SPKA Round 6: 31st March - 1st April 2012
After the non-event of Round 5 due to the weather, the Scottish buggy racing crew were keen to get plenty of races in at Round 6. The added bonus of Stu McGougan (the current series leader) not attending the 1st day of Round 6 gave an extra incentive (no offence meant Stu!); the more races done on the 1st day, the more points Stu would get, so the further he might drop down the leader board.
Saturday dawned dry, but with light wind from variable directions. Luckily there was time to wait with low tide at 1pm, and eventually racing started in a gusty cross-on breeze. The unpredictability of the wind caused a few problems, including kites coming down across the start line, and a few OBEs (out of buggy experiences….) with Mike winning the big air competition for the day, luckily coming down unhurt. This also threw the competition wide open; giving riders on lower aspect kites some advantages over the less stable race kites. The Ozone Methods and Flows used by Mark, Dave and Todders in the 16” wheel class handled the conditions well, even keeping some performance once wet. The biggest surprises of the day were in the controversial 3rd race, during which the wind changed direction by 90o at one end of the course, and at times stopped completely. Mark did really well for his first go with a Yak, after changing up from the 5m Method to a 5m Yak he completed a further 2 laps and moved up from 8th to 3rd place. Maggie also had a good race, managing to stay out of trouble and keeping the 6m Yak just dry enough to win the race, beating the entire Scottish men’s fleet in the process.
On the Sunday morning the racers were back on the beach early, waiting for the tide to drop and drying out kites. The wind stayed gusty, cross-off shore this time, and the day started with a practice race for newcomers to the fleet. Again the turbulent wind made for tricky, unpredictable racing throughout the day. Luckily there were enough rivers and puddles on the beach to slow most pilots down and 2 more series races were completed, making Round 6 the best weekend of racing in the Scottish series so far this season. A big shout out and get well soon to our Captain Tom Arlott who broke 3 ribs after being lofted out of his buggy and hitting the ground before his kite. Everyone went home tired but happy; roll on Round 7 at St Andrews 28th-29th April.
Overall series results can be found here: http://www.spka.org/SPKARaceSeries2012.htm
Results from Round 6 are shown in Races 5 through to 9.
Report written by Maggie and Mark Davies
Photos Courtesy of Simon Arlott. More can be found at: