Brian Holgate Breaks World Kitebuggy Speed Record!

Via Facebook message, The Drachen Foundation received news that the World Kitebuggy Speed Records was broken on Tuesday, March 6th. Here's the report from the Peter Lynn website:

In the weeks leading up the 2012 NABX the guys from Peter Lynn New Zealand, builders of the speedbuggy asked Brian Holgate if he wanted to ride this specially designed kitebuggy, ofcourse Brian didn’t have to think twice. With high winds on the playa on March 6th he head out to his homespot with the speedbuggy and a 2.7m Vapor (Thanks BB!).

“So here is the update. I DID IT!!! Got there and the winds were going from 15-30mph sustained with gusts to 50mph. Decided to wait it out for a while. Once the wind steadied out I got the kite out and hooked up the 500kg lines with my freestyle handles with a shortened leash to the 2.7 Vapor that I borrowed from BB (ed: BeamerBob). Went over to the buggy to get everything ready and realized I left my harness at home. So you can guess by now that I also left the spreader bar….YIKES! So after I got done crying, ;) , I called Beamer Bob and asked for his since he lives very close to the edge of town. He agreed to let me use it so off I was.

Once I returned to the dry lake the winds were perfect. They were sustained at 35-40 with gusts to 55mph. We quickly hooked up the spreader bar and pulled the kite back out. When Johnny was helping me to launch the kite the wind was blowing it all over the place. The bridles kept getting tangles, it was actually quite stressful. We were finally able to launch the kite from the side of the wind window. The first time we launched it, we did so without being harnessed in. So as soon as the kite went up I was sent dancing across the playa! Johnny had to run over and hold me down in order to hold the kite down and walk back up wind. Now that I knew the kite was in working order(since it was my first time flying this specific kite) I decided it was time to harness in and go. Didn’t want to harness in till I knew the kite was right. I sat in the buggy and we launched the kite with it secured to the spreader bar and off I went. At first I was cutting almost straight up wind. Went out to the middle of the lake and let it go. Turned the buggy down wind and it accelerated quicker than I have felt in a car. The winds were almost straight west so I thought I would be able to go the length of the dry lake. However there was so much power that I was sliding around at a high speed. Tried to tack back up wind with no prevail.

So here I am barreling toward the brush at a high rate of speed. I decided there was no saving the run and I would have to let the kite go. I turned downwind a little and tried to pull the leash out of the spreader bar but the kite was loaded with so much power that it wasn’t budging. After about 4 tries to free the leash I turned straight downwind and gave it one last pull and out it came. Let the kite go and turned away from the brush that was now only about 100 yards away. I turned away into the small rocks that run the length of the lake right next to the brush. It was like marbles…I slid a little in the rocks and hit the brakes. Must had slid about 500 feet before it finally stopped. At this point I didn’t think I broke the record but I knew it was a personal best for sure. When I got out and looked at the GPS’s they said 84.0, 84.1, and 84.4 mph!!!!! This all happened within 2 miles. I had just left the camp. Johnny rushed over in his truck to check on me and when he got there I was jumping and screaming. I ripped off all 3 gps and brought them over to Johnny Losada and Steve the Land Sailor (Sorry Steve, don’t know your last name). Not sure what I have to do to make this official but doing it again is no problem. I could have gone faster is I would have went all the way to the freeway and started my run from there. Many thanks goes out to Johnny and Steve for being kite monkeys! Thank you Craig Hansen and Gavin Mulvay at Peter Lynn Kites in New Zealand for allowing me to run their buggy. Thanks to Michel Dekker for making this incredible kite. And Most of all thank you Bobby Muse for letting me borrow you 2.7m Vapor, GPS Units, and spreader bar."