This page contains the NZBAI news archive up to the end of 2013. Please see the new news page here for recent articles.
Edits: This page has been spell checked and links have been disabled and or removed if they add no value as they have been broken. if you are interested in historical results please view the results page.
2013 NZ Open – Day 4
A perfect day – the wind was great for 4m sails as the event came to a close. With the trophies up for grabs in all divisions on the last day, it made for some fantastic racing.
Congratulations to the winners, David Heilbron in Lights, Graham Ingall in Middle, Russell Harray in Heavies and Wayne Osborne in Supers – a clean sweep for the host club Auckland on their home track. Many thanks to the many helpers who made the event possible.
Please see the results page for the results, and there is a good review on the ABC site’s news page.
From left, Wayne Osborne, Russell Harry, Graham Ingall and David Heilbron.
2013 NZ Open – Day 3
With the longer runway, 8 minute races, and 20 knot gusts (and a couple of showers)… it was a lot of fun, especially at the bottom mark.
2013 NZ Open – Day 2
The weather forecast was for rain all day and there was a warning of thunderstorms later in the afternoon. While overcast, we only got a couple of quick light showers in the afternoon.
Wind built from the morning, after the first 3 rounds, most had switched from 5.5m sails to 4s. But around 3pm the wind started to die, and everyone was back on 5.5m sails. The last Super Heavy heat had to be abandoned after 2 attempts. So we got in 7 rounds for everyone else, and they now have two drops.
Note the last Super Heavy heat had to be abandoned and the lightweight Race 12 had timing issues that cannot be resolved and that race will have to be re-run.
2013 NZ Open – Day 1
A fine day with the wind building over the first two rounds. From around lunch time most people were running with 4m sails. 32 races were completed between the 4 divisions with some fantastic racing. Couldn’t have hoped for a better first day.
Everyone was well fed from Rosie’s diner during the day. After the race day social, there was a fantastic dinner, with much thanks to the Heilbrons and their helpers.
Please note the Notice of Race and Entry forms are now available. Please see the Club events page for more information.
2013 New Zealand Open
Early Bird entries have now closed, but its not too late to enter!
Please note that production divisions were offered this year – however as specified in the notice of race, a minimum number of entries was required before early entries closed. Unfortunately the required numbers were not achieved and the production entries have been moved into the appropriate performance division.
We currently have 62 entries – the entry list is available on the Auckland Club’s website here.
2013 NZ BAI Teams Racing
Blokart Heaven, Papamoa. 3/8/2013 By Russell Harray
There were a few disbelievers on the organisers weather prediction prior to the event because of a few hints of rain in the forecast with 20+ knts predicted. What we got was exactly what we needed, no rain all day and 12 to 15 knts with a few gusts closer to 20. Perfect Teams Race conditions for the Blokart Heaven track.
Great to see Far East (Hawkes Bay) in their first event and hope to see more of these guys in the future.
There were a couple of last minute team changes to keep John on his toes, Turbo hadn’t collected transponders, but briefing started at 9.30 and the first race was under way at 9.50. With 12 teams and a busy schedule we needed to keep the races turning over quickly, and this is what happened with a full round robin finishing just after 3 pm. Thanks John, Trish and Julie. This allowed three individual races of 20 people in each to round off the day. 20 on the track is busy but everyone coped well and there were no incidents.
There was plenty of food in the kiosk all day, thanks to Tina and Robyn and the Bay guys for arranging this.
With slight changes to even up the ABC teams there was much anticipation about who would come through with the wins. Al Kearney lead Brokarters to the first win, taking out Auckland Champs Conecrushers by a couple of points, Mangle took the second heat, Plastic Fantastic just nudged out WolfSpit in race 3 and Doobs got off to a winning start in race 4.
Conecrushers came back with wins in the next couple of races to keep the heat on Mangle who started to show they would be a force to be reckoned with after beating Brokarters in a close battle.
The much anticipated battle between WolfSpit and CCrushers resulted in the Crushers just edging ahead by two points. Wolf Spit had problems throughout the day with team members going the wrong way, missing marks, generally folding under the pressure.
Mangle were just sneaking in wins by a couple points, being kept honest by Mooloo and Plastic F, with a much anticipated match against Wolf Spit in the last round, only for Wolf Spit to not fire at all, very disappointing for the Mangle team.
The final individual races with 20 in each finished off a great days sailing.
After everyone had packed up their karts and had a couple of drinks, Paul got out 6 driftkarts for a trial run. Plenty of interest and an hour of hooning around on these tricky little drift machines, topped off a great day at the track.
Dinner and prize giving was at the Kwang Chow Restaurant, with plenty of good food and good company.
The Manawatu club has secured access to Ohakea at Labour weekend and are running an open event.
Entries for 2013 New Zealand Open
Entires for the 2013 New Zeland Open can be made now here on the Auckland Blokart Club’s (ABC) site. There is also an entry list posted. If you are intending to enter, please do so early, as you will in the draw for early bird prizes and it will also help us with numbers. Members requested production class be avaialble, however we need more entries by the early bird date to confirm this class will run.
