Jan world champion, Lieven 4th, Nico 6th

Hello everyone,

it’s been a while since the last blog, but here we are!

I did not write any more posts since I was a bit frustated and wanted to keep up the good spirits. Also, I was very busy with races and certainly did not want to ruin my karma with any premature predictions!

Let’s just go day by day:

Tuesday – Day 2 of the Worlds

We got confirmation that Matt Beckett had indeed broken his foot as a result of the crash. Races started of extremely slow as the wind was very shifty and the race committee wanted the course to be perhaps too perfect. The first protests were also coming in and I did attend the hearings to gain some experience on the matter.

Wednesday – Day 3 and Thursday – Day 4 of the Worlds

The third and fourth day were very similar: there was lots of winds all day and it was freezing cold. The team sailed with 3m and 4m sails; Nico even broke out his 2m sail, altough it was a gamble that did not work out well. At the end of day 4, it was announced that we had to pack all our stuff and bring it to the hotel, since rain was predicted.

Friday – Day 5 of the Worlds

We all gathered for a morning briefing on the parking of the hotel. Fran announced that racing would be cancelled since the risk of rain was too high. Once it starts raining on the playa, the terrain becomes impossible to drive on and can get damaged. All of us understood that this was not a risk worth taking. The racing was over!

For a couple of hours, Lieven and I started packing our bags, dissasembling the sails, weighing all the luggage and so on.

In the evening, we headed to the prizegiving with dinner. It started out with a very thorough thanks to everyone involved, which we would like to repeat once again!

Afterwards, prizes were given. I was the only team member on the podium, but it was on the number one spot! Lieven came in fourth, missing out just 3 points from the podium. Nico obtained the sixth place, even tough he had an excellent last couple of races.

For the team prize, we came in fourth, landing on 4 points from the podium. Two Spanish and one New Zealand team were ahead of us. Congrats to them as well!

Saturday

It was time to leave Primm, so we drove all the way to Los Angeles. Just 10 minutes away from the playa, we encoutered a road that had been completely snowed down, which is pretty weird knowing that we had temperatures well over 30 °C in that same week.

In the afternoon, we arrived in Venice. We met with Olaf and Karin Buhl, as well as local pilot Bill Price in the popular bar Whaler and had a few drinks. Afterwards, we went to a nearby restaurant for diner.

Sunday – Monday – Tuesday

The last day in the States had arrived, but we wanted to make count. We drove up to Malibu Beach, which is even fancier then Venice. During the two hour drive, we saw a dozen Rolls Royces, some Bentleys, lots of Porsches, Ferraris and I am convinced that I saw a Koenigsegg, even tough I did not get it on camera.

Arriving at the airport, the check-in and the security clearance went very smootly, I guess the authorities do not care as much who leaves their country compared to who comes in. We then flew to London Heathrow for about 10 hours, on the smallest seats ever. Luckily we both caught some sleep. After landing in Heatrow, we had to wait a couple more hours and then hopped onto our flight for Brussels, where we landed on monday around 16:00

Once retrieving our luggage in Brussels however, we were a bit shocked. The tube containing all of our masts had been opened and was in no way closed again. The sails were slightly damaged and we were afraid that multiple axles had fallen out. Just a couple of hours ago I did discover that they had in fact opened the bottom side of the tube, so the axles were just on the other side. Lucky us!

To conclude I would very much like to thank every single volunteer and participant who was involved in making this event as great as it was. Also, I would like to thank the Belgian Blokart Club as well as team members Lieven and Nico for the nice company and coaching!

Some pictures of the last few days:

 

Hope to see you all soon!

Jan

PS: some other great pictures are here.

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Worlds started with a bang!

Hey guys,

the first day of racing at the 2012 Blokart World Championships is in the books.

The day started out with a long initial briefing, explaining some rules and the track. Since there was no wind, the racing got delayed until noon. In the meanwhile, all pilots lined up their blokarts to have a group photo.

In the afternoon, the races started with some pretty light wind, which increased as the day progressed. Nico is now familiar with his new equipment but still needs to get a more firm grip on his competitors. Lieven is also struggling a bit to stay ahead, but he booked some good heats as well. I (Jan) managed to win all my races, but the margins are getting smaller and smaller.

In the second race of the day, Lieven and Matt Beckett had a pretty rough collision. Lieven wanted to go underneath Matt, who on his turn wanted to avoid Lieven. It concluded in a head-on collision where Matt broke his pod and seveirly injured his footer, while Lievens mast broke and injured his ribs. We wish Matt all the best of luck with his recovery.

The pictures of the day:

Ahead tomorrow is more racing with more wind forecasted.

Cheers!

Jan

 

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Layday!

Hey everyone,

today we had a welcome layday. The registrations for the worlds were going, so we finally had the time to do something else.

In the morning, we drove towards Hoover Dam, which is a huge construction as you can see in the pictures below this post.

We had to be back at 15:00 because Nico still needed to get his kart scruteneered. We did manage to get back in time and stayed for some last minute practicing on the playa.

Around 18:30 we headed back to the hotel and had a drink with blokarts GM Matt on the courtyard of the hotel. At 19:00, the welcome dinner started which included the pricegiving for the North American Championships.

Today’s pictures:

Tomorrow we’ll be doing our first races for the World Championships and it should be awesome.

Talk to you later!
Jan

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North American champs finished – Jan won

Hello everyone!

The last day of the North American championships is finished now, so we are all prepared for the world championships.

Our team went out to the playa pretty early and we were expecting to have a no wind day without any races. The opposite was true however. Around 11:00 the first race started and they were run right until 18:00, which is the official deadline.

Nico was still setting his sails but he did race along and got a nice first place in one of the heats.

Lieven raced very good during the slightly harder winds and was in the overall lead at one point, as he did a 1 – 2 – 2. When the wind dropped however, it didn’t go so well. To make things even worse, he collided with another pilot during the dail-up for the last race, resulting in a 14th place.

I (Jan) did very well but was always wondering which sail to put. In the end, I always sticked with the 5.5m² and managed to win all but on” race. I will be the North American champion as well!

The pics of the day:

Ahead of us is a layday with registration and scruteneering for pilots that are sailing the Worlds only. In the evening, we’ll have the pricegiving of the North American championships

See you all later!
Jan

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First races

Hello everyone!

Another blokart day is in the books.

The day started of pretty early, as Lieven had a 8:00 meeting with the race commitee. Afterwards, he and I got some practice in, but around 9:00 we were back for the briefing.

The wind was dropping and shifting all day and the races were organized a bit sloppy and rather slow. There were only 5 races run during the day and I personally had done 4 – ! – restarts before we got properly going. I did manage to win the race, Lieven got sixth and Nico did not participate as he was still assembling his kart.

When the wind had ultimately dropped, everyone was waiting until the races were cancelled for the day. Meanwhile some locals had set up a game called Cornhole, which is a throwing game, a bit like jeu de boules. It was lots of fun.

Check out the pictures of the day:

Ahead for tomorrow is some more races for the North American Championships, altough the forecasts aren’t very promising.

Talk to you guys later!
Jan

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