25th September 2018
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WATCH: Motocross is back with inter-county to look forward to

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Lots of thrills as young competitors get to grips with the new course. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Shetland is due to play host to an inter-county motocross challenge for the first time in three decades – kick-starting an event that proved popular with biking fans back in the 1980s.

Saturday 24th June will see what promises to be a dramatic combat for Shetland, Orkney and Caithness biking aficionados, bringing with it a host of scrambling thrills and daring, heart-stopping high jumps.

Organisers hope it should prove to be just as exciting for spectators as for participants.

The event was popular 30 years ago, but stopped coming to the isles when the Islesburgh Motorcycle Club, which organised the Shetland end of the event, disbanded.

But today’s biking enthusiasts are keen to see the rapid machines return here again.

Helping draw in the crowds is a redeveloped track which has proved a magnet for bikers. Extensive work has been carried out by Tulloch Developments on the track at the rear of their Staney Hill site.

Big air after heading over one of the many jumps.

The weekend saw plenty of bikers putting in practice sessions, with bikers big and small, old and young, going through their paces.

One of those is Calvin Sharp, of Trondra, who was there with his Kawasaki motorbike.

The 20-year-old, who works at Scalloway Motors, has been motorcycling since childhood, and he is in no doubt of the attraction. His father, Alex, is one of the organisers of this year’s event.

“It’s inter-county. The last one was over 30 years ago here. It’s Orkney, Caithness and Shetland. We were in Orkney last year and Caithness the year before, so this is the first time it’s been in Shetland for a long time,” said Calvin.

“I’ve only done it in Orkney and Caithness the last two years.

“My dad worked with a bike when I was younger. I ran around on it and it has carried on ever since then.

“It’s just something I’ve always done. I love the adrenaline. It’s just a good fun sport. I really enjoy it.

“The track has been here for years and years. It’s just lately been completely redeveloped. It’s looking really good, so I’m really excited about it.”

Calvin said he was unsure how many people would be taking part in the inter-county, but he added: “We’re hoping for a good turn-out”.

“You can see today, there are a lot of cars sitting here.

“We’ve never seen this for a long time – so many cars sitting in the car park.”

He said his Kawasaki was a 2013 model which he had had for just over a year.

“I’ve done bits and pieces just to make it fine and handle better. But apart from that it’s basically standard.”

Alex Sharp said it felt good to see the event coming to the isles again.

“It was run by the Islesburgh Motorcycle Club back then. That club disbanded.

“But there are a few of us that have kept going at it through the years, but we’ve not had a proper facility or a proper club.

“Now, a few of us have made a conscious effort into Shetland.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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