Notice of Race for 2013 New Zealand Open Released
The Notice of Race has been released for the premier blokart racing event in New Zealand. The NZ Open will be held in Auckland at Armdore on the 10-13th October. We hope to see you there.
Racing Rules Updated.
Please note the blokart rules have been updated to Edition 3.
Welcome to the Hawkes Bay Blokart Club
The Hawkes Bay Blokart club has been offically formed. We look forward to seeing their members at national events. See the clubs page for contact details
Notice of Race for 2014 Blokart Worlds Released
Entries will open soon.
2013 North Island Open Cancelled
We have been advised that unfortunately Ohakea is not available. We were unable to sort an alternative venue. We look forward to seeing everyone back here in 2014.
2013 North Island Open Update
We have been advised that unfortunately Ohakea is not available. We are endeavouring to organise an event at an alternative venue. Please check back for updates.
2014 World blokart Champs
It has been announced that the 2014 blokart Worlds will be held in Janurary in Perth. Visit blokartworlds.com for more info.
2013 New Zealand Masters Games
By Barry Emms, Edited by Nick Murray
Every second year the Masters Games are held in Wanganui and Blokarts being part of the event race at Ohakea Air Force base. This year 63 Blokart sailors from New Zealand and overseas attended.
This is a NZBAI sanctioned event hosted by the Manawatu Blokart club who looked after the running of the event, Phil Ready from the Capital club (Wellington) looked after the entry forms, documentation and runs the race timing system. This year prize winners of the various classes were split into two age groups, 40 to 59 years old and 60 years and older.
The event was held on the 2nd and 3rd of February, fine weather both days and light wind from a Westerly direction. As is usual, entrance to the Air Force base was via a gate at the far end of the airfield
Entrants were split into –
- Performance Light weight – 21 entrants, 12 under 60 and 9 over 60.
- Performance Middle weight – 16 entrants, 4 under 60 and 12 over 60.
- Performance Heavy weight – 17 entrants, 10 under 60 and 7 over 60.
- Production – 2 entrants, 1 under 60 and 1 over 60. (We need some competition in this class next time!)
- “C” Class – 7 entrants, 5 under 60 and 2 over.
The races were run two classes at a time, the first class carried out a 2 minute dial up and raced for 9 minutes and the second group carried our a 2 minute dial up after the first class had started and raced for 7 minutes. Performance heavy and middle weights raced together in one group and Performance light and Production/”C” class raced together in the other group. Over two days the heavy and middle weight group completed 13 races and the light and Production/”C” class completed 12 races. Over that number of races each sailors worst finish was dropped.
Saturday night the Manawatu club put on an official meal at the Sanson club. We enjoyed an excellent meal and scored a few prizes in their raffle as well.
NZ Blokart Open a Huge Success
By Russell Harray
The NZ Blokart Open was held at Ardmore Airport, 3rd to 6th October. Blokart sailors entered from all over NZ and 3 from Australia filling up the 4 weight divisions. The weight division are; under 70 kg, 70-80 kg, 80- 90 kg, over 90 kg.
This is the first time this national event has been hosted away from the Papamoa track where blokart International is based. The new sealing and extended use of 800 metres of runway meant an opportunity for longer windward/leeward courses and some high speeds to the bottom mark with the top competitors getting close to 70 km/hr. Using the grass verge became a common practice to slow down and make a smooth (??) rounding. The event started on the Tuesday with early registration and practice day. With the visitors making the most of the opportunity to learn the track and the local Auckland sailors getting there early to put up tents and get the logistics sorted, there were about 30 sailors ripping around the track in 20 knots of wind. It was spectacular sailing and a taste of what was to come during the event. Wednesday kicked off with a welcome, a briefing and then the first race start about 10.30. Teresa Tootill, principal race officer for the event, kept the races ticking over quickly and by 5 pm each division had completed 6 races each, 24 in total for the day. Each race consisted of a 2 minute dial up as karts got ready to start and then an 8 minute race, long enough to complete 3 laps of the 1500 metre circuit. Throughout the series Teresa kept everything on track with the racing and on Thursday ended with 28 races for the day. Great job. At the end of Day 1 a couple of divisions were throwing up the favourites as the top performers. The other two were very close and this carried on throughout the event. With the loose stone in places and some sharp objects out on the track there were a number of punctures which meant results fluctuated wildly at times before the drops came into evidence. Good to see Haydn back from OZ to provide some competition for the Auckland guys and after a bit of a slow start, an early disqualification, he took the overall lead and maintained this for the rest of the event. Grant and Allan were fighting for the minor placings but some inconsistent performances on Day 3 and 4 let it slip away while Ross came through with some top place performances to secure 2nd . The Light Weight division was also tight with Trevor taking a small lead after day 1 and fighting off Sarah and David over the rest of the series. There was close racing, often the 3 swapped the lead a number of times and the result was really only decided going into the 23rd race on the last day. David took out 2nd and Sarah a close 3rd . The Heavy Weight division was close over the first couple of days with 1 point between the top two and Barry sitting back a bit waiting to pounce. Russell started with a puncture on day 3 in the dial up and came in with a 5th which took care of one of the drops and then day 4 a puncture on the course while leading the race took care of a second drop. Any other mishaps may have affected the overall results. The racing was very close between Nicko, Barry and Russell, often with only a couple of seconds between finish times. Wayne took an early lead in the Super Heavies on day 1 and then defended this throughout the rest of the racing, always staying in the top 3. Theo and Paul got into top gear on the last 2 days, Theo taking 5 wins in a row and Paul winning a couple with the 4 metre. Wayne stayed close, winning races but also taking a 2nd when the leader got away. Overall, a fantastic event helped by good preparation by the organising group, plenty of wind each day, the Rosies providing food every day and organising a great prize giving dinner, support from key sponsors and all competitors being willing to help when necessary with marshalling duties. A big thanks to all those involved and look forward to seeing the visitors back for the Auckland Champs, 3 and 4 November.
