Mablethorpe to Skegness and Back 11.04.2010
Well it finally happend…the end of my buggying drought, over six long months I had been waiting for this session, during the six months, I had lost my job, and generally been a bit down not even being able to afford or warrant spending the fuel money to get to the coast. During this time also, I had built my latest buggy the Dominator 4 and got myself sponsored by Cooper kites, so this trip was going to become a few firsts for me.
For about 4 days before the wind was showing a NE 12-15mph wind…..could we do it, I was thinking, this could be the last chance till winter comes again. Conformation from House that the run was in fact doable thrilled me and word quickly spread around the forums that the run was on…The Mable To Skegness Run. Not many people have done this run, but there are many around wanting to as it’s such a great run 32 mile round trip, on a good day done in just over an hour.
I arrived at the beach at 8.50am and drove straight onto the beach with my trailer…always a little bit scary in case I cannot get off again, but I thought with the buggy off loaded I stand a chance so took the chance. Ukspeedtraps was just on the beach and the two Carls were already set up. I off loaded the buggy and eased my way back up the the soft dune…note no unauthorised vehicals are allowed on the beach.
Once on the beach, I decided to start off with the 5.6m Cooper kite, the other were using 6-7m kites, but seeing as I had no idea what these would perform like started gradually. I set off for some practice with the kites and test the buggy, the buggy by the way seemed perfect as I had hoped for, the kite on the other hand was not right, the tip kept turning into itself. I kept adjusting the brake line and realised the kite need to be flown on plenty of break, much more than the Yaks I was use too.
More and more buggiers turned up from all over the place, even as far as Luton as in Big Kens case, this was the first time I had met him, he came over and introduced himself, what a nice guy. There were around 25-30 buggiers there and those that wanted to were to have a bash at the run.
We set off at midday, I like House or Rustray to take the lead as they have too many to count runs underneath their belts to count, and they know the best lines and routes to take…sometimes it not always what seems is the easiest route is the best route, because you may get cut off by a deep creeks etc.
After about 5 miles we stopped and waited for the tail enders to catch up, I was a little surprised at this stage as there only seemed about 8-10 buggiers, we set off again, and soon Windjammer flew past me then went to take the lead….I thought, I hope he knows what he is doing…lol, but after a mile or so he moved over and let House take the lead again, the wind was great and we were averaging 30mph, and got to the outside of Skegness in about 30-40 minutes, as we stopped I realised there had been many others join the run…in all buggies using all sorts of kites, it was great to see everyone in our group.
House mentioned the tide was coming in quite fast and the wind had turned more Northerly….it was going to be a long hard journey back…OMG…I really didn’t want this. As the last one’s arrived, we immediately set off back to Mable….bloody hell, we could not even buggy the shore line, we had to start tacking, and just getting over the first hurdle was a nightmare, it in fact took me about three tacks just to get over the first small ridge…everyone were tacking and vying for the same spot…I thought if we have to do this all the way back, we will never make it…we soon spread out as the different skills and kites played their part and took their toll on who was going to make it back and who wouldn’t……it was and extremely hard slog, sometimes, I would not be moving more that a few mph, and then have to do a tack…just to get a better run up to get over a ridge……mile upon long mile went by….the tide was using all the hard sand, to make our journey even harder, I remember thinking those on barrows are not going to make this.
Just when you felt you were getting somewhere and finally going above 10mph, we would come across a hurdle…with the tide coming in so quickly, the fishermen were moving their rod holders right at the top of the beach…meaning there was nothing else we could do apart from down our kites wrap them up and drag our buggies round the back of them….. this happened three times, on top of that there was the concrete pipe that was another down kite drag buggy session…all this time I was with House, I knew there were a couple in front of us but didn’t know who…I kept seeing their tracks disappearing into the water as the tide was coming in. House was on a depower kite and as usual doing bloody well with it, some cases much better than me on my race kite, but other times I would stretch ahead of him until the next hurdle…..
