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Massive crash at Weston Beach Race caught on camera!

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Weston 2009 kicked into life today with the quad and sidecar races, three hours of chaos on a glorious Saturday afternoon in Somerset.

Things didn’t go quite to plan for some though, as up to 10 riders were caught up in a huge start straight crash which saw riders end up in A&E with broken bones.

Here are some amazing images of what happened taken by Ray Chuss

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The starts in its usual busy way with crowds on the sidelines watching the action

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Something happens mid pack and riders are left scrambling for safety

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At this point the fallen rider must have been a little worried

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The rider is up and manages to dodge the oncoming traffic, but bottom right something else is beginning to stir

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  1. gordon britton race number 569

    I was glad I chose to hang back at the start.
    Hope all involved in the pile up were not seriously injured and make speedy recoveries

  2. Ali Miller

    I was rider 533 in the last photo and just missed the rider on the ground. Hope they are all ok. They need to stagger the starts at 50 riders per time to stop multiple pile-ups.Just heard that Sunday solo race has been cancelled because of another bad incident on the start straight.

  3. germansheperd lover

    yes ive heard that too anon my husband has just rang me from the beach race

  4. Gail Atkins

    My brother was involved in this crash and has broken his leg. I agree with what Ali said that they need to alter the start so they don’t all start together! sorry to hear about the crash today and that someone has died in it.

  5. bhiggs

    YOU SHOULD NOT LISTEN TO ALL YOU HEAR THE LAD IS NOT WELL BUT STABLE SO PLEASE DO NOT SPREAD RUMOURS AND HAVE A THOUGHT FOR HIS PARENTS THANKYOU!!!
    GET WELL SOON ALL ARE BEST

  6. gordon britton race number 569

    gail realy hope your brother recovers quickly i think ali miller is right a staggered start of 50 riders would make sence and maybe stop this mayhem on the start straight.

  7. Ray

    Anon stop spreading malicious gossip and for that reason I’m deleting your post.

  8. Ken Wells

    Present at race today it was a hugh accident.Rode 2nd ever Weston which had Solo,Sidecar and Quads all in the same race and the start was bloody dangerous.Hope all involved make a full recovery. Fear the could be the last Weston Beach Race.

  9. sam

    Saw the crash happen and it was so awful. My boyfriend helped a rider with very bad facial injuries. The front of his helmet was broken. If anyone knows who this might be can you let me know. I have also called hospitals and thank god, no fatalities.

  10. quadsuk

    very sad day to see all this and then on the sunday as well ..
    hope this doesnt stop future events

  11. dave

    I was also there, didnt see the Crash but hope everyone makes a full recovery! in my opinion staggared starts would be a good idea, today it was mayhem and i dont think the tide being high helped!

  12. woz

    The race should not have started at that time, the tide was too high so the main straight was still too narrow.

  13. mark

    Hope all the riders that had a big offs all make speedy recovery,Fair play to all the riders who took part,took a lot of guts on a day like today.

  14. catherine

    Seen the Saturday accident and it was carnage, hope all casualties in both races make a full speedy recovery.

  15. Rich

    I was behind Saturdays big crash, could see quads/people in the air, not sure how I managed to avoid it, but I did thankfully. I have done the race for the last 8 years and I agree that because of the tide the width of the track was very narrow compared to normal. I hope all the guys make a good recovery

  16. dave jones

    Today was my first attempt at weston at the age of 49. The start was awsome untill they all started going down in front of me. I slammed on all the anchors but still hit the pile up at a great speed. I went straight over the bars but was very luck to escape any injury. My thought go out to those injured in the crash.I also feel for all the people involved in organising this event, they all contributed to a great weekend and it is very unfortunate it ended up like this. I wish those injured a speedy recovery

  17. Rob

    My first and definatly mt last Weston,the worst organised event I’ve been to
    from the non existent PA system at far end of trak which left everyone in the dark as to what was happening,the single bridge for 100,000 + fans to access the beach,not enough marshals or medics to ensure rider safety,this event was an accident waiting to happen.1200 riders all set off together is stupidly irresponsable,RHL should be held to account for this mayhem.Speedy recovery to all involved.