Baypark Blokart Charity Event
The Home and Leisure Expo last weekend at Baypark Tech Arena also saw a sailing spectacle at the main entrance. Expo Organiser, Graeme Martin, suggested to the local Blokart Club to run a race event to add a leisure sport activity flare to the Home and Leisure Expo. Saturday saw a fleet of 30 Blokarts competing from 10.30 to 3pm in two weight category bands, under 85kgs and over 85. The local Bay Blokart Club hosted the ‘Baypark, Blokart Charity Open’, the local Blokart inventor Paul Beckett, donated a new 5.5m sail for a spot prize to be added to contributions from Graeme Martin. As each sailing competitor was registered for racing, they drew a Charity which they would represent for the day.
The weather was excellent, just enough wind and a lot of sun shine with a carpark full of Home and Leisure Expo visitors. Racing was tough and competition good spirited in a challenging course in the gentle Northerly. There were racers from Wellington, Rotorua, Hamilton and Auckland. The racing saw each class completing 12 races for the day with a half hour lunch provided by the local club. The race positions was always changing and eventuated as follows:
Performance 85kgs and Under, 1st Ross Ludwig, Bay of Plenty Representing Plunkett, 2nd Bob Harding, Bay of Plenty representing Womans Refuge, and 3rd Marg Murray of Auckland representing Rescue Helicopters.
Performance Over 85ks; 1st Russell Harray of Auckland Representing Waipuna Hospice, 2nd Andrew Sands Bay of Plenty representing Foundation for the Blind and 3rd Theo Vondervoort Bay of Plenty representing Plunkett.
The event will see $1000 being shared amongst the Charities, and congratulations to John Parvard who won the 5.5m sail spot prize.
2012 World Champs – Personal Reports
Personal reports of the 2012 worlds kindly contributed by Graham Ingall, Grant Crawshay and David Heilbron.
My first sight of Ivanpah Dry Lake was from the car after 235 miles drive on the I15 from Los Angeles, swooping down from the mountains on a ten mile long straight with an enormous piece of brown, hard, shimmering lake surface to the right. In the heat haze we could make out the Blokart tent village across the lake, and in the far distance a bizarre array of gaudy buildings, a monorail, and a roller coaster plonked in the middle of the desert. Yep, that was home for the next ten days.
Race HQ was just 2 miles along a dusty track from the hotel, and the New Zealand gear tent was set up right alongside the lake. My first practice day started at 5knots but was blowing 25 knots within an hour, and later to 35 with dust everywhere. Terrific fun and I set my fastest speed for the week at 85.3kph (others were into the mid 90kph zone).
The experience of sailing on such a vast area is simply awesome. When racing, I had huge difficulty seeing the marks, and when the course changed, I sometimes lost my sense of direction after rounding the top mark. Luckily I wasn’t often troubled by leading races and had somebody to follow. Knowing which direction to tack from the start, and how far you went, and not getting psyched by what others were doing were key to gaining or losing places. At Ardmore we can tack 42 metres across the runway. At Ivanpah you can go about a mile either side of the straight line to the mark.
Among many highlights was having a free sail to about 5 miles up the lake from Race HQ and screaming back down wind hovering around 80kph the whole way. Another was after the last day’s racing when Haydn and I sailed back to the hotel. There were a few hairy moments like hitting a formed track across the lake with boulders about 10cm diameter strewn all over and having to weave around them at 70kph; passing competitors’ cars once we reached the road out (including a Porsche 911 with a Blokart on the roof rack!); wondering with equal amounts of angst how tall the mast was and how low the power lines were; realising we were committed at 60kph to a narrow chute where the dirt road intersected with the hotel perimeter road, hoping no cars were coming, then sailing straight through the stop sign and around the shopping complex to our car park. Oh yeah, that was fun. I’ll be back.
Ivanpah 2012 Blokart World Championships!!!!!!! What a venue! Arriving at Primm on 31 March 1st marvelled at the wide open spaces viewed as driving down the freeway into the valley where the dry lake and Primm valley hotel and casino complex in which we stayed were. Checked in (bit of a hassle there but that’s another story) and learned how to drive out onto the dry lake bed where the North American champs and then Worlds were to be held.
Got out there and set up kart. Great wind so had excellent practice sailing with the majority of the Kiwi team and other competitors arriving over the next 3 days. Discovered that most of my training and rig choices were not correct with such wide open spaces to play in and do true upwind/downwind sailing.
