Sep 30

2016 Update No.12: Registrations Open

By Nick Murray | Blokart News

A message from Mr Blokart, Paul Beckett. 

Hi and welcome to all of you who are considering making the trip to the 2018 Blokart Worlds at Ivanpah, near Las Vegas.

We apologize for the registration opening being a little later than promised but we have had some technical issues with the website to resolve. The aim is to make the registration process as easy as possible. A spin off is that the worlds website now has a fresh new look.

In the meantime we created a pre-registration form for competitors to sign up their interest, with 50 pre-registrations from around the world. Yes, I have defected from New Zealand to Afghanistan – the first country on the list! You can view the pre-registration list here.

I am now pleased to announce that registrations are now open for the 2016 North American Blokart Sailing Championships and the 2016 Blokart Worlds.

Please register here on the blokart worlds website. Payment is by credit card through PayPal’s secure servers. With the opening of registrations, the Notice of Race has also been updated. If you have any issues with your registration; for example you forgot to select your country and don’t wish to represent the glorious nation of Afghanistan, please email .

More information on the merchandise (including clothing sizing charts) can be found on the merchandise page. The registration form allows you optionally select one of all the merchandise on offer. If you would like additional items, please fill in the extra’s order form.

Thanks to Dave Midgley, Fran Gramowski and the rest of the NABSA guys who have really stepped up to the plate and have the venue permits and accommodation nailed down. From the tent to toilet hire the job is all done… Sorry about the pun!
There are no more big issues to iron out so the organizing team only has to turn up and make sure the last of the boxes are ticked….Well done guys.
As we are all aware there is more than a little bit of work to do when leading up to a major event, especially when executing plans from a distance.
You will see the event fees are broken down for clarity, and all costs covered from BLM fees and timing gear included.
If you are unclear please let us know.

The Worlds organizing team can assure those planning on coming over to Ivanpah that they will be part of an awesome celebration of all things blokart, with some of the best people on the planet on one of the best pieces of desert in the world. Ivanpah can turn on some pretty radical conditions but it is mostly a surreal experience when we strike settled weather and the sailing can be from sublime to scary to say the least.

I am sure this event will be one not to be forgotten. There will be more life long memories and great relationships forged between pilots from all over the world, so the best will only be, if you turn up and see….

There is going to be plenty of time for talking over the days events at the happy hour every evening for those who want to hang around before heading off to your air-conditioned apartments or staying over on the playa with the local guys and girls
This is possibly the last opportunity for the blokart worlds to be held at Ivanpah because rumour has it is being developed for other purposes. (shame about the turtles!)

There are brilliant places to visit in the region and world class shows and entertainment in Vegas which is a short drive away from Primm Resort. So bring your family, friends and supporters along to share a great time of sailing at an amazing venue with great people and if you manage to get a placing in your division that will be a bonus.

Winning is not the placing you get, it is more about getting to the place!

Safe travels to you all and bring the grin!

Kind Regards
Paul Beckett

Aug 12

2016 Update No.11 – August 2015

By Navig8r | Blokart News

NABSA are well and truly underway with the preparations for the 2016 worlds.
The team has been busy preparing menus and drinks lists for the happy hours each evening out on the playa after racing. Getting the campsite infrastructure sorted out, and also dealing with the Primm Valley Resort to get a good deal on accommodation.

In the mean time we have opened Pre-Registration so you can let your friends know you are coming, and which class / division you think you will compete in.

Jump online and fill out a Pre-Registration form today.

The happy hours each day after racing will be the place to hang out, and socialize with your fellow competitors. NABSA is planning a drinks / food  voucher arrangement. Voucher details will be announced closer to the event and available at the registration days. If anyone would like to help out with this and sponsor a happy hour evening, get in touch with Dave Midgley at NABSA.

NABSA have once again struck an amazing deal with Primm Valley Resorts for competitors in the 2016 worlds.

Using the group discount code of SVB0402, competitors can access great rates for their accommodation.

Call in reservations are open, but online reservations will be delayed as they are upgrading their res net system. 

Room Reservations 888-774-6668

Online Reservations here

Sunday to Thursday nights = US$37 per night (Primm Valley Resorts) / US$32 per night (Buffalo Bills)

Friday & Saturday nights = US$80 per night (Primm Valley Resorts) / US$70 per night (Buffalo Bills)

For those who remember the 2012 worlds, Primm Valley Resorts is the same hotel the registration, welcome and presentation dinners were held, and the same hotel that most competitors stayed in.

For first time visitors to Ivanpah. This hotel offers a large number of mid level hotel rooms, restaurants, and is linked to the outlet shopping mall.

Buffalo Bills is the hotel next door that looks like a giant barn…  it is a little lower level than Primm Valley Resorts.

With NABSA planning happy hours each night after racing, out on the playa, and the large range of things to do in and around Las Vegas, its pretty much a place to rest your head each night only… but it does offer so much more for those who want it.

Jul 20

2016 Update No.10 – July 2015

By Navig8r | Blokart News

The IBRA rules edition 5 are now complete…. After extensive consultation between the associations via their appointed IBRA reps the new rules are published, along with the approved accessories list.

You can download both the Rules and the accessories list from the IBRA page of the worlds website.

Here is a brief explanation of some of the changes.

Edition 5 rules issued in July, 2015, will be in effect from 1 January 2016 until approximately December 2017, after which a new edition of the rule may be published or this edition extended.

The following are some of the changes included;

  • Definitions Section added. Where there is a definition of a term the term is in italics within the rule.
  • Generic blokart parts such as pulleys and cleats now may be replaced with another generic part from your local shop rather than from blokart International Ltd. The part must be of the same size, and quality.
  • IBRA interpretations 001 to 004 are now integrated into the rules
  • The adjustment of side struts and their attachment to the chassis to alter mast rake is prohibited
  • The use of Adhesive tape on parts is expanded to allow
    o Plastic tube to stop the downhaul hook falling off
    o Plastic tube to hold the seat belt clip upright and in place.
    o Preventative taping of mast sections to avoid a split (100mm long only)
  • Plastic ferrules are allowed in both classes on the mainsheet guide webbing straps on the foot of the sail.
  • Sail battens may be modified (reduce thickness) in both classes.
  • Finger battens are limited to 2 between full-length battens, including the BIL standard finger battens.
  • Tyre sizes are now specified as a total wheel diameter tolerance
  • A double pulley can now be inserted into the production downhaul system at the lower attachment point instead of rigging through the mast ring.
  • Downhauls may only be attached to the tack ring of the sail
  • Safety equipment has been expanded.
  • Right of way rules updated and organised into sections to make them easier to learn. New competitors can learn the rules in section order and be safe on the course after learning just the first section, then become proficient on the rules after learning the subsequent sections.
  • Fundamental right of way rules updated to generic terminology so as to aid learning.
  • Mark rounding and obstruction rules updated to make them safer and more easily interpreted
  • Starting procedures updated
  • Penalty section updated with the philosophy of penalty being disqualification, and a competitor may exonerate the penalty by completing a 360 degree turn
  • Protest procedure updated and appendix with a protest procedure flow chart has been added.
  • Standard scoring system added.
  • Disqualifications must be carried in the point score, promoting competitors to accept responsibility. Competitors may retire during the mediation stage of the protest procedure.
  • Default weight categories added to part A,
  •  Weigh in procedure added to part A, competitors are not to wear shoes, and a common 1.5kg allowance for shoes and other safety gear is to be added to the competitors weight, the purpose of which is to avoid a competitor weighing in wearing light or heavy shoes and safety equipment in order to change their weight and then race with different safety gear.

Notes:

1. This is not an exhaustive list, it is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that they have read and understood the rules contained in this edition.

2. Note that carbon masts remain prohibited in the production class

Apr 16

2016 Update No.9 – April 2015

By Navig8r | Blokart News

Ok we have been a bit slow with the newsletters mainly because we have been doing so much blokart sailing. NABSA have just had their championships on the Ivanpah Playa, the same venue that they will be hosting the world championships at next year. They have reported that the playa is in great shape this year, and with the construction work across the highway completed it should now remain that way, those who attended the 2012 worlds will remember the construction vehicle tracks running right through the course.

