Published: February 3, 2011
Famous Weston Beach Race could switch to Burnham-On-Sea

Proposals to move Weston-super-Mare's famous annual Beach Race to Burnham-On-Sea, Brean or Berrow are under consideration.

RHL Activities, the organisers of the annual race have been in discussions with Sedgemoor District Council in recent days regarding the possible move of the race.

It comes after North Somerset Council awarded a contract to run a motorcycle race on Weston beach this autumn to a rival firm, Oxfordshire's Events 22.

However, concerns about beach bye-laws have this week put a question mark over whether the event will be staged in Burnham.

RHL Activities managing director Gareth Hockey told "We were surprised when North Somerset Council put out to tender a licence to run an event that is almost identical to the Weston Beach Race, for which RHL Activities own all the rights, but their decision meant we were left with no option but to submit a proposal to safeguard the location of the Weston Beach Race for 2011 and beyond."

"Over the past 30 years we have built the Weston Beach Race into one of the biggest sporting events in the United Kingdom, regularly attracting more than 2,000 competitors and 100,000 spectators to Weston and providing a much needed boost to the local economy."

RHL is now working on a new four race series, for which the relocated Weston Beach Race will be the centrepiece.

"We were already in discussions with a number of local authorities to run a beach race series before North Somerset Council made their decision," added Hockey.

"We have a number of local authorities who are very interested in working with us to move the Weston Beach Race into their area of responsibility and these discussions are progressing at quite a pace. We hope, in the next few weeks, we will be able to announce the location of the 2011 Weston Beach Race, as well as all the locations for the three races that will make up the remainder of the beach race series." spoke to Tim Mander, Sedgemoor District Council's Property Manager, on Thursday.

He said: "The organisers of the beach race have been in contact about the possibility of moving the event to Burnham or Berrow, but their plans would be contrary to our beach bye-laws."

"Therefore, for the moment, we are not able to host the event, but that situation could change if new government proposals to change bye-laws go through. We recognise that the event would be good for the local economy."

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