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Blokart South Island Open: Entries close Thursday

by Alex Morris 31 Mar 2019 04:44 PDT 1 April 2019
The South Island Blokart Championships will be sailed at Wigram Airfield, Christchurch © SI Blokart

Entries are still open for the South Island Blokart Championships, but they close on Thursday for the event which will be sailed next weekend.

To date, 33 racers have entered and will be spending a couple of hours in their workshop this week balancing their wheels and checking their bearings ahead of this years South Island Open held at the Wigram Airfield, Christchurch next weekend. Sailors from Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, Wellington and Nelson clubs are travelling to the event and are all eager to put the rubber on the road and give the track hell over the two day event.

Wigram is an excellent venue for such an event, as the predominant easterly sea breeze provides lots of close tacking and gybing down the long taxi-way and good speed later in the afternoon when the breeze really builds. A brutal southerly or a tricky northwesterly are when you can expect very high speeds which although might be less tactical, require quick thinking and smart kart handling, usually requiring the grass beside the track to slow the kart down before attempting mark roundings!

Competitors as usual will be split into different weight classes and will race in separated production/performance divisions. Production class is the basic kart chassis and standard rig configuration, and the Performance class is allowed a “pod” to make the craft more aerodynamic and is also allowed a carbon mast which provides more power than the fibreglass mast of the Production class. Despite these differences both classes are one design.

President of the Canterbury Blokart Club, David Tillman will be the Primary Race Officer for the event and Terry Helm and Jenny Norris will be operating the timing system, which operates with an electronic strip as the start/finish line, and a transponder attached to each kart. This system means that results do not have to be manually recorded and OCS's are not judged by officials but by a computer, removing the problem of errors and reducing the burden on volunteers.

“It's probably my favourite regatta of the season,” says current South Island Open and former World Middleweight Champion Alex Morris. “Its serious enough that the racing is exciting and competitive but there's still a relaxed vibe and there isn't that seriousness that you feel at the NZ Open. It's great to see racers from clubs in the North Island come down and support our event too, they're always welcome.”

Blokart inventor kiwi Paul Beckett has said that there are over 2000 blokarts in New Zealand alone.“We always welcome people to come out and have a go, whether it's in their own kart or one of the clubs” says Alex.

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