  18. mike fox #380

    Im in most of these photo’s(white quad , blue & white race gear & helmet) luckly I was able miss all the riders & quads & had a quad bounce rite past me . Hope all involed r OK

  19. Mark

    I think it was only a matter of time before an accident like this happened, hundreds of adrenalin filled riders going bar to bar at 50+mph at the start.. I agree with others when they should stagger the start. Lets hope this dosent mean the end of the beach race.

  20. Kim Collins

    I hope who ever decided that it was safe to start todays race with the tide in so close, is sectioned. Everyone where I was standing could not believe that the race had actually started in these conditions. Waiting another hour and stagering the starts, would have stopped all this carnage. It was poorly organised from the start, thousand climbing over one bridge, not enough people at the entrance gates. One big money making machine. Dont think that I will be lining Hockeys pockets next year.
    What happens to the prize money now? Does it go to the leader Jamie Lewis???? A black day for this sport, hope all who were injured speedy recovery.

  21. Shaun Murphy

    Firstly I hope anyone who got hurt in any of the events over the weekend makes a speedy and full recovery
    I have completed in the solo event on a number of occasions but at the age of 46 I thought it would be safer on a quad (I don’t think so)
    My thoughts are as follows:-
    A maximum rider limit required for all classes especially for the main solo event on the Sunday. 1000+ riders on a motocross track at any one time is far too many.
    A staggered start has got to be the way forward. When you’re riding down the start straight from the start, all you can see are blurred images due to the spray (A bit like driving your car in the rain at 70 mph without your wipers on) but you daren’t slow down in case someone runs into the back of you!
    Some of the 4X4 Quads, have you seen the size of them things!
    If you fell off in front of one of them, it would be like getting run over by a car. I think there needs to be some kind of guide lines drawn up as to what vehicle you can use
    Finally I think a lot of lessons can be learned from this year, so hopefully the organisers will take them on board so we can have many more safer events in the future.

  22. John Lewis

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion on this incident – however some people shoiuld get their facts correct before making accusations – in particular the ‘Bridge’ is not the ONLY access to the beach – in fact this is the first time the bridge has been in use – there was no problem accessing the beach last year when we had excess of 100,000 people attending, there is good access at each end of the promenade without having to use the new bridge. Also the sound system covers the main part of the course from the entrance at the east end of the promenade right up to past the ramp on the west end of the beach with sound projected up onto the dunes – and its bloody loud! Most importantly, RHL are a very responsible company who take all issues very seriously, the safety of both riders and spectators are paramount to them. There are a huge team of contractors and stewards and officials who work behind the scenes very hard to produce a safe and enjoyable Weston Beach Race. My company is a contractor to RHL and the Weston Beach Race and we all have to go to great lengths with health & safety – plus with many years experience working with RHL, the directors really know what they are doing – I am sure that the organisers will investigate what actually happened without listening to un-informed comments, and get to the bottom of this very quickly. Lets all hope that all the riders who sustained injuries make a speedy recovery back to full health and racing fit.

  23. Roddy

    For many yaers, I have taken my family to watch the Sunday Solo race, yesterday was a very poorly run event, lack of PA system, confused marshals. The organisers have alot to answer for when it comes to the safety of the competitors. It was clear that the race start time should have been put back to at least 1pm if not later. As for keeping the everbody in the dark for almot 2 hours, they should be ashamed of themselves. I hope the Health & Safety Police have a good look at this weekend. Our thoughts go out to those injured on both days.

  24. Judi

    I can not believe that people are so disrespectful to the people that run this event!! I spend alot of my time helping run mx events in my area and my biggest concern is the safety of the riders, events such as Weston Beach Race are highly dangerous sports and people sadly get injured! I am sure that the organisers never intended to run an un safe event, they are under massive pressure and sometimes the wrong decisions may get made! Anyone who moans at organisers are always the ones that have never been involved in organising anything!

    My thoughts are with the riders and their families. My family and friends all ride and I can not imagine upset they are going through!

    Show some respect people, stop moaning and just send your regards to the people who have actually suffered!

  25. Mike Harrington Rider 232

    I have been reading different comments on this now, I did not see any one jump the gates, as soon as they are open away you go. You could not see that much but was plenty for the other 980 riders that got through. This indeed is what it is a terrible accident and no one should blame the organisers for this. AS mentioned on other forums Gareth hockey and his crew do more than most for this sport, so instead of slating them lets get behind them, Wish all involved a speedy recovery.

