Arena Watch

The Grand Pier, Weston-Super-Mare, Avon, England

by James Clay

Dueling in England has caught on in some areas but is virtually ignored in others. Businessmen were finding that the appeal of seaside resorts, such as Weston-Super-Mare, was fading, and they had to find new attractions that would keep visitors coming back for more, year after year.

So, with some reluctance, the local council granted a license for an arena for Weston-Super-Mare. Local opposition was strong and nearly overturned the decision.

Eventually, and after much capital input to the local economy, the arena was built. Contrary to press speculation, it was a great success and attracted spectators and drivers not just from England, but also from Europe.

Running a variety of official Royal AutoDuel Association events and specialty events, there is bound to be something that will appeal to every visitor.

Arena Notes

Walls: The outside walls have 50 DP each and are 25' high.

The Pier: The Pier is 15' high, with the supporting pillars 50 DP each, The ramps are inclined at 15 degrees.

Gates: Each gate has 20 DP and opens outwards, taking three seconds.

The Theater: This is actually just an empty building with 10 DP. There are four machine guns on tripods mounted on each of the corners. The Theatre contains 3 bunkers with 15 DP walls, in case any driver needs a refuge.

Arena Events

Besides regular RADA events and club competitions, there are many specialty events which are used to draw the crowds.

The Hover Bash: England was where the hovercraft was invented, thus it is only fitting that some of the most exciting hovercraft duels should be fought there. Normally using hovercrafts in the $40,000 range, points are awarded for kills, crossing plates and surviving. Sometimes, just for fun, non-hovercraft pilots are put at the controls.

Free For All: This is most certainly not sanctioned by the RADA. This is an all-comers, all vehicles event. Up to a limit of $20,000, any type of vehicle may enter; bikes, cars, trikes, hovercrafts and even suicidal pedestrians may have a go. Usually, competitors are awarded one point for every firepower or mobility kill, and lose one point for being firepower or maneuverability killed. However, often the event will simply go to the last survivor.

The Tide: The tide seldom effects the events, as it is normally held back by the arena walls; however, on very high tides, the arena is allowed to flood to allow boat events to take place. If the takings are down, this is sometimes done in conjunction with a Free For All event. In a high-tide Free For All, ten seconds into the event the flood gates are opened, and water rises at ~4" every two seconds until it reaches 1" (15') in depth.

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