Hovercraft show is hit by bad weather

DARING Brothers Joel, six, and Alex Davey, five, in the craft featured in the James Bond film Die Another Day
DARING Brothers Joel, six, and Alex Davey, five, in the craft featured in the James Bond film Die Another Day
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MORE than 1,000 people visited this year’s Hovershow before it was cut short by dangerous weather conditions.

The popular event enjoyed a successful Saturday that saw huge crowds of people from as far away as Australia turn up to the Daedalus site at Chalk Lane, Lee-on-the-Solent.

AUDIENCE Simon Ward in the human-powered hovercraft Steam Boat Willy       (121506-7)

AUDIENCE Simon Ward in the human-powered hovercraft Steam Boat Willy (121506-7)

But by the evening the strong winds were deemed to be dangerous by insurers, who feared roof panels could blow off older buildings – which is exactly what happened during the night.

Trustees for the Hovercraft Museum were forced to cancel for the first time in the show’s 26-year history, but vowed to only postpone the final day until later in the year.

Trustee Warwick Jones said it was a shame to call off the event but that the choice to cancel had been the correct one.

‘It couldn’t have been worse weather for us,’ he said.

‘We really have to put another day on this year, because as it stands we’ve made a loss.

‘These days are what pay to keep the museum going, so it was disappointing to lose what is usually our most profitable day.’

He added that celebrity guest Jem Stansfield from TV’s Bang Goes the Theory had done a great job opening the show and would hopefully be returning for the rescheduled open day on July 21.

‘We had a great first day,’ he said.

‘People came from all over the world just to visit the show.

‘We had people from Australia, Germany, Belgium and the USA and it is especially hard to have to turn away people who have come so far.

‘I showed them round a bit for free but we couldn’t open.

‘There were bits of roofing lying amongst the hovercraft. None of the rides could run, it wouldn’t have been possible.’

This year’s Hovercraft Museum Hovershow featured around 100 craft for the public to explore.

And before its cancellation there were demonstrations, hovercraft rides and flypasts, which will all return for the next open day on July 21.