After winning the inaugural Magna Vitae and ELDC AMCA Beach Race back in 2009, Milko Potisek returned to the coastal resort of Skegness for another attempt on Sunday. And in 2017, the end result was to be exactly the same as the French Yamaha star took another victory, producing a sand riding masterclass.
Turning on the style, Milko took the win one lap clear of the very talented 18 year-old Jake Edey with Northern Ireland and British Beachcross ace Richard McKeown in 3rd. Other winners on what was to be a hugely successful weekend were Jamie Wainwright in the Clubman Solo, Harry Walker(Quads), Alun Davies/Evan Williams(Sidecar) and the very energetic John Littler who won both the Clubman and Main race Vets classes.
Despite the horribly wet and very inclement weather which greeted the Clubman class on Saturday morning, the always supportive and totally loyal townsfolk of Skegness turned out in surprisingly large numbers to watch the day one action. Leading the 90 minutes charge was the 2016 winner Jamie Wainwright whilst another expected favourite Jake Edey was already in trouble. With his 2T KTM running on big carburettor jets, Jake’s bike spluttered off the start then got stuck on the first dune! Gradually the KTM returned to full gas as he started the long climb back up the leaderboard. Incredibly by lap two, Jake was already up to 6th before then in the next ten laps passing Brad Thornhill, Daniel Wright, Aiden Wharton and Ben Coleman. But on completion of what was a very wet contest it was victory to the stylish Wainwright, a full lap clear of Edey in a super 2nd with Coleman 3rd. In the Clubman Vets, John Littler was the first rider home in 23rd as Nigel Travis and Keith Stainer was the next best. Naturally delighted with another Skegness win, Wainwright was already planning ahead for the big race on day two, “Although the conditions were really bad before we started it did not affect the race. I got going really well and felt good out there and I am already trying to focus on tomorrow. After getting 5th at Weston, a result we were really pleased with, we have already talked about how nice it would now be to finish by winning the big one at Skegness.”
With the rain eventually beginning to slow and move away into the North sea, the combined Quads/Sidecars contest saw 2016 winner Oliver Sansom grab an early advantage. However in his own words, Oliver made what he described as a ‘silly childish mistake’ on lap one when he got stuck in the deep Skegness sand thus handing the advantage to Harry Walker. From here onwards, Walker really turned on the style and put the hammer down to thus build a big gap at the front. After making that early error, Sansom dropped to 4th before quickly climbing back to 2nd, a position he was to hold all the way to the chequered flag despite a final lap crash. With Walker a full lap clear, Jonny McKnight took 3rd from Harry Miller, Ben Morgan and Paul Conway. Proving just what a very popular event Skegness is now becoming, Northern Irish rider McKnight had left his Belfast home at 7pm Friday evening before arriving at Skeggy at 6am Saturday morning, that’s commitment! After taking advantage of Sansom’s early mistake, 2017 Quads winner Walker said, “I pushed very hard for the opening five laps to build what was a big lead. I then kept pushing, and tried to stay smooth and concentrate hard in the process ensuring I did not make errors. Although Weston is alot wetter, this race despite only being of 2 hours duration is I think tougher overall.”
First Sidecar crew home was Alun Davies/Evan Williams, this being Welshman Davies sixth Skegness win. This victory though was not as quite straight forward as it may have appeared! Alun’s regular passenger James Ferguson was forced to withdraw and unable to compete just two days before the event due to a back injury. Then, as the race reached its midway point, Alun was forced to make an emergency pit-stop and replace a clutch master cylinder on his KTM VMC outfit. Taking 2nd spot in the Sidecars was the pairing of David Petty/Adam Capewell with Richard Chandler/Pete Lawry in 3rd.
In very contrasting conditions, bright sunshine greeted the big solo entry casing the big £1,000 winner’s cheque in Sunday’s main three hour event sponsored by Magna Vitae Trust and ELDC. Although late entry Milko Potisek started as favourite, it was to be young AMCA star Jamie Wainwright who led the crazy charge over the first couple of dunes. Quickly after surviving one or two early scares and fighting his way through traffic congestion, Potisek was up to 2nd before then hitting the front just a couple of laps later. Wainwright though was right on it and stayed on the tail of the Frenchman before again retaking control of proceeding when his rival made the first of what was to be five refuelling stops. Also in the early mix were the likes of Gavin Stevenson, Jake Edey, Richard McKeown, Matt Burrows and John Robson.
On lap eight the pattern of the contest was then to change again as an out of control backmarker collided with Wainwright breaking his gear-change lever. Returning to the pits, Jamie dropped back to 10th and his hopes of 2017 Skegness top three placing appeared to be fast disappearing. At the front, Potisek was now back in pole position as battle raged for 2nd between Edey aboard his 350F Gear4 KTM and Stevenson. That particular contest was decided as Stevenson made a mistake and was relegated down to 11th. Also in trouble was Burrows, going missing from proceedings on lap 27 when holding 5th. With the gruelling three hours of sand racing almost up, Milko Potisek stretched that throttle wire for one last time and thus extend his eventual winning margin. Much to the delight of his very excited mum Jayne Edey, young Jake got home in a superb 2nd spot with McKeown hampered by a couple of early crashes having to settle yet again for a Skegness 3rd placing. Despite his earlier problems, badly blistered hands and a bike billowing steam in the closing stages due to a loose water hose, Wainwright was the first AMCA rider home, recovering to earn a great 4th. Also flying the AMCA flag in style, Ryan Crowder moved from 11th up to take a super 5th as Robson, Josh Bentley, Stevenson, Ryan Allison having a very impressive ride on the 125cc 2T KTM and Steven Smyth completed the 2017 Skegness top ten. Just like Saturday, John Littler finished as top Vets rider getting home in 24th.
On recording his second Skegness win, Potisek said, “I did not make a good start and I took my time but the event went well. I am on a new Yamaha bike which was very good but we were running it with a standard tank so had to refuel five times. We are trying to make the bike perfect for Le Touquet as that is my main goal. I intend to come back to Skegness next year to defend my title and maybe bring with me a few other French riders. I would also like to race at Weston.”
Still rightly delighted with his runners-up slot, Jake Edey commented, “On Saturday I was told to go careful in the Clubman event and just learn the track. But I always race to win! After riding the 2T for that one I then jumped on the 350F for Sunday. After getting up into 2nd when we reached the 1.5 hour mark I decided to drop the hammer and try to get a gap which I did so I am really happy. After breaking my shoulder back in June I was ruled out by the Doctors for the rest of the season so it’s great to get this result. I have learnt alot this year so intend to come back again in 2018 and go for the win!”
Third placed Richard McKeown was very pleased with 3rd despite rueing those early crashes, “I had a big first lap crash over the handlebars and lost probably 10 places. From here onwards it was hard to make up lost ground. Then at the halfway point I tangled with a backmarker and lost another 30 seconds. To win this race you need everything to fall in place without problems so yes I am happy with 3rd but would still like that victory! The track this year was a little shorter and became very rough and choppy quicker.”
So that’s it for another year, a massive pat on the back to the AMCA Events team, Magna Vitae Trust, East Lindsey District Council, Skegness Partnership and Skegness Chamber, SECWHA , all event sponsors and of course the great people of Skegness and surrounding area. Here’s to another classic in 2018!
TO VIEW ALL OF THE IMAGES FROM THIS EVENT GO TO
Mike Wood http://www.offroad-action.co.uk/
The results of the event are below.