  26. justin baines

    i’ve been watching or competing in weston since 1987 and is one of the highlights of the racing calendar ,however this year the decision to start the race at nearly high tide was gross stupidity,resulting in horrific injurys to the riders involved,having helped some of the injured off the track and removed some of the damaged bikes from the beach i feel sickened that weston has become a cash cow for rhl and weston council(10 quid to park)putting rider safty second,my very best wishes to the injured and their familys

  27. Nath

    I think a lot are forgetting that its the riders choice to take part in this race, no one is forcing them to ride. The visibilty conditions are not always the best and after going to many westons it has been run in much worse conditions. As for staggering the start, if that is what riders feel safer with they can always wait and start the race when the manic cluster of riders has dispersed, no-one says they have to race off the start line immediately – its an enduro, not a race. If you talk to riders at weston that is what a lot love – the adrenalin of hundreds racing up the start straight together. Motorsport is dangerous and unpredictable and riders know that anything can happen once they put their bums on their bikes.
    Yes, its awful that someone has sustained such bad injuries but its not fair to blame the organisers unless facts come out to prove they were negligent. I ask myself, if this accident had not of happened would people be moaning about poor organisation etc? I doubt it, they are doing it in hindsight. I was there all weekend and didn’t hear anyone moaning about the running of the event until after the accident.

  28. Woody

    Reading the above i’ve seen that some of you are clueless!
    I’ve attended 25 0f the 27 beach races. This is the first one i’ve been to where there as been a major incident.
    Firstly, i like to say that the people spreading death rumours are sick and probably are’nt true fans of the sport.
    Secondly, if you opened your eyes, there was access to the beach via a tunnel aswell.
    I agree with the tannoy comment, it should stretch the length of the course. It always used to and us paying public need to know whats going on.
    I also think the solo race should have been put back by at least an hour to let the tide go out further, and perhaps then make it a two and a half hour race.
    As for safty, the event gets safer every year. Perhaps though it now needs double barriers the length of the straight, with a 10ft gap between the two. Use security to make sure no idiots breach the gap. Anyone doing so should be ejected from the site.
    As for the starts…Quads…4×4 and side cars starting first. All other quads with numbers higher than 100 starting next, and the top 100 starting last. The same thing cold be applied to the solo’s. Anyone who does’nt race with a club and have a number higher than 100 starting first, then regular cub riders with numbers higher than 100, then the top 100 starting last.
    I don’t see why this should be the end of the Beach Race though, but one problem i did spot that may come back to bite the current organiser hard was the entry ticket system. You payed for a ticket at the entrance, a couple of feet later you had it taken off you and you hand stamped. No ticket stubb means no proof of purchase. If no re run is held, how are they going to sort refunds?! It takes the same amount of time to rip a ticket in half as it does to stamp an hand!
    Lastly i’d like to wish all the injured riders a speedy recovery.
    Long live Weston Beach Race.

  29. alan bromiley

    no 416, i am the large green quad to the right lower of the pics, me and another collided trying to avoid a flying quad, mine rolled about 4 times also passing over the top of me has i lay cringing watching my life flash past, anyway luckily i was not injured, thats me standing at the end with the green helmet, the quad was not so lucky, having said that boy am i hurting today, hope all you others mend soon and will see you next year,having also done touquet i must admit their starts are safer but so are bowls all the best alan

  30. andy/and son adam

    me and my son saw the crash it was not the best of days for anyone.if they do not re run it again i hope the organisers can make sure mine and my sons entrance money can go to help the familys involved in the crash.so they can get what ever they might need for now or the future im sure a lot of other people feel the same way.never seen such a bad crash i hope they all make a full recovery.

  31. mick emsworth

    thisweekend was my first at western and i was riding the solo event on sunday , i too was caught up in the pile up and feel very lucky to hop amay with a sprained ankle and feel for any one who else was injured.i also think the start should of been staggered due to poor visibility .is there any news on the worsely ijurerd? hope the rumor was untrue that someone was fately injuered

  32. steve young

    local news say event is unlikley to be held ever again after organizers and council and emergency services had a very tense meeting this afternoon.9 riders remain in hospital 1 still critical wishing all injured a speedy recovery.