Readjustments here and there to gear and on to racing North Americans. I was in the lightweight performance division and managed a 6th after the 2 days racing. Was happy with that as went with aim of a top 10 finish. It did however help convince me that I could definitely be competitive and try for a better result in the worlds. Day 1 of the worlds was a steep learning curve for me and cost me dearly on the point’s front. Two bad sail choices and one OCS race made me rethink rapidly. Stick to my game plan and sail smarter on day 2.This worked with results of a 4, 3, and 1st. Back on track. Only one more dumb course choice during rest of event and I was happy with results.
Two races in which after 2 minute dial up and 10 minutes of racing we had to be sorted out by timing system on finishing. One race, 3 of us crossed the finish line on the same second with another sailor only 1 second behind and in another race 2 of us on the finish line on the same second. Close exciting racing with many place changes during races. What a buzz. Unfortunately the last day of racing had to be cancelled due to imminent rain. Why is it that it can not rain for over a year, though has to rain on the last day of the worlds?
The moment rain comes we have to exit the lake bed as it turns into a quicksand like substance. During the event we had to wear dust masks and goggles as it was very dry, with huge dust storms coming through and also mini twisters, called dust devils. My best speed achieved was 86.4km/hr while sailing a downwind leg of the course. Never went out for an out and out speed record attempt, though this would definitely be the place to do it.
There was great camaraderie amongst all competitors and support crews both on and off the Playa. If the worlds are ever held there again and I certainly hope they are I would highly recommend this as the venue to attend. The Blokart grin has not disappeared yet and the Blokart family is as strong as ever and growing!!
My first trip to Ivanpah was in 2011as a build-up to the Worlds. Ross Vickers, John Sherlock and I were helping out the NABSA run their National event and we also wanted to try out the venue ourselves. Unfortunately this year we timed our arrival with the start of the Spring Break, and the LA to Vegas traffic was horrendous – it sets a new record for me as the longest traffic jamb I have ever been in. But on arrival at Vegas and an upgrade to a suite at the Bellagio, all was forgiven. The next day we had booked the Grand Canyon Helicopter trip but on arrival at the coach for the airport we learnt it had to be cancelled because of too much wind. So after a quick look at Windfinder we rescheduled for Tuesday – no sailing that day as forecast but we had a brilliant trip to the Grand Canyon instead. I could write a book on that experience – and the sights in Vegas. We were to return to Vegas 5 times during the event for shows and dinners. “It’s awful, but I like it!”
On Sunday we checked into the hotel at Primm (well, tried to anyway, and even having a confirmed reservation didn’t seem to help – but after a bit of negotiation we were checked into our rooms). We had a great view of the Playa, and sumo wrestlers upstairs. Well, what can you expect for $30 a night?
The next few days were spent unpacking the timing gear, doing some practice runs, and setting the kart up. On registration day after 4 hours on scrutineering, I hit the Playa with the 2m sail to blow the cobwebs away, and the wind dropped. But 10 minutes later I set a new personal best of 92 kph and I hoped I could turn before I hit the Fashion Outlet next to the Hotel! Roll on the North American Champs!
During the Scrutineering of the 150 Blokarts I was pleased to see that most people were nicely compliant but a few tried to push the boundaries – but they happily changed over to regulation gear when this was pointed out. Unfortunately a few changed to non-permitted parts again – and were protested during the race series, but had the good grace to withdraw or make their Blokart legal before competing.
The starts were sometimes a bit hairy, but calling for rights soon sorted this out when they saw that barging was not going to be permitted by the sailors that knew the rules. I was pleased with my starts, safely 2nd most of the time but with speed and a good position. On day one I was running first – the experience of the previous year giving me an edge, but as the others gained experience on the playa I lost that edge. The racing in the top 5 was so close that even a small mistake cost dearly. Getting lost in the dust storm and capsizing on the start took its toll, but I was reasonably happy with a 4th.
The Europeans who sail Production far more than we do in NZ really used that advantage, and sailed really well. The playa made for really tactical sailing, and it was good being able to exercise your rights and unsettle your opponents who had made a poor choice of position. Reading the wind shifts was paramount, and there was a bit of luck involved too. The dust storms were like nothing we had experienced the year before, but the tents provided good protection and stood up to the gales. But what a small price to pay for good wind. Deciding what sail to use was very important, and last minute sail changes were made by many – only to find it was the wrong choice.
Good preparation paid off and I had no gear failures and changed one tyre as a precautionary measure during the two series.
We had a fair number of protests, and many were easy to deal with as sailors did not specify the rule or did not have witnesses. I was also protested against, and called my helmet-cam as evidence – a case of mistaken identity (how can you miss a yellow visi-vest?).
So will I go back to Ivanpah? You bet – the venue, people, social side and camaraderie was really great – as are Blokart Worlds events as a whole, and it was great taking part in a World Class event. Icing on the cake was accepting the award to the NZ Team for assistance given during the event – we really did have people involved in every facet of the event in the background – supporting the NABSA organizers. Could things have been done better – you bet – but we get better all the time and we try to learn form experience so we can improve future events.
