By Dick Law. Jeremy Forestier kicked up the sand big time on his way to his first Le Touquet beach race win for Yamaha France while six-times winner and pre-race favourite Jeremie Warnia went out of fifth place with a blown motor with just 30 minutes to go.
But heroes of the two-and-a-half-hour race was the two Harrys as Walker finish in a great twelfth place while Miller finished sixteenth.
Dutchman Mike Vangrinsven got the holeshot and set a fantastic pace in the early stages and had opened up fifteen second lead before the end of the first lap and stretched it till almost a full minute as the race was three quarters of an hour old. But all his pace and effort came to nothing as he dropped out of the race after seven laps.
Fellow Dutchman Marc De Vries chased Vangrinsven down the straight on lap one but dropped down to eighth place come the end of the race.
But a strong pace is needed for the whole of the two-and-a-half-hour race to get a good result as Antoine Cheurlin kept pushing on and closed to within thirty second of Forestier’s lead on the last lap for the closes finishes for some time. Ollie Sansom was the third UK rider to finish in the top fifty with regular Le Touquet campaigner Ben Morgan just out of the top fifty in fifty fifth place and two laps down of the leaders.
Katie Hodgson wrestled a big 4 x4 Can Am around the bumpy sand track to finish in a hundred and tenth place and well ahead of lots of her male riders on full race machines.
Other UK riders that didn’t do so well was Ben Russel who dropped out after nine laps. Ex British quad motocross champion John Mitchell who came out of retirement and built a bike out some old parts he had around from his racing days to have one last go at the great sand race. He was going will and showing some of the style he had back in the day but sadly only lasted till lap seven when his old faithful Yamaha let go.
But the unluckiest of the UK rider was two of our best sand races of Sheldon Seal and Carl Bunce both of whose races only reached the first turn.
Early on Saturday morning just hundred and fifty juniors, that’s thirteen and seventeen-year olds, lined up for the hour and a half juniors race on a shortened track which was one by Alexis Collignon on his Honda.
Killigan Delroeux was second and Luco Guenot third with only these three riders on the lead lap. British rider James Haddow brought his Husqvarna home in seventy first place.
The two leg thirty-minute vintage race was won by ex-GP rider Sven Breugelmans on Honda with two race wins.
Rudy Vergriete followed Breugelmans over the finish line in both races for second place with Jose Pereira third.
Paul Kirby was an excellent eighth place on his Kawasaki.
1 Jeremy Forestier (Yamaha) 12 laps
2 Antoine Cheurlin (Yamaha)
3 Florian Mangeot (Yamaha)
4 Randy Naveaux (NXQuad)
5 Jean Marie Bernede (Yamaha)
6 Olivier Vandendijck (Honda)
7 Michel Trannin (Yamaha)
8 Marc De Vries (CRQF)
9 Pierre Adrien Collot (Yamaha) 11 laps
10 Thimothee Hieff (Yamaha)
11 Damian Rajczyk (Yamaha)
12 Harry Walker (Yamaha)
13 Adrian Nazzoleni (Yamaha)
14 Antoin Phillpront (Yamaha)
15 Vincent Pinchon (Yamaha)
16 Harry Miller (Yamaha)
17 Joris Kersten (Yamaha)
18 Jasper Pereyn (Yamaha)
19 Kevin Saar (Honda)
20 Arnud Bordes (Yamaha)
Other British finishers: 48 Olli Sansom (Yamaha), 55 Ben Morgan (Honda), 110 Katie Hodgson (Can Am), 127 Craig Hodgkins (Yamaha).
1 Alexis Collignon (Honda) 24 laps
2 Killigan Delroeux (KTM)
3 Luca Guenot (KTM)
4 Florian Miot (Husqvarna) 23 laps
5 Kilian Branco Husqvarna)
6 Hugo Fedrich (Husqvarna)
7 Andy Bethys (Honda)
8 Thibault Maupin (KTM)
9 Matteo Puffet (Yamaha)
10 Liian Henry (Husqvarna) 22 laps
1 Sven Breugelmans (Honda) 150 + 150 = 300
2 Rudy Vergriete (Honda) 140 + 140 = 280
3 Jose Pereira (Kawasaki) 132 + 125 = 257
4 Frederic Delhuille (Kawasaki) 120 + 132 = 233
5 Charles Degand (Honda) 108 + 110 = 218
6 Raphael Loridan (Kawasaki) 106 + 106 = 212
7 Arnaud Demeester (Suzuki) 78 + 132 = 210
8 Paul Kirby (Kawasaki) 110 + 100 = 210
9 Matthieu Huyghe (Kawasaki) 104 + 104 = 208
10 Nicolas Denoyelle (Kawasaki) 100 + 98 = 198