Over the subsequent decades, Hoyle made few modifications to the three-man skimmer, with the hoverskirt design overhaul in 2997 the only notable exception. With the precision electronic sensors tied to the primary rear steering vanes, the Ina-du automatically adjusts small sections of the airskirt to allow for greater maneuverability. This modification was well-received among the water taxi unions, as it allowed drivers to wind through the city’s waterways with an appreciable gain in speed, getting customers to destinations faster.
Competition between the three major taxi unions was inevitable. After the DeWalt Group suffered three fatal “accidents” in one day, the union leaders met to discuss the escalating violence. Though little was resolved in their initial conference, the seeds of what would become the Extraordinaire Canal Contest (ECC) were planted. Because the competition for fares was intense — leading to over four hundred accidents and incidents during 2999 alone — something was needed to alleviate the problem. The brainchild of Jonas Silt, the ECC was born as a way for the taxi companies to compete in a biennial competition. The overall winner would be able to determine their own exclusive zones (within some limits) for the next two years and command a higher base fare.
Initially, the Zaniz City council was against the idea. Somehow, conducting a highspeed hovercraft racing circuit over the course of three days that could endanger life and property didn’t seem to appeal to them. With reservation, they allowed the first ECC to occur in 3001 and were shocked when over 300,000 people turned out to watch various taxi companies compete on a complex water course that miraculously resulted in no deaths — even after a Trosbarty Taxi missed a hairpin turn and vaulted through the local Hecc’s department store on the canal’s edge.
Recognizing an instant cash cow and an obvious boost to tourism, the city council unanimously endorsed the ECC for an indefinite period of time. Every odd-numbered year, the ECC Racing Board reveals the new eighty kilometer course for the coming year’s contest. Strict regulatory rules dictate that the taxi companies participating must use existing motor pool assets, leading to many custom variations and body styles among the drivers. Not surprisingly, Hoyle started a customizing line for their Ina-du model, continuing to keep a lock on the skimmer market. Flashy and affordable, citizens and visitors to Zaniz City are treated almost daily to a variety of paint schemes, body art, and chrome piping. With the rising interest in the Ina-du’s versatile build, Hoyle recently began sponsoring the Zdice Custom Expo, drawing over half a million visitors to the 3066 Expo to view the latest accessories and custom show skimmers.
- System Name: Zdice
- Coordinates: -315.31, 23.99
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