We have set aside this newsletter for two very exciting topics. NABSA have decided to put up their North American Blokart Sailing Championships titles for the pre-worlds event.

The second part of this newsletter is another up date on the new IBRA rules. Edition 5’s draft is now in its proof reading stage before a vote will be done to adopt. We give you a quick insight into some of the changes it contains.

If you have any topic you would like us to explore, or have an article you would like to print in this newsletter, email or ask in the forum.

This Month

1. NABSC regatta

2. IBRA Edition 5

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North American Blokart Sailing Championships (NABSC) 2016

NABSA, the hosts for the 2016 worlds are extremely excited to share their championships with the rest of the blokart world. The pre-worlds was intended to give competitors some race practice on the courses that will be used for the worlds, as well as allowing the race team to fine tune and practice their procedures. However we expect with the added incentive of the North American title being up for grabs, this regatta will be every bit as competitive as the worlds.

The NABSC 2016 event will kick off with a NABSA welcome BBQ / Cookout on the playa on the registration day, and racing will take place over two days as mentioned in the Worlds Notice of Race (see pre-worlds race days). If this years NABSC event is anything to go by, the American sailors will have a high number of competitive sailors towards the pointy end of the fleet giving the rest of the world a run for their money.

Check out Steve Irby’s photos here

Or Geoff Sobering’s photos here

 

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IBRA Rules Edition 5

The IBRA committee has been working extremely hard since the start of the year when each IBRA member association submitted their requests for rule changes. The committee members have already met 3 times to work through the proposals, each meeting taking over 2 hours. A testament to how well the new leadership is working is that their have been some robust debates around making the rules simpler, easier to learn and consistent, while acknowledging where the sport came from, and where it is heading.

Edition 5 draft is now in its proof reading stage, with each committee member taking their time to throughly review and check the new document. The process from this point on is:

Stage 1: Proof reading, this is the current stage and is due to be completed by the end of April.

Stage 2: Association review.

Stage 3: IBRA vote to adopt

Stage 4: Edition 5 will be published, this is scheduled for late June / early July 2015

It it intended that the new rules will come into effect on 1st January 2016. However any regatta’s wanting to use the new rules before then may do so by clearly publishing in their Notice of Race.

 

Here is a sneak peek at some of the changes, this list is not all the changes, and don’t just take the words here as the rule… read the rule when it comes out so you can see what is allowable and also the limitations:

Document:

* Document format updated to make it simpler to read.
* Definitions section added to define words used, such as obstruction.
* Check lists for scrutineering included.
* Protest procedure flow chart included.
* Redress form added.
* Sailing rule aids added as an appendix.
Equipment:
* Carbon Masts remain prohibited in the production class.
* Slight change to the production downhaul to allow a double pulley at the bottom.
* IBRA interpretations 001 to 004 as found on the worlds website are now included.
* IBRA now sanctions accessories for use in racing by way of a list on the worlds website, this list defines when a part may be used from and which classes may use them.
* Adhesive tape rule expanded to allow rubber or plastic tubing, or string to hold a part in place.

* Generic blokart parts such as pulleys and cleats now may be replaced with another generic part from your local shop rather than from blokart International Ltd. The part must be of the same size, and quality.
Sailing Rules:
* Sailing rules split into sections where the sections can be learned one at a time by new competitors whilst remaining safe, rather than needing to learn all the rules at once.
* Right of way rules updated and simplified.
Protests & Penalties:
* Updated and simplified protest procedure with flowchart to follow.
* Penalty section revised to the philosophy of then penalty being DSQ, and you can exonerate the penalty by doing a 360.
* Mediation carries more weight, a competitor accepting fault during mediation may drop their retirement from the scoring, while a competitor disqualified during a full hearing must carry their disqualification in the scoring.
Scoring & Events:
* Standard scoring system included
* Standard starting procedure included, that may be changed by the Sailing instructions if needed, but there if a nothing is specified.
Feb 12

Rental Karts for 2016 blokart World Championships

By Navig8r | Blokart News

Blokart International Ltd are making available a limited supply of rental karts for the 2016 world championships.
These will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, to those traveling internationally to the event.
The karts will be rolling chassis’s only, no sails, no masts. They will be production trim only, no performance downhauls, pod’s foot plates etc. Kart bags must be given to BIL as soon as they are removed from the packaging so they can be kept clean for sale after the event.
Competitors are permitted to upgrade the rental kart to performance using their own equipment, but must return the karts cleaned and in production trim as supplied. Items like the mainsheet pulley and foot straps are not to be removed when upgrading the kart to performance
Wheel bearings must also be returned as supplied (ie: fully sealed and greased), we suggest if you want to used cleaned out bearings, or the blokart bearing shields that you bring your own.
Karts will be available for collection on the registration day of the Pre-worlds event (4th April 2016) or the registration day of the World championships (8th April 2016)
Cost to rent a rolling chassis will be NZ$500
To reserve your kart, please contact Ash by email.
Ash Rawson,
Ph +64 7 572 4256
Feb 05

2016 Update No.8 – February 2015

By Navig8r | Blokart News

Sorry about the lack of newsletters over the new year period, we have been working hard to release the Notice of Race. The NoR can now be downloaded and entries will open in September.

If you have any topic you would like us to explore, or have an article you would like to print in this newsletter, email or ask in the forum.

This Month

1. Notice of Race
2. IBRA Update
3. The official notice board

 

1. Notice of Race

The Notice of Race for the 2016 World Championships can now be downloaded from the worlds website. It includes all the dates for the event, the different divisions (same as the last 2 world championships) and details of different categories such as the Teams, Youth, Master and Grandmaster categories (more on that below)

To help run the event we are offering a discounted entry fee for those who are prepared to volunteer their time between races. The tasks for these volunteers will be to help with First Aid, track marshaling and start grid marshaling. Don’t worry we won’t fill up your entire downtime, the plan is to create a roster before the event starts, based on which division you are in and what the race schedule is, we won’t have you running to get to your duties, or back to your karts.

We have included a number of special categories which will be derived from the open fleet results to help encourage the youth competitors, and also the masters and grand masters out there. The entrants in these categories will also be eligible for the open category.

You can download the NoR from the official notice board

 

 

2. IBRA update

The IBRA committee has been working hard behind the scene collating the IBRA rule submissions. All associations have returned their submissions which are now being reviewed. This review process will take around 4 to 5 months and the new rules will be released towards the middle of the year in time for use at the 2016 world championships.

We thank everyone who helped their associations prepare their submissions.

Remember though, the submissions will be discussed by the IBRA committee and a decision will be made as to whether or not they are agreed upon and thus included in the update. Just because they don’t appear in the updated rules doesn’t mean it was ignored, its simply democracy at work.

 

3. The official notice board

Often people ask us where they can find the rules, and are surprised to learn that there is a notice board on the world website that not only has the rules PDF for download, but also the past IBRA interpretations dating back to 2011. Topics such as mast assembly order, pulley whip retaining strings, and the use of tape have all been on the notice board since the 2012 worlds available for all to see.

Remember it is your responsibility as competitors to know the rules and the interpretations. The IBRA committee can not email everyone individually to tell them what is going on, nor can it know who doesn’t know about the interpretations. IBRA does its best to keep people updated, but they can not read your emails for you, or know which clubs and associations are updating their members regularly.

The official notice board is the one stop shop for racing rules and interpretations. If its not there, its not an official ruling from IBRA.

Check out the notice board here

Nov 02

2016 Update No.7 – November 2014

By Navig8r | Blokart News

This month we bring to you some of the best blokart photos we have on file…. along with some great tips on starting better, followed by a quick update from the worlds committee on the organization of the 2016 event. Are now just 16 months away from the start of the 2016 worlds, The Notice of Race will be published soon and entries will be open in the second half of 2015.

If you have any topic you would like us to explore, or have an article you would like to print in this newsletter, email or ask in the forum.

This Month

1. Starting Techniques
2. Worlds Committee Update
3. Blokart Porn…. the best blokart images we have seen

 

1. Starting Techniques

Starts in most sports is by way of a grid, either stationary or rolling, where acceleration and position in to the first corner are paramount. What makes sailing (including blokart sailing) unique is that we jostle for position during a timed pre-start sequence rather than lining up in a preset grid position. How do we do this effectively, and get the best start we can, comes down to 3 key ingredients.

