Our morning began with a blissfully late (!!) 9:00am start from our hotel in Novorossiysk (Новороссийск). We had intended to begin our day in Gelendzhik (Геленджик), but decided on the spur of the moment to return to Detskiy Park (Детский Парк) for some daylight shots of Euro-Star. The best vantage point for pictures was the ₽350 (~€5.31) Ferris Wheel, and while it was closer to the coaster than I'd have preferred, the positioning was more than compensated for by completely open cars. The only trick was to avoid overbalancing while trying to get the perfect shot.
City Park Gelendzhik
21st August 2019
Google Maps warned us that it would take around two hours to cover the ninety kilometre distance from Anapa to City Park Gelendzhik (Городской Парк), and this estimate proved to be spot on. Our arrival at around half past one was just in time to claim the final parking space in a paid lot adjacent to a nearby playing field (44.5554, 38.0754). It was quickly evident that most of the rides were closed, but we found a member of staff with good English who told us that the operators were on their lunch break and would be back in due course. Our new friend asked where we were from, and when Ireland was mentioned claimed to be from Drogheda. His Russian accent was a little too strong for us to take his claim seriously though, and besides, who in their right mind would admit to being from Drogheda in polite company?
All payments within the park are handled using a ₽50 (~€0.75) smart card. We acquired one from a cash desk then made our way to Dalmatian Coaster (#2773), a SBF single helix machine with a dog-themed train. The operator gesticulated at signage indicating an 80kg (176lbs) weight limit, but was happy to take our word at face value, indicating that there is some leeway in the regulation. The ₽200 (~€3.03) ride was built up around artificial rockwork topped with a fiberglass panda and painted snow, adding some visual interest to what would otherwise have been a cookie cutter attraction.
Our second stop was at Formula 1 (#2774), a ₽300 (~€4.55) ride that looked at first glance like a run-of-the-mill Zyklon. It was only after the first drop that we realised that we'd found a custom design that routed in unexpected directions to avoid a tree. The highlight of the layout was a climbing left turn after the second drop, though I'll throw in an honourable mention for the limited clearance on the third drop that almost certainly explained the heavily padded over-the-shoulder harnesses; had they not been there I'm quite sure I'd have been able to touch the track. With that complete we ticked off Caterpillar (#2775), a standard layout Wacky Worm that cost ₽200 (~€3.03) per person. The operator didn't even mention the advertised 75kg (165lbs) weight limit, which was probably just as well.
Sunny Island Gelendzhik
21st August 2019
Our third Sunny Island (Солнечный Остров) in two days was a collection of family rides adjacent to the waterfront promenade in central Gelendzhik, around three kilometres north of City Park. There were nine attractions listed on the cash box, all priced at the same ₽100 (~€1.51) per person: Train (Паравозик), Mini Jet (Мини джет), Waltz (Вальс), Ferris Wheel (Колесо обозрения), Bumper Cars (Автодром), Pirate Ship (Корабль), Maze Labyrinth (Эеркальный лабиринт), Water Balls (Водные шары), and a single helix roller coaster (Горка Ветерок).
Family Coaster Breeze (#2776) looked at first glance like a clone of the Dalmatian Coaster that we'd ridden hours earlier. It was only on closer inspection that we realised that we'd found something much more interesting: a locally built copy of the SBF design produced by Krasnoyarsk-based Грос, a niche manufacturer that also offers its own version of the ubiquitous Wacky Worm. A plate on the control box indicated a delivery date of August 2016 and a serial number of two; while I've not been there myself it seems likely that unit one is the installation at Fancy Fox in Novokuznetsk.
The ride uses an exceptionally slow tyre drive lift, and the mechanisms were having a lot of trouble today. My first instinct was to blame the fact that we were slightly above the posted 75kg (165lbs) weight limit, but having thought about it further that seems improbable as five of the seven rows in the train were empty; it seems more likely that the tyres were overdue for replacement. It wasn't at all clear that we'd make it around the track successfully, but after about twenty seconds of tension we squeaked our way slowly over the apex and into a respectable five lap cycle.
21st August 2019
Our final stop for the day was at a family park located close to the beach in Kabardinka (Кабардинка). Most of the machines at Sea Alley (Морская Аллея) were standard attractions that could be found in any park around the world, but there was one notable exception: SkyRider, a unique flat ride manufactured by SBS Stahlbau in the early eighties. The design is similar to the Huss Swing Around, but differs from it in that riders can control the angle of their seats using a joystick. This particular model was the second of two built, touring German fairs from 1984-2003. (While drafting this report I did my best to post this photograph and information to the relevant page on a well known funfair forum, but gave up when it became clear that the administrators wanted a scan of my passport to validate my identity before I could do that. The words auf keinen fall spring to mind.)
Our main interest was Shrek (#2777), a double helix machine with tyre drive motors; a ten lap cycle cost us ₽250 (~€3.79) apiece. The ride was fine, if forgettable. A quick review of my track record indicates that I've ticked off something like twenty of this style of coaster in the last six months, and while I've enjoyed them all it's fair to say that some are much better than others.