Just a few weeks ago, the 51st International Boat Show in Hamburg, the Hanseboot 2010, played host to the First World Indoor Championships of an up-and-coming adventure sport which many people who have not yet experienced the thrill of setting their sails to the wind will probably never even have heard of – blokarting.
Blokarting is the name given to an exciting and relatively young sport from New Zealand which has taken fun-loving communities the world over by storm and is fast becoming one of the most popular sailing sports around.
The unique growth and success of the sport can be attributed to a number of things: First the blokarts themselves: the three-wheeled, compact, lightweight vehicles are relatively easy to assemble and set up and just as easy to stow away again and transport too. And with entry level models costing as little as £1500, they are also relatively affordable.
Second the blokarters: the sport is open to people of all ages. Learning how to handle the nippy little tubular steel racers is easier than one would think. Experienced sailors or yachtsmen do, of course, have an advantage, as they are already schooled in the art of putting their noses to the wind. But this does not mean that novices and newcomers do not quickly grasp what they must do in order to come to grips with what can only be regarded as a cross between a state-of-the-art gokart and a small sailing boat.
Third the location: you can quite simply do it nearly everywhere! The sport, which can either be practised as a recreational activity or on a competitive level, knows no bounds when it comes the type of surface on which the blokarts run. Sandy beaches, disused airfields, grass-covered recreational grounds or unused tarmaced car parks – they all provide the right environment for blokarters to carry out their passion for doing it from all angles. And at speeds of up to 25 to 40 km depending on the prevailing wind and weather conditions.
Professional blokarters, like those who converged on Oostende in Belgium to take part in the regular world championship, can even reach speeds topping 100 km an hour. For them the indoor championships at the Hansaboot were an unusual challenge and a totally new experience. The stiff breeze which they needed for the competition was supplied by 15 of our largest and most powerful wind machines. Because that’s what we are good at. Making wind.
So if this article has whet your appetite perhaps you might want to see if this new sport is something for you. Or perhaps you are more interested in our wind machines. Or the other products in our comprehensive series. There’s something for everyone at Trotec.