Ozone is ripping it up!
Ozone Buggy Team has been ripping it up on the beaches of Northern Europe again, here is a report from Last month from Robert Smits and Photos from Maarten de Graauw and Jordi Krello.
VP-Riders Bootcamp Les Hemmes / Gravelines
Together with my buggycrew, the VP-Riders (www.vpriders.nl), we have an annual buggytrip to France, to enjoy some good winds, nice rides and some team races.
We had watched the coefficients of the beach of Les Hemmes, and they looked really good, just 34, which means an incredible amount of space.
However, once we arrived in Les Hemmes, we noticed the beach was wet from the enormous amount of rain which had fallen overnight. We saw a lot of other storm fronts coming, so Maarten and I, who drove to France together, decided to wait for the rest of the team to arrive.
After spending some hours in the car, waiting the one rain front after the other, the team decided one of us should have a go to see if the water was deep, or that it was okay to drive.
I started to build up my buggy, but I had to run to the car twice, as there were some additional showers of rain. Finally, I got my buggy assembled, and donned my drysuit and prepared myself to go out. The wind was NNE, which means from the sea, but not straight onshore. This at strength varying between 5 and 7 Bft. At first, I thought to take the Yakuza GT 4.5, but then decided to go for safer, 3.7 GT, because there was a lot of water on the beach.
When I pulled the GT in the air, I immediately felt this was the right size and the 4.5 would have been way too big. I had to drive straight through the water, to reach the banks in the back, which appeared to be a little higher and dry. After crossing the water for about 1.5 km, and very deep water, sometimes floating after the kite, I reached the bank. The bank was too soft to ride and my tires were diving into the soft sand, at least 5 cm, so I couldn’t get any decent speed in. I drove through some waterways and reached a bank that appeared perfect, but after about 50 meters, I saw some strange curves in the beach and decided to slow down. Good thing I did, as it was a field with a lot of levels, I was driving back through the water towards the car, when the wind picked up dramatically and the 3.7 was becoming way too big. Once through the water, I had about 30 meters of dry beach, where I was driving around a little for my team mates. The wind became very gusty, but the 3.7 was performing excellent. I managed to keep the kite stable in the air which wasn’t easy with aquaplaning in combination with the gusty winds. My team mates saw me riding and decided to keep the buggy’s dry in the car. The wind picked up even more and I decided to give it a go and use my energy for the day after which would be better.
The next day, we were driving at Gravelines, the beach was dry and semi-hard. You could still tell it was somewhat soggy from the previous days of rain, but it was okay to drive, even though the wind was off shore. I started on the 12m² Yakuza GT, which would soon become too big. When I was driving 60km/h on the 12 and couldn’t really direct my buggy another way I wanted to go, I decided to go back and take the 8.3, the 10 would also have been too big. As the wind was picking up, it changed direction a little and the wind was almost coming side shore and became a little cleaner. I was driving towards the nuclear facility and back to the town, but as the 8.3 was becoming too big, I switched to the 6.8 and was having a lot of fun with that. My other team mates were also driving and having a blast. Good winds, sun, and a nice group of people enjoying the same sport.
Thanks Robert and hope you have plenty more sessions in the coming year!
The Ozone Team