Jeff Caswell's Battle Mountain Report

Jeff is recently back from the third annual Battle Mountain, Nevada speed trials (he also went to the first one, but not last year's). He flew to California to crew for Matt Weaver and try to get Matt and his streamliner to Battle Mountain more or less prepared and on time for a change. Matt had two new or incompletely developed bikes he was working on, but Jeff prevailed on him to take the better developed Kyle Edge camera bike. This year the organizers (Garrie Hill helped Sean Costin this time so Sean could try to race too) had only one evening session rather than two in the morning and evening, so things had to be efficiently run to get in ten or so runs each day. Nevertheless, several new records were set this year, including an absolute record of 81 mph for Sam Whittingham in the Varna Diablo, a womens record for Andrea Blaseckie in another Varna, junior and junior multi records, and national records for Germany and Britain.

The latest Varna was made even smaller and more tightly fitted. Sam says that when he complained of only having 1/16” of clearance between himself and the shell, George took the 1/16” away. (3 years ago, when the fastest Varnas were visibly larger than their latest bikes, Sam told me that if he forgot to remove his watch before they taped him into the shell, he couldn't steer the bike. M.S.) With better sealing of openings, there were some problems with oxygen starvation by the end of the runs! What do you suppose he could have done with Matt Weaver's breathing apparatus?

The Mango from Kingcycle is unbelievably tiny but still manages to have an excellent airfoil shape when viewed from the top.

Jeff has lots of digital pictures and showed them at Tim Dunswort's World HPV Championships slide show. But anyone who has web access should check out the pictures on the WISIL and sites. If you haven't been to the WISIL site lately, there are now links to many more photos on other sites.

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