Last month seen some buggy races in Europe
The scene once again met each other on the beaches to see who manoeuvres fastest around the track. We spoke with the riders and here are their reports on last months races.
First race for the 2017-2018 Dutch kitebuggy championship @ IJmuiderslag (The Netherlands), 7-8 October 2017
Last season was plagued with bad weather during all planned races so we had too many cancelled races. Now, the first race for the 2017-2018 Dutch kitebuggy championship was due to take place and again we had terrible weather with rain and a completely drowned beach at IJmuiden.
The first racing was cancelled but the weather forecast for the second day seemed promising.
The wind was parallel to the beach and since IJmuiderslag is a narrow beach it meant a lot of down- and upwind tacking to do… So it was going to be a tactical and technical race… going fast wasn’t the only thing to pay attention to.
The first race started and I am chose the Aero 14. I had a good start and I was leading the pack towards the first upwind buoy. The next downwind section was a challenge… It wasn’t possible to ride it in one tack so I made a small mistake by tacking one time too many because of some water pools I was trying to avoid….David van Boven saw me struggling and he took the lead. The wind was playing with us : on, off and changing directions…really strange. I finished 2.
The second race I had another good start, but in 2nd place I arrived at the first buoy and was to remain in that position. The sun was now fully out and the beach was dry…finally good racing like in the old days !
The third race I won….still riding the Aero 14 and I am so pleased with this kite.
The last race of day was my only chance to beat European champion David van Boven….I needed to win this race, only then I will have won the race weekend.
The wind had dropped a bit so I took out the Aero 17 UL and rode it on 14.5 mtr lines. With so much tacking to do, short lines are a good choice as they make the kite turn faster.
I again had a good start and was leading the pack again… at least that was what I thought! I looked behind and saw the other riders going towards another buoy…mistake…I was heading towards the wrong buoy…I was just too focused on winning this race that I forgot where to go. Not only that, the next buoy I passed on the wrong side….My teammate Arjen van der Tol shouted to me and luckily I heard him…I turned around, backtracked to the buoy and passed it on the correct side. I am now last….now it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to win the race. I pushed myself hard and managed to overtake many riders….I finished 3rd…not bad at all given my bad start but not the result I was aiming for. Well, that’s racing and being too focused on winning is sometimes not the best way to win.
In the overall weekend results I finish 2nd after David van Boven and Mark van Den Berg 3rd.
Since David is not ranking in the Dutch national races (he is Belgium), it means I am now leading the Dutch ranking in the Master Class…all thanks to the excellent performance of the Aero.
Les Hemmes France 14th October
Race report by Eric Leegwater
Pictures: Anna Zaza
Les Hemmes beach in Northern France near Calais is kitebuggy paradise….no doubt about it.
It is probably the largest and widest beach in Europe and ridable with all wind directions. It is simply the best beach I know and a potential candidate for the 2019 European championship.
So when the local sailclub organizes a kitebuggy race, you know it will be an epic event.
The race was well attended with many French riders but also riders from Belgium and Holland.
To make the race even more attractive, David van Boven, the current European champion, was racing as well: He was the man to beat! The atmosphere was relaxed as we had a steady sideshore wind, the beach was dry and the sun was out.
The first buggy race I decided to take out the Aero 20 on 21 mtr lines….all other riders ride a 14-15 m2 kite so I knew I was going to ride too big anyway… Why did I still do it? Because I can.
I just wanted to see how the 20 would compare against the other smaller kites….as expected: downwind I was much faster, but this speed was countered by the turns which were way too slow. Upwind I could keep up with the smaller kites.
I ended up in 6th place. It was a good exercise but not to be repeated again as the wind was picking up slightly for the next race. I downsized to the Aero 14. In the meantime, the race master had added an extra buoy to the race course… exactly what I like: technical racing!
The second race started and I had a good position, riding wheel to wheel with David van Boven and Julien Dietens… This is what close racing is all about. The upwind section poses a challenge : it was possible to tack straight to the next buoy, but that required riding through soft sand.
