Issue 71: Buggy Newz – PKA Icicles Buggy Weekend

Westwood Ho! Beach, North Devon, UK.
30-31st January 2010

Saturday events: –  1 Hr enduro race and three 3 lap races.
Sunday events: – 3 or 4 Hr enduro race depending on weather and tides.

I no longer race in the ParaKart Association’s National race series but I do like to take part in the enduro events. I mainly fly an Ozone AccessXC 8.0 m depower, which is a great kite well suited for enduro’s. Recently I bought a Peter Lynn Core 1.8m for strong winds and that is super stable.

The event is not called the Icicles for nothing! Saturday was flippin’ cold with an air temperature of 5 Centigrade (41 Fahrenheit) a semi-wet beach and an onshore wind around 10 – 15 mph.

I set off in the 1 Hr enduro and was having a great time except I soon realised that I hadn’t put enough layers on beneath my buggy suit, and by the end I was perished! (I made a mental note to put on more for tomorrow’s race)

I managed to take part in one of the 3 lap races but after that I was too cold and the wind had dropped off a little, so I decided to conserve my energy for tomorrow.

The days racing results

OPEN Class

1 A. Lavelle K740 Kite: Peter Lynn
2 G. Steel K700 Kite: Ozone
3 T. Grierson K865 Kite: Pansh
4 M. Job K866 Kite: Peter Lynn
5 N. Bodsworth K62 Kite: Libre


1 D. Wilmer K580 Kite: N/A
2 W. McKean K999 Kite: Flexifoil
3 D. Roberts K998 Kite: Flexifoil
4 S. Walt Webb K38 Kite: Ozone
(Novice?? Well, I’m not a regular racer?)
5 R. Perry K62 Kite: N/A

On Saturday evening we all met at the Waterfront Inn for the day’s presentations and we had a really good meal with plenty of healing waters!
The weather forecast for Sunday was frost in the early morning, -1 Centigrade (30 Fahrenheit), and as I looked out of my bedroom window I was greeted to a wonderful wintery scene with the waves crashing against the seawall. Bugger it was cold! I went down for breakfast and it was so cold in the bar I kept my coat on to eat!

We had to be down in the car park by 10am for registration. I put two more layers on under my buggy suit and drove down to the car park.

The sun was shining but the pools of water in the car park were frozen. There wasn’t a breath of wind and as I manhandled my buggy onto the beach I realised that I was as warm as toast…in fact I was boiling! Typical, loads of kit on but no wind so now I’m overheating!!!

Chris Croft, the PKA race officer, announced that due to the tides the race would start at 11:15am and last 3Hrs regardless of wind conditions. The assembled pilots attended the pre-race meeting and then went about their preparations. Kites laid out and buggies at the ready.

11:15am came, the race horn sounded but we all sat around in the pit area as the wind was zero. Plenty of banter and 30 minutes later the air was as still as a still thing! By 12:10am some wisps of a breeze lured one or two pilots out who had 12m kites set up, but they spent more time walking to and fro to keep their kites aloft, than buggy any distance.

But noses started to twitch around 12:25am as a real onshore breeze got our attention and within 5 minutes many pilots were in their buggies and crossing the start line. The race was on!

The next 1 ½ Hrs was great fun with the winds picking up, causing the guys who were out on 12 m kites to pull into the pits to change down to 10m or 9m but as the wind freshened some pilots needed to change down a third time as they became way overpowered.

I was reaping the benefits of my depower system as I could lose some of the power on the very fast reach on the sea side of the course. I was clocking 39mph even with some aquaplaning and I only had one or two hairy moments! I realised I was clocking up the laps but with the reduced time this favoured the racers more than the cruisers.

I passed through the Start/Finish line with less than 10 minutes to go, so I headed to the pits and landed my kite. I walked over to have a chat with Dom Earley. We have been racing together for over 10yrs and had been trading places during the race; so we were pretty jovial at getting a good race in.

It was time to pack up the car, attend the presentation, which took place behind someone’s motor home. Buy now it was 4.00pm and I had a 3 ½ Hr drive home, but what a great day!

The weekend had turned out to be a good one, even with a reduced Enduro race. Thanks to the PKA and all the race officials.

ENDURO Race results:  Laps
1 A. Lavelle K740 23
2 G. Wass K7 22
3 D. Early K23 21
4 A. Bosenworth K584 19
5 S. Walt Webb K38 19
6 M. Job K866 16
7 D. Wilmer K580 14
8 J. Andrews K411 14
9 D. Andrews K410 13
10 J. Blake K241 12
11 T. Mundy K122 10
12 G. Steel K700 9
13 R. Perry K461 6
14 A. Summersfield K862 5

See you in the races…

Steve Walt Webb