Graeme Irwin Wins A Chaotic Weston Beach Race
In a truly hard fought and exciting race at the 2013 RHL Weston’s Beach, Northern Ireland’s Graeme Irwin powered his Heads and Threads Suzuki to a stunning victory ahead of Nathan Watson on the HM Plant KTM.
It was Irwin’s first attempt at the infamously punishing three-hour beach race.
With a break before the solo race, the Somerset skies went ominously dark and the forecast rain began to head over the Bristol Channel towards Weston’s historic sands. At 1.25pm, RHL’s Gareth Hockey led the Elite riders from the Parc Ferme towards the start gate. With the competitors in place, the flag dropped and the 31st Weston Beach Race was on.
Scott Elderfield claimed the holeshot, rocketing out of the starting gate and powering his KXF450 away from the chasing pack as they blasted down the beach and the incoming tide.
By the time Elderfield came round at the end of his first lap, he was so far ahead that it was hard to imagine he hadn’t set off ten minutes before! When the others eventually appeared, it was the expected mix of top motocross and enduro riders making the going on the tough and rutted track. Front-runners included Nathan Watson, Stephen Clarke, Danny and Jamie McCanney, Matt Moffatt, Matt Burrows, Tom Church, Aaron Poolman and Stephen Sword.
As the laps clocked up, it was clear that the motocross boys had this one in the bag, with Scott Elderfield maintaining his lead ahead of Watson, Clarke and Irwin
Then after two hours fifteen minutes Elderfield’s chain snapped right in front of the commentary position knocking him out of the race as Irwin took control of the race lead with Watson in toe.
Heading into the final moments of the race, the drama showed no sign of stopping with Irwin almost throwing it all away when he crashed heavily on a sand dune with his Suzuki landing on top of him. Irwin was able to limp the bike home ahead of Watson for the win, but was clearly in some considerable pain as he crossed the line.
Mark Moffat was third after sterling performance putting in solid and consistent laps times over the three hour race.
Results – 2013 Weston Beach Race
1. Graeme Irwin (Suzuki) 23laps, 3:06:41.84; 2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 23laps, 3:06:54.51; 3. Matt Moffat (KTM) 22laps, 3:13:50.84; 4. Todd Kellett (Kawasaki) 21laps, 3:06:42.85; 5. Stephen Sword (Honda) 21laps, 3:08:50.75; 6. Daryl Bolter (KTM) 21laps, 3:12:05.50…