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HOPKINS REPORT- 004

Avatar cosmonaut: Jo Allen
The spirit of climate change
Stroke code 70-0/4

HOPKINS REPORT - 004

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 

The famous American dancer, Gene Kelly had once said:

In film, a dancer should always be shot from head to toe, because that way you can see the whole body and that is the art of dancing. Nowadays they shoot the nose. Left nostril. Right nostril. Hand. Foot. Bust. Derriere. The film prevents you from determining who is a good dancer and who is not.

Kelly prefers the cinema shot ‘head-to-toe.’ We are the GIPPSLAND THEATRE – NEW YALLOURN FIGHTER > RAINS standing on the shoreline of still water, holding a flat stone in hand and thrusting it across the surface. The stone bounces once and then continues skimming several times at considerable speed further into the distance.

Or consider the film ‘The Dam Busters’, featuring the bouncing bombs of the British scientist, Dr. Barnes Wallis. In this case it was a bomber-plane descending into the Ruhr Valley and dispatching an explosive metal ball that skipped across the lake to a designated target.

Could the same principles apply to a speedboat?

My eyes as a teenager and was among other spectators gathered along a shoreline dam, was to see Hoodoo perform. Hoodoo was owned and driven by local hero, Harvey Gunn. He was the owner of the Gunn’s Gully petrol station that was located on the eastern edge of Moe on the highway just before it wound through the area known as the Haunted Hills.

We were enthralled of the speedboat stories and theories that were told over and over again. Many of these stories included Harvey Gunn and what he was trying to do with Hoodoo.

Men of fuel.

The racing skiff was said to be a specifically Australian invention: a clinker construction made with overlapping wooden planks so modified it could skim the surface. Its rounded bilges and numerous chined planks added stability; and helped to reduce friction drag, as did a small flat planning area at the transom.

Even in the choppiest of conditions, racing skiffs are capable of skimming across the surface at high speed, and still retain a fair degree of stability and manoeuvrability compared with other craft built for speed. How fast and how stable depended upon the final shape and strength of the hull, and on the engine’s power.

Strapped in his racing life jacket, with his goggles, square chin and jet-black hair, Harvey Gunn could easily be mistaken for a fighter pilot in a wartime movie. A form of prop riding already existed with the hydroplane, sometimes referred to as a ‘three pointer’, which at the time was the fastest watercraft.

Under throttle the American engine power lifts the main hull above the surface and the hydroplane rides on ‘three points’ – narrow twin pontoons at the front of the craft and the rear propeller. At high speed, a hydroplane tends to flutter and the spinning propeller sends a spectacular fan of trailing water high into the air.

While undoubtedly quick, it is susceptible to water or air disturbances and can easily flip over as a result. Also, because the craft is so broad and flat, manoeuvring around corners is notoriously unstable.

Could Harvey Gunn’s prop ride Hoodoo keep up with the USA fastest hydroplanes?

Could he steer through rough water better?

Could he corner better?

Hurtled through the air, Hoodoo and logic, yes. 

Punching rains head-to-toe, windward and leeward sides: Alps, ranges and hills. Rivers and creeks sloping into engineer dams, weirs, and pondage. The water licence parcels for open cut mines, fuel turbines transmissions, plantations, irrigations, and surface speedboats.

Since the early 1960s and onwards, Singin’ In The Rain, Gene Kelly, has said; “The film prevents you from determining who is a good dancer and who is not.”

Try sophisticated travellers.

The rain renewable stars.

Digital waters.

Trillion infrastructures.

Military billions.

Metro airport doublings.

Yay aeroplane jets burning one gallon per second.

Freeway ramps. Permits. Road closures.

Broken trams and trains.

Authorities keep saying ‘climate-ready’.

Opposite is Kelly deflections.

The nose.

Left nostril. 

Right nostril.

Hand.

Foot.

Bust.

Derriere.

 

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