ON 18-19 FEBRUARY, the Levis Motorcycle Club will revive the Sellicks Historic Beach race for the first time in 60 years.
When our ancestors were looking for somewhere to go fast and break records, the beaches south of Adelaide (Sellicks and Silver Sands) provided the perfect venue for a beach race.
Motor racing was first conducted on Sellicks Beach in the early years of the 20th century and, apart from some time off during the Second World War, the club ran the Sellicks Beach event through to 1957. Many early racers
rode their bikes to the beach, stripped them down to the bare minimum, raced for a couple Sellicks Beach action in the 1930s of days, then put the bike back together and rode home.
Those competitors with a bit more money might have brought their bikes to the beach in their sidecar.
The Levis Motorcycle Club staged re-enactments in 1986 and 1992 that attracted huge crowds, but there has been nothing like the competitive racing set for this year.
The tides of the Southern Ocean have long since swept the tyre tracks from the beach’s hard-packed surface, but 2017 will see 120 Vintage and Veteran machines line up over two days to engage in a flat-out 1.6km race from Silver Sands Ramp to Sellicks.
Just like the good old days, there will be a great array of motorcycle manufacturers represented in the races, from a 1924 Douglas through to several 1962 Nortons, plus a number of examples from Indian, Levis, Harley Davison, BSA, James, DKW, Ariel and OEC.
When the helmets are on and the bikes are at the start line, the age of the bike and rider will mean nothing… the race to the flag will be on and it will be as fierce as ever. As 80-year-old Levis MCC member Trevor Attwell puts it, “I’m not here to make up the numbers.”
With a vintage aircraft and parachuting display scheduled during the lunch break on each day, it should also be great fun for the whole family.
Due to some 35,000 people turning up to the1992 re-enactment, crowd attendance at the event is now restricted so get in quick to pre-purchase tickets through Ticketek or by clicking on the ‘Buy Ticket’ link on the official website (www. sellicksbeachrace.com.au).
Adult tickets cost $95 for two days. Children under 16 years old are free if accompanied by a paying adult.
For further information about Levis MCC or information on their 2017 calendar of events go to www.levismcc.asn.au.
by PETER HENNEKAM
Did you know?
LEVIS MCC IS the oldest affiliated motorcycle club in South Australia and takes its name from the Levis two-stroke motorcycle. The Levis Social Club, as it was first known, was formed in September 1922 to accommodate the large number of Levis rider who took part in that year’s opening run of the Motor Cycle Club of South Australia. The club organised social outings and simple trials for members, although the focus of the club soon changed and from 1924 the Levis Social Club Speed Trials at Sellicks Beach was born.