The quest for another Bluebird record on the weekend of August 13-14 ended badly, with damage to its bodyshell and steering components as well as a disconnection to a bottom wishbone. The Campbell family has been using the 7-mile stretch of Pendine sand in Carmarthenshire, Wales, since 1924, to try to beat Bluebird records.
Last weekend, Don Wales (the grandson of Malcolm Campbell and nephew of Donald Campbell) and his son Joseph went to this same beach to try to break the record.
The preparations for a Land Speed Record attempt already represent a feat in itself. Among the obstacles that the team had faced include late component parts, cancelled runs, limited budgets and testing, and lack of time to fill all the activities in.
The team also had to consider the short window of time between low tides at Pendine as well as the unpredictable weather. When Joe Wales got behind the wheel of the 2011 Bluebird Electric on August 13, it was just his second time but it was the first time for the vehicle to be on this beach.
The exploratory runs were hindered by the weather conditions. On Sunday, the younger driver’s return leg of a fast outward run prematurely ended. The driver had limited visibility and the car had slid towards the sea while going over 100mph.
The car bounced on the uneven surface and then hit a soft pothole of sand. Joe had quick reflexes and so the damage was minimal. Joe couldn’t make another attempt as the car can’t be fixed in time before the tides come in.