Andrew Heighway's new Australian hydrofoil venture

(Topic ID: 213643)

Andrew Heighway's new Australian hydrofoil venture


By Pinballs

10 months ago



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  • Latest reply 3 months ago by pinsanity
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    There are 142 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 10 months ago

    This is interesting!

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/curl-curl-hydrofoil-return-sydney-harbour-20180330-p4z74j.html

    Full text (Sydney Morning Herald, By Helen Pitt, 1 April 2018 — 7:49pm):

    Curl Curl hydrofoil to return to Sydney Harbour

    Andrew Heighway first fell in love with the sleek lines of Sydney's hydrofoils when, as a boy, his family moved to Manly in 1982. He was transfixed watching their aluminium hulls rise on their foils like giant sea serpents, making the trip across Sydney Harbour from Manly to Circular Quay in close to 12 minutes. He relished the feel of the sea spray on his face and the wind in his hair, when the passenger seats tilted back as the ferry master pulled on the throttle to accelerate it to speeds of up to 60km/h.

    When Heighway, the son of a British Airways pilot, returned with his family to Britain in 1988, he took with him a rusty remnant of one of the three hydrofoils scrapped that year at Homebush Bay, and some video of his final trip on the Curl Curl, which he recorded on his bulky camcorder. When the Curl Curl was taken out of service in 1991, the last of the eight that had plied Sydney Harbour since 1965, he developed a desire to discover its fate. And that of the other seven old Sydney fixtures.

    He knew the Curl Curl had been shipped back to Italy where it had been built, via the cargo ship Regina in 1992, with three other hydrofoils: the Long Reef, Manly II and Sydney. There they were refurbished to transport passengers to the Aeolian Islands in the Mediterranean. But nothing more.
    Now, 30 years since he left Sydney, the British businessman, who sold his successful company Heighway Pinball last year, is embarking on a new enterprise, to bring the last remaining Sydney hydrofoil around the world on its foils - back to Sydney Harbour.

    It's been a labour of love and a search that has taken more than a decade, beginning in earnest in 2005, when he enlisted the help of the editor of Fast Ferry International. He knew three had been scrapped in Sydney; he learnt three had been scrapped in Italy, and the first Sydney hydrofoil, Manly 1, had been sold to Great Keppel Island, but now sits rusting on a chook farm at Kulnura, north of Gosford. But the Curl Curl eluded him.

    He learnt the Curl Curl had been renamed Spargi, and his friend at Fast Ferry International found it using Google Earth, in a shipyard in Messina, southern Italy. Heighway then discovered it was for sale on an Italian auction site, Gobid.it, but was told he was too late, it had already been scrapped. Not being one to take no for an answer, upon further investigation he learnt it had been sold for scrap by the bankruptcy court of Reggio Callabria. But had not yet been scrapped.
    He swiftly tracked down the shipyard, called them, offered to buy it and, by March 2016, after paying an undisclosed sum, became the owner of the last remaining seaworthy Sydney hydrofoil, which now sits in dock 800 metres from where it was built.

    "To me she was a massive part of the history of this harbour. I hope we can tap into this desire to bring back the old Sydney I used to know - the hydrofoil was beyond a boat - it was a symbol of this city which wowed the world," he said.

    He plans to motor it back to Sydney, in a voyage of many thousand nautical miles, to bring it back to what he believes is its rightful home. In Sydney this week to meet with business partners to discuss his new venture, his quest has been met with an enthusiastic response. Supporters include ferry master Bill Thomas, who captained the Curl Curl for over 25 years - now 92 and living in Yamba - and Qantas employee Chris Verdich, who administers a Facebook group of close to 400 Sydney hydrofoil enthusiasts, who have offered their support selling Curl Curl to Sydney homecoming tour merchandise.

