Beach race organiser looks forward to event after 'trying' year
PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2011 | UPDATED: 10:40 05 October 2011
WITH Weston Beach Race set to return to the resort this weekend, the event's organiser says he hopes the enduro can put the past year's controversies behind it and provide a spectacle for all to enjoy.
The 29th event will run from Friday to Sunday on the town’s beach, but it was unclear who would be running it until June, when it was announced that Gareth Hockey and RHL Activities would again be running the 29th enduro.
Up to 700 riders are expected to tackle the course over the weekend and Mr Hockey is confident this year’s event, which will feature a number of the world’s top riders, will be a spectacular to remember.
Confusion over who was tendering the event has dominated much of the run-up to this year’s event, as Mr Hockey, who has run the event for several years, was told earlier this year that rival firm Events 22 had pipped him to the contract.
But in June North Somerset Council performed a dramatic U-turn when it announced that RHL Activities had in fact been awarded the tender.
Looking ahead to the six-race event, Mr Hockey said: “The past year has been very trying for all of us as the tender situation took up a lot of time and effort since the last event, but we are now looking forward to being back in Weston where we belong and putting on an event which will be exciting for everyone.”
The side-by-side event due to take place tomorrow (Friday) has been cancelled due to a lack of entries, and Mr Hockey admits that numbers have been down on previous years.
He continued: “We are a bit down on entrants from last year, we have 309 riders who will be taking part in the main race on Sunday, which is a bit down on the 450 we had at the previous event
“Overall race numbers are also slightly down, we will have between 600 and 700 riders over the weekend, I think both the economic climate, and the confusion over who was running the event is what has caused that.
“But I do not think that will have an impact on the event. We are really looking forward to seeing the people of Weston at the event again, and are hoping to see lots of people over the course of the weekend.”
A variety of different entertainment will be held on Friday, while the youth quad race kicks off the weekend’s race schedule on Saturday morning at 9am, and will be followed by the youth 65cc and adult quad/sidecar races.
On Sunday the 125/250F rookie race precedes the youth 85cc event, and finally the main solo race at 1pm.
Tickets for the event will be available at the site from tomorrow (Fri).