Local kite buggy team, Mark and Maggie Davies are preparing for the European Championships following their success in the SPKA (Scottish Powerkite Association) Kite Buggy racing series 2010 – 2011 that concluded on June 19.
The SPKA racing series runs from October to June each year and saw the couple compete in seven out of a possible eight races during four race events with Mark finishing overall in seventh place, first for the 16” wheel class.
Maggie was in pole position for the ladies, third in the 16” wheel class and overall eleventh place.
For both Mark and Maggie their overall ranking in the SPKA series means they have qualified to represent Scotland as part of the Scottish team at this year’s Class 8 Kite Buggy European Championships.
Mark and Maggie told the Herald: “The past year has seen us mostly competing at Luce Bay near Stranraer and at St Andrews. Competitors travel from across Scotland to compete in the events, unfortunately we were unable to travel to the November event due to the snow.
“With all the competitors from the various classes on the course at the same time, the fleet of twenty five pilots negotiate markers within the designated course, it is much like sail racing, with a rolling start and similar tactics and right of ways. However to complicate matters each three wheel buggy is attached to flying kites on 25 metre lines, luckily tangles don’t happen often due to the skill of the pilots.”
In order to compete in the SPKA series, pilots have to undertake a theory and practical test to obtain a racing licence, after competing at national level, competitors are then eligible to compete at an international level.
Both Mark and Maggie have been participating in all kitesports since 2003, and are both IKO qualified Level 2 senior kitesurf instructors and IKO Powerkite instructors in addition to BPKA/PKSF qualified powerkite, kite landboard and kite buggy instructors.
Returning from Cyprus to the North East for the wind to enable them to pursue their sport and launch Synergy Kitesports the couple explained that they are looking forward to competing at an international level and the first round of the SPKA series 2011 – 2012. They continued: “We are both looking forward to the European Championships which will be held at Hoylake, on the Wirral, in September and include five days of racing against up to 80 of the best kite buggy race pilots in Europe.
“The SPKA series races are normally held in St Andrews and Stranraer, however the first race event for 2011/2012 will be held in Fraserburgh this year on the 1st and 2nd of October, so we wont have so far to travel.
“Hopefully there will be a good turn out over the weekend with many local kite buggy pilots entering for the first 2011/2012 race, with favourable wind conditions, anything from 8 mph to 30 mph but not too cold for local spectators to come and cheer us on.”
If you would like to get involved in kite buggy racing or for more information on Synergy Kitesports, taster session, training and further details of forthcoming events see the website www.synergykitesports.com