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World Hovercraft Organization > Press Release > Year of the Hovercraft
Jan. 21, 2003

"The Year of the Hovercraft" begins:
HoverWorld Expo 2004 PaceCraft ships to Australia

When Chris Fitzgerald was the youngest competitor in the 14 March 1964 World's First Hovercraft Race on Lake Burley Griffin, little did he know that 40 years later he would be launching the "Year of the Hovercraft."

As Chairman of the World Hovercraft Organization and President of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., Fitzgerald officially set in motion today one of the most important events in hovercraft history: HoverWorld Expo 2004, coming to Canberra 31 Dec. 2004 – 3 Jan. 2005. HoverWorld Expo is a weeklong commemoration of the World's First Hovercraft Race, and Fitzgerald is serving as Chairman of the event.

"The Year of the Hovercraft" was officially proclaimed at 1:00 pm. today, Wednesday, 21 January 2004, when the media, Neoteric employees and representatives of Schenker, Inc., the official HoverWorld Expo freight broker, gathered at the Neoteric factory in Terre Haute, Indiana USA to watch the HoverWorld Expo 2004 PaceCraft embark upon its 2-month journey via shipping container to Australia.

The PaceCraft, a deluxe Neoteric hovercraft, will be exhibited at museums and other venues throughout Australia until it starts the World Championship Hovercraft Endurance Race in Canberra this December.

HoverWorld Expo 2004:
HoverWorld Expo 2004 will take place Dec. 28, 2004 – Jan. 3, 2005 in Canberra, Australia. HoverWorld Expo is a function of the World Hovercraft Organization, founded by Chris Fitzgerald in 2003. For more information, see www.WorldHovercraft.org.

Fitzgerald, born and educated in Australia, is Chairman of HoverWorld Expo. The event is designed to commemorate the World's First Hovercraft Race, held on Lake Burley Griffin in 1964. Fitzgerald was the youngest competitor in the 1964 event.

Fitzgerald is also the founder of DiscoverHover, the World Hovercraft Organization's international school hovercraft program. With the world's foremost hovercraft experts serving as an advisory board, DiscoverHover provides free hovercraft plans, instructions and educational materials to schools and youth groups throughout the world so that students can build a hovercraft and compete in local, regional, national and international hovercraft races.

DiscoverHover will pay the shipping costs for qualifying student hovercraft, giving them the opportunity to compete in the World Championship Endurance Race at HoverWorld Expo 2004 in Canberra. Complete information about DiscoverHover may be found at www.DiscoverHover.org.

Hovercraft Training Centers International:
To further add to "The Year of the Hovercraft," Fitzgerald is also establishing Hovercraft Training Centers International. The first Hovercraft Training Center -- and global headquarters -- will be located on the banks of the Wabash River in Terre Haute, Indiana USA and is expected to be operational before year's end. Hovercraft Training Centers throughout the world will offer hovercraft rides and rentals to the public, provide training and pilot certification to both the recreational and rescue hovercraft market, and perform hovercraft sales and service. The web site for Hovercraft Training Centers Intl. will soon be completed at www.HovercraftTraining.com.

Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.:
Fitzgerald moved from Australia to the USA in 1975, where he established Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. in Terre Haute, Indiana. His company essentially created the light hovercraft industry and is now the most experienced light hovercraft manufacturer in the world. Neoteric hovercraft are the only hovercraft in the world with effective brakes and are recognized as the industry standard for recreational, rescue and commercial hovercraft.

Neoteric customers include the U.S. Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security; National Parks Service; Army Corps of Engineers; Disney World: Huaihe River Commission, China; National Institute of Environmental Research, Korea; Esso Petroleum, Colombia, South America; and fire, sheriff and search and rescue departments worldwide.

Fitzgerald recently returned from Kuwait, where he trained pilots to operate the Neoteric hovercraft that are being utilized in a United Nations-commissioned survey of the shoreline to determine the pollution resulting from the 1990-1991 Gulf War oil fires.

For information about Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. visit www.neoterichovercraft.com

Contact: Sharolyn Herring
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
World Hovercraft Organization
Email: Office@WorldHovercraft.org

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