By Dick Law. Local lad Todd Kellett won his second Hydrogarden Weston Beach Race in a row with relative ease as he led the over eight hundred starters from the start of the three hour long gruelling race and was never really challenged on Sunday.
“It’s like a dream come true” said the ever-smiling Kellett just minutes after crossing the finish line, “I was so excited when I got the holeshot. That’s two out of two holeshots and I don’t know how many other people have done that. From then on I just pushed on hoping to break Jonny (Walker) as I saw him as one of my main challengers. I got a gap on him and I thought I could chill out a bit, but that didn’t happen – I just kept the pace real fast. I got some sore hands as the race went on but on that last lap I took it real steady to make sure the time went to zero before I got to the finish as I didn’t want to risk another lap.”
Kellett spent a lot of time on the beach over the weekend for the day before he finished second in the two-man four-wheel drive quad race partnered by his brother Ty, who finished eleventh in Sunday’s solo race. So no wonder he had sore hands.
Legendery David Knight was second after but had to push his 350 KTM over the finish line as it ran out of fuel.
“I had an early first stop because my goggles were all used up” said David, “So that put us out a bit on fuel stops but I knew it was only me and Todd on the lead lap so I went for it and hoped it lasted.”
Martin Barr had an up and down race after spinning out going up the big dune for the first time had had a further seven crashes and four pit stops before the end of the three-hour race but still managed third place on the podium, the same as last year.
Barr’s Buildbase Honda team mate Graeme Irwin, winner in 2013, was fast, but had a race plagued with troubles. The nice chap from Northern Ireland had a rear shock go early in the race and had to pit to change it, but later after climbing his way back up the leader board and with thirty minutes to go his chain snapped. Well that’s the official line from the team but others who saw it say the engine gave out.
Tommy Alba had a big crash at the one-hour mark braking ribs and knocking himself out. But these riders are tough and Tommy carried on, broken ribs and all and finished the race, and then went to hospital.
Alex Snow said he rode like a wolly for the first two laps’ then got it together to finish ninth.
Josh Gilbert went from hero of last weekend’s Coupe De l’Avenir to zero at this weekend’s race as his Honda let go after a couple of hours.
Some of the top names didn’t make it very far at all as Cab Screens Husqvarna’s Dan Thornhill, who is very good in the sand, followed Kellett down the straight at the start and must have thought he was in for a good result, but unlucky for him and the team his bike packed up after only half a lap.
Jamie Law’s event only lasted three laps before his machine came to a halt and he had to drop out while running in the top six.
Walker hung on to fourth with Jamie Wainwright fifth with and up and down ride coming from Ashley Greedy in sixth.
Another good ride came from the young Jake Edey, making the three-hour beach race his comeback event after being out injured for a big part of the year. He was twelfth.
TV star and TT hero Guy Martin made his Weston debut on a huge Honda Africa twin but it was too much for the tough conditions and he retired.
Sunday morning was the turn of the big wheel and small wheel 85cc combined event but many of the riders seemed to suffer from problems with front drive sprockets and brake pads that just couldn’t cope with the grinding paste like sand.
Dutch lad Jens Walvoort won the hour and a half big wheel race from Louie Kessel and Lewis Wood while fourth in the race Ben Clark won the small wheels.
Vinnie Guthrie was leading till mechanical problems and a trip to the pits dropped him back to six, two laps down on the leaders.