West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 71 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2024

Weston Beach Race 2008

Words: Ian Vessey

The Vess Report

Nice warm sunny weather for a change. Great for the spectators, but it does seem to make the event a bit harder for the competitors - soft dry sand is more tiring to ride through than firmer wet sand.

The event seemed to be better organised this year. I missed the queues on the Friday by not going down for scrutineering until after midday. Got my day licence, signed on, collected my transponder, collected security passes and scrutineered all in about 45 mins.

On Saturday I took a ride on the mountain bike again with Roger on his carbon Whyte (very nice!) and rode out to the old fort at the end of Brean Down, followed by tea and cakes - very civilised! Also did some more training at the 'Queens' in Bleadon with the Dunstable mob.

Sunday morning was warm and dry. Went down to the beach in plenty of time to miss any queues. The marshals made sure we were parked well above the high water mark this year. Met Mike Wells, Arran, Mike Etheridge and Nathan and set up in the pits along side Steve Biddle and his team.

The organisers sensibly used gates across the beach as a start, rather than relying on riders obediently lining up at a mark in the sand, a system which seemed to work well. Half way down the beach a rider in front fell off. He immediately leapt to his feet, stuck his hands in the air and started to dance - like he was in a Western with a gunman shooting at his feet!

The queues at the first few dunes weren't too bad, but the first lap still took 30 mins. After that, I settled into 20min laps to do a total of 9 laps. I refuelled after the 3rd and 7th laps when the ever efficient pit crew also jetwashed the sand out of the rads. I managed to stay on until lap 8 when I had a minor tangle with another rider, and once again on lap 9 when I tipped over in a wet slot and just didn't have any strength left to hold it up. The dunes were suprisingly rideable - I only had 2 refusals! And at least I didn't get stuck in the gloopy patches of quicksand like quite a few other riders did.

I think if I do this again I should do a bit less 'training' in the pub. The results were up later on Sunday night (same day - how fast is that!) and as usual I did half what the winner did (Everts - 18 laps). Arran and Nathan had youth in their favour and went a bit quicker.

  • Nathan Etheridge - 11 laps - 262
  • Arran Wells - 10 laps - 318
  • Ian Vessey - 9 laps - 434
  • Total 930 riders.