Weston Beach Race 2019
So at the initial time of deciding to enter the event it seemed a really great idea and to be honest now its over I’m very glad I stuck at it and completed the race although it did take me to some pretty dark places during the 3 hours.
It was the 37th consecutive year for the weston beach race and it certainly lived up to its reputation being relentless on both man and machine, I watched plenty of youtube videos to give me a better idea of what I was letting myself in for but to be honest I think this put me off the idea more than give any advantage.
For the Saturday I was also given the opportunity to share the 3 hour Quad race in a 2 man team for Quadzilla, A 1000cc Four wheel drive 450kg + monster, Cant even remember when I last rode a quad but thought it could be fun and give me a little insight to the track at least.
The CForce Quadzilla was well up to the task and prior to the race I was given some brief advice on dos and dont’s, A big don’t being to NOT jump hard in 4wd mode, amongst the lap 1 carnage and requiring 4wd to clear and very busy dune I entered a faster section without out hitting the 2wd button, next thing - Crunch clang knock knock knock, Oh S*%T, Switched back to 2wd and the noise stopped so convinced myself all was fine and continued for 2 more laps then into pit and let 2nd rider Juan Knight to take over.
Another error I made was borrowing my Supertock TT bike transponder, which turns out doesnt work at this event, so had no clue what position we were running in.
Almost half way through It was my turn to head out again and on my first lap out down the far end of the track in a boggy section the quad ground to a halt, Its was like sinking sand and the more I tried to escape the deeper it got! About 20 minutes later and almost at the point of giving up I spotted a little girl with a pink bucket and spade so ran over and kindly asked her mum If I could borrow the spade in a last attempt to get out and continue the race,
Whether the digging made much difference or not it certainly gained me some sympathy, resulting in a small army of spectators climbing the fence and literally lifting and rolling the quad out. (Big thanks to those guys and the little girl)
I continued for another lap after this and then pitted to swap again for Juan to complete the last stint to the flag.
This didnt go so well and on the last lap of the race the quad somehow caught fire for a short period until rescued by Juan armed with an extinguisher from the marshals, fortunately not to much damage doen but prevented us from getting a finish so guess I will have to go back one day to complete the race !
Onto Sunday and the Solo MX race started at 1.30, it wasn’t until we had got down to the beach and waiting for gates to open that the reality of just how crazy this was race was dawned on me. Over 800 bikes about to filter through 3 gates and attack turn one, knowing that if any mistakes were made and I went down then they would be digging whats left of me out the sand and an almost definite trip to Weston Hopsital !!!
Fortunately I made it through and got through lap one with a few small mistakes but nothing too costly bar dropping the bike on a left hairpin into a deep puddle and filling left boot with sandy water!
My plan was to just keep the wheels turning and avoid stopping or getting stuck which is easier said than done but the big Pirelli booted KXF 450 pulled through everything and didn't get stuck once, I had planned to stop twice on the hour, first stop was fine, refuel and new goggles but about half hour into 2nd stint I heard a bad noise from the chain and stopped to check, it had become very tight for some reason so finished the lap and came back into pits. Upon inspection the rear calliper guard had wedged itself into the calliper some how and put rear wheel out of line, but got it sorted with some help and headed back out, this screwed the plan a little and required a further stop near the end of race for more fuel to get to the finish.
The Leaders lapped me numerous on a pace that had to be seen to be believed, I honestly do not know how they ride like that and to do it for the duration of the race simply baffles me. Being a racer its very frustrating being over taken so quickly but on the other hand I was also passing a lot of other riders so I just tried to think more about that and getting to the finish line!
In what seemed like a lifetime I made it to the chequered flag pretty much hating beach racing and thinking how under no circumstances would I ever do the event again, But sat now writing this nearly 48 hours later the majority me is looking forward to next year and craving that unique feeling of so many mixed emotions, Fear, hate, pain, joy, envy, adrenaline followed by an increasing feeling of satisfaction and craving a well deserved Bic Mac on the way home!
Weston Beach race? - Completed it mate!!!
14 laps Completed - Position 188 out of 724 finishers
If you fancy yourself as about of an off road rider this is certainly one to tick off the list. as far as being hard on the bike id say its actually not too bad. I cleaned mine immediately after the race and again the next day and I’m impressed how good it still is, Just wants for some new pads then ready to go again. as for demand on the rider I will et you find that out for yourself!!
Big thanks to all who supported and helped me do this,
- Kawasaki UK
- Pirelli Tyres
- Dixon Race Team
- AGV Helmets
- Parts Europe
- Moose Racing
- Acerbis UK
- GT Motorcycles
- Moto Shac Graphics
If you have a race or event you think I should try then leave in comments!