Claydon house- Last event of 2010


Since i was about to move to the US for a year i wanted to go out in a blaze of glory!To save the craft i didnt go out in practice and was ready on the grid for the first race. I got a good start off the lights and moved from the last row to the back of the leading pack in the first few corners: the craft had acceleration! After some fun racing my steering system stopped working on the penultimate lap and i hit a backmarker (sorry Bearwood). After an awesome race in around 5-6th position i limped back to the pits and lost most of those positions. It showed the craft had pace- being only 5 seconds off the leader.

In the second race i got another good start and was having some great racing. I was losing lots of time ploughing on the water entrance now that the wind had changed- the skirt definitely has issues- but still keeping Jess in my sights. On the 4th lap i ploughed really bad and saw a torrent of water come up through the lift fan. This snapped something in the drivetrain killing the liftfan. After being recovered we set to work bodging the craft back together- replaced the broken fanblades and found that a key had sheared inside the carbon lift gearbox. To stop the two parts spinning on each other we drilled in makeshift grub screws and generally mashed the parts to lock them together.

Punishing the lift gearbox to destruction and then some

The next morning there was plenty of time to bolt everything back together- extra races had to be run in the morning since our Junior Champion Broni had been air-ambulanced away the previous evening (she was back safe later in the evening). Paul at hovercraftvideo.co.uk hooked up a video camera to the front of the craft to view the action.

Lots of family and Rob, who helped me out when i started racing had come along so i wanted to put on a good show. But i was ever conscious the the gearbox may not hold together for long. I got a good start ending up right behind Jess, then had some really good laps racing. On the third lap i had the worst plough ever and totaled the craft. I was floating just near the water entrance with my thrust fan still spinning but my rudders jammed to one side. For the remaining laps of the race i had to face oncoming traffic, ready to jump clear if one came right at me! To mark the end of the 2010 season i rolled into the water in front of the craft and pulled it to shore.

All in all not a very successful season, and one where many of the gambles i made didn’t pay off, but nether the less the most fun so far. Thanks to all the hoverers around the world especially the F3 guys and girls for making it such a good one!

Just before laying up the craft for the winter

Posted in: Orange Peril, Racing Diary on September 11th by admin


No comments yet

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment