Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The final instalment on the rather more extreme variations of polo is about Segway polo. Now here we have to admit we had a Homer Simpson moment – ‘what on earth could Segway polo be’ – well – duh – its polo played on a Segway……….OK……….but what we really meant was ‘what is a Segway?’
Duh, you don’t know – well let us explain.
The Segway PT only has two wheels, yet it manages to stay upright by itself.
To move forward or backward on the Segway PT, the rider just leans slightly forward or backward. To turn left or right, the rider simply moves the LeanSteer frame left or right. You get the sense of power and speed, yet you also feel a sense of safety and absolute control.
The machine was invented by someone called Dean Kamen and is produced in New Hampshire USA – and today it is used around the world by individuals, companies and organisations such as the police force.
So there it is and now you know too – to date the company has sold over 25,000 of these personal transporters which as we have intimated do have their practical and serious side to them. The lady above sure looks to be having a lot of fun and although we have never tried to ride on one we have to admit it does look entertaining and it is of course an eco friendly mode of transport.
Of course there were those who decided to take the fun element to another extreme – enter Segway polo – and as this video from liburd demonstrates it does look to be a laugh and we dare say there is quite a bit of skill involved – but at a price tag of around £5,000, or 6,500 euros, or $7,500, as with the more traditional horse polo, it is not a cheap pastime.
A very quick run-down as Day 3 draws to a close with thanks to RacingThePlanet for sending us the information:
Andrew Strachan (United Kingdom), Philipp Mosimann (Switzerland), Gordon Shaw (United Kingdom) and Alex Howarth ran in together to the finish line looking strong and happy, despite the heat.
Strachan reported that he had seen a zebra carcass, “but by that time I was about ready to eat it,” he said.
There was wildlife aplenty in Stage 3, a springbok, “something with horns” and potentially, “some sort of cat,” were sighted. Rob Bolton (United Kingdom) didn’t waste an opportunity to take his shirt off and, “get his guns out,” he said when he finished the grueling stage, somewhat delirious having narrowly escaping a nasty encounter with a viper.
Rachel Farley (United Kingdom) and Joseph Osha (United States) discussed how it, “is better to run slowly than to walk fast.”
A mistake has been made regarding Mark Jaget’s (United States) withdrawal. There must have been a number mix-up. Jaget is still running strong and is placed 22nd overall.
Now you really are up to date…
Here in the northern hemisphere we are caught in between a rock and a hard place – on Wednesday we looked up into the azur skies and for the first time this year we saw arrivals from the south – swallows and house martins whirled in the blustery skies and we smiled at the thought of the impending arrival of summer and the warmth – it has been a cold, long, hard and wet winter.
On the other hand and determined not to let go of the winter we decided to head for the mountains the next day. No more than a two hour drive from where we live we headed up the Var valley from Nice and toward Valberg in the Mercantour – part of the Alpes Maritimes range. Perhaps the snow was not as perfect as what we had experienced in January and February but it was still in plentiful supply – something you could not say about people. It was as though the lifts, pistes and restaurants had been reserved exclusively for us. Wide open mountains, clinging to their winter hue, sugared and yet warm.
It was fabulous to have the freedom to go where we wanted and when we wanted and without having to wear all the goretexed, insulated, waterproofed, windproofed paraphernalia that is so necessary in January. Probably the best day of the winter and as we left we thought it would probably be the last time this year – yes it is time to put the kit away.
But it has been an AB FAB year and as a reminder of the fun that has been had in the mountains we found this excellent video of some truly extreme skiing put together by adsaru which will hopefully give us all some happy memories.
With the arrival of the swallows it is likely that our attention will be drawn toward extremes found in and on the water and don’t forget that Formula 1 kicks off its 2009 season in Melbourne this weekend – oh and also that the clocks move forward an hour – at least in France! for once being caught between the rock and the hard place doesn’t seem so bad.