* Clean Air

* Speed

* Timing

Ranking the above, in order of importance, you can’t get speed without clean air, you can be right  on time, but thats hopeless without speed…. so clean air is king. To get clean air we must sail the pre-start in such a way to keep from being trapped below or behind someone, remembering that the sailing rules apply from the moment the countdown starts (not the start gun). Use the rules to defend your clean air, but not at the cost of speed.

Using the rules to keep clean air:
* Don’t let someone barge over the top of you on the start line, remember windward kart must keep clear
* Don’t put yourself in a position where a kart to leeward of you can squeeze you up head to wind… above close hauled with the sails flapping is not clean air even with no one to windward of you.

Start Super Heavy Weights, Perth 2014

Start Super Heavy Weights, Perth 2014 – Photo: Russell Harray (C)

Next comes speed, crossing the line below your target speed means you have to do all your acceleration after the start, all the while the others are already and full speed and creeping away from you (or blasting away if you are really slow).

How do you create speed?
* Sailing angles in the pre-start that build speed, avoiding those that slow you down
* Ensure there is no one directly to leeward of you in the final approach to the start line so that you can bear away and build speed
* Ensure you have clean air so you can sail more efficiently

Finally timing is important, but not as critical as most would think. It is often better to be 2 seconds late, but going at full speed and with clean air, avoiding the carnage right on the line.

Getting your timing right:
* Do consistent pre-start maneuvers, that you can time so you reach the start line at regular intervals (e.g. 30 seconds) then shorten or lengthen the maneuver so you get to the start line at the right time.
* In light winds don’t get too far away from the line, this is so you don’t get caught late if the wind drops

 

You can practice your timing with a piece of rope on the ground and a 2 minute countdown, circle around aiming to hit the top right on the zero of the count.

 

2. Worlds Committee Update

The NABSA committee preparing to host the world championships in 2016 are in full swing, David Midgley and his team are hard at work to help deliver a more social experience than ever before. The 2016 event will feature 2 dinners as previous events had, but also an organized happy hour every evening after racing. Daily spot prizes, and awards will be presented at the happy hour, highlighting some of the achievements of the day.

The committee is determined to improve upon the village atmosphere of 2012, by bringing the teams together throughout the day in one combined rigging area and under one tent.

The BIL team, responsible for the racing side of the event have been canvassing some of the worlds most experienced sailors, both at the competitive end of the fleet and the more social end of the fleet to provide fast, action packed, fair racing. Spectator involvement in the racing will be a big feature of the 2016 event as will an improved media presence.

Here are just a few of the areas the organizers are focused on:
* Happy Hours each afternoon after racing
* Daily awards and spot prizes at the happy hour
* Better village feel in the rigging area & main tent
* More versatile courses allowing racing to start in a wider range of wind conditions
* Better spectator viewing
* Increased presence in the media and on social media
* Introduction of a Lay-day during the worlds event

The social atmosphere at the 2016 worlds will be a focus of the organisers - Photo: Steve Irby (C)

The social atmosphere at the 2016 worlds will be a focus of the organisers – Photo: Steve Irby (C)

3. Blokart Porn

We have scoured our files and found some great shots we thought we would share with you guys from previous events…. enjoy

Paul Beckett in DEEP - Photo: Tony Smith (C)

Paul Beckett in DEEP – Photo: Tony Smith (C)

 

Ivanpah near sunset - Photo: Geoff Sobering (c)

Ivanpah near sunset – Photo: Geoff Sobering (c)

 

Santi Oliver Ivanpah 2012 - Photo: Steve Irby (c)

Santi Oliver Ivanpah 2012 – Photo: Steve Irby (c)

 

Photographer Unknown

Photographer Unknown

 

Somewhere in QLD, Australia - Photo: Tim Wootton (c)

Somewhere in QLD, Australia – Photo: Tim Wootton (c)

Matt Beckett Vs Lieven Marques - Photo: Steve Irby (c)

Matt Beckett Vs Lieven Marques – Photo: Steve Irby (c)

Next Update December 2014

1. Ivanpah 2015… Training Trip Anyone ??
2. IBRA Rules, where to find the rules, interpretations etc.

Oct 15

2016 Update No.6 – October 2014

By Navig8r | Blokart News

The team here at the Blokart World Championships apologize for the late release of this newsletter, our editor has been off sailing Grand Prix race boats for the past month (someone has to work). We hope you will find the newsletter informative, its packed full of some pretty big topics.

If you have any topic you would like us to explore, or have an article you would like to print in this newsletter, email or ask in the forum.

 

This month

1. Blokart V’s Mini Yachts… one design v’s mixed design, where does the blokart fit?
2. IBRA Update… an update from the September IBRA meeting, who will be the president of IBRA, what is IBRA doing?
3. New Blokart Products, a round up of the 2014 accessories, hub caps, mast protectors etc.

 

1. Blokart V’s Mini Yacht

Paul Beckett when inventing the blokart never intended for his machine to become another land yacht, he wanted something different, something smaller, something much easier to transport and something that anyone can jump in and have a go. He had no idea it would be so successful as a class for racing, thinking that it would be great a great recreational machine.

Whether or not its a racing class first and a recreational class second, or there other way around doesn’t really matter. All the matters is that there is now around 13,000 of them around the world sailing.

The blokart class was quick to distinguish themselves apart from the land yacht crowd who at the time were bogged down with rules that prevented close quarters racing, something which Paul enjoyed (ok maybe he likes it a little closer than close at times). The blokart group famously sailed rings around the land yachts who while they are faster, would sit around waiting for the conditions to be just right before getting out and doing it. The blokart attitude of “get out and do it” encouraged a raft of new competitors who had never even considered land yachting, prompting somewhat of a resurgence in the sport.

In response to the growing blokart fleet, and the dwindling Land Yacht fleet, the land yacht group developed a new class called the “Mini Yacht”, which now race a very similar format to the way the blokart races are run, with rolling “dial up” starts, and windward legs not just reaching legs. The new Mini Yacht rules allow for the close quarter racing that blokart racers have enjoyed for 14 years now.

So where does a blokart fit in now? Well a blokart fits nicely in the Mini Yacht rules, almost like they wrapped a piece of string around a blokart actually, they tell us that wasn’t the way it came about,  but the kiwi’s will know about beer companies advertising with the punch line “Yeah Right”. The best way to sum it up would be to use a car racing analogy….. Blokarts are a class, mini yachts are a group of classes and one-offs, just like in the Le Man’s 24 hour race you will have a Porche GT3 division but they are also able to race in the open category.

Close Quarter Blokart Racing

Close Quarter Blokart Racing

Blokart events are for blokarts only, just like a Laser sailing regatta is for Lasers only. But at a mini yacht event Blokart are able to compete, just like a Laser can go and compete in a mixed club fleet at your local yacht club.

So why would you compete in a blokart only event? Blokart only events are great to see who is the best sailor,  on the same equipment, where as a mini yacht rewards the machine over the sailor, he who can design and build the fastest machine will win.

How do blokarts fair against Mini Yachts? well at the 2014 land yacht worlds, not very good, they were beaten by karts which were heavier (up to 3 times heavier) carried more sail, and in our opinion were actually potentially quite dangerous with solid sharpened fairings. But all those things that make a custom Mini Yacht faster, were the exact reasons the blokart was born. Heavier means harder to transport – we can fly with our blokarts as checked luggage. Larger sail is only required because the karts are heavier, but it means higher sheet loads which makes the class less accessible to everyone. We enjoy a wide range of abilities all racing together. Blokarts are designed so that they are not crazy dangerous, the competitors who have crashed have often stated that they are glad the karts are so well designed as they would have expected much more serious injuries than they sustained…. even in some high speed kart vs kart collisions.

We don’t think of blokarts as land sailing, but sailing on land. We love that our class is so accessible to a wide range of competitors from 12 and 13 year olds, to competitors in their 80’s, Abled bodied professional sailors, and disabled (either physically or mentally) all sailing together and on a even playing field… we also love that its not always the competitor you think will win that does.

Imagine being hit by one of these Mini Yachts

Imagine being hit by one of these Mini Yachts

 

2. IBRA update.

The new IBRA Committee formed a couple months ago under the new agreement signed up to by the founding associations (EBA, ABA, NZBAI, and NABSA) has been hard at work since their first meeting in September.

The committee is made up of members elected by their associations on a proportional basis. They are:

Jan Meijer (EBA) who was elected by the group as the IBRA president
Nico Boel (EBA) who every knows as the EBA president
Javier Estarellas (EBA) who everyone knows that the equipment guru of spain

Jim Nordhaus (NABSA) who competed in the 2012 worlds, is an experienced sailor and has become a very active member of NABSA

Darren Bianchi (ABA) who is a very active blokart competitor in Australia, having run many of the Australia events.
Wayne Lewis (ABA) who is known in Australia for his “lets get it sorted” attitude and is an experienced blokart sailor since 2008

Barry Cole (NZBAI) who is member of the famous team ABC, and has competed at several world championships.
Ian Timperly (NZBAI) who is a promoter of the sport as a level, one design class and a support of almost every event he can possibly attend

Paul Beckett (BIL) who is just some guy the factory found laying around not doing much.

The committee during the first meeting asked Ross Vickers if he would stay onboard as a non-voting secretary to keep the group focus and document all the meetings, collate the responses from the various associations and keep the count for votes on motions.

Jan Meijer - IBRA president

Jan Meijer – IBRA president

The first order of business for the IBRA committee was to instigate a process and timeframe to undertake a full review of the IBRA Rules edition 4. Subsequently a letter has been sent to the founding associations outline that process and requesting submissions for rule review, or new rules that associations feel need to be included. The key requirement of these submissions is that it is the intention of the rule change or addition that the IBRA wants to know, not just a “this is what we want the rule to say”

A copy of the request letter can be viewed here:
IBRA Rule Submissions Letter to Associations

 

3. New blokart Products

Blokart International Ltd has recently released two new products:

The new Bearing Sheilds (AKA hub caps) designed to protect your bearings from dust, grit sand and salt. The kit includes a solution for the inside bearing as well as the outside and there is now additional seal available for those who use the big front fork so they can protect the beading agains the fork.

Bearing Shield jpeg

The second product, is the new Foiled Mast Sleeve Protectors. which features 5 foil type protectors that allow the sail to rotate freely on the mast while offering maximum protection for not only the luff pocket but also the batten pockets by “popping” the batten up off the ground. The Guru swears they also offer a performance enhancement by acting as a camber inducer…. lets see which way the cards fall on that one.

Foiled MSP pixelmator Jpeg

 

Next Update November 2014

1. Starting Techniques
2. Worlds Committee Update
3. Blokart Porn…. the best blokart images we have seen

Sep 01

2016 Update No.5 – September 2014

By Navig8r | Blokart News

Wow time is sure flying by, hope your training is coming along as it won’t take long for the 2016 worlds to creep up. This month we talk about an Americas Cup Technique that works in blokart racing,  How to use a GPS for blokart racing and The job of the PRO and why its no good blaming them

If you have any topic you would like us to explore, or have an article you would like to print in this newsletter, email or ask in the forum.

 

This Month

1. What is Wallying ?? – does anyone know?
2. Using GPS in blokart Racing
3. The PRO, what is their job? Why do we need one?

 

1. Wallying

Sounds a bit silly, but this technique hails all the way from the 1987 Americas Cup which was held just up the road from Lake Walyungup in a then little known town called Fremantle. This new strategy helped Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes to defeat the previously un-defeatable Plastic Fantastic’s in the Louis Vuitton  finals and ultimately go on to win the Americas Cup back from the Aussies. The name wallying came from the attempt by Conner’s crew to hide this technique by referring to it as another crew member “Wally”, they could often be heard saying “Wally says foot off a little”

The guts of the technique stems from mathematic probability and the fact that on a windward leg of the course, most sailors sail for VMG, which in itself is a smart strategy as we all know.

VMG for those non sailors out there is Velocity Made Good, and is the component of your velocity (heading and speed) that is made upwind, and is relative to the wind direction only, not the course you are sailing on. When you are between the lay lines on a windward leg, you sail for the best VMG so that you can make progress to windward, once you reach the lay line you then sail at the mark. VMG can not be “measured” by a GPS that has a way point at the mark as this will only give you the progress you are making relative to the mark, not relative to the wind direction. The progress to the mark is called VMC, which stands for Velocity Made Course.

So if you are between the lay lines, i.e.: unable to point straight at the mark, then its always better to sail to have the best VMG right ? Well thats a great strategy to focus on for 99% of the time. Doing this will certainly put you near the pointy end of the fleet if you can do it all the time, BUT, there becomes a mathematical point where even between the lay lines VMC can be increased by not sailing to VMG mode, but by footing off.

The most common time this is the case is when you are on the left side of the course, on port tack, and you get a big lift… if you are sure the lift won’t last, then the best VMC, is actually to foot through the lift, taking the extra speed, which in a blokart can be as much as 10km/hr faster footing off just 10 degrees.

Give it a go, it can be a bit hit and miss until you get the feel for when it works and when it doesn’t. On the big boats there are all sorts of electronics that can help with the decision, but in a blokart its pretty hard to rig up and calibrate a good anemometer so that can determine wind speed and direction, as well as the issue of running a computer with good charting software to give you a VMG vs VMC output.

Stars and Stripes - Wallying for the win in 87

Stars and Stripes – Wallying for the win in 87

2. Using  GPS on a blokart

The 2012 worlds at Ivanpah introduced the blokart world to Velocitek’s Speed Puck, intact Velocitek was a sponsor of that event. Many will remember the Auckland Blokart Club Team arriving with the Speed Pucks on their handle bars, with its massive display. 2014 in Perth stepped it up a notch again with some using speed pucks, some using gamins and other brands, and some using Velocitek’s new Pro Start.

Many used the GPS for bragging rights on top speed, but often it was not the top sailors getting the top speeds. If its not about bragging rights or the fastest speed, what are the top sailors using the GPS for? and how does it help them?

Lets focus on the Pro Start as used by Paul “Guru” Beckett. This GPS was developed by Velocitek who for years have focused on producing all in one tools for dinghies, sports boats, and skiffs. They have gained a huge following in the international moths, with almost 100% of the fleet of over 150 using one of their products at their 2014 World Champs.

The Prostart has two “modes”, pre start and race. The pre start mode is quite cool in that it gives you a count down timer that can be programmed in 1 minute increments from 1 minute to 15 minutes and also distance to the start line. The distance to the start line is programmed by “Pinging” the ends of the startling using the side buttons, but in practice, a blokart is moving quick enough at a venue like Ivanpah that the update rate of the unit just can’t keep up. So the Guru just uses the countdown feature.

10 seconds after the start gun, the display automatically switches to race mode, where it display’s speed and heading. It also has a graphical lift and knock display across the top. The Guru uses the speed readout to give him some guidance on what is the optimal “target” speed to aim for. Upwind this might be 18knots in a typical 12 to 15knot wind. If the speed goes above 20knots its time to point a little higher, and conversely if the speed dropped to below 15knots he would bear off slightly. This helps the Guru stay within his target zone upwind.

The opposite is true downwind too, when gybing downwind to reach the bottom mark, VMG is still important, so the Guru might sail to a target speed of 32knots in 12 to 15knots of wind, if it drops below 30knots, he will head up a bit to build speed, and if it goes about 35knots he will soak down and gain downwind distance.

How do you know what your target speed is? Well thats feel and practice. Go out before the race and line up with others to establish what the targets should be.

The second feature in race mode is the Heading, this is simply a compass bearing of the direction you are traveling. This can be very useful on large open areas like Ivanpah for determining wind shifts. If you come around the mark on starboard tack and the heading says 245,  but last lap it said 255, you know the wind has shifted left 10 degrees. Knowing this may change when you tack and which way you go up wind.

 

Why is all this important? Too many times we see people following the same lines, sailing the same angles lap after lap. This only works if the wind doesn’t shift, and that very very rarely happens. Having a target speed determines the angle you sail, not the heading, the heading only gives you an indication of the wind shift. Sail to your targets no matter what and you will see your results improve… kinda like watching your pennies and the dollars will look after themselves.

The Velocitek Prostart - Used by the Guru

The Velocitek Prostart – Used by the Guru

3. The PRO’s Job

Who is the PRO? What is there job? Why do they cope so much abuse? Are we just shooting the messenger?

The Principal Race Office (PRO) is the one standing at the end of the startling who runs the racing for us. Normally this is a volunteer role, and sometimes a sailor who has given up their own racing to help all of us.

Their role is to ensure races are run fairly, promptly, and to the instructions they are given by the race committee. They only make decisions based on the directions they are given. Often we see a few complaining about a decision the PRO has made, but when we dig deeper the PRO has simply acted on the instructions given. A notable example is whether or not to start racing;

Lets say the wind is shifting around 40 degrees (20 degrees either side of  a median wind direction), it is very light, but the wind is building. Do we race? some say yes, some say no, The PRO says no, but they cope a tirade of abuse from the “yes” camp… is it the PRO’s choice… No, they are only acting on the instruction given day’s before by the race committee who have said in that situation to wait until the racing is fair, we are intact shooting the messenger !!

Interestingly the “yes” camp often turn into the “its not fair” camp if the races are held !!!

 

The PRO’s daily tasks.

  • Attend the race committee meeting
  • Set the course according to the race committee’s request
  • Ensure the timing, safety and course marshal’s are where they should be
  • Decide if the race can be started, according to the race committee’s instructions
  • Start the countdown, hold the flags, ensure the starting rules are adhered to
  • Watch the competitors while racing for safety issues
  • Watch for changing conditions incase they fall outside the criteria set by the race committee
  • Shorten the race if needed
  • Abandon the race if needed
  • Hold the finish flag, and ensure the timing has gone smoothly or the back up system has been used.
  • Clear the course, and repeat as soon as possible to get the most races in.
The PRO at the 2010 Worlds - gave up racing to run the races for others.

The PRO at the 2010 Worlds – gave up racing to run the races for others.

 

Next Update October 2014

1. Blokart V’s Mini Yachts… one design v’s mixed design, where does the blokart fit?
2. IBRA Update… an update from the September IBRA meeting, who will be the president of IBRA, what is IBRA doing?
3. New Blokart Products, a round up of the 2014 accessories, hub caps, mast protectors etc.

Aug 06

2016 Update No. 4 – August 2014

By Navig8r | Blokart News

This month we talk about camping at Ivanpah with Team USA, and give you some tips on getting the most out of your training program, as well as a guide to rope splicing so you can make up your own downhaul systems and make your own spliced loop for main sheet blocks.

Next month we will talk about Wallying… an Americas Cup technique, that applies equally well to blokart sailing.

If you have any topic you would like us to explore, or have an article you would like to print in this newsletter, email or ask in the forum.

This month

1. The Ivanpah Campsite – Why camp on the lake bed with Team USA
2. Training tips – how to get the most out of your training
3. Rope Splicing – Brummel eye splices, soft shackle and Loops

 

Camping at Ivanpah

Tom Hill... Team USA Camp Master

Tom Hill… Team USA Camp Master

Those who attended the 2012 world championships will remember Team USA with their trailers, RV’s and big SUV’s, so why do they stay out on the playa…. in one word “Atmosphere”.

The atmosphere within the camp’s 20 odd campers is the main reason that many NABSA members make the pilgrimage to Ivanpah each year. Open air camp fires, BBQ dinners, games and plenty of stories to tell are just some of things that go on. Clear skies allowing the stars to light up so bright that you can sail late into the night… WOW what more do you want.

Led by Tom Hill, with his distinctive silver polished airstream the camp site its self as almost every imaginable amenity, power, running

Team USA, Ivanpah Campsite

Team USA, Ivanpah Campsite

water, even an open pit fire complete with NABSA’s signature kokopelli logo in a blokart. In 2012 they even had beer on tap !!!

Anyone thinking of making the trip to the 2016 worlds, and would like a unique experience should consider hiring an RV and camping out on the playa with Team USA. We are sure that you would be welcomed and made to feel part of the NABSA community. Often competitors have found that hiring an RV  with a few friends was actually cheaper a rental car… then you save even more without hotel costs.

RV rentals
Cruise America
Britz
Camper Travel USA

 

Getting the most out of your training

Training is the key in any sport, a study showed that to become a professional athlete takes 10,000hrs of training. While you might not be able to get to that figure and hold down a job, have a family, and do all the other things in your life… Any training is better than none.

So how can you get the best out of your training?

All you need is two karts of similar level to do some productive training

All you need is two karts of similar level to do some productive training

Establish a training group. Its more fun to sail with others right? its also better for your training to help each other get better. Pick your training partner carefully, its not going to help sailing against someone who is massively different in skill level to you, as you won’t find out if what you are changing or working on is making a difference.

Pair up with another sail who is a similar skill level, and speed to you. Then start trying things, make sure you set one person up as a baseline and only one of you change things. If your changes turn out to be quicker, apply this changes to the baseline sailor, and repeat the process over and over. Don’t just look for setup changes, in one design sailing, its often the techniques that make the difference. Focus on areas that technique can make a big impact, like mark roundings, starts, tacking, gybing. Remember to change just one thing at a time, or you won’t know which change made the gain

The gains you are looking for will be mostly incremental. That is one of the joy’s of a blokart one design, anyone can sail them, but the little tweaks, and technique changes are what will set the front from the back in any fleet. This is why it is not surprising to see the same guys up the front in all weather conditions, light or strong.

Key Points

  • Buddy up with someone of the same level
  • Set a base sailor each training day
  • Change just one variable or technique
  • Focus on technique as much as equipment setup

 

Rope Splicing

The Brummel Eye splice.
This is the staple splice of grand prix racing yachts, it is strong, and can’t pull out due to its locking feature before the bury.
Use this splice to attach your downhaul to the becket on a pulley, or on your pulley whip safety clips for a nice low profile, light weight solution to knots and shackles.

How to make a Brummel Splice (when both ends are free)
How to make a Brummel Splice (when only one and is free)

Brummel Splice

Brummel Splice

The soft shackle
A metal shackle is heavy, and takes up a lot of space. Soft shakles look like a seamless piece of rope, but are quick to undo and very strong, at a fraction of the weight of a metal shackle.

How to make a Soft Shackle

Loop, or Grog Sling
Sometimes all you need is a loop of rope, the Spanish team have used them for years to secure the main sheet to the mast…. this is how you can make your own rather than having to buy the expensive pre-made versions.

How to make a Loop or Grog Sling

 

Next Update September 2014

1. What is Wallying ?? – does anyone know? Find out next month
2. The PRO, what is their job? Why do we need one?
3. Using GPS in blokart Racing

 

Jul 15

2016 Update No. 3 – July 2014

By Navig8r | Blokart News

This month we were going to bring you an article about camping at Ivanpah with Team USA, but the trimming tips from the Guru presented too good an opportunity to pass up… we hope you enjoy his insight into trimming a blokart sail. Also this month we have an update on IBRA, and a collection of great videos from around the world.

You can also head over to the forum, where you can discuss topics like, the surface, the accommodation, what to see and do, and much much more.

 

This issue:
1. IBRA update – whats been happening with IBRA
2. Trimming tips from the guru
3. Video night – a collection of great videos to show your friends after dinner

ibralogo

1. IBRA update

Since the 2014 work champs in Perth there has been lots of behind the scenes work by a few dedicated blokart sailors. A few great steps forward have been taken with theWorld Championships which we all know about now. This will no doubt produce a bigger and better event for everyone going forward.

The International Blokart Racing Association, IBRA, has also undergone a transformation. Over the past 6 or 7 years IBRA has been led by a dedicated group of 5, representing the founding associations (EBA, ABA, NZBAI, NABSA) and BIL, and after working tirelessly under an informal arrangement the opportunity arose to formalize this group with an “Agreement” which outlines how the group operates, who is represented, how many representatives each association receives, and what their focus is to be on.

This new agreement will ensure that the class is well managed into the future, focusing on ensuring the 1 design class rules and the sailing rules are fair for all competitors world wide. Representation is now based on a proportional system allowing associations up to 3 reps to sit on the IBRA committee, making for a more democratic process.

The founding associations, can also vote on applications from other national bodies to join the IBRA committee, where their country is not represented by one of the founders. This will ensure that emerging regions can benefit from the IRBA knowledge base and help guide the class.

The founding associations will appoint their representatives in the coming months (if they have not already) and the new IBRA committee plans to meet in September.

 

2. Trimming Tips from the Guru

Sail Trim

Here are some pointers and examples regarding tuning your sails for power and speed.

Guys like Russell Harray are very fast and have their downhauls virtually loose and control the leech mostly by sheeting. This gives good power as the draft of the sail is 4500pap28deep and forward.  It is only with speed on long runs that the downhaul needs to be flatter, or with a shorter whip you can sheet in tight to induce more mast bend to soak up the draft to flatten the sail.

As the mast bends back it soaks up the draft and the centre of pressure moves back more to the middle of the sail and is better upwind, but if it is over cranked the sail inverts and has crows-feet coming out of the clew and batten ends etc and this is” dog slow”. Not good for the sail either.

Generally too much emphasis is put on cranking the guts out of the sail and this is often slower. I know when I was freaking out from getting my butt kicked by Darren,Tim and Gavin, I cracked the D/H on more and actually slowed down.  I let it off a bit and sailed slightly faster deeper angles which saved this little piggies bacon…but only enough for a fifth!

In very gusty conditions a softer first and second section allows the mast to bend and the sail exhaust the gusts allowing all wheels to stay on the ground and put maximum effort into projecting the Kart forwards, rather than popping up and you having to dump power all the time. Also the sail sort of pumps a bit when it comes back and gives little “lifts”. Dave Bush who was 115kg was a gun at sailing his 3m sail and always won the 90 mile beach and 100km marathons with this setup.

The stiffer the mast, the more downhaul needed to have the luff curve settle in and the more draft forward. A soft mast will bend too much and the draft will flatten out too much with hard downwnhall and not produce power, just bend off and invert.

Remember the sail is an aerofoil and will work best when it is smooth and presenting a nice shape in the prevailing conditions and Mast selection is a big part of this.

Sheeting Theory

Those who watched the 2014 Worlds edit below, would have noticed the different sheeting position use by some sailers, including Paul Beckett who explains the reasoning, as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxEtCVJcywg

Ok ,with relation to the sheeting system you saw with Santi and I in the video.  His was essentially the same as mine in the Mainsheet to ratchet block configuration.  With the difference being that his Ratchet lanyard attachment went around the downhaul setup and mine went through the top shackle and over the top of the downhaul sheaves.

With the Ratchet block over the top both setups give you a straight pull from the rear pulley on the sail along the foot of the sail and s such theoretically makes for less 4497pap10friction and a better feel of the power the sail is or isn’t producing if you have the Ratchet off.  In light air it is definitely an advantage to have the ratchet turned off so that you get more feel of the pressure in the sail.

I am preferring this setup over the production block position, which has a little more friction for the sheet to deal with, but it is a personal preference.

Additionally, this system keeps the mainsheet right away from messing with your downhaul setup.

The other main benefit I have found is that if you accidentally drop your mainsheet it is right there in front of you, you can see it,  so it is much easier to pick up than looking down under the tiller bar etc.

Down hauls – The Spanish setup is quite different to mine as it uses fewer blocks and uses the loop through the eye of the sail as one purchase,  it also has two adjustment points but still achieves the 6:1 maximum allowed in the Performance division.

The setup I use incorporating the “Ultra downhaul 2” with the snap shackle and swivel is the setup I prefer as you cannot hook up the wrong way as it just swivels into place, and the cleat is right in front of you.

If you couple this with the bungee running to the rear boom strap and a small reversing block it means your Down-haul parrell bead is just above your head and always out of the way if tensioned correctly (a little bit of pre-setup between sails makes for quick and Idiot-proof changes.

The reason for the 6:1 in performance is that the stiffer Mast sections require higher downhaul loads to set the sail into the luff curve and offers finer tuning of the draft of the sail for optimum trim. Some guys even have paint marks on their D/Haul chord or on the foot of the sail for reference. So the 6:1 just makes sail tuning easier.

Talk soon guys
Best Regards
PB……..Your local GURU, hahaahaha

 

3. Video Collection

We are finding more and more great videos every week, with Drones featuring of late the quality is on the improve too.

Here are some of our favorites:

http://vimeo.com/100425375

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdeJXlXNL30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXSj0CBKxaI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXFjeENzQFc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvwEiU1KQSw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDbSOJBeAhM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqg7g7nxWU8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W38bhT5BP

 

 

 

Next Update August 2014
1. The Ivanpah Campsite – Why camp on the lake bed with Team USA
2. Training tips – how to get the most out of your training

Jun 13

2016 Update No. 2 – June 2014

By Navig8r | Blokart News

The planning for the 2016 Blokart World Championships to be held on the dry lake of Ivanpah, USA, is coming along nicely. The host’s team, lead by Dave Midgley, are planning some great social events for the regatta, with happy hours each evening after racing and two awesome dinner functions.

You can also head over to the forum, where you can discuss topics like, the surface, the accommodation, what to see and do, and much much more.

 

This issue:

1. Things to do around Ivanpah – National Parks.
2. Weather Information – where to get the best forecasts.
3. 2018 Worlds Update.

 

Things to do around Ivanpah – National Parks

This issue of the 2016 update, we look at the National Parks located in the South West United States.

Near Ivanpah
lakemeadfromairLake Mead – Flanked by mountains and an around 1 hour drive east of Las Vegas, Lake Mead is home to marinas and secluded coves. Great for fishing, boating, kayaking, kite surfing and water skiing the area has campsites and RV lots make it an ideal base for exploring the lake and the Colorado River. There are plenty of walking trails for Hikers that take you through mountains and canyons, as well as roads suitable for cyclists and road trippers

Red Rock – Not far to the west of Las Vegas there is a spectacular stretch of red-hued crags and canyons, formed by sandstone that rises to thousands of feet above the desert floor. There are a number of marked trails thread through this landscape, some suitable for children and some for those desiring a more challenging hike. A myriad of animal and plant species live in the park, allowing for a few wild encounters on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

Valley of Fire – Valley of Fire is located in the Mojave Desert approximately 58 miles Northeast of the Las Vegas Strip.  Valley of Fire is the oldest Nevada State Park and was dedicated in 1935.  Valley of Fire State Park covers an area of approximately 35,000 acres.  Valley of Fire was named for the magnificent red sandstone formations that were formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs more than 150 million years ago (Mesozoic Era).  These brilliant sandstone formations can appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays.  Other important rock formations include limestone, shale, and conglomerates.

California
Death Valley – 120 miles west of Las Vegas over the boarder in California is Death Valley. An huge National Park, the region encompasses empty acres of sand dunes and desert, and contains the hottest, driest and lowest place in North America. But as well as desert there are many other natural features to explore: salt flats, faults in the earth, springs, crazy rock formations, ice-capped peaks in winter and wildflower meadows after the spring rains. This unique and changeable terrain is well set up for exploration by foot, bike and car.

Joshua Tree – Taking a page from a Dr Seuss book, the whimsical Joshua trees (actually tree-sized yuccas) Joshua-trees-6-7-13-thumb-600x337-52805welcome visitors to this 794,000-acre park at the convergence of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. It was Mormon settlers who named the trees because the branches stretching up toward heaven reminded them of the biblical prophet Joshua pointing the way to the promised land.

Sequoia National Park – The park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, one of the largest trees on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park’s General Grant Grove, home to the General Grant tree among other giant sequoias. The park’s giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres (81,921 ha) of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Indeed, the parks preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement.

Arizona
The Grand Caynon – Over millions of years, the Colorado River has carved a vast gorge in the Arizona desert, creating the Grand Canyon. A World Heritage Site, the Grand Canyon is a mile deep and, at its widest point, a staggering 18 miles across. You can drive to lookout points, the most famous of which is the South Rim, about six hours by car from Vegas. Or you can delve down into the canyon itself, either on foot, on a mule, or by journeying down the Colorado River. For those with more money than time, a number of helicopter tour companies make the journey from Las Vegas.

Utah
Zion National Park – Zion is a truly spectacular national park, with narrow trails winding up and along immense sandstone cliffs, creeks rushing through valleys, and jagged rocky outcrops spiking the sky. Slot canyons are scattered throughout this landscape, and there is the opportunity to undertake terrific adventures rappelling into the dark, cool depths of some of them. Keyhole Canyon is a particularly good place to try this out

 

Weather Information – where to get the best forecasts

Weather forecasting can be tricky business. So where can competitors find the best forecasts for the area and get a 250mb_mapfeel for what the wind is likely to do?

There are three really great weather models to chose from. The first and most widely used is known as the GFS model. This is run 4 times a day by NOAA (the US weather service) and does a good job at predicting the weather based on computer models up to 10 days out.

The second model is the CMC, which is similar to the GFS model, but run by the Canadian weather service. With a slightly different algorithm approximating the weather systems, this model can at times be more accurate dealing with thermal effects (sea breezes, katabatics etc)

The Third weather model is that of the ECMWF, which is the European weather model. This model is the gold standard in weather prediction, often forecasting hurricanes, tropical storms, cyclones etc well before the other two models. The draw back is that this model is not widely available to us the end users.

So where can I see the output from these models?

GFS – This is the most widely used and the one that most people are familiar with, but probably don’t realize it. Its the one that sites such as WindGuru, WindFinder, Seabreeze and many others use.

For Ivanaph the best way to view this model is via – Windfinder’s Ivanpah Forecast

CMC – This one can be a little harder to find, the best way to get this information is via Predict Wind.
Predict Wind is a great tool, created by Jon Bilger for the Alinghi Americas Cup team and commercialized in 2008. It gives four weather models at different resolutions based on a fee subscription basis ranging from Free to $500 per year. Predict Wind enables users to view both the GFS and CMC models, and also Predict Wind’s own PWG & PWC models with post process the initial two to include land effects, sea breezes, etc.

By comparing multiple models side by side you can easily see if there is confidence in the forecast or not. If the models are all saying similar things, you can be pretty confident that it is giving a good forecast.

ECMWF – Not easily found in a tabulated form due to its cost to commercial operators, the easiest way to view this model is via the standard weather maps directly from ECMWF’s website.

 

2018 Worlds Update

Wheretonext

As promised to the blokart community back in February this year, blokart International Ltd would like to formally invite bids to host the 2018 blokart World Championships. Bids will be collated over the next 12 months and in June 2015 those bids (should there be more than one option) will be presented by blokart International Ltd to the IBRA committee so that IBRA and BIL can work together in selecting the host. The host will be announced in September 2015.

blokart International Ltd wants to work with potential hosts to help them prepare their bids over the next 12 months, which will help generate the best bid package for the candidate and show that the hosts can work with the BIL team who have the event management responsibility. As this is the first bid process in this format, BIL welcomes constructive feedback on the ‘invitation to bid’ to ensure the event will be successful, and the bid process is as smooth as possible for future events.

Details on the process, and the invitation to bid can be found on the event website here.

 

Next Update July 2014
1. IBRA update – whats been happening with IBRA
2. The Ivanpah Campsite – Why camp on the lake bed with Team USA
3. Video night – a collection of great videos to show your friends after dinner

May 02

2016 Update No.1 May ’14

By Navig8r | Blokart News

Its been a few weeks now since the announcement of the 2016 Blokart World Championships to be held on the dry lake of Ivanpah, USA. As part of keeping the blokart community better informed with what is going on in the lead up to the event we will be regularly publishing this newsletter update.

You can also head over to the forum, where you can discuss topics like, the surface, the accommodation, what to see and do, and much much more.

This issue:

1. Draft Event Schedule.
2. Update from NABSA
3. Things to do around Ivanpah – For kids.
4. Key internet bookmarks.

Ivanpah ano copy-L

1. Draft Event Schedule.

After the 2012 and 2014 world championships we ran a competitors survey, in order to better understand what the competitors want, thus helping to shape the future of the event.

One of the key responses involved the event schedule, competitors wanted a balance between racing, training, sightseeing and social activities. We have tried to address this with the draft schedule allowing for a number of different combinations to allow for all levels of competitor from the ultra competitive racer to the casual participant who enjoys the social scene the event brings and the sight-seeing opportunities. Whilst on paper the event looks long, running 11 days, in actual fact there is ample time off from racing, two different start dates and a full weekend at either end for travel to and from the event, or for those getting their post regatta vacation started.

The NABSA Warrior

The NABSA Warrior

Day 1 – Monday 4 April – North American Blokart Sailing Championships (NABSC) registration, followed by welcome Cook-out hosted by NABSA
Day 2 – Tuesday 5 April – NABSC race day 1, followed by NABSA happy hour
Day 3 – Wednesday 6 April – NABSC race day 2, followed by NABSA happy hour

Day 4 – Thursday 7 April – DAY OFF, training, sight-seeing, shopping, etc

Day 5 /1 – Friday 8 April – Worlds registration, due to popular demand competitors will be required to check in and weigh in for each event separately, This will be followed by the Welcome dinner, hosted by NABSA
Day 6 /2 – Saturday 9 April-  Worlds race day 1, followed by NABSA happy hour

Day 7 /3 – Sunday 10 April – Worlds race day 2, followed by NABSA happy hour
Day 8 /4 – Monday 11April – Worlds race day 3, followed by NABSA happy hour

Day 9 / 5 – Tuesday 12 April – DAY OFF, more training, sight-seeing, shopping etc

Day 10/6 – Wednesday 13 April – Worlds race day 4, followed by NABSA happy hour
Day 11 / 7 – Thursday 14 April, Worlds race day 5, followed by the presentation dinner hosted by NABSA.

** note ** this is still a draft and may change, the notice of race will outline the final schedule.

 

2. Update from NABSA

The North American Blokart Sailing Association (NABSA) is extremely excited to be hosting the 2016 world championships. Already they have a strong team of volunteers, led by Dave Midgley, who are looking forward to helping by providing great social events, and are planning some great meals and happy hours.

Dave "Carnivore" Midgley

Dave “Carnivore” Midgley

There will be an opening cookout on the lake bed (playa) welcoming the international guests to the event, and happy hour each night after racing, also on the playa, where competitors can get together an experience what the NABSA team experiences every year. The locals will be more than happy to share the local secrets that you can explore on the lay days, or after the event, sights like Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire.

The Cook Out 2014

The Cook Out 2014

There are some significant changes to the Ivanpah lake bed in the works in the coming year that will improve access and facilities compared with the 2012 event. A new access road is being constructed that is off the lake bed (more towards the rail line) allowing for an increase in sailing area. Also permanent toilet and picnic facilities are being installed.

 

Competitors wishing to camp on the lake bed will be welcomed in to “Camp USA” with open arms, and will no doubt be given a unique experience.

Camp USA

Camp USA

NABSA is responsible for the social functions and hosting their international guests, BIL is responsible for all racing and logistics for the event, and as such all enquires or questions regarding the event are to the directed to

 

 3. Things to do around Ivanpah – For Kids

Should we bring the kids? this is a question we get a lot, many believe that Las Vegas is no place to bring children, some believe that Ivanpah is in the middle of no-where with nothing around. Well here is a list of what there is for kids to do around Ivanpah, we encourage kids to come sail and play, and are sure they will have a ball.

At Ivanpah
* The campsite, this will be a great place for kids to hang out, watch the racing, join in with the happy hour, fly their kites, ride their bikes, sail causally after racing.
* Primm, yes it is a casino town, but there is some (ok a little limited) attractions, at Primm Valley resorts there is the outlet shops, at Buffalo Bills the log ride, roller coaster, the frog hopper and the arcade. There is also the cinema. Children are permitted in the restaurants, and ARE permitted to cross the gaming floor to get to restaurants, shows, and their hotel rooms.
* Nipton, is a great little town located at the southern end of Ivanpah dry lake, it has a great cafe and ice cream shop. Well worth the visit.