World Champs 2012
By Nick Murray
The NZBAI is proud to have two World Champion sailors, Sarah Tootill in performance lightweights and Wayne Osborne in performance super heavyweights, both from the Auckland Club. Also finishing on the podium was Gabe Young,(2nd) in performance lightweights. Gabe lost his 2010 title to Sarah by 1 point this year. Theo Voondervort and Paul Becket were 2nd and 3rd in performance super heavyweights respectively, giving NZ a clean sweep in this division. Haydn Ingall managed a 3rd in the very competitive performance middleweight division.
Ian Timperley was the only New Zealander to get on the podium in production class, with his 2nd in the heavyweight division. Team ABC 1, with members Wanye Osborne, Barry Cole and Russell Harray, came 2nd for the Team prize.
From left: Wayne Osborne, Sarah Tootill, Russell Harray, Theo Voondervort, Haydn Ingall, Paul Beckett, Barry Cole and Ian Timperley.
The championship was held at Ivanpah, a dry lake near Las Vegas in the US. Racing began with the North American Champs over two days. Sarah and Gabe were 2nd & 3rd in performance lightweights, Alan Kerney got a 2nd in performance middleweights and in the super heavies, NZ cleaned up again with Wayne 1st, Theo 2nd and Trevor Pretty in 3rd on the podium. Ian won the production heavyweights.
The worlds was scheduled to run over 5 days, however the last day was abandoned due to pending rain, and the 2nd day was extremely challenging due to the large dust storms that blew over the course, which only allowed two rounds to be completed. All up each division completed 12 races, with 1 drop of the worst result.
The 2012 NZ blokart team and supporters
2011 SI Open Review
By Barry Emms
On the 10th of November, nearly a year after initial planning took place, we were under way with 33 entrants, 8 in “C” division, 8 in Production and 17 in Performance. 21 turned up for practice on Thursday, light wind and fine weather. Come Friday Murray Shaw from Nelson had emailed advising that he was withdrawing, and Nick Ferrier, in Christchurch to attend a weeding would arrive later in the weekend. Timing equipment and transponders were supplied by Auckland club and Grant Crawshay ran the system throughout the event. When Grant was racing I believe Trevor Hookway looked after the timing. The decision had been made to run three races per round, each division would run as one group. This would push races through quicker and gave competitors high quality competition.
Friday, first day of competition, produced strong wind all day N/East to start with swinging around to the East later. Early afternoon racing was halted as the wind was gusting to 40km/h. Then it resumed with one race for Production and two for Performance. “C” class decided that the wind was just too strong.
The high winds caused mayhem on the tarmac as it was difficult to hold Karts down on three wheels. Karts were tipping over, sledging in the corners, Jim Dale went over twice, cutting his elbow, Trevor Hookway tipped and was hit by a wheel, cracking several ribs. Didn’t stop him racing though, or laughing for that matter. Peter Richardson may have lost a finger nail when his hand was jammed under a wheel. Ivan Purtle crashed badly, damaging a sail and cutting his hand. Bob Jelley was on hand to make a good temporary repair so that Ivan could continue. Shirley Dale went over during a dial up and decided conditions were to gusty. Mike Dale caught a big gust at the museum end and ploughed straight ahead into the straw bales. Ally Crabb tipped over and also suffered gear failure. Theo Vondervoort blew a front tyre and crashed.
Saturday, as predicted, arrived with rain and a light wind from a Southerly direction. Graham Allum arrived in the morning feeling unwell, and headed back home to Blenheim. Jim Dale laid out a circuit using the taxiway and apron. The new course required tacking in places and the light breeze and wind direction led to dead patches on the apron. Not helping was being wet through, I ended up with six layers on. I don’t recall any major accidents, however there were spins and bumps. There was also mud and grass and plenty of it. Down the taxiway negotiating the marker required Karts to move onto the grass to enable a fast turn. By about 3pm most of us were relieved when racing was called off. My top speed for the day was 56.1km/h distance travelled 23.21km.
Saturday night, the official meal took place at the Hornby Working Men’s Club and included our monster raffle draw with over 50 prizes. The evening went well with most leaving at a reasonable hour to rest up for more racing in the morning.
Sunday, overcast, no rain and the track had dried out other than a few puddles. Another light wind from the South but shifted around a bit. Jim laid out a different course still utilising the taxiway and apron. The main difference was that the taxiway could be negotiated without tacking and sailing along the apron could be achieved using different courses, some faster than others. Nick Ferrier arrived having encountered car problems on Saturday, and managed a few races before heading away. Corri Stein was unwell and retired. Brent Thompson had business to attend to and was also absent. Although speeds were down a bit, racing was very competitive. It wasn’t long before the last race finished and Karts were packed up, the site cleared away ready for prize giving. My top speed, 49.3km/h and distance travelled 19.63km.
Although all the competitors in each division raced together Production and Performance were split up into classes by weight and the results worked out accordingly. The first set, “Results SI Open” records how every competitor finished across the line, the other one has split Production and Performance up into weight groups ready for prize giving and these are the official results.
