Thursday, 9 November 2017

1928 Motorcycle race on Bribie Island

Sporting Events held on Bribie Island
1928 - Motorcycle racing

In 1928, the sandy Ocean Beach at Bribie Island was the scene of a novel race, a unique one-off event that generated a lot of interest at the time. Sensational speeds of over 70 m.p.h. were reached by Eddie Smythe on his "Ariel" motorcycle at the Brisbane Motor Cycle Club's racing carnival.

Below is an article on the race as well as two photos from The Brisbane Courier Monday 19 March 1928 p. 7 and 16.

Racing on Bribie Beach. 
Eddie Smythe Excels. 
By “Wayfarer”

The Brisbane Motor Cycle Club’s racing carnival held on the ocean beach at Bribie Island yesterday was a very successful fixture.  The racing was witnessed by a huge crowd, and it was noticeable that, despite their enthusiasm, the spectators were at no time a source of trouble.  They kept clear of the course and observed the barriers erected in the interests of their safety.
   The racing was staged on the tide-washed section of the beach at low water, which was beautifully hard and level.  As the day wore on the sharp turns at either end were torn up by skidding wheels, and as the rising tide encroached on the course the men had to race on the softer sand of the upper beach, and the spills were more numerous.  The course was a mile in length, comprising two straight runs each of half a mile, with hairpin turns at each extremity.  

Sensational speeds were made in the straights that attained by Eddie Smythe’s Ariel, which proved itself the fastest machine of the day, being calculated at well over 70 m.p.h.  In one race this rider came off twice, and then registered an average of 46 ½ m.p.h., which was wonderful speed, considering that the race included ten extremely sharp turns.  

Besides moving fast in the straights, Smythe showed a mastery of the art of broadsiding around the turns in little more than a machine’s length.  He was easily the best rider of the day in every department, and particularly in negotiating the turns.  Smythe won the two-mile B.M.C.C. handicap, and was just beaten by A.R. Walton in the five-mile open handicap, in which, however, he registered fastest time.  

The rapidity with which the tide rose caused the cancellation of one event, a three-mile club handicap.  Details:- [of the results – name of the rider and type of cycle] . . .

Racing on Bribie Beach. Eddie Smythe Excels. By "Wayfarer". The Brisbane Courier, Mon 19 Mar 1928, p. 7 

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