“It was GREAT” I said to Ms jb. “You would have hated it, though…”
Just got back from the 10th annual International Hako Races in Dexheim.
A HaKo is a 50 year old design for a 2 stroke single axle agricultural tractor – pretty much a equine substitute that can go all day and not get tired.
Just hitch up a trailer (which is also your seat…) or farming implement and away you go.
Lads being lads, Dad’s HaKo mysteriously starting getting faster and faster over the years (“I have absolutely NO idea, Dad. Must be full moon or something…”), unofficial competitions were held until things threatened to get out of hand and Higher Authorities stepped in to Get Things Organised.
The inaugural event in Dexheim was a pretty makeshift affair – someone’s horse paddock (the owner neglected to switch off the electric fence, which introduced a high degree of directional discipline after the first off-track excursion…), figure 8 track and a BIG mud patch.
Obviously, a single driver would be completely out of his depth, so 2 ballast/pushers were perched Ben Hur/Boadicea-like on the back to share tthe fun.
Now, mud’s very important.
Essential, in fact.
If it hasn’t rained significantly in recent days, the fire brigade’s only too willing to help out. They’ll help out anyway.
Yep, got to have lots of mud.
These days, the events attracts of upwards of 50 competitors and 2000 spectators (who are entirely prepared to be liberally decorated with the abovementioned mud and suffer severe hearing damage from unmuffled 2-stroke engines.)
And it’s not as if it’s pedal-to-the-metal, twice around the figure of eight.
Far from it.
There’s a pretty wide power spread between “bog standard” and “tuned-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives/paper-thin-cylinder-walls” stuff that just screams for handicapping.
Handicapping involves frequent stops around the figure 16 for the ballast/pushers to
- Balance along a beam
- Throw a ball at (and knock over) a bucket of water
- Empty a 1 litre container via 2 straws
- Negotiate 30 metres on tandem skis
And a mud hole.
Head-to-head elimination races all afternoon until you’re down to 2 finalists.
Not sure if they’re recognisable under the mud, though…..