    Heighway hopes to attract commercial sponsorship and plans to deck out the hydrofoil to travel from Italy to Sydney, removing the seats so it can carry enough fuel for a sea voyage (its engine can usually travel about 10 hours before needing to refuel). The sea journey, planned for next year will take several months.
    Heighway conceded the hydrofoils were replaced by jetcats because they were often mechanically unreliable, but he will install more reliable and economic engines in Italy. He hopes nostalgia for the Curl Curl will fuel the voyage, and help it find a new home on the harbour as a commercial venture. He's especially wanting to tap into Sydneysiders who as children in the 1960s, 70s and 80s longed to ride the hydrofoil, but their parents prevented them because it cost twice as much as the Manly ferry (although it took a maximum 15 minutes, well under half the 30 minute travel time of conventional ferries.)

    "The hydrofoil was more than just a part of Sydney folklore, it was a national icon," he said.

    For more information contact hydrofoilblog@gmail.com

    #2 10 months ago

    So, he wants to convince people to invest in another product. Sounds like a winner.

    15
    #3 10 months ago

    If you pay in full for a hydrofoil now, you will get moved to the front of the line and you boat will ship in 1 week...

    #4 10 months ago

    From smh.com....smh indeed.

    #5 10 months ago

    In my experience, people that launch ventures never stop and are never deterred. They're always planning the next one regardless of past success or failure.

    #6 10 months ago
    Quoted from investingdad:

    In my experience, people that launch ventures never stop and are never deterred. They're always planning the next one regardless of past success or failure.

    Definitely Monorail next.

    11
    #7 10 months ago

    We learn from failure. Most successful people didn't get it right the first time, or second.

    Whatever happened before, Andrew did manage to get someone to take over the biz and they're in charge now. So Andrew should be free to move on to new things.

    28
    #8 10 months ago

    Hydro means water and foil means to fail to bring to fruition.

    This concludes our intensive three week course.

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    #9 10 months ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    If you pay in full for a hydrofoil now, you will get moved to the front of the line and you boat will ship in 1 week...

    2 weeks.

    #10 10 months ago

    AH1 (resized).jpg

    #11 10 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    We learn from failure. Most successful people didn't get it right the first time, or second.
    Whatever happened before, Andrew did manage to get someone to take over the biz and they're in charge now. So Andrew should be free to move on to new things.

    I think this is "business" number 10 or something, I like the sold Heighway Pinball bit. Golden handshake more like.

    #12 10 months ago

    AH2 (resized).jpg

    #14 10 months ago

    The guy has got balls for sure!

    #15 10 months ago

    "Now, 30 years since he left Sydney, the British businessman, who sold his successful company Heighway Pinball last year, is embarking on a new enterprise"

    #16 10 months ago

    april 1?????

    #17 10 months ago

    Sadly no, he was drumming up business on Facebook for this. Investors and such ilk.

    #18 10 months ago

    Oh no...

    #19 10 months ago

    OMG

    #20 10 months ago

    How appropriate this article is on April Fools Day.

    #21 10 months ago

    Here is our Navy one. It was under tarps for years before it got moved. I remember it as a kid, very impressive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Bras_d%27Or_(FHE_400)

    #22 10 months ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    "Now, 30 years since he left Sydney, the British businessman, who sold his successful company Heighway Pinball last year, is embarking on a new enterprise"

    "Successful "
    I learnt so much from that article .

    #23 10 months ago

    -removed-

    #25 10 months ago

    Heighway Pinball shirt retheme?

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    #26 10 months ago

    Full text:

    Ferries of Sydney [new company name?] added 2 new photos.

    14 February [2018] · Booker Bay, NSW, Australia ·
    Message from Andrew Heighway

    Hi everyone!

    To those of you who don't know me - I'm a British hydrofoil fan who purchased the ex-Manly to Sydney hydrofoil - Curl Curl.

    When she returned to Italy in 1992, she was re-named 'Spargi'. That's me with Curl Curl/Spargi just over a year ago in Messina, Sicily.

    My goal is to refurbish her and bring her back to Sydney for a 'Homecoming Tour' in 2019. Upon bringing her back, we want to run her on the Harbour again for special trips.

    Such a large project requires a lot of time, money, help from the authorities, sponsors, etc... However, I'm a determined guy and I'm determined to make this happen.

    I will be visiting Sydney between 20th-30th March 2018 to raise money and support for this ambitious venture.

    As part of this trip, I have proposed to my friends in Australia that it would be a great opportunity for a social gathering of ferry and hydrofoil enthusiasts.

    I am posting here to see who would like to be a part of our social gathering? We are planning on attending a pub or a hotel reception room (depending on numbers) at a Sydney venue TBA on the evening of Saturday 24th March 2018.

    If anyone is interested in attending, could you please either post here, or email me at hydrofoilblog@gmail.com

    If there is enough interest then I will post specific information about this gathering in the weeks ahead.

    Thanks for reading,

    Andrew

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    #27 10 months ago

    As an ex-pat who grew up in the Sydney suburbs in the 70s and 80s I can relate to what is being said in the article.

    Thank you for making me feel "young" again.

    #28 10 months ago

    Andrew's Pinside post from 4 months ago (username AndrewH).

    Quoted from AndrewH:

    After nearly 5 months away, I have decided to come back to Pinside and defend myself, following a friend of mine telling me that there were serious libellous and slanderous comments being posted here.

    This is a very serious accusation, and one that you have presented as a ‘fact’. What proof do you have that I have stolen money from the company? You should investigate just how serious claims of libel and slander can be for the poster.

    So my stealing money has gone from fact, to just your opinion now?
    I’ve rarely read such a load of bs in all my life. Pure guesswork. $7.5k collected on 200 games? Rubbish. Our biggest suppliers not getting paid? Which ones? Most of our parts were pre-paid. A minority of suppliers only were owed money. I purchased a license to operate a hydrofoil business? Really? Where are these ‘top secret’ papers that you claim to have been handed? The truth is that I formed a UK company online more than a year ago called ‘Hydrofoils UK’ for one of my hobbies. The company has never been used, is dormant and likely to be struck off the register soon.
    Now you’re back to your so-called ‘fact’ that I siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars?

    1. Hundreds of thousands of dollars? Rubbish. Also your assumptions don’t factor in the many cancellations we had. Why did we have many cancellations at the time? A well-known Podcaster here was incessantly posting podcasts aimed at destroying the company. Also, two ‘anonymous’ ex-employees were posting damaging comments, even though they were under NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). Also, a UK poster here – again under NDA – went on a campaign to destroy the company. Not only this, but this person emailed HP customers directly and telling them to cancel their orders. You tell me a company that can effectively survive such hostility towards it? Combined, these led to nervousness amongst customers and many cancelled. If cancellations are greater than orders? You do the math jeffspinballpalace
    2. December 16 filing – this was a filing on the end of year (March 2016) accounts and reflects the situation at the end of March 2016, and after financial consolidations by the company’s accountant. This does NOT reflect cash in the company in December 2016.
    3. Please list these ‘largest’ suppliers who were not paid?
    4. I purchased a license to run a hydrofoil business? Rubbish. I spent £40 on forming a company that was never used. Again you allege I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this so please provide the evidence
    5. We were manufacturing games in December 2016 – this is a fact.
    Ultimately, many people may not like me or how things turned out. Technical problems (delays) and vendettas against the company made life very difficult for the company. We also had huge problems with some of our suppliers that added months onto production schedules. Delays of any reason don’t stop a company’s overheads (staff, factory, etc…) and it’s refreshing to see that the business-minded among Pinside recognise this.
    The company reached the point when more funds were needed and I had no choice but to step away from the company I originally founded from my garage in 2012. It was gutting and heart-wrenching, but I did so, ensuring that everyone associated with the company would be protected – including customers, employees, suppliers, distributers, partners and investors.
    As a customer who paid money for a game, Jeff, you have every right to be angry about the situation – but I can’t just sit back and see you spout bullsh*t about me personally, and accuse me of being a thief. You should really be careful about making such damaging and unsubstantiated claims that could be used against you legally.
    I understand that refunds have been issued and people are receiving their games. This is great to hear but I am truly sorry for any customers who have received neither yet. I understand, and still believe, that everyone owed money or games by HP will ultimately receive what they are due – but I’m sorry, I am no longer associated with the company and hence, cannot comment any further.
    I made a lot of good friends here and realise that most people here are good folk who have a real passion for pinball. To the many people I know here - I wish you all well and nothing but the best.
    Andrew

