Over the 11th and 12th March 2023, and after 2 years in the making, all the action kicked off on Sellicks Beach, with bikes from past eras going head to head for bragging rights and to settle who will be the fastest of the beach for 2023.
For the first time in the history of the event, the Sellicks Beach Historic Races were not just able to be witnessed by the fans on the sidelines, but were also livestreamed world-wide, providing never before seen views of the race with drone footage and behind the scenes pit action, to really bring the race into the present on a whole new level.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, with sunny conditions welcoming the crowds of spectators and bikes to the sand. There was a buzz of anticipation at Rider Briefing with Clerk of Course, Murray ‘Muzz’ Tune laying out the weekend for riders, ahead of the ‘Rider Meet & Greet’ on the Beach. With bikes kicking into life and lined up on the beach for the first time, this was the perfect opportunity for spectators, young and old, to come onto the beach for a photo opportunity and talk to the riders about their pride and joy machines before racing kicked off.
After many photos and laughs were shared, the beach was cleared ready for the practice to kick off, with early signs showing that the racing was going to be exceptionally tight. With the bikes all warmed up ready for the first races, the atmosphere was electric with machines and riders giving it their all to lay down good times to kick off the weekend. This combined with the commentary gold of 2 time World Champion, Steven Matthews and Jason O’Halloran kept audiences on the edge of their seats and fully entertained across the weekend.
Saturday saw exceptionally fast times being laid down, whilst the beach, at times, did claim victory over many of the bikes, with the recovery teams run off their feet to retrieve the broken bikes, and get them back to the safety of the pits for repairs, in the hopes of the continuing the weekend.
Handicap races went through Saturday afternoon, which resulted in bar to bar racing with the fastest racers staggering behind their slower timed competitors. The tide in the end took over the beach earlier than expected putting an end to Saturday, resulting in the remaining Handicap races being forced to roll over to Sunday.
All eyes were set on last year’s fastest of the beach and current course record holder, Davo Johnson. Would he be able to continue his dominance or even set a new course record?
Saturday brought him exceptionally close to beating that illusive bench mark of 0.59.379 seconds, set from 2021, with a 1:00.799 in Race 19. Revving up for an even faster day Sunday, it looked to be well on track until it all went awry in race 40 when Davo came to a full stop just before the last barrel turn on the first lap with a locked back tyre.
Looking to be an issue in the gear box, with the bike stuck in first gear, it sadly, resulted in Davo being in the pits a lot of the day. Fortunately, and is not unusual in Historic racing, a fellow competitor came to the rescue with a spare gear box and after substantial work, he was ready for the Top 20 Shootout after qualifying with his Saturdays time.
The Top 20 shootout didn’t disappoint with the fastest riders over the weekend hitting the beach for one last time to finish the weekend. A 5 rider pile up at the start line caused a restart. After medical attended and the track cleared, IT WAS ON!! After negotiating the initial trouble Davo took control of the race like only he can, finishing with a solid lead after 5 laps followed by Jarrad Smiley and Mark Dignum.
Another Sellicks Beach Historic Motorcycle Race is now in the books with the 2021 beach record still standing. It was definitely a weekend of memories and titles laid down. With 2023 being bigger than ever, we certainly can’t wait to see what 2025 has in store at the beach.
Photos and videos of the weekend can be found o the Levis MCC FB page – HERE.
Full Results – HERE.