South Island Open; 18th to 20th October
Host club; TOTS Blokart club, (Top of The South) Nelson
Venue; Vortex track, Richmond
Format; Saturday – travel/registration/practice, (track fees will apply,
more details later)
Sunday – registration prior to racing
Monday – racing, pack up, official meal & prize giving
Tuesday/Wednesday – 21st/22nd travel to Christchurch
New Zealand Open; 23rd to 26th October
Host club; Canterbury Blokart club, Christchurch
Venue; Wigram, Air Force Museum grounds
Format; Wednesday PM – registration/practice
Thursday – registration prior to racing
Friday/Saturday – racing.
Sunday – racing, finish 4pm, pack up, official meal & prize giving
Monday – 27th (Labour Day) travel home.
If there is a practice time on Wednesday, a $10.00 track fee will be collected from
those who wish to participate on the day. Only race day track fees will be included
in the entry fee. All track fees are on paid to the Air Force Museum.
Holding the NZO in the South Island is a first and as you will understand clubs South of the ditch worry about the number of Blokart sailors from the North who will be enthusiastic enough to enter this prestigious event. After a lot of discussion the Nelson based club, Top of the South (TOTS), and Canterbury, with input from NZBAI, Blokart sailors and other clubs have decided to run the SIO and NZO one after the other so that our North Island friends require no more than five days annual leave to compete in both. These events now have NZBAI approval and it’s time to work towards making them successful.
Production Class will be offered and promoted as part of both events. While the response has not been great in the past we are confident of good support from South Island sailors and this is a chance for North Island sailors to compete as well. Production Blokarts are the entry level to our sport and we believe it is important to include them in events at this level. It is up to you, a potential entrant, to be prepared to support these events and Production Blokarts as well. Of course we are also looking for a high number of entries from Performance Blokart sailors.
The other aspect is that entry fees and event budgets need to be worked through and approved by the NZBAI committee prior to the events and this is always tricky when entry numbers are unknown. Both South Island clubs will be committed to presenting the best possible events where entrants come away knowing that they have been looked after and enjoyed the experience. With this in mind planning is underway and all aspects will come together over the next seven months. We ask for your support please and with this in mind we intend to build up a list of potential entrants to both events. These will be published on the Canterbury Blokart club web site. We believe that doing this will encourage others and also give organisers an earlier indication of entrant numbers. This will bring confidence to the issue of setting entry fees, a crucial part of event planning. There have already been indications that some of our Australian mates will enter both events and this is exciting news. As with the last SIO, the TOTS Club will be once again offering exciting side excursions for your faithful supporters whilst you race. In the next few weeks I will advise details of the link to be used to register your interest in entering one or both events or an intent to actually enter. Note that entry fees are unknown at this early stage and no payments are required.
Many of you will not have sailed on South Island tracks; they are both exciting and different;
TOTS will be using the Vortex track, designed by Paul Beckett and his team, built and operated commercially by TOTS members, Murray and Ally Shaw. While the TOTS club is not that large they are very enthusiastic and the Shaw’s also run a very successful Youth Blokart sailing club. The track is shaped like a triangle, unsealed hard grit surface with some tight corners requiring good acceleration. While I have not sailed there for some time, Canterbury members, returning from the last interclub event, were enthusiastic about the track layout and the sailing experience.
On the other hand the Canterbury Blokart club is in the fortunate position of being able to use the sealed area at the Wigram Air Force Base. The old airport has long gone and the main runway is over the fence and part of a housing development. The remaining base is still run by the Air Force and we access the area through a liaison with the Air Force Museum. The area we use is part of a paddock and consists of a large tarmac apron outside the remaining hangers, partially sheltered by the Museum buildings. Connected to the apron at right angles is a straight taxiway with a corner at the far end leading to a fence. The taxiway is not as wide as the runway at Ardmore but wide enough to tack and gybe on. There is a charge to our members each time they sail at Wigram, this money goes to the Museum and helps with their funding. Tracks are set out using cones and course decisions are made depending on the wind direction. It’s possible to sail fast with the right wind, the standing speed record is 82.4 km/h set recently by Bob Jelley, using a 3M sail. Our club has just completed a sealed short cut across the corner between apron and taxiway, established for safety and variation.
So there you have it, please support the two events, the success of both is in your hands. Accommodation will be tight in Christchurch and it’s important to book soon. Both clubs are here to support your every need, please ask us now and we will help sort any issues. Please email TOTS and SIO rep Corri Stein at or Barry Emms at or 021 063 1938
Canterbury Blokart Club Inc.