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World HPV Championships
Brighton, England - August 2 - 5th, 2001

World traveler and HPV racer Sean Costin went to Brighton for the World HPV Championships, and took the following pictures. Also, see Sean's write-up on the races.
Geoff Bird's hpv-heaven.com streamliner, which was destroyed in a spectacular crash the day after after this picture was taken.. More information about this short lived streamliner can be found on Geoff's web site. 

 Ian Chattington's "Equus Anonymous" streamliner. 

Nick Green's perennially unfinished, yet extremely fast "A Wooden Fish On Wheels" streamliner.
Steve Slade in the "Little Black Number" Kingsbury Bean streamliner at the 1 Kilo TT sprints.
Mike Burrows Neuveau Ratcatcher tailbox.
Sam Whittingham, riding an Optima Baron,  waits to run in the 1 Kilo TT. 
Frederik van de Walle, who had a controversial 44MPH run at the 200 meter sprints, on his Challenge Jester. 
Denis Mario Ahrens on a Razz Fazz lowracer. These Carbon fiber wonders weigh about 16 lbs with rear suspension and tailbox.
Here's a closeup of another Razz Fazz, showing the wheel fairing and carbon fiber handlebars.
   
Sean's News from the Worlds

Well I just got back from Brighton and I have some news from the Worlds. 

Registration and Practice day on Wednesday was great fun. I must have spent an hour running pace lines with Sam Whittingham and Rob English on a very unusual square velodrome that included a hill. I think it measured about 540 meters. Weather was great. 

On Thursday it rained almost the whole day. Everyone was supposed to do 2 lap time trials for heat pairings in for 20 minute races on the same track later in the day. We managed to get a 1 kilo time for everyone, but the track was slick and many riders were afraid of losing traction especially after Sam Whittingham slid out in the final stretch on his run, causing some pretty bad rump rash and a crash with another rider. I somehow managed to have the fastest time in this event even though I started letting up at the end for fear of crashing. I don't think it was actually considered an event, just a way to set up heats for future events. 

Unfortunately, the 20 minute races were cancelled due to the rain and we lost the opportunity to race on this really interesting velodrome. 

The next day had great weather and a true World Class 2K circuit in Hove park. which featured a long climb , blind corners ,chicanes, and a curved downhill. The first of 5 heats were 30 minutes plus a lap, then a semifinal of 30 minutes and then a final of 30 minutes. To move to the next level, you needed to either be in the top 5 or be above a time cutoff. Both faired and unfaired were in the same races together going for the same positions. Handling limitations slowed the faired racers down to be just a little faster than the best tailcone bikes. 

The course was particularly exciting for spectators because from the start area you can see the racers climbing the hill on the opposite side of the course. The first few heats were uneventful, but in the 4th heat, there must have been some anxiousness to do some real racing because Rob English said they averaged 29 mph! There was also a violent collision when Geoff Bird slammed head-on into a 12" wood post in his just finished fully faired bike at about 35 mph. Fortunately he walked away with only bruising though he was visibly shaken by the experience. 

In the Semi's the German Razz Fazz team was absolutely dominant. They built new Carbon lowracers that weigh about 16 lbs with rear suspension (I'm not exaggerating) and are absolutely the best tailcone lowracers I have ever seen. They should have received an award for technical achievement for these bikes. 

Utimately Dennis Mario Ahrens won the partial/unfaired class with his Razz Fazz closely followed by Martin Schroferl also riding a Razz Fazz. I think Walter Berger of Switzerland was 3rd in a Birk. Dennis' average speed was over 30mph on a hilly course after 2 fast 30 minute heats. The fully faired winner was Ian Chattington and the Womens champ was Rosemarie Buhler. Steve Slasher Slade crashed his hard-shell kingcycle but was not injured. There was another crash, but I only know that his name was Ian and there were quite a few Ians in the races. 

Sam Whittingham and Rob English finished in the top 10 with Sam just ahead of Rob. Sam was incredibly fit, but because he had only one day with the bike he just didn't have the comfort level with the bike necessary to win at this level. 

The following day was Seaside on the Promenade in Brighton. It was a nice flat course with a decent run up for the partial/unfaireds. The Wind was blowing hard at about a 45 degree angle to our backs. Frederick Van de Walle had another amazing 44 mph run to take the PF/UF class. I took 3rd at about 41.5 mph and I think Edgar Van Balmos was 2nd. Unfortunately the timing system was giving us problems and some racers did not get their times. Many racers complained that waited 3 hours at the start to get their run in, causing them to run without warm-up. I think the Fully faired winner may have been a Junior racer in a vector trike copy. Ian Chattington and Rob English in the Black Thing were in the top 3.

The 50M drag races were great fun. Sam Whittingham and Rob English shared racing a Bike Friday. Both Cruised through the semi finals and everyone wondered what they would do if they were paired against each other in the final. They discussed a running race in their stocking feet, but it never came to pass because Martin Schroferl amazingly beat Rob English with his Razz Fazz to reach the final against Sam. Sam, put on guard by Rob's loss really cranked hard to win by about 1/2 a bike length.

 Sunday was at Goodwood Motor Speedway for some 2&4 hour racing, which I was not able to attend. Maybe Dave Larrington can fill us in.

Sean Costin

 

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