You may well ask “why didn’t you all stay together”…well the simple answer to that is, at this stage it was everyman for himself, we would not gain anything by all not making it back…I knew there were at least groups of two all the way, and those that do make it back may be able to send help via the road.
As the miles slowly went by, I came to another halt, there was virtually no room at some points to tack, I remember saying to House how much further…”Oh miles yet Carl” he said…I could have killed him lol…as we set off again, sometimes barely crawling then I see another headland that we had to make our way around almost straight into the wind, how the hell are we going to get around there…but we just seem to just make it, after every headland, I would hope to see Mable in the distance, but every time it wasn’t there, this journey felt more like 160 miles not 16….
As we finally saw Mable in the distance, I was so relieved, I shouted to House, I bet we can’t make it round the groins at Mable…he was unsure, but the nearer I got the more determined I was not to have to down my kite again, as I looked at it, I thought we may JUST stand a chance, I went first and went into a 12″ deep pool of water, but at least we both made it, I also realised that we would be the last people around those groins. The final run back along our usual Mable beach was great, we were moving about 25mph, and it felt so good. Once back I was surprised to see two of the guys from Coventry I think, I was convinced it was Windjammer ahead all the time, I congratulated them at having done so well getting back, and they did the same to House and me. It had taken us 3 1/2 hours…
These 2 guys were Midland Tony and DIEM. They never actually left the beach at Maybo. They only turned up when you guys had left. They collected my kit while I collected my mate. mick ps. Not that it matters of course. Just thought I’d tell ya. 😀 ….Mick
The buggy handled brilliantly and the 5.6m Cooper got me home, as the tide was still coming in, I wanted to get my car back onto the beach to get my buggy off, so packed away my gear and drove onto the beach, loaded the buggy and tried to move forward…the wheels just sank in the sand….oh know, this is all I need, I reversed and got some traction, I took a good run up and went for the soft dune at about 20mph and made it up the hill…thank God. I parked the car at the top and went back down the beach to wait for the others.
Rustray arrived next, which was a remarkable effort on a Flexi, then Windjammer and Big Ken, who ended up flying a 12m Yak….
We told Grazzer what had happened and he said he would drive along the coast road looking for weary buggiers, and House even though extremely tired got back in his buggy and went south again to see if he could help anyone…
What started as being a great run turned into a personal marathon, and everyone on that run will have their own story to tell….it was bloody hard, but it was also an extreme run, one that I will not forget. I will try to add most of the other pilots accounts of their own personal journey back to Mablethorp, I know when I arrived back, there were some pilots 10 miles back down the beach…the last one to arrive back got there at 6.30pm, after 6 1/2 hours from setting off.
What a good laugh it was today, i felt a bit like the sand yeti going off on a big enduro kite buggy, took a big drybag with 4 kites 6,7.3,8.6 and the 12m yakuza a few meat pies and a bottle of water. headed off down to skeggy started off on the 6m just about right as i could manage to stay behind house so i knew which way to go and avoid any unforseen obsticles like the one carl rm found i think he got his tornado buggy airborne off a big drop off lol.
we got near to skeggy but decided to turn round as the tide was coming in, but the wind had changed direction to north which made it hard to come back, i changed up to a bigger kite and found it ok to get upwind but felt sorry for Steve on the access.
had to do quite a few tack turns to keep moving but there was lots of soft sand making turning difficult, i noticed ken get stuck in one place so i avoided that bit lol.
after packing the kite up to cross over some boulders ken decided to try and set off like me but ended up having to go into a big puddle and couldn’t get out so he back looped the kite to get some power but snapped a power line and ripped a few bridals out the kite.
the only kite he had left was the 12m yak the mighty beast, it took some balls to fly that kite in 15mph wind, he got a good lick on and kept up, i kept glancing behind me to see if he was ok but the kite was at the top of the window all the time it must of been to big to lower it into the power zone.
i decided to stop and get my 8.6m out and get it ready for quick change over if ken wanted to use but he went past with a big grin on his face, i had to pack up and try and catch him up.
we finally got to mablethorpe town and had to pack the kite up once more to get round the sea defense from then on it was plain sailing all the way back to the tent, was pleased to see Carl waiting for us.
