'Across land and water,' hovercraft races come to Harrogate

Hovercraft racing comes to Harrogate
Hovercraft racing comes to Harrogate

Hovercraft racers from across Britain and Europe are to tear across both land and water this bank holiday weekend in Harrogate.

Organised by the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain spectators at the lake in Allerton Park will be able to enjoy a multi-class set of races as it returns to the park for a third time.

Francis Morales has lived in Harrogate for 20 years and his love for the sport saw him claim the formula three British championship in 2012. Describing a hovercraft race he explained how the formula one will have engines of around 900cc firing the crafts at close to 75mph.

Francis said: “A formula one race can be very fast, some of these crafts are as fast as a Ferrari 0-60 and around the 70/75 mile/hr mark they will also want to take off like a wing.

There are spectacular moments where people pick up so much speed and do get lifted up, it's almost like a wheelie. “The races take place across the land and the water and the whole experience can be a really good day out for all the family.”

Floating above the ground on a cushion of air hovercraft maintain their position as air is continually supplied by a fan, a plastic fabric or skirt is wrapped around the edge of the craft that prevents this from escaping. They are then pushed along by fan while riders use rudders to steer the craft along.

Racers from Germany, France and Sweden will be travelling to compete in the races with British riders across Saturday and Sunday, while Monday will be a British driver only event.

Between races spectators will be able to take a closer look at the craft and meet the drivers, among them are champion riders such as Mr Morales and Philip Hall, 2016 Formula world Champion.

Although the engines will be off there will be a chance to possibly sit inside the craft. Opening for spectators around 10am on all three days. Entrance fee is £5 per person, £12.50 per car, while children 11 and under enter for free.