Blokarts just go with the wind
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.
Sights set: Auckland Blokart Club member David Heilbron is competing at the inaugural World blokart Championships.