe a sponsored youth/scout national competion building from scratch and racing against each other as teams in a sub division of juniors/503 if we could find funding to support from ?(lotto) but this takes forever. been there and (finally) got it



don - i do think we should focus on the potential of those with expendable income looking for a bizzare whacky thrill. these people exist - lots of them will be at whittlesey http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif

Ian Brooks - n/a
25-Jul-07, 09:13 PM
I have offered my services, but haven't had my call-up papers yet. The floods went down quickly near my road, so I didn't get to operate my hover-ferry, shame!



Ian

Anne Scrimshaw - n/a
26-Jul-07, 10:20 AM
This is intended to sound positive although I’m afraid it will come across slightly negatively.

Over the years the club has done various things to try and promote the sport. We’ve appointed a media person on council; we’ve had some very enthusiastic local members. We’ve had literature printed, videos, DVD’s and big signs made. We’ve spoken to Newspapers, TV production companies, Media companies and even Red Bull to see if they are interested. You can see the results of this today.



Ok there are always different approaches and different people in charge, but sometimes when the results appear to be the same whether you spend money or not you start to wonder whether we would be better to just concentrate on what we do and try and do it well, and keep the existing members as happy as we can.



This is my view and I would be glad of some constructive ideas.



Anne

team black - n/a
26-Jul-07, 04:14 PM
If we want to attract new members, then the craft that brings them in needs to be cheap, a parent/child project, using controled engine and fangear. The Americans have been doing this for some time with B&S 12 BHP engines. Yes Russ, they DO look like flying doors, but they do work.



F3 has got too silly to attract anyone with a moderate purse and to be competitive in F3 means that your newcomer child will not be able to race the same craft (same argument goes for using a 503).



I argued as Youth Officer for a starter junior formula and with F3 so empty there's certainly room for a second control race within it.



Engines; a 503 at 2k is too much for someone merely wishing to try the sport, likewise a B&S. I tend to pay 400 for TZRs but they're now getting hard to find. We need something accessible and cheap- (not 4-stroke bike engines perleease).

Don83000 - n/a
26-Jul-07, 05:15 PM
Could not agree more and it looks like they have a lot of fun racing with a max of 15hp in novices in the states therefore quite cheap to build and run check out the link scroll down to the video UH13PT at Hoverally 2006 the green craft has a 5hp lift and 10hp thrust engines that can be got from old lawn mowers and garden tractors etc if funds are tight. Plus the prop can be purchased quite cheap starting from around 60 from UH.Plus the craft being made from foam is unsinkable another craft to probably consider would be the Sevtec Scout using just one again ex garden tractor engine of 13.5 to 20hp. All nice quiet reliable 4 stroke engines that almost run on petrol vapour.

Added to this both of these craft are used a lot for cruising in the USA.



http://www.hovercraft.com/content/index.php?main_page=index& (http://www.hovercraft.com/content/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=33_45) amp;cPath=33_45

bryan - n/a
26-Jul-07, 05:31 PM
I am sure i have seen one of these more highly powered craft crash in Berlin and turn itself to matchsticks.

Still great project aslong as it is used on calm water and grass cut to the dirt. Not the craft i feel to be used on our rough coastal inlets with course grass and steep banks. On a lighter note i am sure if anough turned up at race meetings rules would be changed to suite the craft.

jon_curtis - n/a
26-Jul-07, 06:19 PM
http://www.hovercraft.com/content/media/video/hoverally2006_ (http://www.hovercraft.com/content/media/video/hoverally2006_256k_lo.wmv) 256k_lo.wmv



i couldnt belive they would work with that sorta power, but that green craft is fast for what it is!



a UH flying surfboard is certainly not what i would want to use on open water, but people have built larger ones over hear, and had much success. as for people turning up at race meetings with them! If the slating people give out on hear, about craft anything a bit differrent is anything to go by, i wouldnt want to be the first!

keith rhodes - n/a
26-Jul-07, 06:31 PM
thanks anne. just the feed back i am looking for.

not at all negative but history and factual . i wanted to find out what has been tried in the past.

there is a wealth of experience in this club. i can see that.

what i am looking at is how we might best bring in a new generation of members.

i wonder if we can ask bob beech to ask novices how they came into contact with hovercraft racing. this might give us an insight into public perception. i'll ask him about this.



try this one on- derby have been promoted to the premiership.

at half time they all look for something to entertain the crowd.

got it?

local home grown boy does good!!

a "race" at half time would get match of the day coverage. and for free.

as i say - there will be lots of people with ideas, some cranky that work, some sensible that don't.



i do think that the lack of competitors in f1 and f3 make for a poor show for the public and probably a hollow victory for those competing. 503 looks like it will develop quickly into a big bucks takes all as (quite rightly) technology provides that crutial edge. have money will win?

moving to cheap craft to provide affordable racing. help me here please. ewan- are you suggesting the american model might provide the club with a cheap entry level craft as a one make hull one engine sub class? what are the numbers on cost to build? bryans right - if it needs a discreeet change of rules thats still safe i'm sure it could be done.

this might provide a "level playing field" for newcomers who may feel they get a fair measure of their skills as opposed to 503 above.

keith rhodes - n/a
26-Jul-07, 06:44 PM
nice one dangerman http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif

looks just like our racing really.

commentator might not usurp our star man though!! http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif



so is the geen machine a polystyrene hull with pedals?

sreiously - is this an option for a cheap and cheerfull class?

