Buggy Log Archive for 2011

Saturday 22nd November 2011 12pm

Ohope Beach

Wind 16 to 24 kph NNW

Another three month break and it was great to be back on the beach at Ohope once more. A sea breeze kicked in today and provided a great buggy session, with a maximum speed of 53.9 kph, the fastest I've been for a couple of years. I used my 2.3m Vapor with the old PL Comp buggy, however I may have been better off testing out the 3m Vapor. But I'm sure it won't be another three months before the next sea breeze for the 3m's first trial run!

Saturday 21st August 2011 3pm

Ohope Beach

Wind 11 to 15 kph N to NW

A three month break from buggying during the usual winter lull ended today, as the first decent sea breeze of the season kicked in at Ohope Beach. Unfortunately by the time I'd got the 4.5 Vapor setup it had swung around to NW. However I still managed a few quick 'sprints' between the sea and dunes with a top speed of 24.6 kph. It felt good to be back on the sand after such a long break.

New Zealand isobaric weather map at 12:00 on 28th May 2011

Isobaric map at 12pm

Saturday 28th May 2011 10.30am

Ohope Wharf

Wind 15 to 22 kph SW to WSW

Back to the harbour mud flats again today and this time with the old Bigfoot buggy. This thing hasn't seen a beach in years! I thought I'd give it a stretch of the wheels on this surface as it's probably more suited to the bumpier and softer surface than either the Comp or NABX. However the Bigfoot is the slowest out of the trio and I knew this wasn't going to be a day for speed runs.

Having said that I did manage a top speed of 34.8 kph during the two hour session. I used the new 2.3 Vapor again, which didn't seem so twitchy today. Hopefully that means I'm just getting used to it. To be fair the Bigfoot probably needs a good tune-up so I may have even got more speed out of the combination.

New Zealand isobaric weather map at 12:00 on 29th April 2011

Isobaric map at 12pm

Friday 29th April 2011 10.30am

Ohope Wharf

Wind 15 to 41 kph SE

Despite the wind direction I decided that I needed to fly the new kites today, especially as a north-easter is forecast for next week. So I headed down to a strip of mud and sand in Ohiwa harbour that gets exposed at low tide and initially got the 2.2 Reactor going. The wind was all over the shop, sometimes as light at 15 or 16 kph at other times over 30 kph, one gust maxxed out at 41 kph. I had plenty of fun with the Reactor and felt pretty confident with it all throughout the session. Obviously speed runs were out of the question as the wind was blowing along the strip, but I still managed a few decent 'sprints'.

But of course that wasn't why I was out, and during a lull in the wind, I swapped the Reactor for my new 2.3m Vapor. I launched in certainly no more than 20 kph but the thing still shot straight up to the zenith and for the first on the maiden flight of one of my kites I uttered 'WTF'! The good news was that there was little lift with the kite, but it was twitchy as hell and it always seemed to want to fly out of the power zone but I guess that's what you get with a kite designed for more experienced flyers.

After a wee while of flying figures of eight, I hopped in the buggy and zoomed off. The Vapor certainly wasn't hanging around and once it hit the sweet spot of the power zone it let you know! I never felt out of control but the kite did test the wind edge a lot but I'll get used to that and learn to adjust my flying. I actually managed one speed run and achieved a 37.3 kph, not bad for a 100 metre track!

One more thing to get used to will be the Vapor powering up after a luff, it did this twice whilst I was turning, the first time I hung on and did the 'kite run' across the mud until I got it under control. The second time I bailed as I was certain the Vapor was going to take me for a drag! Again I'll get used to it's idiosyncrasies, it's obviously quite a different beast from the Reactor and most definitely a big change from C-Quads. Lots of learning, buggying and fun ahead!

New Zealand isobaric weather map at 06:00 on 25th April 2011

Isobaric map at 6am

Monday 25th April 2011 8am

Ohope Beach

Wind 16 to 25 kph N

We had had a quiet April for wind this year, for example a couple of weekends ago, a strong northerly was forecast but no wind turned up at all, completely still. Obviously a sign winter is on its way. However this morning a moderate blustery northerly had blown in and despite being well after low tide I decided to have a quick buggy session.

