… the need for speed!
Over the last few months I have been trying to push my speed to crack that 60kph barrier and still haven’t got there – yet!
My personal best is 59.8kph, so am pretty close, but those last few k’s seem elusive and I know once I do 60 then I will be looking at going faster – 65 will be my next goal as that is 40mph, then who knows!
What has enabled me to push harder and faster is that I have learnt to slow and stop the buggy quickly! Knowing that I can control it has given me the confidence to push harder. Scrubbing some speed by flicking the rear end out, turning up-wind and ultimately a huge, grin inducing power slide.
I love sliding it –weight back to get the front under-steering to help scrub some speed and de-power the kite, flick the kite 180 degrees so it’s facing the other way, then shift my weight slightly forwards and the back comes unstuck, some opposite lock and off we go again – usually in a huge cloud of dust.
My need for speed has required a smaller kite with a higher aspect ratio, led to flying both of my kites over-powered and ultimately a OBE with the over-powered 3m Core lifting me clear out of the buggy and dropping me onto the ground about 3-4m from where the buggy came to stop. That knocked my confidence and slowed me down – but I am working my way back up and regularly hit the mid 50’s.
The speed and acceleration of this wind-powered buggy still amazes me, drop the kite into the power-zone and it shoots off. Start to put the kite through a sine-wave and it steps up a gear, add a gust and use the kites lateral pull (I don’t own any race kites) to take you down-wind and now it is really moving, cant check the GPS as too busy flying and holding that power, another gust and sh*t!
Flick it down wind to de-power the kite as I let it drift up in the window and slow down, then harder up wind to scrub more speed – then (you guessed it) a big slide to a stop to check the GPS…
Maybe it’s not all about how fast I can go, but that adrenaline rush, the joy of being outside and having a brief mastery of the elements…
But you wait until I crack 60kph and I hope I get my victory dance on video!