Ferry News

America’s Cup hero Ben Ainslie gives Hovertravel’s new craft a flying start

Hovertravel’s two new state-of-the-art passenger hovercraft have been named by Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful yachtsman in Olympic history.

Ainslie, who has just headed Britain’s America’s Cup World Series triumph in Portsmouth, christened Solent Flyer and Island Flyer in a traditional dedication and blessing ceremony on the Isle of Wight.

The new craft are both liveried with a dynamic representation of the union flag which combines red, blue and the white background of the craft to create a traditional look with a contemporary feel.

“The names of our craft describe what our hovercraft do and where they do it,” said Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel. “We chose these names to promote the fact that our craft fly at 1.5 metres above the water. The addition of ‘Solent’ is to identify the specific stretch of water where we operate and we added ‘Island’ to demonstrate that we connect two islands. Our new craft fly the flag for Britain with their union flag livery and we are delighted to have Sir Ben Ainslie, a great British hero, take time off his busy schedule of training for the next America’s Cup event, to name our hovercraft.”

Hovertravel’s new craft are highly innovative designs which combine enhanced ergonomics alongside weight and energy efficiencies. The £10m investment is aimed at improving passenger comfort through speedier and easier boarding, a quieter ride and better visibility.

Ben Ainslie names new Hovertravel craft
Sir Ben Ainslie performs Hovertravel’s christening duties on the Isle of Wight

Sir Ben said: “The hovercraft was a revolution in sea travel and has become a real iconic British invention. It’s great to see these two new innovative vessels continue to show off the strength of the British marine industry right now. While out training on our development boats, we often ‘fly by’ each other during their trips from the mainland to the Isle of Wight -  in addition, since moving to the Island recently, it is also an extremely fast and reliable way to travel.”

Solent Flyer is currently being used an an occasional addition to the Hovertravel timetable. This phased strategy of implementation is allowing the teams at Hovertravel to gradually introduce the new procedures and policies associated with the new craft without disrupting the daily operation.

Posted on 27th July 2016 at 10:38 am in Ferry Operators | Hovertravel | Ferry News |

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