Much to my surprise there was plenty of beach left to buggy on and the northerly had also picked up a little enabling me to do a speed run of 50 kph on the nose. A combination of lack of wind and incoming tide ended the session but still a good one as it was an unexpected way to start the day.

I used the 2.2m Reactor and to be honest I should have used the 3.2 Vapor. I need to fly these Vapors so I can get a feel for them before I actually attempt doing any speed runs with them in slightly more 'extreme' conditions. Ironically though, I actually felt quite comfortable with the 2.2 Reactor today.

Monday 4th April 2011 11.30am

Ohope Beach

Wind up to 40 kph N

At last the northerly forecast for all weekend actually turned up and boy was it strong! In fact it ended up being too strong and I had to come in before I ended up having an 'Out of Buggy Experience'.

I did manage two runs before the lift got too much and I did hit a top speed of 50.6 kph on the first of those. Not much given the wind speed, but I didn't really trust lowering the kite too much as the wind was pretty gusty. For the record I was using the 2.2 Reactor and Peter Lynn Comp buggy.

Monday 28th March 2011 10.30am

Ohope Wharf

Wind 8 to 25 kph S to SE

Not an ideal wind direction, but just southerly enough for a few decent runs before I ran out of sand and mud. Unfortunately I failed on the battery front for the GPS, so I wasn't too sure how fast those runs were, but they wouldn't have been anything to write home about.

After a while I set up a small course, which was predominantly on a downwind line to test my upwind skills. I had great fun trying to get back upwind from the downwind marker, very hard work, but good fun for a Monday morning!

I didn't have a go with any of the new kites yet, it was really just a warm-up session, but hopefully we'll get some decent wind in the Bay of Plenty soon, so I can try them out.

Tuesday 8th March 2011 2.30pm


Wind 10 to 15 kph NW

Despite the westerly direction, the tide was so low I decided just to have a blast with the 4.5 Vapor between the dunes and the sea. Good fun sliding round some of the turns.

Managed a 25.8 kph on one of the 40 metre runs! The 2.3 Vapor has also turned up, but today the wind was too light for it, I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity for its maiden flight soon.

Tuesday 1st March 2011 12pm


Wind 17 to 20 kph N

Better day today, wind strength was just what I wanted for the 4.5 Vapor, around the 15 to 20 kph mark.

I didn't spend a long time out, but I managed a 43.4 kph max run with start and end wind speeds of 17 and 20 kph respectively. This gives a wind to buggy speed ratio of at least 1:2.17 which means to break 70 kph I need a wind speed of 32.25 kph. Oh, and of course, a 3.2 or 2.3 Vapor which are already on order!

Monday 28th February 2011 11am


Wind 15 kph N

A very short session today, in fact I managed only one run with a top speed of 40.4 kph. As soon as I started back up the beach, the wind turned westerly and also picked up to around 30 plus kph.

Despite the shortness of the run, the Vapor felt good, although I did have a few issues with twisted lines. The good news is that northerlies are forecast for the Bay for the next five days.

Sunday 16th January 2011 11am


Wind 25 kph N

Again another long gap since my last buggying session, no real excuses just lame reasons.

However plans are afoot to change all of that. I shall be based in Ohope full time from March and I'm planning to get out with the kites and buggy as much as possible.

Anyway back to today, a decent sea breeze kicked as usual around 11am and with just enough sand left after low tide, I popped out for a quick session.

I managed a top speed of 45.1 kph, nothing major but it was a good feeling to back in the buggy again. I'm certainly looking forward to reaching some good speeds this year as I have invested in a new toy. A Peter Lynn Vapor 4.5m for the frequent sea breeze here at Ohope. I shall try to get some video of myself with the new toy at some point in time, but if you want to see a Vapor in action then check out the video on the Buggy Speed page.

More from 2010