The 33rd edition of the RHL Weston Beach Race Adult Solo race was a thriller from start to finish as the Watson brothers Nathan and Ben came to spoil the party in front of a bumper crowd at Weston-Super-Mare with a 1-2 finish, while Jamie McCanney took a hard-fought third.
Last year’s winner and pre-race favourite Shaun Simpson made a phenomenal start, but suffered a technical problem early on, and was believed to be out of the race, as was David Knight who limped into the pits after two laps.
Simpson remounted after frantic work was done on his KTM machine, and the Scottish-ace put on a valiant effort from around 400th place and five laps down, to finish in 36th position.
However, it was Husqvarna mounted Nathan Watson who dominated the race with a flawless performance from start to finish of the three-hour main event to take his very first Weston Beach Race victory.
Brother and KTM rider Ben Watson – a former junior Weston Beach Race winner – fought hard to the final stages with Jamie McCanney for the second place spot, having to time his pit stops to perfection to make it a very special Watson 1-2, with McCanney rounding out the podium in third.
Matt Moffatt took fourth, with local lad Todd Kellet and his brother Ty finishing in fifth and seventh places respectively, while Dan Thornhill was sixth.
In the one hour 15-minute youth quad race, which kicked off Sunday’s proceedings, Oliver Betton took the honours after beating early leader Aaron Davies, with Axel Bone taking third. Alfie Walker took the YQ1 class win.
The junior 85cc big wheel race was also a special one with Sam Price, who was third after lap one and took the lead by the midway point, clinching the overall victory after a consistent race at his first ever Weston event. Daniel Bewley was second and Howard Mainwright was third. In the small wheel class Eddie Jay Wade took the win after a strong race where he finished fifth overall, with Sam Nunn in second and Louie Kessell in third.
“I’m just so relieved,” exclaimed Nathan Watson. “I had no clutch for the last half an hour, so I was just trying to get to the end.
“To control it through the ruts and everything was so difficult, and I stalled it loads of times, so I was relieved to get to the end.
“I made three stops, which all went well and I’m pleased we did it. I’ve never won here before – I ran out of fuel last year and finished fourth, so it was really nice to win it after all this years, especially with my brother Ben being second.”
85cc B/W winner, Sam Price said: “I’m feeling tired and it’s mayhem out there. There were bikes and yellow flags everywhere. It was a real endurance race, and the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. I’m going out to celebrate with my family later. Throughout the race there was a lot of traffic, but I’m really happy.”
85cc S/W winner, Eddie Jay Wade said: “Yes, I’m feeling good. I tried to get up with the front and tried not to fall off. I lost my back brake, so I had to try and just keep smooth. Every dune had people on it, so there was a lot of traffic. It’s fun and I tried to enjoy it, so to take the win means I’m really happy.”
YQ2 winner, Oliver Betton said: “I feel tired and wet, but I’m really happy. I did Weston in 2007 and won the 100s class, so to win again was really special. I’ll be back next year, but will be on a 450. I just need a sleep now.”
Derry Milling, the Over 40s solo winner said: “I feel really good. I’ve done the race a few times before, 21st is my best result. I’ll be heading out for some lager tonight and I’ll be back here again next year.”
Commenting on the great racing and very successful race weekend, RHL Activities Director, Gareth Hockey said: “This is the best Weston I’ve done in the last eight years, I would have to say the attitude of the riders and everyone involved has been fantastic and I really am looking forward to do it all again the same time next year.
“Everything has been positive, the council have been really supportive and in general the racing has probably one of the best in a long, long time. We only had three people go to hospital today out of everyone racing this afternoon is unheard of.”
Hockey added: “I want to thank everyone involved in making this event so amazing, everyone in the team that has helped me put it on, North Somerset council, to every person who has put their hand on a barrier, riders and the thousands of spectators. See you all in 2016.”