RedSkyHorizon- A Man with a Vision
RedSkyHorizon aka Tom Mulligan……Who is this guy?, well I have only met Tom on one occasion, he lives in the south of London, England and buggies on Camber Sands, he is also the new owner of the Dominator 4, and I met him when he came to collect the buggy.
A very nice bloke and very very modest…..not the type of guy you might imagine who would do anything…extreme, but extreme runs through this guys body like blood, I can only describe him as …Courageous, but he tells me he does in fact get quite scared in those extreme conditions……
Synonyms 1. fearlessness, dauntlessness, intrepidity, pluck, spirit. Courage, bravery, valor, bravado refer to qualities of spirit and conduct. Courage permits one to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear: to take (or lose ) courage. Bravery implies true courage with daring and an intrepid boldness:
Tom is hell bent on becoming one of the fastest kite buggiers, the only problem Tom has is his location…..the strip of beach he uses locally to him is very narrow and the wind has to be perfect for the run…..he has already gone 66mph with an LEI in a Tornado 3 in 54mph winds on 6th September 2011, but his ambition is to take the limit much higher.
Tom now holds the record for the fastest LEI kite in a buggy, also the fastest set of Beach Racer tyres
On Tuesday 3rd January 2012, the wind returned to his beach….unbelievably gusting to 80mph, most people would have stayed at home in the warm, Tom didn’t, Tom went to the beach to try to push his personal best higher….he took his new Dominator 4 buggy, which was completely stripped at the time as he is putting his own colour scheme on the buggy. In the car park at the beach he was waiting in the car for his mate Cliff who would offer his much needed support, the whole car is shaking in the wind, the torrential rain was horizontal, those rain drops alone were moving almost enough to bruise you.
Tom did make a big mistake that day, forgetting his dry suit was a major error, he only had his thin jacket with him., this was madness at best….or is it the drive that you need to be the best, that something inside you that pushes you to do something most people would walk away from, I have no idea.
Cliff arrived and Tom put the 5m Best Waroo up….the beach was literally covered in water and riddled with gullies, the tyres on the buggy were not suitable for those conditions, but still Tom wanted to try….he had to, he had come this far…
Here are words from Tom
Sorry for delay. After yesterdays outing I was knackered. Went to bed and didn’t wake up until it was time to go to work.
No new pb despite the nuking winds.
The beach was un-buggyable. Heavy rain and shallow gullies made it impossible. The entire beach was covered in a half inch of water and the bug was aquaplaning. It was like riding on ice. Even the Dominator was bouncing off the gullies. The whole back end would bounce off the ground.
I found a very short section of dry sand near the concrete wall and decided to go for it. I lowered the kite and pulled the bar in an inch or two and rocketed from 25mph to 55mph in about two seconds and then a second or two later I ran out of room and tried in vain to stop but I couldn’t get the back end the kick out. I just kept heading straight towards the groynes with full steering lock and one foot off the foot peg to try and slow down. Luckily it slowed down enough before hitting the deep standing water next to the groynes. Very scary! I have some video footage of it I will post up soon.
When I gunned it to 55mph it looks like the video has been speeded up but it hasn’t. The acceleration was sick and the Dominator is a huge heavy lump of a bug. If only the beach was dry I would have had a chance to beat my pb.
I also had a momentary loss of control of the kite which was even scarier. I recorded 57mph winds on the beach and it was gusting well in excess of that, possibly 65mph. Up the shingle bank we recorded 75mph gusting to 84mph. It was jumping from 55mph to 75mph in an instant.
The 5m was very very over-powered and pretty much unusable. Fully trimmed out with the bar almost out of reach, I was fighting with the kite all the time. It was treating me like a rag doll and throwing the bug around. The kite kept bending and flapping and twisting out of shape. It was insane. No kite should be flying in those winds. I remember thinking how out of place it looked, It wasn’t supposed to be up there.
My arm really ached yesterday when I got home too.
I’m really glad I did it though. It was a sick ride.
I will get the footage up soon.
Another thing to consider also is the extreme temperature….it was not far off zero degrees, he had forgotten his dry suit, and he was obviously drenched through to the skin….add the wind chill factor at those speeds, he is lucky he didn’t freeze to death.
Lets be honest here….99.9% of us would not have even got out of the car that day…RIGHT
He has also lost a rear wheel doing 52mph
The rear downwind wheel comes off my buggy at 52 mph.
The bearing had seized and undone the axle bolt.
Buggy – Tornado T3
Kite – 7m Crossbow
Wind – 25-28 mph x-on
Cambersands, East Sussex. UK 16-July-2011
Without question, there are in my opinion only a hand full of people with enough balls to go out in the kind of winds needed to break the Kite Buggy Speed Record….and Tom told me, that session, it was gusting up to 80mph…….Tom without doubt is in that league. RESPECT
RedSkyHorizon….Tom, I truly hope you achieve all your buggying goals, and wish you every success and luck in achieving those goals
Fly safe my friend, and be as careful as you can be