Fast Thoughts: Sand Surfing

All eight of the 2015 Maxxis British Championship venues have finally been confirmed and, as everyone knows, a majority of them are sand. Now, of course not all of them are, as Canada Heights (which is actually quite loamy, but isn’t really sand) and Foxhill are also featured on the schedule.

It is a surprise to see that a majority of the tracks are full of the soft stuff, especially when there were only two true sand tracks on the schedule this past year. This is no coincidence and it isn’t something that the ACU are shying away from either, as (credit where its due) Brian Higgins has addressed the concerns in various press releases, but this quote alone sums it up fairly well: “We realise that we are visiting many sand based circuits next year, but to be honest we have to consider so many things apart from the track itself when we are deciding upon venues.

This is an issue that Youthstream often run into when deciding on which circuits the FIM Motocross World Championship visit, as they have to ensure that it can hold their infrastructure and also a large number of fans. Admittedly our domestic series does not have too much infrastructure nor do we have the same large number of fans (that is another topic for a different day), but there are still requirements that have to be met.

The fact that sand tracks can handle the wet weather much, much better than a slick hard-pack track must have played a role when finalising the calendar. After having to cancel a round the last two years, I am sure that the ACU want to do everything in their power to ensure they can run complete the full calendar in ’15 and therefore keep the riders, teams and partners happy. For this reason, having a sand track open and close the season is the logical choice and I’m sure anyone reading this is in favour of that.

However, I do find it a little more bizarre that sand tracks continue to fill the calendar through the summer months (with the exception of those tracks referenced above). Admittedly there is a shortage of elite tracks in this country (the fact that the three major series visit the same tracks for the most part is a testament to that), but circuits like Cusses Gorse, Landrake and Whitby, as well as a few others, must have been in a position to host an event, seeing as they did this year.

There are obviously other factors that have to be negotiated, but we’ll never get the full story on that. I’m most surprised to see that Cusses won’t return; especially when it did a reasonably good job of filling the void when there was no other venue for round seven a few months ago.

There were always going to be mixed reviews on this. If you consider yourself a sand specialist, you are going to love it. However, if you struggle in the soft stuff this is probably your worst nightmare. Although it’s nice to see a variety of tracks as a fan, sand does sometimes produce better racing, so hopefully that will be the case in 2015.

Words: Lewis Phillips

Image: Elliot Spencer

MX Vice Editor || 25

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