  33. Janis Elliott

    Having been on both sides (part of an organising team for Quad MX AND as the mother of a quad rider seriously injured a year ago in a biking accident) I think it is quite sad that so many people are very quick to comment on an incident/accident that they do not have the full information for. At this early stage ALL our thoughts should simply be with the injured riders and their families and our energies should not be focused on criticising anything or anyone until the situation has been fully investigated. Believe me, having been through so much since last year – every time I hear of an accident ANYWHERE in the racing world I can get quite emotional, but having said that, my son and I have met many people seriously injured in their persuit of their sport (Horse Riding, Rugby and Swimming being high on those lists), very few, if any, have blamed the sport itself. My son is desperate to get back to his quad racing – the truth being that this motivation is what has made his recovery as astonishing as it is. We don’t always have to BLAME someone or something for the bad things in life. We should instead all stand together, support those who need it and carry on taking lessons from whatever turns out to be the TRUTH of the situation. SPEEDY RECOVERY TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED.

  34. paul fletcher

    first of all i hope every rider injured in both races is ok after riding the quad race on saturday and seeing the first man go down the main reason other bikes became involved was because the tide was not out enough for everyone to avoid the fallen rider and as no marshells with flags are on the straight you relay on other riders signals.in my opinion the start straight was around 200 feet less in width than previous races.the shirts we riders recieved last year said the would be held next week end we thought it was brought forward to suit the tides.the course clerk named on all riders paper work should have spent more time out in the rain cheacking the straight if he had he would have seen the bottle neck on the straight were both crashes happened.although we as riders sign a disclaimer we also have over £150 to pay rhl to race we are told this is to cover saftey and running costs badly spent in my opion.i have spoken to westons council and they say no way race will run next week and rhl should not be telling people it is. i belive that had the riders had chance to see the straight before the start most would have held back from traffic far too wet to keep in control when packed so tight the start line should be closer to the first dune to avoid high speed crashes like these as once start is over the straight is a much safer place to be.again hope all get well soon and hope we all get down there next year. ride safe and have fun.

  35. paul fletcher

    something i also is
    the 4×4 quads should not be on course with smaller mx quads and side cars as there size and weight means they cause more damage i saw one pushing his way past us on way out of compound he disabled a few quads on his way.in my own opion they have no place in mx races and should join the buggy race which started this year on friday.no offence lads and long live the weston weekend its more than just a race and has been the high light for many years.

  36. jon

    I have had enough of reading all these comments straight too narrow too wet etc.having ridden for ten years the bulk of riders hog the barrier and middle and never use full width which im sure if you look at all pictures is the same this year sat and sunday.conditions were bad but i have ridden in far worse.I am happy that my entry money was spent wisely and there was adequate cover medically and marshals.I believe that every rider pulling onto start line looked up the straight and saw it and made the choice to twist the throttle also the throttle works two ways.No matter how much money is spent on saftey you cannott plan for rider error and a quad or bike stopping dead on any start straight is going to cause an accident.and yes paul fletcher i have taken offence at your 4×4 comments and totally disagree with you.most of 4x4s would not behave in the paddock like the one you saw and i also see race quads smashing and damaging other quads on way out of paddock..report his number if you feel so strongly .yes we are bigger and heavier than race quads but we are also commpetitive and dont cause any more damage than an accident with a side car or another race quad.Are you possibly peaved that on your smaller lighter race quad you couldnt beat most of them !!!!!!! he he
    Also i didnt here any promise of re running this coming weekend i heard and read that the organisers were doing everything in theyre power which im sure they have to run this weekend.they have more to lose than most by not running.
    On a more serious note get well soon to all injured and lying in hospital beds.
    Long live weston beach race.

  37. wayne tame

    motocross is an extreme sport and the beach race is definatley extreme,but the fact is it has been running for alot of years,generally without serious accidents such as 2009,as riders we know what we are signing on for and the risks,no one likes to get hurt or see loved ones get hurt but it happens.if you don’t like the beach race or the way it’s run then don’t go, theres 1000s of people who enjoy weston every year and i’m sure it brings alot of extra revenue to the area,so i’d be suprised if they let a freak accident stop the event for good.

  38. liam beatty

    will there be another one on if there is will when will it be on

  39. John Page

    well here again 2012, i’m the one yellow tape around boot kneeling at quad, seems along time ago now broken ankle totally damaged neck, champs are out the window but beech races are still fun events for me lol, 6 secs and £3500 up the swanny not a vary long race was it,but back for another bash.

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