Seeing a hovercraft in Saskatchewan does not happen very often. Seeing many in the same place was sure to gain some attention.
When John, from Saskatchewan’s Amphibious Response Support Unit 1, asked me to cover the first annual Great Canadian Hover Craft Rally, it was a definite yes.
ARSU1 is one of those services providers that you probably don’t know much about, but would be so thankful for if you or a loved one needed to be rescued by them. The list of things these volunteers help with includes flood response, ice patrols, wildlife rescue, environmental services, and shallow water intervention.
One of the goals of The Great Canadian Hover Craft Rally was to raise awareness for the ARSU1. Another, was to bring together people who are interested in hovercrafts and amphibious units for a weekend of fun and sharing. Sask Landing Provincial Park was the perfect host location. The group of people that gathered from all over Canada included hobbyists who built their own hovercraft, members of the ARSU1 rescue team, and business owners or representatives.
I’m always trying to find new experiences for myself and my family, and riding on a few different hovercrafts, as well as this massive machine called the Sherp, was super exciting.
We loaded up our old RV and spent the weekend camping at the equestrian camp ground at Sask Landing Provincial Park, near Swift Current. The weather was a little uncooperative, but we fit in some hikes, swimming, wiener roasts, and of course spent lots of time watching the hovercrafts.
The recue team was set up to share information and teach some safety skills and there was also a triathlon going on the same weekend. It was fun to see the spectator’s reactions as they got a closer look at the unique crafts. One man was inspired to pull his half completed hovercraft out of his garage and get to work on it.
The favorite part of my weekend was not just riding in these machines, but seeing my step kids have fun riding them. The video I made shows off some of the different crafts and captures the memories of this family adventure.
I hope that by reading this you are inspired to learn more about volunteer services near you. These people and their families give up time to keep us safe. Not everyone can join an amphibious response unit, but consider volunteering with your local fire fighters or first responders. If you can’t volunteer, consider donating. Small towns and rural Saskatchewan depend on units like ARSU1 and I am thankful to have gotten to know a bit more about all that they do.
This is going to be an annual event, so stay tuned for more information.
Special thanks to my sidekick Grace. She took control of the cameras and was super fun and helpful!
That looks like fun! Great idea for a weekend trip. Not sure if we have such machines in the UK 😉
How fast does it go?
I think they went up to 80km/he, but don’t quote me!
We are a group of hover enthusiasts that have a ramp on the Fraser River.
Lots of safe secure (after covid ) space .
We have been at this for about 20 years .
Would love to get in touch with others .
This was a great event. I could pass your info on to a couple of the people I met that day.