The Fastest Kite Buggier on Planet Earth

The Fastest Man on the Planet is Brian Holgate. No one expected it; he was nowhere on the radar of being a super-fast kite buggier. Holgate is a top USA kite buggy freestyler. When Brian’s record was announced, the kite buggy world was, quite frankly, in shock. No one could believe it, and many didn’t. Brian faced some flack from the community, but he had the required three dedicated GPS units on the buggy and witnesses. Unfortunately, he lacked video evidence, sparking discussions.

Despite the absence of video footage, the tracking logs from the GPS units were obtained, verifying the time, speeds, and location. Bobby Muse went to the dry lake and confirmed the scrub marks Brian had made at the exact location shown by the logs. This verification process solidified Brian’s achievement as an official record.

At the time, there were 4-5 fast buggiers pushing the envelope to become the fastest. These included Tom Mulligan (Redskyhorizon), Jeroen Potters (Ozzy), Stephan van Bommel, Mano Direx, and Arjen van der Toll (Fast Arie). They risked life and limb, braving extreme winds with tiny kites, resembling wasps on crack—an extremely dangerous endeavor. These buggiers used conventional-looking buggies, unlike Brian, who utilized the purpose-built Peter Lynn Speed Buggy designed for high speeds.

The world record, at 84.10mph, was only slightly ahead of Arjen’s top speed of 82.89mph, making Arjen’s personal best truly remarkable. Brian was confident he could repeat the record and go even faster. A few weeks later, the conditions presented themselves again, and Brian, with his backup crew and the speed buggy equipped with GoPros, ventured out on Ivanpah dry lake. Unfortunately, he didn’t break the record again, but the video evidence captured the challenging conditions—two men struggling to hold the kite in position amid dust billowing from the dry lake bed, making visibility extremely difficult. Brian reached around 76mph until he lost a rear wheel, forcing him to abort the attempt.

In my mind, those who hit 60+mph are elite buggiers, those around 70mph are kite buggy legends, and the two giants who have surpassed 80mph, like Brian Holgate and Arjen van de Toll, are absolute kite buggying superstar gods.

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