Fareham Wheelers ready to unleash toughest of tests

Action from the racing at Fairthorne Manor last season. Picture: Neil Marshall (161428-9)
Action from the racing at Fairthorne Manor last season. Picture: Neil Marshall (161428-9)
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Round three of the Wessex League is not for the faint-hearted.

That’s the verdict of Fareham Wheelers race organiser Phill Chinn, who is ready to unleash a new course on the championship on Sunday.

With Fairthorne Manor no longer available to the south coast outfit, the hunt was on to find a fresh venue for the 2017-18 campaign.

Following a tip-off from club member Theresa Stubbs, a deal was struck with Steve Rogers to host racing at Swanmore Motocross Track, near Droxford.

And while Chinn admits tomorrow’s event is something of an experiment, he is excited about its potential.

He said: ‘Theresa is fantastic and helps us all out.

‘Her cousin runs the motocross up there and asked whether it would be any good.

‘It was workable. So we’ve all decided to give it a go and fingers crossed it will work out for both parties.

‘We don’t have the facilities up there we had at Fairthorne, so we have had to hire in toilets, catering and the like.

‘There are extra financial implications.

‘We haven’t raised our prices but we may have to look at things if this event doesn’t work out.

‘But we are very excited about Sunday.

‘There is quite a lot of climbing, it is certainly not a flat course at all.

‘You are either going up or going down.

‘It is going to be one of the toughest courses on the circuit.

‘But no-one has been scared off because we have had good pre-entries.

‘There are 330-odd so far, with loads more looking to enter on the day.’

The weather forecast is now the only headache for Chinn.

However, the worst of the wind and rain is expected to blow over before the first race – for under-10s – at 10am.

Contests for under-12s, youths, novices, juniors, veterans and women make for a packed card before the senior men take to the course at 2.45pm.

Chinn added: ‘The wind may be the only headache – we don’t want gazebos blowing up through north Hampshire!

‘I am really pleased with the amount of Fareham Wheelers who are entering.

‘There has been a huge increase in numbers in recent years.

‘Apart from the under-12s, we have riders in every category now and three or four in most of them, which is really good.’

Fareham Wheelers are indebted to the support of Solent Cycles in hosting Sunday’s event, along with Broken Bridge Brewing and Vintvélo.

Rounds one and two took place over the past two weekends at Newbury and Swindon respectively.

For more information on the Wessex League, visit wessexcyclocross.co.uk