North American Blokart Sailing Champs. (2 day warm up event) (pdf)
Unfortunately it rained between the two events, so there was no racing on 9th to 12th April due to the formerly dry lake being flooded.
Message from Paul Beckett
So the 2016 World Championships are behind us with another great event, albeit under testing circumstances as it turned out. All preparations for the event were brilliantly attended to by the NABSA boys and as usual their hospitality was first rate.
The Pre world event being the NABSA Nationals went off without a hitch over two days with great sailing and an opportunity to shake down the Canterbury blokart Club timing system. Terry Helm and his team did an amazing job with all results accurate and on time.
Practice day for the worlds was pretty low key with a number of competitors who had not sailed the first two days setting up and practicing for the main event. The Meet and Greet for the 2016 Worlds and awards for the NABSA event was held with many competitors renewing old friendships and anticipating the racing in the coming days.
Unfortunately mother nature had a different outlook on events and over the next two days it rained starting a 4.00am on the morning of registration and continued off and on for the following two days. It was ominous that we had managed to coincide the worlds with the biggest rainfall for the region in 75 years. We were caught by surprise and by morning the playa (Lake Ivanpah) had an inch of water on it, and by the time the rain abated there was no chance of a start. The Mud was so sticky you could not walk on it as it packed underfoot and to everything it touched and clogged everything
After much anxious deliberation a rescue plan was organised and with the ingenuity of I think of Jim Nordhaus, Dave Midgley, Scott & Dean and the NABSA guys and other competitors and helpers a cunning strategy was employed. The plan was to make a raft of plastic sheeting and cardboard from the side of the lake out across the mud to the main tent. Scott, Dean and Patty picked up the rolls of plastic from the building supplies on the way back from scoping Red lake. It was unsailable also.
There were about 50 blokarts, timing gear and more importantly, beer to retrieve. All was needed if we were to set up again…. So the newly acquired plastic sheet and folded boxes from the back of the mall were taken to the lake where a swarm of helpers built the bridge to the tent.
Time was of the essence as the thunderstorms were building and it was raining again at the bottom of the lake about 4 miles from the tent and closing in, so it was with greater urgency the mission was undertaken, with the last of the team being driven off the lake by a bitter cold wind and big spots of rain. The Lake equipment rescue was a great exercise in its own right with a great spirit of team work and camaraderie, and by 1.00 pm that day all gear was off the lake for an eventual start if we could find a new venue. Unfortunately some of the guys with motor homes and trailers were stranded for a week, however we managed to get all the racing gear off the lake.
It was a real shame that the race village had to be abandoned because many of the boys had planned to stay out on the desert with the locals for some great evenings of fellowship and refreshment around the now famous NABSA fire pit, but there is an up side… It may have saved us from a few fuzzy mornings though!!!… and Tom Hill managed to make his scotch last longer.
The guys tried to persuade the Casino to give us permission to sail in the rear parking lot of Buffalo but were vetoed by their Lawyers… so the search went on!. With only two days remaining we looked to the other side of the highway behind Whisky Pete’s which was less affected by the rain and being higher was drying out much faster so we were able to set up and get away enough rounds to make an event of it.
Day one of the 2018 Worlds saw some excellent conditions for racing with the playa being as smooth as silk, the only drawback being shifting winds and patches of dead air in the thermal conditions. However, the results did show the experienced guys still excelled and then others did not fair so well… I will put my hand up at this point.
Day two saw a promising start but the wind went patchy as the day progressed with shifty conditions and race hold-ups, fortunately by the 3.00 finish of racing we had managed to get enough rounds in for our drops… WHEW! Then, wouldn’t you know it, the wind filled in and some took advantage of some free sailing for a short time.
So that was that, and with a surge of activity the whole event was packed down and everybody was back to their hotel apartments for showers and refreshments and then to the Awards Dinner and prize giving. Again the Casino put on a great meal in the main Auditorium with tables set, and podium and staging looking great. The overhead projector with footage from the racing was playing which made for some great conversation and an air of anticipation, and a feeling of relief. Joking and laughter was in the air as many speculated as to who was up for a podium spot, or not!.
Another great final curtain to a challenging but rewarding week held on Ivanpah. Real appreciation again to The NABSA team and the organising committee for a job well done, and to all for working well together under extraordinary circumstances.
Thanks to all the organisers and timing guys and marshals and volunteers. Thanks to Steve Irby and to all who provided some great images and movie footage. Thanks to Ross for the programming and compiling the material from across the event and formatting the evenings proceedings.
Some great Drone footage was provided By Sean Fidler who skilfully maneuvered his drone above the fleet, unfortunately sacrificing his machine by flying low into a mast of an oncoming Kart in one of the races. (Refer video from Ross Vickers on right at 7:25). Thanks Sean for the great footage and thanks to Tiffany for recovering the card from the playa so we could see some great racing.
News from Santi was eagerly received when he extended an invitation to all to come to Spain for the 2018 championships. BKI will be working with IBRA and the Spanish association and assisting wherever we can to make this event a reality.
Matt and I on behalf of all competitors want to again extend a big thanks to NABSA and to all the guys who had put in countless hours to make it such a great and successful event in spite of the challenges.I am sure there are many stories yet to be told.
So that was the worlds 2016 wrapped up and from there people went off on sightseeing, extended holidays, and home.
So what is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata… It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.
So keep posted for news on the 2018 worlds. Be sure to be there.
Best Regards[br] PB
From Ross Vickers:[br] (Including Drone Crash at 7:35)
From Alex Moris:
His write up can be read here on the NZBAI site.
From Sean Fidler:[br] Flooded Lake:
From Michael Denton: