Sellicks Beach Historic Motorcycle Races

24 Mar

Wintery weather greeted competitors and spectators on the weekend of 18 and 19 February 2017 at Sellicks Beach, south of Adelaide. Thousands of spectators lined the barricade set up between the high tide mark and the fenced conservation dune area just inland. A cool and blustery southerly wind was holding up a higher than normal tide and the start of racing was delayed for about one and a half hours until there was enough useable beach.

After a flypast of vintage biplanes and a grand parade of the 100 odd solo and eight sidecar outfits which ranged in dates from 1924 to 1962, the racing began at about 11am. There were different fields for capacity and age groups and each entrant had 2 scratch rounds and a handicap event on each of the 2 days; 50 events in all. These were run over 3 laps for the smaller machines and 4 laps for the larger capacity bikes. The course was run clockwise up and down the beach between two oil drums placed 1/2 mile apart (approx 800m). An astounding variety of manufacturers  were represented, including  Norton, BSA, Triumph, Velocette, Harley Davidson, Levis, OEC, Matchless, Ariel, Zundapp, Indian, Honda, Royal Enfield, James, DKW, Adler, ESO, Douglas, Villiers, Bultaco, AJS, Jap and  Jawa – a real feast of historic bikes.

Most races were hotly contested although there were a few disappointing moments with breakdowns. The most embarrassing  was when a bike completely lost its rear wheel and there was nowhere to hide! The period 2 (1920 – 1942) unlimited class was perhaps the most spectacular with hand gear changes and the booming noise of the big side valve Harleys providing plenty of entertainment.

Standout performers included Wayne Wallis (Honda 125) and Trevor Henderson (Bultaco 125) in the tiddlers class. Jarrad Smiley got his Rickman ESO 500 going really well late on the  Sunday and was much faster than the others in the Period 3 350-500cc final scratch race, winning by 20 seconds. Kym Davey (250 Honda) was far too strong in the Period 3 125-250cc class, easily winning all his scratch races. The honours were shared in the hotly contested Period 3 250-350cc class with Lloyd Davis (350 Manx Norton) and Terry Hutchinson (350 BSA) each winning 2 of the 4 scratch races. Dan Gleeson (600 Norton) and Joe Ahearn (750 Triumph) had close battles over both days in the Period 3 (1946 – 1962) unlimited class and although both suffered some reliability problems, the spoils were shared. In the sidecars, Mark and Kelly Schuppan on their 650 ESO had a very successful weekend, winning all 4 of their scratch races and one of their 2 handicap events.

50 races in all over 2 days – what a weekend!

By Alan Kernich.

All race results are available at

See photos & videos of the event here