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Beach motorcycle racing to return to Sellicks

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Beach motorcycle racing is set make a long-awaited return to Sellicks Beach.

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The Levis Motorcycle Club has been granted approval to host a two-day classic event at Sellicks in February 2017, for the first time in more than 20 years.

The club – the oldest motorcycle club in South Australia – began beach racing in the 1920s and held annual Sellicks Beach Speed Trials in summer through to 1953. Re-enactments were held in 1986 and 1992 but regular races have not taken place on the beach for more than 60 years.

Entry into the race will be limited to all makes of vintage motorcycles manufactured before 1963 and there will be several classes depending on the age and engine capacity of the bike.

Levis Motorcycle Club Publicity Officer Steven Matthews said last month’s decision by the local Onkaparinga Council to allow the event to go ahead was the culmination of two years of negotiations to address environmental and cultural concerns.

He said there had already been interest from interstate, England and New Zealand, one of the few places in the world where beach racing still regularly occurs.

“People are building bikes and getting them ready now,” he said.

“There will be some guys who take it very seriously while others just want to be involved so they can say that they’ve ridden the event.

“The beach racing is quite unique because it just doesn’t get done anymore and we’re really excited to see it coming back in this form.”

The 800m track – 400m in each direction with a 180 degree hairpin turn – is half the length of the original 1.6km beach circuit.

Sellicks Beach. Photo: Katie Hannan

Sellicks Beach. Photo: Katie Hannan

Organisers are expecting between 200 and 400 bikes to enter and a sell-out crowd of 10,000 people each day to attend.

“We expect the tickets to sell out within a couple of days because there’s been so much interest,” Matthews said.

“We’ve had lots of people already looking to enter bikes because it’s just such a unique opportunity to be involved.”

 

The Levis club, named after the English two-stroke motorcycle, hopes a successful February event will lead to it being held every two years in the future.

Matthews said Sellicks Beach was well suited to racing because it had a pebble foundation under the sand, which gave it a solid base and prevented it from becoming boggy.

 

“It’s quite a unique beach as it provides a really good surface to ride on and that’s why they started races there in the 1920s,” he said.

“We are very keen for this event to be successful in terms of looking after the environment and the cultural aspects and proving to people that it is going to work and not have any negative impact on the area.”

Exact dates for the event are yet to be announced.

This story was first published at The Lead.

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