THOUSANDS of soggy bikers lined Kirkcaldy’s Prom at the weekend for the biggest display of motor cycle power in the country.
Kirkcaldy Sand Races returned to the beach after an absence of more than 40 years, despite the best efforts of the weather – which offered up horizontal, torrential rain and biting winds throughout the whole day.
The atrocious conditions put many townsfolk off going along, but the well organised event still went ahead – one of the few around the country which did.
Organisers struggled on despite gazebos blowing over, paperwork being scattered to the four winds and the sand being too wet to race on.
A lack of programme sales needed to cover the costs of the event also meant that the shortfall is expected to run into several thousand pounds.
It was organised by Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club, which ran the original Sand Races during the 1930s and 40s, regularly attracting crowds in excess of 6000.
From there, the races moved into the town’s Beveridge Park, where they continued into the 1970s.
And while Saturday’s event, which also featured Fife Kustom Club’s annual show and prizegiving, didn’t quite draw those numbers, there was still an estimated crowd of over 3,500 which battled the elements.
It was sponsored by Kirkcaldy4All and Digby Brown Solicitors which, as well as providing financial support, helped the organisers with practical support and advice.
The club resurrected the popular Sand Races after a highly successful demonstration event in 2012. It had attractions for all ages, with minimoto races at the Basin car park and trial bike competitions at the Tiel Burn which runs into the Forth at the west end of the beach. There were also displays of vintage and championship winning bikes and trade stands.
Hugh Ward, club president, said:“Despite the weather, which brought about the poor spectator turnout, there were a lot of positives. We’re told that 3,500 people watched the races and the trail, and that in itself shows that we did things right and had the right event. The weather was just against us.
“The event ran well considering the ferocity of the wind and rain, and we managed to get through the Pro Scot Open Class and Kirkcaldy Kawasaki 250cc motocross races and the Bob Scott Trial, which ran all day and allowed the riders to cover the 40 sections as planned.
“The speedway riders suffered most, as the wind slowed the tide and the rain kept the sands far too wet to safely run such a high speed event, so we had to curtail their races. We’ve coped with such disappointments before and will get back in shape again soon.”
Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, said: “The weather was horrendous and certainly kept the numbers down, but I was delighted with the organisation and commitment shown by both the organisers and business supporters and thank them all for their efforts. I would also like to thank David Torrance MSP for taking time to open the event.
“As an event, it has certainly moved on from the first year – I would like to think that it will become an annual event for Kirkcaldy. Even with the atrocious weather conditions, to get approximately 3,500 visitors shows that there is an appetite for such events. Events such as these are high profile and do much to showcase Kirkcaldy as a place to visit.”