Lets not forget all the other competitors who made the event a huge success. Thank you for competing and keeping the place getters honest. During the time I watched races, usually marshalling on a corner marker, I noted many of you making big improvements. This is how it is, racing against experienced Karters over three days with a variety of conditions, everyone improves.
There are many other members who helped make the weekend run so well. Louise Meltzer and Iarene Jelley on the flags and counting down the starts, Grant Crawshay and I think it was Trevor Hookway running the timing system between their races, Steve Hall, Rex Walker and probably others I didn’t see corner marshalling. Don McDonald providing the camper van to house the timing equipment. Auckland club for supplying the timing equipment and Transponders, Blokart Int for sharing the trophy costs, NZBAI for supplying the “C” class trophy. Graeme Gordon and Urban Wheels for running the BBQ and supplying the mob with sausages, Anne Rogers for providing a massage service.
Also the various members and businesses that generously supplied raffle prizes and to all those who were just as generous in buying tickets. To the Museum for holding back on construction so that we could run the event unhindered. There will be others who I cant remember right now, but thanks to everyone, it takes a team to run a successful event and we achieved that. Indeed this is a fitting end to Wigram as we have known it for the last couple of years. Next Sunday is a new beginning, less sealed surface bringing new challenges.
I trust all of you have enjoyed the event as much as I have. On behalf of the committee, thank you for entering and contributing to the 2011 South Island Open. We look forward to inviting you back again to a future event.
A bumpy road to the SI Open
A four day South Island Open was originally scheduled to start on the 24th February, finishing on the 27th. Planning had started back in November 2010 and there were 44 entrants. History will record that on the 22nd, an earthquake struck and Christchurch suffered badly with loss of life and severe property damage. Some of the entrants had already arrived and were traumatised along with the rest of us. Those on the committee that could still be contacted made the decision to cancel the event, wisely, as the aftermath unfolded.
New dates were set, initially for late October then revised to mid November, coinciding with Christchurch show day. This time around the New Zealand Open was included, following on from the SIO. This was not to be due to the proposed Museum extension which was timed to start in October. As time dragged on and no decisions on funding for the extension were made the NZO was moved to Papamoa. Finally in early October the decision was made to continue with the SIO, this decision hinged on the continued lack of funding and our belief that it would be unlikely that any physical work would start before the 13th November. How wrong we were, a couple of weeks before the SIO commenced word came through that funding was in place and work would start almost immediately. We were fortunate that the Museum considered our event important enough to delay on site work until after the 13th. Construction did start on forming an access way through the fence and across to the taxiway at the far end of the grounds and the machinery completed this work at midday Thursday the 10th during practice.
2011 NZ Open Review
The 2011 New Zealand Open Championship has just been held at Papamoa. The complex is commonly known as “Blokart Heaven” and the track is laid out next to Blokart International headquarters. While not that large in area this sealed track is built with various track options to suit wind from any direction.
The event got under way on Wednesday the 28th September with practice, racing followed over the next four days. As it turned out the first two days were reduced to practice and cruising about, at times when the wind decided to join in. The rest of the time was spent catching up with Blokarters from other clubs, looking at the various Karts, buying parts from the Blokart shop and generally relaxing. Various Blokart clubs from throughout New Zealand were represented with seventeen entrants from Kaimai club (Papamoa, Bay of Plenty), sixteen from Auckland club, four each from Capital club (Wellington), Canterbury club (Christchurch), and Manawatu club (Palmerston North), two from Bay club (Bay of Plenty), and two from Hamilton club, in total forty nine entrants.
Entrants were divided by weight into four divisions with six in Light, up to 70kg, twelve in Middle, 70 to 80kg, twenty in Heavy, 80 to 90kg, and eleven in Super Heavy, over 90 kg. Amongst the entrants were current and past world champions, club champions, and a scattering of keen members from the various clubs. Some entrants had raced at Blokart Heaven many times before, for others this was the first time they had seen the track. As Thursdays racing was lost due to a lack of wind, pressure was mounting to push the races through on Friday. This was achieved by combining Light and Middle into one group, running all the Heavies together and leaving the Super Heavies to themselves. With light wind these groups competed without too many incidents and by the end of the day everyone had completed ten races.
To run races and record results the Auckland Club supplied their sophisticated timing system housed in a purpose built trailer. Each Blokart was fitted with a transponder which relays signals to the timing equipment, via a pick up loop laid across the track on the start/finish line. Manned by Auckland club members this system ran to perfection and provisional race results were posted as the next race was getting started. The Rugby World Cup Blokarts were put to good use, speeding across the track to pick up the results between races.
To start a race Karts sail from the dummy grid out onto the track where they wait for a dial up start signal from the timing equipment. Usually of two or three minute duration, sailors use a countdown timer on their Karts to judge time. The aim is to cross the start line at high speed coinciding with the finish of the countdown period. This is easier said than done, any Karts over the line early have to loop around and cross the start line again, losing precious time. Rather than laps, races ran for a period of five minutes and all Karts were required to cross the line after the finish signal.