Hope the guy in the t shirt and shorts is ok, had a great day today and really nice to meet everyone and with the added bonus of making it back from skeggy without the aid of the coastguard!!
I think Grahame managed to get hyperthermia and sunstroke at the same time. When I picked him up from Sutton he was in a real bad way. On the way back to Maybo my van became the set for a scene from the Exorcist. Grahame is now renamed Ralph. We’ll leave it there eh. After a change of clothes, a hug from DIEM, an hours sleep, 3 beef burgers and several bottles of pop (he said water) he made a stunning and full recovery. Unfortunately my van still stinks
Tell us more about the coast guard….how did he get you all back to Mable…I know Ukspeedtraps aka Steve said he was 10 miles away and could not move……also how did he know you were all in trouble….
I know Steve was on an 8m Access, but there were lesser depowers and fixed bridles than that there….What was House using, he did remarkably well with the depower kite he was using….in fact he waited a few times for me to catch up….he really is the King of the Mable to Skeg run closely followed by Rustray, they have both done the run too many times to count….Russ was in just a Flexi buggy, but made it all the way back through the soft stuff on his own steam, at one point he was even riding the Promenade….with his kite line just missing the buildings lol…
I know one thing for sure though, all those that did make it back on their own steam, did remarkably well and must have good buggy and kite skills, as the tide was racing in there was very little room to tack, and at some points quite steep soft shale banks to climb….well done to all of you who completed it….the achievement to get back was like winning a marathon
After 6month out of the buggy…I feel I have been run over by a tank today
Well, what a day we had of it yesterday!
I’m lucky enough to live just 10 miles or so from Mable and I set off at 8.30 thinking – yeah I’ll get there first and take some time to set up and try out a few kites. As I arrived Popeye was already unloaded onto the beach and locking up his trailer in the car park – The two Carls were out there as well – it was good to meet them and hear some stories.I aimed to start on my 10m Bomba but knew the centre line was frayed from the hook-up through the bar so had taken some line and I changed it – but after 50 yards it untied as I hadn’t put enough knots in – bl**dy embarrasing and had to do it all again !
After that it went fine but was slightly under-powered on the windward stretch as the wind was a little round to the north. I stopped after a bit and decided to try out a kite that I’d only static flown since buying it ages ago – an 8m Air Evo reputed to have similar power to a 10m Frenzy. It went well and seemed more powerful than the Bomba so I decided to stick with it and packed the arc away.
As the time passed the beach was filling with more and more kiters and we must have had the biggest meet that I’ve seen there. It was great to see and I know some of the guys travelled for miles to get there. Popeye suggested that we start the run to Skeg just as Grazzer asked me to help him launch his new Venom so I stayed and we got that airborne and then set off south. I know Carl likes to put me out in front on these runs and there is a best line to take for some stretches of the beach (but I reckon it’s in case there’s one of those deep hidden creeks lying just outside your line of sight really…………lol).
It was great going south in convoy – I looked back often and saw a line of kites swooping along behind me – I seemed to be able to get to around 25 -32 mph where the beach was clear so the wind was great. Matt came past for a while and headed the trip, then Pops had a go in front. The places shot by – Mablethorpe south end, Trusthorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, Sandilands, Boygrift, Huttoft Bank, Moggs Eye, Marsh Yard, Anderby Creek, Chapel St. Leonards, Ingoldmells and finally Winthorpe at the north end of Skeg The only real problem was the concrete outfall at Ingoldmells – I knew it could be a problem so I slowed up and Rustray came past me full of confidence and went at it full speed – I watched and thought – well that looked ok so I’ll do the same – I started to gather speed but not quite enough as the far side of the concrete had an angled drop of around 2 feet and the ol’ Barracuda scraped her backside as we went over. I realised that Russ was carrying so much speed he had simply launched over the drop and carried on regardless – lol.