French PL rider Freddy Krysztofiak was just behind us but decided to turn around and tack towards the hard packed sand; a very wise decision as he made it to the next buoy much faster than us and wins the race ! Excellent tactical riding ! I finished this heat 3rd just 1 millisecond behind Julien… So close!
The third race I decided to downsize again to the Aero 11. Another buoy had been added to the race course and I felt that a smaller kite would make my turns go faster which in the end should help me. It worked out well, this heat I finished 2nd.
The last race of the day was the icing on the cake… It would be the 4th race thus allowing me to “scrap” the bad results of the first race…provided I would do well this race. Another buoy had been added close to the floodline but it was not visible from a distance since the beach is so wide.
During the first lap, the racemaster rode in front of us with his car as to show us where to go…. A bit of sea mist made it even more challenging to find the buoy.
With each next lap, I couldn’t locate that buoy easily, so I just followed the tracks on the sand and hoped I was heading in the right way.
Luckily, it all worked out quite well as I finished this heat in first place!
In the overall results I became 2nd. David van Boven 1st and PL rider Julien Dietens 3rd.
The top 5 contained 4 PL Aero riders!
I would like to thank the French Buggyclub Les Islandais and the local sandyacht club for organizing this event and hope to come back soon for more racing and free riding on Europe’s nr. 1 beach.
Sankt Peter Ording, second run of the 17/18 German buggy championship
Words: Louis Scheppan, Carl Lennard Redecker, Jan Laurens Redecker
Carl: “Since the first run was cancelled due to bad weather these were the first races for the season 17/18. The prediction of the weather wasn’t the best, but we have driven already 4 races this weekend. The weather was foggy and cold. The wind conditions were really difficult and different on the race course. Behind the dunes there was absolutely no wind, but also on the rest of the beach the wind speed was less than 3 m/s.”
The first two races where driven by the master class. In the first one Jan Laurens had a brilliant start and leaded the race for two rounds. Unfortunately he had some bad luck and ended up on the 6th place. Calle made the 5th place. In the second race Jan Laurens ended up on the 6th and Calle 4th place.
Louis: “After the Masters the open class also started two races. With the 11m2 Aero and after an very exciting battle with Lukas Schüpping (category men) , I´ve reached the first place overall and also first place of the juniors. The course where also very difficult to drive, because there were 13 turning points in it. But the Aero was very good, that I where very fast on the course. The second race also where very exciting, because there are many little crashes between some kites after the start so it was difficult to dodge. That´s why I could not keep up with the leading drivers for the first moment. But another time the Aero was perfect to drive so I could catch up the head start. That´s also why I reached the 2nd place overall and the 1st place in junior class. “
On Sunday the weather was better, wind speed about 4-5 m/s and no clouds in the sky.
Louis: “The first race was the most exciting race I´ve ever driven. After the start I was on place 3, but over the laps I could overtake the 2nd place. The last lap was the decisive round because I could catch up to the first place. 100m before finishing the race I overtook the first place and could win this race. So 1st place overall and also another time 1st place in junior class. In the 4th and last race I also could reach the first place in junior class and another second place overall. So all in all it was an very successful weekend for me and the Peter Lynn racing team. Hopefully I can repeat this nice results at the next competition coming Easter weekend also at Sankt Peter Ording.
Jan Laurens’ start in the first race was not the best, that is why he made the 11th place. I made another 5th place with the Aero 14m².
The second race on Sunday was really hard-fought, a lot of riders battles closely together. My start was not the best one, but I could manage to defend my 6th place. Jan Laurens got 8th.
In the overall ranking of that weekend I got 5th with 2 points missing for the podium and only 8 points behind me Jan Laurens was on the 10th place. Quite close within the top 10 but the first step for the World Championships 2018 on Borkum is done. We are looking forward to the next run of the German Championships at Easter 2018.