This weekend saw the College Hovercraft Racing Teams finish their season at Claydon House in Buckinghamshire.
It is a picturesque National Trust house with lovely views of the race course which is set in the parkland
across the lake from the house. This is both a fast and technical course and most drivers enjoy the challenge of racing here.
We arrived late on Friday night in the dark and camped in our usual position up the top of the field. It was jolly cold at night, but with a good cooked breakfast we were on the move next morning, setting up the pits and getting craft prepared for scruitineering.
With that out the way we got on with the practices. During the Formula50 practice the belt came off the bottom pulley. This is indicative of a misalignment which we set about checking and discovered to our horror that the engine frame had cracked right through!
There is a considerable amount of vibration in a hovercraft transmission system and the thumps it gets on landings and transitions on the course do take their toll. We took out the engine and the frame, and got the welding bottles ready to stick it back together. In addition to the main repair, reinforcement had to be provided to strengthen the frame.
Luckily the craft was fixed ready to race and the cool evening was spent around the firebasket toasting marshmallows. A much calmer end to a dramatic day!