An annual memorial trophy is to be awarded in honour of well-known club racer Dom Wallis, who suddenly passed away last week at his home aged just 35, leaving three young children.
Dom, who started racing age nine on a Yamaha YZ50, was a huge fan of two-strokes and along with his brother Alex, they both raced Kawasaki KX500s for the GEST, Mid-Sussex and Sidcup clubs, then later the Apico 2-Stroke Festival and UK Evo MX championships.
Apico 2-Stroke Festival organiser and friend of the family, Dave Willet, is to honour Dom with an annual award in the Evo 500 class at the Festival – which the family have approved of.
“When I received a message from a good friend of mine Alex Wallis regarding his brother Dom, I couldn’t believe it. It was totally heart-wrenching,” says Dave. “I have known the Wallis family for years living in the same area in Kent. Ever since we were kids right up to the current day, we’ve always shared the same passion for racing dirt bikes.
“I will always remember and respect Dom’s ‘just send it’ attitude. I have flashbacks of Dom MC-ing in the beer tent at the Apico 2-Stroke Festival after racing hard that day.
“But one of my biggest memories of him will be of Dom as a father. I will always remember him shouting to his kids to go and help us out when packing away after the festival, which they did very politely.”
Dom started riding in 1994 on a 1982 Yamaha YZ50. That year he contested an East Kent club race on Boxing Day and came fourth against much newer 80s.
“That’s where it all started,” said Dom’s brother Alex. “He managed to talk dad in to buying him a 1991 RM125 that he loved riding but didn’t get on with racing it as he was quite small back then.
“I suppose that’s where his love for crashing his brains out started! He sure did crash in style he broke a fair few bones over the years too, bless him.”
Dom’s sons, 13-year-old Ryder and nine-year-old Sunny, have both taken up motocross but both love football and cricket. He also has a two-year-old daughter Hallie. “Dom always wanted a girl after his boys and having Hallie made him so happy,” said Alex.
The funeral is on November 9 at 11.30. Alex has set up a JustGiving page to raise money for a permanent headstone and bench where friends can go and remember his brother.
We wish to pass on our sincere condolences to all friends and family of Dom at this very difficult time.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Waghorn.