When we got to Winthorpe the leading pack slowed and stopped to wait for the other guys and I realised the tide was in further than ideal. A bit of manoeuvring and it seemed like the wind was well round to the north – hell it might be tough getting back. Pops agreed that we should start getting back so we stopped short of getting down to Skeg pier and set off back. There was some fun at first because we had all parked up within a few yards of each other. A few moments of mayhem happened as kites and lines shot up within a very close distance. The blue ozone came across my lines and I heard it thump down about 10feet behind me. Eventually as far as I know we all started to go north.
Man it was hard work, trying to find the hardest strip of sand and haul the kite in to make headway. I know that the moment you get in the soft stuff the progress ends so tried hard to keep off it but it was difficult as the beach is tilted more round to the east at the south end of the run – until you get round the headland at Chapel it is hard going when the wind’s round to the north. Some of the guys got ahead and seemed to be going OK some were struggling behind but everyone was locked in their own personal battle to get back. We all had to stop and drag buggies over the concrete outfall and I had to stop after this as the headstock bolt was coming loose – out with thespanners! . Popeye caught me at this point and we both did most of the trip back together though I couldn’t match his Cooper racekite’s windward performance and lagged behind for much of it. We kept meeting up at the obstacles and he was well p**ssed off at having to down kite and walk round the fishermen – I was able to keep the de-power in the air on the times when we had to do this but was still not good. We both had to pack the kites and walk under the railings at south Mable as the tide was in too far to buggy round.
Finally we got back and had the long wait to see what happened to the others as described above.
It was an exhilarating day but an exhausting one – I’ve never felt so knackered after a day at the beach and had to drink about three pints to re-hydrate in the evening. I still feel exhausted now, but it was a great day in spite of the difficulties and made all the better by having a great crowd to share it with.
Looks like the run will have to wait until next Winter now when the beaches go quiet again. Still we have a great strip at north end and I hope to see everyone back there again at some time over the summer.
The coastguard Saga is thus. I was one of the last to leave Skeggy as the tide was turning. Wind direction started coming more from the north to compound the problems.
Managed to get to about 100 yds south of Butlins when I snapped a line. Went up to my 6 m Oxy, got overpowered and got obe’d. Knackered my right shoulder again (obe’d 17 months ago at 35 mph and landed on shoulder). Packed all my gear up and started the long march up to Mable. I hadn’t got a mobile or any cash on me so was resigned to a very very long walk back. After a couple of miles I eventually had the sense to walk along the concrete, dog turn ridden path at the top of the beach / dunes. A lot easier going. Eventually I met up with I this name is Dave who comes from Derby. He’s got a PW Maloo bug and he was heading up the beach pulling his kit behind him. We had a chat and then decided that we’d walk together. The path along the top then stopped by some bathing huts on a “peninsula”, so carried on along the waterline. Bloody hard going to say the least. Met up with 3 others along the way who were in the same predicament as us two: CarlRM, and two other guys whose names elude me for the moment. Anyway after a conflab with a fisherman, Dave, Carl and I decided that our best option was to get onto the road with a view of getting a lift to Mable, collecting vehicles etc. and rescuing the others. The other two (forgotten names), decided that they were going to carry on walking up the beach. It was about 4.00 p.m by now. We got down to the road and after a few minutes wait flagged down a Coastguard, who after a little persuasion gave a lit to Dave and CarlRM back to Mable. Carl had a trailer which would carry 2 buggies and Dave’s buggy would go in his Mondeo’s boot. I was left at the side of the road guarding the gear. After about 3/4 hour Dave and Carl tuned up with trailer and vehicles and we got out selves back to Mable by about 6.00 p.m. Blimey what an epic. I’m not sure what happened to the other two (the beach walkers), but they arrived at the car park about 1/2 hour after us. Thanks all round to everyone who helped with the rescue / recovery.