Saturday dawned to cooler weather and more light wind. With ten races already completed the pressure to push races through was reduced so the light and middle weight divisions were run separately. The Heavies were split into two heats, competitors being randomly selected for each heat. All divisions completed seven races for the day. Sunday started with the odd spot of rain and the possibility of better wind. The wind did pick up at times but most stuck to 5.5M sails. All divisions managed to complete another four races bringing the total to twenty one races completed. According to my GPS, distance covered over the five days came to 144.03km and maximum speed achieved was 44.9km/h during practice Wednesday and 42.1 during racing on Sunday.
A full breakdown of the results can be found here, suffice to say that Auckland were outstanding with 3 firsts and 3 thirds, Kaimai did very well with 1 first, 3 seconds and 1 third and Capital managed 1 second. The other clubs missed out. Overall the racing was excellent with good hard competition throughout the event. Points were allocated – one for first, two for second and so on and all competitors dropped their two worst results.
There was the odd bit of drama, Super Heavy weight, Bernie O’Donnell, split a new tyre that was pumped up harder than any sane Karter would even think about. Jim Dale punctured in one race as did Roger Lennox-Robertson. The Guru, Paul Beckett, was disqualified at the start of a race for putting a foot on the ground. Mind you that’s an improvement on taking out the timing trailer as he did at last years event. Bob Jelley suffered a DNF for not crossing the finish line after the finish signal. Ross Vickers took a short cut, jumping off a small grass hill and splitting a mast section. Sarah Tootill tried the same short cut a couple of times without apparent damage. Being a lot lighter than Ross she was airborne for a greater distance but still landed with a thump.
David Heilbron provided a commentary for quite a few races and did a great job, as did Paul Beckett on occasion. Overall the event ran like a well oiled machine, good organisation, no timing issues, results posted instantly and friendly competitors. Thank you to all those who took the time to ensure the event was so successful, well done.
Barry Emms – Canterbury blokart Club
Blokarts Featured In Rugby World Cup Opening
Custom electric powered blokarts featured in Act 2 of the RWC opening ceremony. See it on Youtube & check out Kart Cam & ABC’s latest newsletter for details.
New Zealand Open
Due to the Earthquakes and uncertainty regarding the Canterbury Club’s venue, the NZ open has now been relocated to blokart Heaven in Papamoa from September the 28th through to October the 2nd.
South Island Open
As many of you will know, timing of this years South Island Open has been disrupted by earthquakes and now a possible Wigram Air Force Museum extension. The latest information our club has received is that a decision will be made September 7th. If the go ahead is given, construction may or may not start before the SIO. Tenders have closed however we understand that further funding is still required. If the Museum extension goes ahead the tarmac apron will be reduced by about a third and the remainder will be sheltered to some extent, nevertheless we will still have a use able area to sail on. Our problem at this moment is that we don’t know if we will have access to Wigram in November.
Our committee has decided to continue planning to hold the SIO, from Friday the 11th November through to Sunday the 13th with a practise day available on Thursday the 10th. We look forward to your support and entry to this prestigious event. We must emphasize that at this stage we have been given no guarantee that we will be able to hold the meeting on the dates advised so please make no financial commitment towards travel or accommodation. When we do have more details to hand we will send out an update and if the event proceeds offer to billet competitors who are unable to find accommodation.
NZ Open and South Island Open
The Canterbury club has advised that due to proposed extensions to the museum at Wigram the apron area may be disrupted at some future time period. Without a firm idea on when this may take place the BAI has decided to shift the NZ Open to another venue and date, yet to be decided. Apologies to those who have already arranged flights and accommodation. The Canterbury Club will advise on the South Island Champs but are still hoping to be able to run this event. Further information on the NZ Open will follow once venues are arranged.
NABSA Blokart Champs
The North American Blokart Sailing Champs were held on Ivanpah, near Las Vegas at the end of March. It was a warm up event to the 3rd World Championships that will be held there in 2012. Six competitors from NZ participated, Ross Vickers, Andrew Sands, Paul Beckett, John Sherlock, Ted Philip in performance divisions and Grant Crawshay in production heavy. Grant won his division and the overall production class. Santi Oliver from Spain just beat Ross Vickers and the rest of the Kiwi’s in the overall performance results, however Ross won the performance lightwight and Paul Beckett the super heavy division.
Kaimai Blokart Club
A new club has been formed called the Kaimai blokart club. Check back for contact details. The club has members from all over the Waikato and BoP. Its home base will be at Blokart Heaven.
South Island Open Cancelled due to Christchurch Earthquake
A message from the Canterbury Blokart Club.
Dear members and Blokart friends,
The [canterbury] committee trusts that you and your families have come through today’s disaster without too much damage and no injuries. With so many reported deaths, injuries and people trapped, it is likely that some of you will be badly affected. If you are in a position where you or your family require help or support please let me know and I feel sure club members will be only to willing to offer support. The weekends event has been cancelled, a copy of the email forwarded to entrants is copied below for your information.
