Welcome one and all to my beach hut

Grab a deck chair, Tea or coffee and help yourself to a buiscuit but you'd better mind the seaguls or they'll grab them first. Just look at that view and doesn't the sea look inviting.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Motor Cycle Racing

Last week in Skegness diggers turned the beach into one big assault course. By Friday hundreds of machines including Quads, Sidecar combinations and an army Motocross bikes and riders from all over the UK started arriving in the resort determined to take on the course. Bringing to Skegness beach the thrills and excitement of a top class sporting attraction.

This all started last December when the Amateur Motor Cycle Association (AMCA) came to Skegness and ran two days of beach racing which proved very popular. AMCA have returned again this year, this time in November hoping for more favourable weather which indeed they got. On Saturday they ran three races for junior riders and a race for Quad Bikes and Sidecar combinations and on the Sunday afternoon they ran the 3 hour endurance race for senior solo riders. Over 150 riders took part in the senior race which was watched by thousands of spectators all along the Pier and Promenade.

I was able this year to get along on both days racing and enjoyed it very much, the course proved very testing and the racing was most exciting, I would however like to see two improvements made next year which I am sure would improve spectator’s enjoyment of the event. I would like to see bigger and better speaker system so more of us can enjoy the great commentary of the race and if possible a large screen  somewhere so that we can follower what position the riders are in. I am sure the event will grow in popularity both from a riders and spectator point of view and this is just the kind of event that Skegness needs in the winter.

I have been a fan of motor cycle racing for many years ever since my early teens when I went along to the Long Eaton track to watch Speedway racing. For those readers who are not familiar with Speedway, it is a form of motor cycle racing that is raced mainly on short oval tracks. Each race lasts usually for 4 laps and there are four riders racing in each race, a meeting can comprise of anything up to 25 races. The bikes have no gears and no brakes and reach very fast speeds on a very short straight.

I soon became a big fan of the sport and in order to be able to get to all home meetings I started work on the track, at first selling programmes and later working on the track itself. Long Eaton had a team of riders calling themselves the Archers (due to close connection to Nottingham and Robin Hood). Whilst working on the track I got to meet many top riders of the time Like 5 times World Champion Ivan Mauger and another World Champion who always had a good word with us Barry Briggs. I also remember the Swedish World Champion Ove Funding riding for the Archers for a short exciting time. Sadly The Long Eaton track closed down many years ago but Speedway is still very popular with tracks at Kings Lynn and Peterborough and I am still able follow the sport on television.

In 1966 I was very fortunate to be on holiday in the Isle of Man during the TT races purely by chance. That year the TT races were postponed because of a Dockers strike and it just happened that the popular racing festival was re arranged whilst I was on holiday on the Island. It was the year that Mike Hailwood moved to Honda, whilst is greatest rival Agostini rode for MV. I recall standing around Braddan Bridge for the Monday race which Agostini won and on the Friday I was out in the country just outside of Douglas and even to this day I can still hear in my mind the sound of that Honda as Hailwood approached to take the win and in doing so create a new course record of 107.07 mph. I will never forget the excitement of that week and each year I still like to follow the reports from what I believe is one of the greatest test of man and machine.  

2 comments:

  1. Hi Paul - the Police say we had 20 thousand visitors to the event over the two days - would you say this figure was about right????

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  2. Without any means to count attendance it is very difficult to accurately give a figure. Certainly there were much more attending than for last years event. people were constantly on the move which again makes it difficult. The pier seemed to be two deep along its full legnth and there were large crowds around the pit area. I would est there would be over 10,000 but not sure wether up to 20,000

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