A Shenley resident recently achieved two major wins in the sport of hovercraft.
Nathan Ash, 13, was named the Hovercraft Junior Colt World Champion at the 2022 World Hovercraft Championship in Flottsbro, Sweden.
He was also recently crowned the Junior Colt GB Champion, which was based on a national race series organised by the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain.
Hovercraft vehicles are air-cushioned and can travel on a range of surfaces, including land, water, ice and mud.
Nathan has been racing for two years, following in the footsteps of his dad, Howard Ash, who first started racing in 1990.
Howard is “super proud” of Nathan’s achievement.
He said: “Nathan has really improved his driving skills over the course of the year in only his second full season. He’s gained a lot of confidence and dealt with tricky weather conditions, which can make racing on land and water tricky as the craft is very light and particularly sensitive to wind conditions.”
The new season starts in May 2023, when Nathan will debut in the Formula Junior category for 13 to 16 year olds.
Nathan prepares for the races by “keeping in shape” as the sport requires you to move your bodyweight to control the craft. Howard says it’s “more than just steering and throttle inputs”.
Howard added that there are limited venues to test locally, so practice takes place at each race meet. They use a dater logger and GoPro camera to analyse Nathan’s performance and make improvements to his driving techniques.