The next chapter should be in the magazine.

From the Chairman's Desk - Chapter 33 - Involvement

The Hovercraft Club of Great Britain can seem like a complex entity to those who are not involved. In reality it is made up of people who enjoy many differing aspects of these great craft. The Individual Council members have interests in all sorts of areas of the club including Cruising, Marshalling, Youth Groups, Television, Competitionís Committee, Racing, and Security and so on as well as an overall responsibility for everything that goes on. It might seem like an onerous task but their time and effort is given freely. Your involvement in the club can be as little or as much as you want but please consider what you can do for the club rather than what can you get out of it.

It is a month since the last Chairmanís Desk and things have progressed. Dom Bowen and Charlie Dorman are asking for your contributions and pictures for the first copy of the new E-magazine. I understand that they would like to start with a Christmas special. The delivery of their first volume will be by the clubís Mail Chimp system which is very ably operated by Roger Morton (Club Secretary). Please can you all start creating articles for this so that the first edition is memorable? You can email your work to HCGB.Editor@outlook.com

This coming year (2015) it looks like there are nine race meetings in the HCGB National Championships and five European Championship meetings. One of these will be a joint one at Hackettís Lake. For those organising these race meetings, Kevin Foster (Competitions Committee Chairman) would probably appreciate the submissions of the budgets as soon as possible so that when the committee meet they can set the fees for next year to ensure that we can at least financially break even on the racing part of each event.

With the submission of a proposal for the World Championships to be held in Britain in 2016 we will have to wait for it to be debated by the World Hovercraft Federation and given formal approval before we can definitely say it will happen. One of the areas of concern is the cost to the entrants and families to take part in this. It would be great to be able to minimise this and enable as many competitors and club members as possible from all parts of the world to take part in this event without too much financial stress. We have less than 18 months to raise funds/sponsorship/revenue to make this happen. We do have some money left over from the last British World Championship event which will help but we will need more to make this a great Hovercraft Festival.

Keith Oakley, Russ Pullen, Emma Pullen, Chris Barlow and many more of the South East Branch are actively researching suitable sites for cruising launches (with camping capability) so that the idea of cruising and recreational hovercraft fun before the five days of racing could include some mud/tidal/estuary etc areas. It will be a bonus if they come across an area suitable for a subsequent National race meeting as well.

Once full approval for the World Championships is gained, the plans for the event will need the efforts of a team of willing and able club members to work on making the event happen. There will be requests for volunteers with the right skills set and time to join the project. Experience of previous World Championships may be useful but is not always necessary because a large amount of the Hovercraft Festival / 50th Birthday will not have been done before and so will require new ideas.

Public involvement in all the club events has long been regarded as a minor detail and sometimes an inconvenience. If you think about it, our families were all members of the public before they became club members. This is the source of our future members. It can also be a source of revenue because people pay to see the spectacle of hovercraft racing. This revenue can subsidise the fees that we have to pay to enjoy our events. I would urge club branches that organise events to look seriously at how they engage with the public and explore ways in which each personís experience of a Hovercraft Club event will make them want more.

This month there are several Hover-in types of events for members and guests to enjoy as well as many Medway outings (sometimes including mud). The club is its members, please support them.

Chris