Nipton

Nipton

 

Las Vegas

* The casino’s, whilst children are not permitted to gamble, almost all the casino’s have great attractions for kids, ranging from rides, to exhibits, to shows such as Cirque du Soleil.
* Rides;
Stratosphere, 4 massive rides on top of a building…. crazy crazy crazy.
Fremont Flight Lines, Zip lining (flying fox),
Circus Circus, 5 great rids, including an indoor double loop, double cork screw roller coaster, as well as great selection of junior and family rides.
– New York, New York, ride the Manhatten Express, the longest roller coaster in Vegas
* Cirque du Soleil, 8 Shows in Vegas, “O” is simply amazing, kid’s will love it. (under 5 years not permitted)
* M&M World – Yum Yum Yum.
* Video Arcades can be found at; Circus Circus, Exaclibur, New York New York, Game Works, Riviera
* The Strip, just walking down the stip you will see street performers like Spiderman, Sponge bob, Buzz Lightyear etc.
* Town Square, features the children’s park with slides, a hedge maze, merry-go-round, and a children’s theater
* Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, over 100 hands-on exhibits in arts, sciences, nature, musing and humanities.
* Tournament of kings at Excalibur, medieval dinner and show
* Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, Aquarium with sharks, crocodiles, komodo dragons, and octopus.
* The Golden Nugget, Waterside through the shark tank
* Indoor Sky Diving, Much safer for the parents nerves than the real thing
* Dig This, a sponsor of the 2012 worlds, you can dig til your hearts content (14 years and over)
El Dorado Canyon, Tour the gold mine.

Circus Circus Adventuredome - Las Vegas

Circus Circus Adventuredome – Las Vegas

Around Las Vegas

* Cowboy Trail Rides – Horse trekking Red Rock Canyon
* Hoover Dam / Lake Mead – The dam itself is pretty impressive, but there is also Kayaking, and boat rentals.
* Ski Las Vegas – Snow skiing from November to April
* Red Rock Canyon
* The Valley of Fire
* The Grand Canyon

Ski Las Vegas

Ski Las Vegas

 

A little Further afield


* Disney Land, 3.5 hrs drive
* Universal Studios, 4hrs drive
* Knott’s Berry Farm, 4hrs drive
* Six Flags Magic Mountain, 4hrs drive
* Basket Ball, Ice Hockey, NFL Football, Baseball, take the kids to see an uniquely American Sport
* Beaches, California is the surfing capital of America… get to the beaches around LA, San Diego or even Mexico

Knotts Berry Farm

Knotts Berry Farm

4. Key internet bookmarks

Keep an eye on these websites for details on the 2016 blokart World Championships as we get closer to the event
* Event Website, all the details
* Official notice board, all the rules, NoR, Sailing Instructions etc.
* Facebook page, quick bits of news and trivia about the event
* Competitors forum, somewhere you can discuss the event, the rules, the conditions and what to do and see.

Next issue:

1. 2018 Worlds Update.
2. Things to do around Ivanpah – National Parks.
3. Weather Information – where to get the best forecasts.

Apr 14

2016 blokart World Championships

By Navig8r | Blokart News

As we leave the 4th blokart world championships behind and move forward to the 5th we have been working on ways to make the event bigger, better and more beneficial to the whole blokart community. We have looked at all the feedback we have received not only from the competitors but those behind the scenes who have organised and hosted the previous 4 editions. The blokart community with its intense spirit and camaraderie never ceases to amaze us as blokart class sailing continues to grow internationally.

2014 Worlds - Super Heavy Weights

Over the past year we have been working hard with various stakeholders in the event ranging from our own staff, the 4 founding associations of IBRA, and various individuals who are doing some great things within the blokart community. We have been talking with two potential hosts for the 2016 world championships prior and since the recent 2014 event in Perth, the goal being to make future events simpler and easier for hosts in the future, to host their international guests, and put as much effort and resource into giving each event a local flavour, whilst allowing the racing, race management and format to remain familiar and standard thus raising the level of competition.

In the past the whole event from social activities to prizes, from racing to the publicity was a big ask for a host to prepare and excel in all areas.  This became the

predominate feature of events in the lead up and the surveys and debriefs after the events. Having taken the feedback and built a way forward that will take that pressure off the host and allow the blokart world championships grow to be an even better event.

We will soon be publishing the hosting criteria and bid format for the 2018 world championships and calling for hosts to work with us to select where the event will go in the future. This call will be made in late June, early July this year, and allow hosts a full year to work with us on their proposals. The key here is to work together to ensure the ongoing success of future events.

The Team at blokart HQ is taking on board a leadership role at “World Event” level and will work with clubs and associations to co-ordinate and grow the class, with better publicity, a standard event format, and an awesome local flavour.

2012 Worlds Ivanpah

With all that said, it is our great pleasure to announce the hosts of the 2016 worlds.  We have been working with two potential hosts since mid 2013, when the requests for bids was advertised on the event website.

Ultimately the decision was made much simpler with one of the two having to withdraw last month, due to their intended venue not being guaranteed. We look forward to working with them again over the coming year to see if that dream can be realised in 2018 or 2020.

Santi Oliver has called the 2016 venue “The Cathedral”, it has also been named “blokart Mecca”. In April 2016 the blokart World Championships will be returning to Ivanpah dry lake, situated 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, USA.

The NABSA team are focused and are working closely with blokart International to once again host the world blokart sailors. With easy access for all competitors through either Los Angeles or Las Vegas, and its fabulous surface, climate and wind conditions we are sure this will be the biggest blokart World Championships yet.

The Notice of Race will be released November 2014, complete with the event format and entry criteria, and the event website will be updated in the next few weeks with venue details. We encourage competitors to ask questions about the venue, accommodation, and their equipment on the event forum, however any questions about how the decision was made, or early indications on a wish to host a future edition of the world championships should be made directly with the blokart International Team.

Early notifications and Timing of events within better managed time-frames will assist competitors and supporters to plan toward what promises to be a continued growing movement of Blokart 1design sailing events and camaraderie internationally.

We look forward to seeing you all again a great event

2016 Blokart World Championships
Ivanpah Dry Lake,
California, USA

4 April 2016 to 14 April 2016

 

Blokart World Championships
Blokart International Ltd

Event Website
www.blokartworlds.com

Event Noticeboard, Rules, Notice of Race
www.blokartworlds.com/sailing/rules

Competitors Forum
forum.blokartworlds.com

 

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Feb 24

Update on the Next Worlds – 2016

By Navig8r | Blokart News

Here is an update from the Blokart International Team on the next event 2016, and future of the event going forward.

Hi to all,
 
We are going to change the way future blokart world championship events are managed.  We will be posting more detail publicly soon but we wanted to give a  you a heads up in advance regarding the development of the “One Design” class of blokart sailing.  Not necessarily because of any club or association affiliation but because of your commitment to see the community grow.

Going forward from now, including the up coming “2016 Blokart World Championships”,   blokart international will be directing the event management for any blokart world championship events.

We see that for the “blokart sailing” class to achieve its full potential we need a greater level of governance and consistency from event to event.  The only way to achieve this is to have consistent management from event to event.  

Regarding the three key parties involved in the running events to date, all will still have their roles.  These roles and responsibilities will be clarified and in some places adjusted.

-IBRA focus going forward will  be better organized in terms of administering,  updating and communicating the rules where required and at events will provide the scrutinizing and protests panels.

-The host club will be responsible for securing the chosen venue and all necessary permits, as well as hosting all social aspects of the events, and helping out with volunteers for various roles.

-BIL will be the event manager and take responsibility for all  communication, confirming selection of venue, release of information by set dates, PR, sponsorship , race timing etc. (these tasks will be done in consultation with the host and IBRA committee)

Each group will be able to request volunteer / assistance from the others where necessary in the interest of achieving the best result for all stakeholders.

We expect future event locations will be confirmed 3 years in advance (not as is currently happening straight after the last event- although this next one will need to be that short by default)   So we will confirm where the location of the 2016 event shortly.  We have had discussions with a couple of parties prior the recent worlds and expect we can confirm the 2016 venue in the next 6 – 8 weeks.

 2018 will be decided end of 2015, 2020 will be decided end of 2017,and so on.   

We plan to have complete details we can publish within the next few weeks with the” hosting criteria” and the timeline which will be on the worlds website (in brief terms) outlining details like;  To bid you must have the approved venue permits secured etc. with details of, time of year,  weather patterns,  social activities,  venues, accommodation availability etc.  

Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions. 

Kind regards,

Matt