So, it was my first time to Mable. The lessons learnt were:
Take money with you. Take a mobile and keep it in a watertight box in your buggy bag. Keep an eye on the tide. Keep an eye on the wind direction. Drink lots of water – I didn’t and became quite dehydrated. Keep your head covered – I’m going a bit thin on top and have burnt the top of my head.
Hi Mike, Dave here, realy Steve..
Mister Coastguard was a very nice man.. to drive 10 miles out of his way was a blessing.
You need to add to you list, 2 or 4 stroke engine with chain drive to buggy wheel… and a tank with a 20 mile range…
Hell………I feel bad that some of you had such a rough time of it.
Maybe we should ‘a stuck together but I don’t think there’s much that anyone can do to help another to make progress against the wind and it becomes every man for himself.
I sympathise though – I once had to pull the Barracuda 3 miles along the beach because the wind completely failed – fotuntely it was hard packed so not too bad but I ached like mad the day after.
As you say lessons to learn each time…… can’t believe I had to be dressed up like the middle of winter just to stay warm.
We have a strange sport
(it is great though………..) lol
Chuffin hell…6.30pm the last to arrive back…I must admit reading your stories….I did really laugh out loud…I do appologise
The sun most have been quite strong as i am also suffering from a warm forehead. one thing i noticed was that those with the smaller bugs didnt have the trouble of downing the kites. i just picked mine up and dragged it round the fishermen while flying the kite. only dropped it twice, once at the big discharge pipe and again where the beach has been shut off and i climbed up onto the prom with it.
I kept saying to House on the way back, I bet we can’t get round the groins at Mable, I was getting more and more pee’d off every time we came up to fishermen and had to pack down, then the scaffolding across the beach too…lol, anyway when I got to Mable, I just thought sod it I am going for it and went around the groin, the sea was about a foot deep at that point, I remember thinking to myself, there wont be any others going round there……I must admit in reflection though, that run was by a million miles the worst I have ever had to do with the wind changing, I have never once had to struggle back like that….its normally 30-40mph there and back…like I said before just over an hour, but I tell you what, that will be a buggy run you will never forget, and even though it was difficult and extremely hard for some of the guys, it certainly beats just going up and down the same run ehh….maybe some other time nearer the winter or a nice summers evening when the wind is right we can give it another go
Just like to thank everyone at Mablethorpe for making me very welcome
It was an experience that I will never forget the run to Skegness was awesome
like everyone else it was a pig off a run back to Mablethorpe specially hanging on to a 12 meter which I Dare not lower will I be doing it again Hell yes.
I’ve just reread all the stories. I don’t mind admitting to be a light weight and I was quite happy to just buzz round on the beach locally and keep my eye on ‘our’ kit. I still manged to cover 23 miles in the 2 hrs I kited. Immediately we got down on the beach, Carlos came over and invited us on the run. We all but one declined but I thought I’d do a couple of miles with them, and thats all it was. Even then I noticed the turning tide and realised this wasn’t going to be all fun but hey, you know what? Ive done Wallop and a lot of the fests; Ive kited at loads of venues but theres those one or two days that will remain special. This will be one of them.
Meeting up with the Nuneaton boys; do you know they dragged all mine and Grahames kit up off the beach while I went to find him. Thats something I won’t forget in a hurry. Meeting up again with Matt after a few years and putting faces to names off the forum. Staring at all those race buggys and admiring the Popeye machines. What a day. Guys, you make me very proud to be part of this community. Till the next time.
(oh and the smell in my van, thanks Grahame)
Having got all my kit sorted out back at home and a decent night’s sleep, the mind starts playing tricks. You start to forget the sheer frustration of not being able to gain any headway up the beach towards Mable. You forget the broken kite lines. You forget the aching legs from trudging effing miles up the beach. You forget the aching arms and shoulders from dragging a bloody heavy buggy through soft sand and then along a dog turd strewn concrete path. You don’t forget the look of relief from Steve and Carl when the Coastguard gave way in giving them a lift to Mable to collect cars and trailers. You don’t forget what an epic day it was and one which you’ll never forget. A superb day. Blimey the mind does play tricks!!