The Hovercraft Club of Gt Britain was formed in 1966 so we have started thinking about how to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2016. We are looking at a 10 -14 day festival of hovercraft, celebrating all the different things we have done over the years. We think it should embrace all members of the hovercraft community Ė racers and cruisers, other members of their families and supporters, schools and youth organizations and commercial hovercraft too. We would like to invite other enthusiasts from around the world to join us in the celebrations.

We are considering a series of cruises and other events in the fortnight leading up to a 5 day World Championship. To fit with school holidays in UK, US and Europe it should be in the last two weeks of July with the World Championships on 27- 31 July 2016. The Olympics in Rio start on August 5th

We are looking at a number of sites that could host a Worlds, and other events, with good cruising areas nearby. A leading contender at present is the Hop Farm, Paddock Wood in Kent. Itís just 35 miles from central London with all its tourist attractions for the family, and close to the established cruising grounds of the Lower Medway and Swale and the Thames in central London, where we frequently hovered in the 1970ís. To open the Worlds itís been suggested we could have a baton relay by hovercraft from Central London down the Thames to Sheerness then turn left up the Medway direct to the Paddock Wood site - a 75 mile run with all but 13 miles of it over tidal river and mud. The baton would be a Ďholy relicí of our history - a replica of Cockerellís original 1955 Nescafe tin experiment which is currently in the Science Museum in London. Fittingly itís homemade and the progenitor of our whole sport.

Discussions are underway with the Hop Farm and other sites are being researched. A key issue is to have a UK National at the chosen site in 2015 as a warm up. This idea is in itís infancy and there are many hurdles to overcome including making a successful bid to the World Hovercraft Federation but we have a track record of running successful World Championships, most recently at Towcester in 2010 and Weston Park in 2000.

We invite members to join in a discussion on the idea Ė does it make sense? What would you include in a celebration of our history etc? We've already had pleas for the return of the two up race, Le Mans starts, cadet obstacle courses, historic craft flyby etc and there is potential to broaden the Endurance Races. What would you like to see? Would you prefer to see a Worlds elsewhere in 2015 and have the 2016 Festival not feature a World Championship? Please feedback on this Forum rather than on Facebook because not all members use Facebook.

Itís an ambitious concept that will take a lot of effort from a large number of members, and others, to make it happen. Good communications will be key. It can't be left to a small few, but we do have over two years to develop the idea, get partners on board and test each of the components individually so nothing comes new and untried on the day. If you have ideas on how it can be organized, funded etc, or are keen to help please contact us on the Forum or directly by email to Chris Daly.