Blokarts just go with the wind

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Me­lanie Louden

A SPUR of the mo­ment pur­chase has taken David Heil­bron all the way to an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Mr Heil­bron, 48, is com­pet­ing in the in­au­gu­ral 2008 World blokart Cham­pi­onships be­ing held in Pa­pamoa, Tau­ranga, un­til Satur­day.

His sights are set on a top 10 re­sult but some of his club mates think he can pull off a podium fin­ish.

At least 87 blokarters from New Zealand, Aus­tralia, the United States, Bel­gium, Ja­pan, Spain, France and the Nether­lands are com­pet­ing.

The Ko­hi­marama res­i­dent bought his first kart at Big Boys Toys af­ter see­ing them be­ing used at Matarangi, on the Coro­man­del.

“I bought it there and then,” he says.

He soon got into racing and has been a mem­ber of the Auck­land Blokart Club for two years.

Mr Heil­bron com­peted in the 2007 New Zealand cham­pi­onships and says con­sid­er­ing his pre­vi­ous per­for­mance and a health scare the re­sult was ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing.

“Four weeks be­fore the New Zealand champs I was at the back of the fleet. I fig­ured out what I was do­ing wrong and came fourth in New Zealand.

“The week be­fore the champs I had two stents put in my heart.”

Mr Heil­bron says the Kiwi sport, which sees men and women com­pete against each other in weight cat­e­gories, is “good fun and very so­cial”.

“Every­one helps every­one else.”

He says no real fit­ness level is re­quired and racing is “all about what you do with the wind”.

Masts and sails can be changed ac­cord­ingly and the blokarts can reach “hair rais­ing” speeds of up to 100kmh.

The fastest Mr Heil­bron has trav­elled is 70kmh and he says his goal is to reach 80kmh.

Mr Heil­bron, a me­chanic at Ports of Auck­land, says a num­ber of dis­abled peo­ple com­pete and the sport helps de­velop arm strength.

The Auck­land club races on the roads and carpark of Bruce Pul­man Park, Pa­pakura, and also vis­its a num­ber of beaches.

It has 70 mem­bers and is try­ing to find its own premises so it can con­struct a pur­pose built track.

The club also en­cour­ages blokart­ing among school kids and has vis­ited some classes.

Mr Heil­bron says the club is hop­ing spon­sors will come on board so they can take the sport to even more schools.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the club or spon­sor­ship call Mr Heil­bron on 027-296-6266 or go to www.abc.gen.nz.

Photo: FIONA GOODALL

Sights set: Auck­land Blokart Club mem­ber David Heil­bron is com­pet­ing at the in­au­gu­ral World blokart Cham­pi­onships.

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