We were very sorry this morning to hear of the hang gliding tragedy that resulted in the deaths of two men in a tandem hang glider which crashed near Queenstown earlier today. But it is the danger of this sport which sits along side the beauty of flying a hang glider which is the paradox of this (and we suggest many) extreme sports. Our thanks to Will Hine and Clio Francis of stuff.co.nz for bringing us this story.
‘The fatal flight took off from an area known as The Knoll on the Remarkables this morning and was piloted by an Argentinian Gerardo Bean who was working for the adventure company Skytrek. The passenger was named by police as Andrew Michael Scotland, a volunteer firefighter from Waipu, 41km southeast of Whangarei.
Mr Scotland had been in Queenstown at a fire safety officers’ conference, he had stayed behind in the tourist town after the conference, along with four others, specifically to take part in the morning’s flight. At about 10.15am the hang glider crashed in Kelvin Heights, a southern suburb of Queenstown. Mr Bean died on impact along with his passenger, Mr Scotland.
Skytrek specialises in guided hang-gliding, allowing tourists to fly with an experienced pilot. According to Skytrek’s website, the company was established in 1992 and has flown more than 39,000 customers. A Civil Aviation Authority investigator was on his way to Queenstown to investigate. There were five witnesses to the crash.
CRASH SITE: Police and firefighters prepare to remove the bodies of two people who died in a hang glider crash near Queenstown this morning.
Compare this tragic scene with the fabulous experience demonstrated in the video from Airadventures which shows a promotional video for www.riohanggliding.com of hang gliding at Sao Conrado in Rio de Janeiro which is probably the world’s most beautiful place for hang gliding and has some of the best atmospheric conditions all year round. The take off area is the “Pedra Bonita” (The Pretty Rock), at a height of 1,700 feet (520 meters). The route flies you over a tropical forest called the Tijuca National Park and over the mansions of Rio’s rich and famous before landing on the sand at Sao Conrado’s “Pepino” Beach.
This juxtaposition of the beauty and fear – the paradox – is what seemingly is the great attraction of extreme sports – both for participants who actually experience the adrenaline rush and for spectators who, not surprisingly are watching, waiting and maybe even hoping to see something spectacular. A somewhat macabre thought about the human psyche.
Our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of both Gerardo Bean and Andrew Scotland.
Here’s a sport we haven’t talked about before – Jet Ski racing and from what we hear it is gaining in popularity and interest. Now with a world wide audience and IFWA world championship recognition it seems that Jet Ski racing has definitely taken its place alonside the other mainstream extreme sports that we write about. The article below comes from the JetSki.com website and the video, which is an encouraging and useful introduction to the jet ski racing world, comes from 937NM – thanks guys.
In an effort to offer another round after the cancellation of the USA event, the IFWA has determined to run an additional event, the 2008 IFWA Championship Challenge, following the Jet Waves competition in Brazil. The top 8 riders after France, Spain and Brazil will compete in this additional event and final points after France, Spain, Brazil and Championship Challenge will determine the 2008 IFWA World Champion.
The Jet Waves competition will begin on Friday September 5th with pre-qualifying, qualifying and consolation rounds. The majority of the Jet Waves competition will be held on Saturday September 6th. The Jet Waves Semi-final and Final rounds will be run on Sunday September 7th morning.
The Championship Challenge will follow the Jet Waves after Sunday September 7th lunch. It will feature the 8 IFWA points riders based upon the results of the 3 events: France, Spain and Brazil. These top 8 riders (present at the moment in Brazil) will compete in head to head 1/4 final, 1/2 final and final rounds. The event points given will be as usual: 1st: 23 points; 2nd:20 pts; 3rd: 17 pts; 4th:15 pts; losers of 1/4 finals: 12 pts.
Awards will be presented after the Champhionship Challenge on Sunday September 7th at 4:00 pm. Prize money and trophies will be given for Jet Waves. No prize money and no trophies will be given for the Championship Challenge. Trophies for top riders of 2008 IFWA Free Ride World Championship (5 in Stand-up class; 2 in Sit-Down class) will be presented by Tchello Brandão IFWA President.