LouiseBeale - n/a
26-Jul-07, 07:08 PM
I am not trying to be critical here, just thinking about what we are trying to achieve, and if this really does it.



So in all honesty, can you tell me that you would have bought/built that sort of craft when you joined the sport? Is that the sort of craft that inspired you to join in?



As one of the organisers of Claydon, we know that we get the same spectators year on year, we collect feedback, and we get quite a high percentage of people who bother to leave their feedback. In 2005 we advertised nationally, on the feedback forms we got one spectator who had travelled from southampton I think. The locals look out for the event. We draw approx 3000 public in the weekend. In the last 6 years that I have been involved in the organisation we have gained 1 HCGB member from the Claydon public.



I really don't know what the answer is, I wish I did, but I haven't yet seen anything suggested that we haven't already tried I'm afraid.



I do believe though that the surge in Novices that we had a couple of years ago was after the die another day film.



Oh, and money wins? I don't agree. Dedication and technical expertise every time.

team black - n/a
26-Jul-07, 07:11 PM
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ewan- are you suggesting the american model might provide the club with a cheap entry level craft as a one make hull one engine sub class? what are the numbers on cost to build? bryans right - if it needs a discreeet change of rules thats still safe i'm sure it could be done.

this might provide a "level playing field" for newcomers who may feel they get a fair measure of their skills as opposed to 503 above.




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No. I think the UHs are butt ugly and I'm not about to start whittling my own props!



My point was that there should be some form of control formula that provides a working craft (ie not a Challenger) out of the box and can idealy be built for iro 1000.



As for engines..... I'm having a bit of a plot.

jar2 - n/a
26-Jul-07, 07:26 PM
Having built a UH craft (the bigger UH18) I would say that the small entry level craft could be built for well under 1K (assuming you can get a decent second hand thrust engine for 200 and you buy a brand new lift engine for 99 from B&Q - otherwise known as a lawnmower!). The hull is just a slab of foam with a 3mm ply skin on top and the "cabin" is more 3mm ply. The construction is intended to be cheap, easy to repair AND safe - it absorbs energy on impact which is better than the driver having to!



Making a racing class limited to 15HP or so is a very good idea IMO - it would encourage the development of highly efficient craft which would have a knock on effect on the whole sport.



I also built a 13HP Sevtec Scout and I have used it many times in rough open water (last time was Sunday - six miles from land!). I think a lot of people would be very surprised just what you can do with such a small engine with the right hull and skirt design (see CLICK HERE (www.hovercruiser.org.uk/Videos.htm) for some examples!).

bryan - n/a
26-Jul-07, 07:30 PM
I agree with Lou that throwing money at a craft might make you have a good looking hover. However its years of dedication and engine knowledge that gives you the edge. In F3 there are many TZR engines yet knowledge is bringing people like Tony Broad in a intergrated craft to the front of the grid. Getting new members to part with cash and bye something they know very little about is hard when most people have a family. Maybe its the lack of good

cheap craft on the market or good craft which are behond most peoples pocket!More members would be great its what direction we need to go to grab them.

Superwedge - n/a
27-Jul-07, 03:05 PM
The Hovercraft club of Victoria has been assisting the running of the Hovercraft in Schools program for the last 3 years in Australia, although we do not race down under we find it an excellent way to introduce new people into Hovercraft and hgopefully grow our clubs in the future. The Schools involved have found it a great way to keep students motivated with studies and find a new interest in school life. We have around 13 schools in victoria involved to date some schools have built multiple craft. the schools arrange Hover events amongst themselves mostly on ovals, skills tests, speed runs, relay races, obstacle courses etc and we host a yearly event at our clubsite where most craft get there first taste of water. We have limited the crafts to standard 13hp 4 stroke motors as that allows the Honda motors / and chinese engines to be used. The crafts will fly an Adult at around 40 kph. with the free plans and info available from Discover hover (around 50 pages in the plans. in PDF form. including prop templaes to suit a 10hp motor)



http://www.discoverhover.org/ (www.discoverhover.org/)







index.php?t=getfile&id=820&private=0

The School teachers have worked incredibly hard to push this into more schools and have travelled to Tasmania in the South and Queensland in the north spreading the word where more schools have also joined up and local clubs have helped demonstrate Crafts.



Just some info for what it is worth.



Tony W.

French Lake - n/a
29-Jul-07, 03:52 PM
A bit late getting into this thread, but I've been away.

The IMechE runs "Formula Student" for uni students to develop single-seat race cars (isn't Tony Broad involved with one of these teams?).

Is there any mileage in us approaching IMechE to try and generate some interest? We may also benefit from some of these academics looking into some of our noise issues / curved splitters and so on.

IMechE would add a deal of credibility to the programme, is organised nationally and locally and, if this worked like the Formula Student programme, could help get more (young) people into Hovercraft. They also have funding issues (they always seem skint and tight!) but are wired in to all the major engineering companies in UK and abroad, so they may be able to help.

If Tony or anyone else has a view on whether this were appropriate, I'd be happy to help out with approaching IMechE.

One word of caution: IMechE is a big machine and results are unlikely to be immediate!



By the way, we travelled from Glasgow to Claydon in 2005/2006 - well worth the bovver!