    #29 10 months ago

    I hope this isn't a April 1st joke on Aussies where he takes Aussie Investors money to fund his dreams

    #30 10 months ago
    Quoted from swinks:

    I hope this isn't a April 1st joke on Aussies where he takes Aussie Investors money to fund his dreams

    He's already done that.

    #31 10 months ago
    Quoted from Toads:

    He's already done that.

    unfortunately I know just hope not again for a different set of people

    #32 10 months ago

    Technically quite a few people on here and elsewhere own a part of that boat I reckon.

    12
    #33 10 months ago

    In other news, Jpop has begun an organization dedicated to saving the old town square clock tower!

    #34 10 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    In other news, Jpop has begun an organization dedicated to saving the old town square clock tower!

    Ha. Amazing!!!!

    #36 10 months ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    "Now, 30 years since he left Sydney, the British businessman, who sold his successful company Heighway Pinball last year, is embarking on a new enterprise"

    My other observation is that relentless self promoters never see their failures and are always, always winning at everything.

    A former engineering manager coworker I knew has a LinkedIn profile that appears to have been crafted by God Himself. Yet I know from first hand experience it's a crock, written with a high degree of imagination.

    Yet somehow, despite listing 12+ different jobs in almost 30 years, he always manages to get hired someplace else.

    #37 10 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    In other news, Jpop has begun an organization dedicated to saving the old town square clock tower!

    I heard it was the clock from the now closed, and soon to be demolished, Clock Tower Inn and Resort located in Rockford, Illinois. Formerly a Best Western and before that, a Holiday Inn affiliate.

    The location is perfect for a casino-hotel along the Northwest Tollway.

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    13
    #38 10 months ago
    Quoted from Pinballs:

    Andrew's Pinside post from 4 months ago (username AndrewH).

    "The truth is that I formed a UK company online more than a year ago called ‘Hydrofoils UK’ for one of my hobbies. The company has never been used, is dormant and likely to be struck off the register soon."

    Surprise, surprise. Not exactly the case.

    People who thought he was a good guy in a bad situation not of his own making were dreaming. There are years worth of his posts here, dozens of people posting about their outrageous experiences with him, and seminars recorded online which paint a picture of either a compulsive or pathological liar.

    The story that the OP posted certainly squares with what I was hearing out of the people in Wales in late 2016, that he was taking trips to Italy, for something related to a new non-pinball (and possibly hydrofoil related) venture. They were suggesting even then that he could possibly jump ship or disappear. I felt that it sounded almost too ridiculous to be true, even if nothing was impossible. But as usual with him, the truth turned out to be far stranger than fiction - every day seemed like April Fools' Day.

    Bizarrely, he wasn't making much effort to hide it, either, having a playlist of dozens of hydrofoil videos on the official Heighway Pinball Youtube channel.

    Remember, this is a time when he claimed all hands were on deck (except him apparently) and they were 100% focused on production of Alien, and he was simultaneously fighting tooth and nail against refund requests.

    I'm sure the other shareholders in the company would have been thrilled to know about this activity. Likewise, people whom he convinced to pay for Alien, promising they were "2 weeks away" or that they would be at the front of the line, during this period and later, and who are still waiting for a machine now, they must be beside themselves with glee.

    This is the obvious downside to the investor group rescuing the company, creditors, staff and customers. No repercussions or recriminations, and thus this may well continue to happen.

    #39 10 months ago

    Isn't the #4 wrong in Roman Numerals on that clock, lol?

    EDIT: I guess this is a thing with only clocks? Evidently some do this.

