Beach race back up for grabs
PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 May 2011
THE future of the 2011 motorcycle beach race in Weston has been thrown into confusion after plans for the event were forced back to square one.
Events 22 had previously been awarded the event contract, but failed to secure accreditation from the requisite motorcross organisation - leading North Somerset Council to retender the enduro.
Despite losing the contract for the five-day event, the Oxfordshire-based company is still receiving entries to take part in the race, and says it will not be refunding any of the approximately 240 bikers who have already signed up to take part.
Ahead of the fresh round of bidding, previous event organiser Gareth Hockey has thrown his hat into the ring to make a return to the race he had managed for several years.
When Events 22 tendered for the beach race last year, the company was told it would need a licence from the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), which is affiliated to motorcross governing body the Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme (FIM).
But the company’s failure to get a permit means tendering will start again, although the council has announced that it will no longer be restricted to bodies affiliated to the FIM - meaning that Events 22 could be successful in a renewed bid even without the ACU permit.
After the council’s decision, Events 22 managing director Matt Bates said the company would not be refunding bikers who had already signed up to take part, and that more entries would be welcomed despite the situation.
He added that if the council decided against re-awarding his firm the tender, riders and ticket-holders would be fully reimbursed.
He said: “The council only really wanted the ACU license as it was a set of rules and regulations that should be stuck to at the event. But the ACU aren’t the only ones who can give out the licenses. Many other organisations can, and we are one of those.
“We are completely confident about the new bid, and it’s now down to the council to decide who they want to work with, and I would hope it is us.”
When asked if he would be re-applying to tender the beach event, which will take place from October 5-9, Mr Hockey said: “We will certainly be applying to the council, yes. We’re not going to go away, we know it’s our event, we’re going to fight for it. It’s nice for the council to give us this opportunity.”
The closing date for tenders is June 6, with the council hoping to announce a preferred bidder by the middle of June.