HydroGarden Weston Beach Race - 16 September 2016

Thorpe and Sword to race HydroGarden RHL Weston Beach Race aboard Honda Africa Twins

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RHL Activities is excited to announce that Dave Thorpe and Stephen Sword will be taking on this year’s HydroGarden Weston Beach Race, which is being held on October 7-9, aboard the rather unusual choice of Honda Africa Twin machines.

While most racers choose motocross or enduro bikes for the gruelling three-hour solo race, Thorpe and Sword are showcasing the durability and adventure spirit of the Honda Africa Twin machine that was released earlier this year. This iconic new bike is an updated version of the much-celebrated retro motorcycle known for its success in the Paris-Dakar some 30 years ago. 

“The Africa Twin is a very important part of Honda’s range and is so well-loved by adventure riders that Honda decided to produce a new version this year. The bike still carries that signature look, but with new technology, and this is a machine that has a lot of heritage in true off-road riding,” explained Thorpe.

Thorpe, who is well-known as the man behind the British motocross championship Buildbase Honda race team and his Honda Off-Road Centre in Wales, will be putting his race kit back on for this event, having only competed in a small number of enduro races in recent years.

Thorpe is certainly celebrated as one of the greats in British motocross history, with four world motocross championship titles and six British motocross championship titles to his name thanks to a career that excelled through the 1980’s. The motocross-ace is now fully focused on his off-road centre, as well as being a team manager and consultant to Honda UK for their off-road business.

“I did an enduro during the winter, which I did competitively down near Poole at Bere Regis, but in terms of racing motocross, the last time I raced was a vets event in Italy a couple of years ago,” said Thorpe.

Joining him on the line also aboard a Honda Africa Twin will be eight time British motocross champion and former Grand Prix racer, Stephen Sword, who has over 27 years’ worth of experience in the motocross industry and now works with Thorpe training riders.

A former winner of the race on the sands of Weston-Super-Mare in 1988, Thorpe is looking forward to gearing up and getting on the beach for the maddest, baddest and most bonkers race on the UK off-road calendar. Having checked the rules, the Honda-man decided it was a great opportunity to have some fun, get into the spirit of Weston and ride an iconic machine all at the same time.

“It’s a unique event for the UK, as there is nothing quite like Weston. I’ve seen it grow, and I love how it’s all about the people; you can have a world champion racing against a normal club rider, it’s a huge spectacle to watch and of course the start is a real eye opener.”

“We looked into it and decided to race the Africa Twin. Sure, as a race team we have our riders that are looking for a win, so we will try not to get in their way, but for Stephen and I it’s about showcasing the Africa Twin and having some fun. Clearly we won’t be out there to win, as we will be just trying to survive. The first hour will be fun, the second hour will be a challenge and the third will be hard work. We’ll just be aiming to stay on and enjoy it,” concluded Thorpe.

It's certain that this year’s HydroGarden Weston Beach Race will be an exciting one, as the huge dune course is raced by hundreds of competitors that will be thundering down the seafront, gunning for glory once again.



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