Hovercraft trips from Bognor Regis prove a hit

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SOLD-out hovercraft trips from Bognor Regis should ensure the unique craft returns next year.

The maiden voyage to Littlehampton of Hovertravel’s Freedom 90 was packed to its 95 passenger capacity when it lifted off yesterday.

It took 15 minutes from the 10.40am start to make the coastal journey of some six miles at speeds up to 45 knots.

Among those onboard three metres above the waves was Jess Taylor, 36, from Birmingham. She said: “This is my first time on a hovercraft and it’s really good. I can’t believe how smooth it is.”

She was joined by her husband, Colin, 52, and their daughters aged four and six.

The hovercraft’s five 15-minute pleasure jaunts off the Gloucester Road launch ramp yesterday were equally packed.

The success of the joint venture between Hovertravel and Butlins left the travel firm’s managing director delighted.

Neil Chapman said: “We very much want to do this again next year. The partnership with Butlins is brand new to us but it is a perfect arrangement.”