Victorian Blokart Club


Jan 14th - Sailing Day

2014 Nationals and Worlds Campaign

One by one members of the VBA emerge from their rooms, limping or clutching at backs or arms. We all just stand around the kitchen bench tired and sore, but for some strange reason we have the biggest smiles on our faces.

But let me go back 10 days to explain what we have just achieved.

Ten members of the VBA have arrived in Perth, Western Australia, for the Australian Nationals and World Championships.  Spread over two rented holiday houses we are all anxious to get our first look at Lake Walyungup. The Lake is a large salt lake about one hours drive south of Perth, or two hours if you are in Jon’s car (due to some issues with the GPS). The surface is best described as “kitty litter spread over a concrete like base” and as we were to discover that was very accurate.  This made for some challenging sailing with some fast patches and slippery sections thrown in for fun.

The Aust Nationals were held over three days. We had eight classes divided into five groups.

The first day we were greeted with medium strength easterly winds that died off about lunch time.  After a small break the “Fremantle Doctor” kicked in, this had just about everyone reaching for the 4m sails and a few of the light weights going for the 3m so as not to be too over-powered. On the second and third days the easterly wind that was ever present in the mornings just got a bit stronger during the day.  The “Doctor” was missing in action, but we all had great racing without him/her.

Over the three days I think we had about 20 races each, due to the great conditions and work by the race officers. I think I stepped over a few of the New Zealand team that had turned into puddles on the ground; it was very hot, high thirties in the shade.

Following the nationals we all had a day of rest, and like the big man upstairs we were happy with what we had done. Some people headed for the shopping centres with their partners, and others went touring in the local area. Me? I sat in the swimming pool with a cold beer in hand. My wife had now joined me in Perth and she was to be chief VBA photographer to which she has done an amazing job.

The first day of the World Championships dawned and although we were racing all the same people, the intensity had increased. Thankfully the temperature had dropped to a high in the low thirties and the kiwi’s morphed back into human shapes (like in the terminator movie). The wind was still constantly from the east like the last days of the nationals, but with a constant 15 knots no one was complaining. Everyone had got 6 races each so that adds up to an hours worth of intense racing and concentration. Each race consists of a 2 min dial up, where you are meant to position yourself in a favorable position and hit the start line at full speed just as the flag dropped. That is the theory although I had a harder time than most getting it right, followed by an 8 min timed race.

The second and third day was very similar to the first and the results were showing that the cream was indeed rising to the top. Some of us were splashing around in the kiddie’s end of the pool but we were still going as hard as we could. There was a great group of 4 people all fighting for the last 4 positions in our class. 

The Doctor had decided to pay a visit on the fourth and fifth day, and that brought the temperatures down to the high twenties in the afternoons.  Every day we had all managed to get 6 or more races in, and I was starting to get knackered. At the end of the fifth day I was relieved that the racing was finished due to sheer exhaustion, but was still sad that it was all over. 50 races over 8 days or 8.3 hours of racing, no wonder I barely had the strength to hold my beer that night.  

I would like to send a big thanks to all the volunteers that made this event possible, and say a huge thank you to all the competitors throughout all the classes. 
I forgot to mention that there were almost 100 karts that made the journey to Perth and that was an amazing sight to see.

Well that is the way I saw the Aus National and World Championships 2014.

Training for the next worlds starts next week so I think I should really go and see a shrink as I think I am a bit broken. 
Bring on the Worlds 2016 

To view some of the 500+ photos taken over the 5 days, visit us on Facebook here