Track experience proves valuable for sailors

Corri Stein breezes by in the South Island Blokart nationals held at Richmond.
Corri Stein breezes by in the South Island Blokart nationals held at Richmond.

Local sailors spread among 53 of the best Blokart exponents took out three of the five classes in the South Island Open over the weekend.

The Top of the South Blokart Club hosted clubs from around New Zealand for two days of "spectacular" racing at the Vortex Wind Karting track in Richmond.

"The new Vortex track was held in high acclaim, with it being hailed as one of the best tracks in the country," said Melissa Francis, the Top of the South Blokart Club office president.

The experience local members have garnered there proved to be valuable. Corri Stein won the production division, while Nathan Bradley won division C. Harrison Saunders, 13, of Broadgreen Intermediate, won the youth division.

In the light division, Grant Clark of Auckland took the title, winning five of his 13 races. Theo Vondervoort, of Kaimai, won the heavy division by a single point margin. Vondervoort, pipped Auckland's Russell Harray, with Wayne Osborne in third.

The results were given weight with the appearance of world champions past and present, including Harray, Osborne and Blokart inventor Paul Beckett.

Francis said the conditions for the first two days were close to perfect, but the endurance race planned for Rabbit Island on Sunday had to be canned.

"Unfortunately the beach racing was cancelled on Sunday due to light winds," said Francis. "[There were] lots of disappointed racers."

For anyone who missed out on the action, or for more information on the wind-based land sailing sport, Francis said club racing was held every Sunday at the Vortex track at 3pm, with spectators welcome.

The Nelson Mail