Last weekend, the Belgian Blokart Club organized its fifth installment of the Belgian Open Blokart Championships, Ostend (BOBCO) and what a great event it turned out to be!
Back to basics
After the 80 participants at the 2009 BOBCO and the 135 participants at the 2010 World Championships, the BBC took a year of in 2011 to get the priorities straight again. We wanted to host a smaller and more casual 2012 BOBCO, allowing for new pilots to get their first racing experience in comfort, truly getting back to our roots. Even by keeping it more low profile, the event attracted over 40 pilots from seven different countries.
Registration and day one
On Friday evening, most pilots gathered at the Ostend Tennis Club. After weighing in and registering, everyone stuck around to grab a drink or have something to eat.
First briefing on Saturday was given around 9.00, even though some people were still a bit hung-over from the night before. Race officer Lieven briefed the pilots about the track and delayed racing since there wasn’t any wind whatsoever. After the general briefing was dismissed, Lieven and I stayed to inform the newcomer pilots about the specifics of blokart racing. Since there was no time pressure, we had the chance to be very extensive in our explanation and I’m pretty sure it really helped the new pilots, as there were no noteworthy issues during the races.
Around 11.00, the wind was still absent. The race committee (Lieven, Nico and I) went to have a look at the track. Unfortunately, the wind inland was blowing even slower, so racing there was not an option.
At 13.00 the final briefing of the day was made: races dismissed. We all stuck around to enjoy the excellent catering and went back home.
In the evening, the Charles Lindberg restaurant hosted the pilots dinner. The food and atmosphere were amazing and the evening got topped off by a surprise musical act, performed by a fellow blokart pilot!
Day two – the racing
Sunday morning, things were looking a lot better. There was a north-easterly wind of about 4bft, which meant racing would be on! By the time the races got going, the wind had dropped to about 3bft. All performance classes started off together, followed by the production classes. Once the production group went for its third race, the wind had shifted and dropped a bit, wherefore most pilots didn’t manage to get along the track anymore. The race was cancelled and the track was repositioned. The pilots lined up again and got a second go, which worked out better this time. Afterwards, the performance group went for their fourth heat, but this was cancelled as well since most of the pilots got stuck. After waiting for a bit, the wind did not pick up again. Lieven decided to stop the racing. Both groups got three heats in, which is the amount minimum for a valid championship.
Around 15.00, everyone gathered for the prize giving. Our sponsors provided some nice prizes which were raffled. To close the event, Jan Meijer gave a very nice speech about what makes BOBCO so special.
I hope to see you all next year!
Results are at http://janmarques.net/bobco2012/results.html