    #40 10 months ago
    Quoted from rubberducks:

    "The truth is that I formed a UK company online more than a year ago called ‘Hydrofoils UK’ for one of my hobbies. The company has never been used, is dormant and likely to be struck off the register soon."
    Surprise, surprise. Not exactly the case.
    People who thought he was a good guy in a bad situation not of his own making were dreaming. There are years worth of his posts here, dozens of people posting about their outrageous experiences with him, and seminars recorded online which paint a picture of either a compulsive or pathological liar.
    The story that the OP posted certainly squares with what I was hearing out of the people in Wales in late 2016, that he was taking trips to Italy, for something related to a new non-pinball (and possibly hydrofoil related) venture. They were suggesting even then that he could possibly jump ship or disappear. I felt that it sounded almost too ridiculous to be true, even if nothing was impossible. But as usual with him, the truth turned out to be far stranger than fiction - every day seemed like April Fools' Day.
    Bizarrely, he wasn't making much effort to hide it, either, having a playlist of dozens of hydrofoil videos on the official Heighway Pinball Youtube channel.
    Remember, this is a time when he claimed all hands were on deck (except him apparently) and they were 100% focused on production of Alien, and he was simultaneously fighting tooth and nail against refund requests.
    I'm sure the other shareholders in the company would have been thrilled to know about this activity. Likewise, people whom he convinced to pay for Alien, promising they were "2 weeks away" or that they would be at the front of the line, during this period and later, and who are still waiting for a machine now, must be beside themselves with glee.
    This is the obvious downside to the investor group rescuing the company, creditors, staff and customers. No repercussions or recriminations, and this may well continue to happen.

    As I already said, he seems like such a nice guy.....

    #41 10 months ago

    CONfidence man...

    -1
    #42 10 months ago
    Quoted from swinks:

    I hope this isn't a April 1st joke on Aussies where he takes Aussie Investors money to fund his dreams

    Wouldn't surprise me at all if the local pinball scene is to be used as a yardstick. Look back at the WOZ distributor funds embezzlement or look currently at Hom.... no let's wait for the foregone conclusion on that soap opera.

    Based on previous history, all Mr Hydrofoil needs to do is get in the good books with the local forum and then engage one of the self appointed purple circle members down here to give it some hollow endorsement. The plebs will then automatically nod their heads in docile agreement without even considering due diligence.

    Laughable if it wasn't so depressingly accurate.

    #43 10 months ago

    Aw, it's not for you.
    It's more a Shelbyville idea.

    #44 10 months ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    "Now, 30 years since he left Sydney, the British businessman, who sold his successful company Heighway Pinball last year, is embarking on a new enterprise"

    Lol. Not sure successful was the word to use.

    #45 10 months ago
    Quoted from pinsanity:

    Wouldn't surprise me at all if the local pinball scene is to be used as a yardstick. Look back at the WOZ distributor funds embezzlement or look currently at Hom.... no let's wait for the foregone conclusion on that soap opera.
    Based on previous history, all Mr Hydrofoil needs to do is get in the good books with the local forum and then engage one of the self appointed purple circle members down here to give it some hollow endorsement. The plebs will then automatically nod their heads in docile agreement without even considering due diligence.
    Laughable if it wasn't so depressingly accurate.

    He needs to be stopped.

    #46 10 months ago

    Crap. I rushed over here because someone told me Andrew was doing a Tinfoil venture.

    #47 10 months ago

    Well,,,Well,,Well,,,

    Andrew (resized).jpg

    15
    #48 10 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    He needs to be stopped.

    I wrote the author and pointed her towards some new 'reference material'

    #49 10 months ago

    I wrote to the author as well and notified the stated Facebook group and they immediately pulled one of the two stories, sent the pinballnews story last year of him stepping down

    #50 10 months ago

    Andrew is very good at captivating people's minds with his passion and get them to open their wallets so they can pay for him living his dreams.
    This new Hydrofoil adventure of his leaves me speechless considering he must have been working on it during his pinball manufacturing days.

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