Poor entries force cancellation of Kirkcaldy Sand Races

Kirkcaldy Sand Races 2013
Kirkcaldy Sand Races 2013

Kirkcaldy’s famous revived Sand Races which were brought back to the town’s beach four years ago have been cancelled again.

Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club, the group responsible for bringing back motorbike racing to the town, said it had been forced to call off the event, due to take place on April 9 because of “very poor entries.”

Kirkcaldy Sand Races 1930

Kirkcaldy Sand Races 1930

This is the second time the event has been called off, with last year’s races, scheduled to take place in September, having to be cancelled very late on because of a lack of entries.

The event, which was reintroduced in 2012 when it drew large crowds to Kirkcaldy’s promenade to watch a variety of races on different types of bikes.

The event attracted tens of thousands of spectators in its heyday during the 1930s and 40s. The original Sand Races started in the late 1920s and ran until 1948, when Kirkcaldy Motor Club began a Grand Prix race event in the town’s Beveridge Park. Bikes continued to race on the beach until 1972.

In 2014 more than 5000 people turned out to watch the event which, as well as the motorbike racing on the beach, featured trade and club stands, trials and mini moto displays, custom and classic, road and race bikes.

A soggy Sand Races

A soggy Sand Races

It was supported by Kirkcaldy4All and Digby Brown Solicitors, with local motorbike suppliers and families of former racers putting up trophies.

Jake Drummond, secretary of Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club, said there would be no more Sand Races in the town.

“We sent out 80 entries to clubs around the UK and only eight were confirmed. We really needed at least 30 entries to make the event viable.

“We have such a high outlay for medical cover costs and permits, and we have families scheduled to come up from London to present trophies.

“The closing date for entries was set for yesterday (Thursday) due to it being the Easter weekend, and we have to give two weeks notice for the medical cover, which costs us £800, to be cancelled.

“We are under the banner of the Scottish Motor Cycle Union which organises events so that the dates don’t clash, but two other separate organisations which are not affiliated, have allowed dates to be planned for that same day, even though we had our date set first, and that has obviously taken some entries away.

“It is a real shame because there was a lot of enthusiasm from the public and we had people coming up from Durham and across from Belfast, but that enthusiasm sadly didn’t translate into entries, and we just couldn’t afford to take a financial hit like that.

“Sadly the good old days of sand racing in Kirkcaldy will not be happening again in the near future.”

Hugh Ward, chairman of the group added: “A lot of people put a lot of effort into the organising of this event, only for it to be cancelled. The feeling of the club is that we won’t be trying to do this again.”