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Blokart Nationals Round 1 at Ainsdale Beach, Southport

by Justin Heap 2 Jul 2008 23:55 PDT 28-29 June 2008

The first round of the British Blokart Championships sponsored by ICS Communications & RuRoc Helmets was hosted by BlokartNorthWest at Ainsdale Beach, Southport over the weekend. A fleet of 24 competitors attended even with the relatively light winds forecast with a special mention to Santi Oliver (E-3), recent winner of the French Open flying in from Palma, Majorca amid much fanfare.

Racing was held on a traditional windward leeward course with a spreader mark to reduce the potential for carnage as blokarts bore away accelerating up to 30+ mph threading their way through those going to windward at near 20mph. Racing started in a fresh 16kts with the majority of sailors on the 4m sail, most of the fleet being line shy enabled K75 to lead from start to finish & clock up the first win of the day. In race 2, local rock legend Josh Sharp (K152) held out the current National Champion approaching the port layline forcing an encounter with some soft sand. By the time Justin Heap recoverd the fleet had departed at speed. Some blistering pace round the track recovered K75 to 3rd behind K63 Steven Harvey (AUS) & E3 Santi Oliver (ESP). This was to be the only race taken from the reigning champion all weekend.

As the wind gusted upto near 20kts through the day there were several "opposite lock" mark roundings as racers approached the leeward mark sideways at near 40mph & the occasional spin out added additional interest for the gathered spectators.

Sunday's racing started with a little less wind with some trying the newly class legal 5.5m sail. Anticipation was high as those on the 4m waited to see where the crossover between the sails should be made. The big rig proved potent downwind but for those able to make the transition to apparent wind sailing with the 4m, highway 180 at speed was still the way to go and upwind the 4m clearly had pace over the slightly higher drag, larger sail.

A total of 12 races were held, performance karts took the top 8 places overall with Gwen Heap K88 being the first in the "out of the box" production category where the performance enhancing Carbon Mast & aerodynamic POD are not allowed in favour of a "purists" blokarting expierience.

The next round of the Championships is to be held at the Cornish capital of Blokarting, Gwithian from 17-19 October. Speculation of an influx of sailors making the transition to wheels from water is rife through the fleet...

Our thanks go to the sponsors; ICS Communications and RuRoc Helmets makers of the RedBull F1 pit team's helmets, now also being sported by the lucky prizewinners and the hosts.

More information at www.BlokartNorthWest.co.uk

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmPts
1K75JUSTIN HEAP0
2K63STEVEN HARVEY21
3K50DAVID HARE30
4E3SANTI OLIVER33
5K51KEVIN MEYERS42
6K152JOSH SHARP44
7K99NICK DODGE52
8K88GWEN HEAP56
9K3CHRIS MOORE69
10K155JAMES BROWN85
11K67TONY ELLIOT86
12K99GRAHAM BOBIN100
13K63CHRIS ROBERTS107
14K28COLIN PEET122
15K15TIM SEED139
16K19JOHN GILBORN139
17K16GRAHAM THOMAS141
18K96HAYDN DODGE146
19K136PAT LETTERS146
20K79MATTY BROWN170
21K40MARK BEECHAM174
22K28DONNY MCFARLANE176
23K129STEVE VARDEN193
24K161JACOB ROBERTS204

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