HoverCraft enthusiasts from five states, Canada and Australia on the Rock River
June 16-19, 60 enthusiasts from Florida, Missouri, southern Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ontario, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia attended Universal Hovercraft’s “Cruisin’ the Rock” event at the company’s riverfront headquarters, 1218 Buchanan St., Rockford.
With 17 hovercraft participating, the event was produced by Universal Hovercraft (UH) to test the possibilities of hosting a major racing/cruising event here in Rockford next year.
“Officials from the Hovercraft Club of America attended the event,” said Bill Zang, president of UH. “These officers are responsible for deciding on the viability of hosting events at various locations. The feedback was better than expected, and the outlook for hosting a major event next year looks good.”
This year’s major event will be in Port Byron, Ill., the founding site of UH, July 22-24. Go to www.hoverally 2011.hovercraft.com for more information.
On the Friday, June 17, optional arrival date, the cruise site was open after 5 p.m. A short evening cruise was enjoyed by the early birds.
Saturday, June 18, the crew departed at 11:45 a.m. in 15 hovercrafts with 32 people in the party and enough fuel for a 50-mile, round-trip cruise on the Rock River to Oregon, Ill. and back.
Landing for lunch at Byron’s Sunshine Park at the Highway 72 bridge, the crew had an excellent crawfish boil at the Fifth Alarm Firehouse Pub in Byron.
“We had a leisurely ride back up river to the UH factory in Rockford which included a short run by some of the hovercraft up the Kishwaukee River to the I-39 bridge. Back at the UH complex, a nice dinner was catered by Deli Italia, which everyone loved,” said Zang.
Sunday, June 19, the local crew, friends and family enjoyed some general cruising and socializing for Father’s day.
“Amazing weather and fun was had by all,” said Ryan Springer, UH’s media director. “It was a great turnout. This was our first event at our new facility in Rockford, and we plan to do this just about the same time next year.”
For more information, go to www.hovercraft.com, or call (815) 963-1200.
From the June 22-28 issue
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