As you all be aware CH has been devastated today. As I type this the house is being rocked by after shocks. At this moment we have not been able to contact Jim Dale or one or two other committee members, however we have made the decision to cancel the event. We understand that this will disrupt North Island entrants, some of whom are already in Christchurch or on their way. Reality is that already more than 60 people have died, others are trapped, infrastructure in the central city and other areas is badly damaged. We have no idea how today’s quake has impacted on our own members and trust that they are all OK. With the magnitude of today’s disaster we felt that the only responsible course of action was to cancel, to do otherwise would fly in the face of the tragic loss that many families are facing at this time. Dave Griffin advises that anyone booked with Air NZ should advise the airline that they wish to use the “Fare Flexibility” clause, and put their tickets on hold or ask for a refund. Regarding the future scheduling of the SIO, in due course we will look at options and bring all of you up to date.
2010 Blokart World Championship Results
The Kiwis retained their Performance Champs Ranking – with 3 world champions. Congratulations to Gabe Young, light weights, Russell Harray, heavy weights and the “Guru” Paul Beckett for the super heavy division.
Also congratulations to our other podium winners Angus Young 3rd in the light weights, John Nicholson 2nd in the heavy weights and Theo Vondervoort 2nd in the super heavies. ,
NZ struggled in the middleweights, with Luke, Grant, Nick and Jenny putting in their best performances. No Kiwis were entered in the production divisions.
2010 Blokart World Championship Updates
Not much wind on the first two days is leaving everyone frustrated. For more news and updates – check out the Auckland Club’s blog.
2010 BAI New Zealand Secondary Schools Blokart Championships
The NZBAI & the Auckland Blokart Club are pleased to host the 2010 BAI New Zealand Secondary Schools Blokart Championships 30th and 31st of October at Ardmore airfield, Auckland.
NZ Team for the 2010 World Blokart Champs
New Zealand has a large and strong team heading to the 2nd World Blokart Champs in Ostend Belgium in October. Gabe Young and Russell Harray both won their divisions in the NZ Open and are attending to defend their world titles. Theo Vondervoort and Luke Jones both won their divisions at the NZ Open and will be competitive at the worlds as well.
2010 NZ Open
A big turnout with the windless day being the practise day on Thursday, and building over the weekend, providing a very enjoyable 4 days despite the drenching on Sunday. Sunday was probably the wettest we’ve ever sailed in for a whole day. Some sailors were wishing blokarts did float after becoming submerged 1/2 way up the pod when they found the lakes hidden in the puddles. The guru once again proved his skill at crashing after surviving (unhurt) from the crash of the weekend. Lots of other really enjoyable moments with the blokart 10 Anniversary Celebration party on Saturday and dinner on Sunday catching up with all the other competitors from all over NZ (and our US and Australian visitor’s).
North Island Champs
The 24 races on Saturday was not repeated on Sunday with the wind failing to appear. After setting up early Saturday morning the racing kicked off about 10.30 for the 82 entrants. The wind was fluctuating a bit so there was a mixture of 4 metre and 5.5 metre sails in use. After one round we ran two races at once starting them 2 minutes apart. Using a 1.8 km course, either 2 or 3 times around, meant plenty of separation between the 2 races. This enabled plenty of races with a few breaks as planes landed. The wind dropped about 3.30 but a bit of patience and it came in about 15+ knots before settling down to 10-12 knots. Some great fast sailing with the wind up saw plenty of grins on the sailors. A meal and lucky draws followed at a local restaurant with most heading away not too late after the busy day. On Sunday the wind just didn’t make it. There were periods when it looked promising but would then drop away again. Plenty of karts out trying hard and even some bursts into the 30+ km/hr but nothing sustainable or suitable for racing. The thank yous were done early, especially to Gary for organising the airport and Phil, Debs and Leslie for handling the timing and resorting results today. This is the best hard surface race track in NZ and we will be back again next year.
Dates for North Island Champs & NZ Open
The dates for the North Island Champs at Ohakea are the 1st and 2nd of May. The NZ Open will be held at Blokart heaven over Queens Birthday weekend, from Friday to Monday the 4th to 7th of June.
South Island Open
The first event of 2010 was the Canterbury club holding the inaugural SI Open at Waitangi Weekend. This was a fantastic event with many visitors jealous of Canterbury’s Wigram venue.
2009 NZ Secondary Schools’ Youth Champs
Congratulations to Dominic Griffin the overall winner and Ben Campbell who won the over 65kg division.
The Auckland Club Champs
A successful event held with the Youth Champs. Check out www.abc.gen.nz for results.
Teams Racing at blokart Heaven
The teams racing at blokart Heaven on the 8th of August was abandoned after two and a half rounds due to lack of wind. Check out the mailing list for comments about the weekend.
Thanks to all the members who attended. Rowena Lennox-Roberston is our new secretary. Members also approved the constitution change making blokart sailing a drug free sport.
The committee believes that it will be beneficial for the Association to join SPARC (Sports & Recreation NZ) to give blokart sailing some recognition as a sport and to make funding applications for the clubs easier. To join SPARC we must have an Anti -Doping policy. The easiest way is to update our constitution to subscribe to the rules and regulations of Drug Free Sport NZ. This update was approved by the members at the AGM.
Secondary Schools’ Championships
Early bird registrations have now closed. Don’t miss out – there is now two weeks left to enter!