admits to enjoying the competitive aspects of his sport?
gets pleasure from doing something that wouldn'tnormally be allowed?
feels that some people watch the sport in the hope of seeing accidents?
suggests that people may have a wrong impression of his lifestyle?
has theoccasional mishap when taking part in his sport?
has recently cut back on his expenditure in the sport?
has recently fulfilled a long-held ambition?
helps other people when they're having difficulties?
is modest about the level of success he's attained?
is looking for the right combination of factors to increase his speed?
remembers the moment when he decided to have a go at the sport?
mentions the unpredictable conditions affecting his performance?
says that he achieves greater speeds than participants in similar sports?
spends his free time on the upkeep of his equipment?
lacks the financial resources to take part at the level he aspires to?
Look at these words and expressions from the text. Match them to the word which is closest to the meaning in context.
to get told off (A)
to topple (B)
to get in the way (B)
to whizz about (B)
to tweak (C)
to put up with (C)
to get abuzz from (0)
to cross the finishing line (D)
to be hectic (D)
a) to be excited by
b) to feel busy
c) to fall
d) to make small adjustments
e) to tolerate
f) to complete a race
g) to obstruct
h) to move quickly
i) to be reprimanded
THRILLS AND SKILLS
Our reporter Jo Malone talked to four men of speed
A ROGER: Formula Four catamaran speedboat driver
Like our other speed lovers, Roger's middle name could actually be adrenalin. The record for his class of boat is 165kph and they normally race at around the 152kph mark. Roger's raced all sons of powerboats since falling in love with the sport in 1993 and is involved with everything from racing himself to manning the rescue and recovery boat at his club. He would love to race the Formula One powerboats which hit speeds of about 240kph, but can't afford this at present. As in the world of motor-racing, as you move down the ratings from four to one, so the cost of taking part rises astronomically. Roger races all over Europe, enjoying the thrill of the race as well as the chance to go incredibly fast. 'Where else in the world can you drive a boat as fast as you like and not gel told off for it? It is an incredible feeling to drive fast on water. I 110kph feels like travelling at 320kph. Every inch of water is different, there's the wind, and the waves from the bank and from other craft. It's never the same,' he says. Quite the action man. Roger's other interests have included navigating in a rally car, canoeing and sailing: 'I've sailed for 30 years and all I've done is raced.'
Â STEVE: Parakiter
Steve's sport may be one of the slower fast-man activities, but it gets his heart pumping. He rides a wind-powered kite buggy, also known as a parakite, at about 56kph. In his three-wheeled machine, Steve sits virtually on the ground and yes, he does topple out sometimes. 'We're only a couple of inches off the ground and it feels very quick indeed,' says 29-year-old Steve. The record is just over 95kph and Sieve has so far touched 72kph, and is hoping to find the wind and surface conditions that will allow him to go even quicker. 'The stronger the wind the smaller the kite we use,' he says. Steve recalls the day he spotted the enormous kites and buggies and decided it was a sport he had to try. 'I've never looked back since. I like the adrenalin of it and the feeling of control.' says Sieve. 'It feels so fast. Wind's an amazing thing,' he says. He and his fellow parakiters need large areas of flat hard ground such as a beach or a park with mown grass where there aren't too many goalposts to get in the way. He says the parakiters are quicker than the kitesurfers, who use similar kites but whizz about on surfboards on the waves: 'I couldn't afford that, and we are going faster.'
Ñ JAMIE: Motorbike speedster
Jamie loves the sheer thrill of going extremely fast, extremely close to the ground, on his motorbike. He recently left the powerful Superbike class of monster 1000cc bikes for the cheaper-to-run, but just as much fun, super mono motorbike class. That's four stroke single cylinder 720cc bikes which easily reach speeds of about 225kph on the track. He rides for a racing team and competes virtually every other weekend in the racing season from April to September, practising or tweaking his bikes several nights a week. 'It's just the thrill. It's something that I've been into that gives me the excitement I like,' he says. His wife Amanda goes to watch and generally puts up with masses of motorbike talk. One of the fastest riders on the circuit, Jamie doesn't ride a road motorbike. 'I'm not interested. I want to go fast and race,' he says. He admits that some spectators are partly watching to see the crashes. 'No-one wants to see anyone hurt, but it is quite spectacular when they fall off,' he says.
D RALPH: Formula One racing driver
Racing driver Ralph adores burning rubber at 320kph on the Formula One racetrack. 'I started when I was ten years old. It was my birthday and I had a day's go-karting as a surprise treat. I did that for six years and achieved quite a bit of success.' This is an understatement as he won virtually every race around. By the time he was fourteen, karting had become more than a hobby, and he was travelling all over Europe to compete 'I wanted to go for Formula One from that first day I started racing, so gelling the chance this year is like a dream come true. The first time you drive thecar it's amazingly quick, but after that you get used to thespeed and don't notice it. What I get a real buzz from is going round in a good time or crossing the finishing line ahead of my opponents. People think motor racing's a very glamorous situation with lots of things going on, but theraces are very busy with the team and the media, so you don't getto see so much of whatever else is going on. Maybe at the end of the year, I'll be able to sit back and reflect a bit, but for now it's pretty hectic'.