The 2017 European Kite Buggy championship was held at Hoylake from the 29th of Aug to Sep 2nd. This location is one of the premier kite buggy locations in Europe and this year the beach and weather conditions were perfect. After the usual scrutineering we opened the beach for free practice, this was an opportunity to size up the competition and the latest equipment. Eric Leegwater (NL) and Adrian Lavelle (UK) report:
Adrian: “Hoylake is my local beach so I was playing my cards close to my chest in regards to setup, but unfortunately the beach conditions are almost identical to Les Hemmes so the European competitors quickly got to grips with them.”
Eric: “Finally, after 6 years of international racing, we have excellent weather for the 2017 European kitebuggy championship at Hoylake, UK! We have wind, sunshine, no rain and a dry beach ! Epic conditions ! 4 racing days to come !”
Eric: “It is good to see so many riders using the Peter Lynn Aero kites. With 44 riders participating about 11 of them are already riding the Aero’s. The first racing day starts a bit later in the afternoon because of rain early in the morning. The beach is dry so the Racemaster tells us that we will stay dry ; if we find water on the beach, we most likely are lost and not racing on the course “
Eric: “Well, somehow, all riders seem to have hit a pool of water because of we all get wet during the first race. The race course is long : about 5 km and plenty of markers (13 in total) making it not only a fast race but also a technical race. I am aiming for a top 10 place overall and on the first racing day we ride 3 races. I ride fairly consistent with the Aero 14 on 14.5 mtr lines and with a 5th place overall on the first day so far I am happy. The top 5 consists of 4 Peter Lynn Aero’s !”
Adrian: “This was the first time I had a chance to pace the Aero against a European fleet and I was unsure of how my performance would be, I had the usual butterflies in the stomach prior to the first race but as soon as we started they were quickly replaced by the adrenalin rush of racing in a large fleet. Unfortunately my starts were letting me down a little and I had to work through the fleet, the only problem with this is the top pilots are all competitive so overtaking becomes progressively harder, but on the last race of the day I got a good start and finished first with a good lead on 2nd. This left me with 3rd for the days racing.
Day2: Less wind
Adrian: “With the delay in starting due to rain we were rewarded with another onshore breeze and sunshine, the course was another 13 mark behemoth and the Aero 14 seemed to be the best size. Race one of the day I managed another win but this time I had to fight through the pack, I followed this up with a 2nd and 5th leaving giving me 2nd for the day. “
Eric: “We ride three races again today and I use the Aero 14 and 17, both on 14.5 mtr lines
The beach is dry, no more water, the sun is out and I forget to put suncream on….I feel the sun burning. Again, I ride fairly consistent without any mistakes except my chickenloop releases during a upwind turn right after the start…hard to get it back and secured whilst riding !
The day finishes with a 7th place overall.”
Day 3: WIND!
Adrian: “ The 3rd racing day proves even better : More wind up to 4 BFT. The winds were higher so I had the first opportunity to fly the 11m at the event, this kite was performing well against the fleet, I was able to catch the leaders but again they don’t make it easy for the overtake, but again I was happy with another win in the 2nd race. Another 2nd for the days racing.
Eric: “We ride 4 races today and with a very good start every time I manage to take the lead a few times for 1 or two laps. This time I am not chasing; I am the one being chased !
Eric: “The 11 proves very to be very good in downwind acceleration, allowing me to pass the downwind sections easily and fast. During the 5th race of the day, a tragic accident happens with a French rider causing all further races for the day to be canceled. The French rider is airlifted by helicopter to the hospital. We all feel sad for him and can only wish him a speedy and full recovery.
Eric: “I end up on the 3rd place for the day: Yes! First time for me to make it to the podium on an EC… All thanks to the Aero! In the overall ranking I now take 4th place, but with the same amount of points as Vincent Leib. He is on 3rd place because he had some better individual race results. Tommorow, on the 5th racing day I will beat him” Unfortunately, the next and final racing day there’s no wind at all….. Even my Aero 20 seems too small.
Adrian: “With no wind on the final day the championship was closed, with a total of 10 races in some of the best conditions at a European championships I have raced in over the past 11 years I finished in 2nd, my best ever result in a euro’s. Huge thanks to the Peter Lynn team for their hard effort developing the Aero, it was faultless and more than a match for the latest depowers and prototypes in the field.”
Eric: “I look back at a splendid event : excellent racing conditions, superb organization and wish to congratulate David van Boven (1st place), Adrian Lavelle (2nd with the Peter Lynn Aero’s) and Vincent Leib (3rd).
See you all next year at the Borkum World Championship !”
The final standing can be found @ http://www.kitebuggyeuros.com/
Videos of the championship