top of page

The Race the Waves legacy 

Poster 1 for 22.JPG
Poster for 21.JPG
RtW origposter.png

 Both these posters are the work of Paul Hurst


‘Race the Waves’ at Bridlington is the brain-child of Paul Garbutt, who had previously produced classic motorcycle social gatherings under his event name BACKFIRE.  This ‘evolving’ motoring heritage spectacular at the Yorkshire Coast, is encouraged & supported by the EY Events Dept of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

In 2017, Paul was approached by the East Riding of Yorkshire Councils, Ward Councillor Andy Burton, to explore the possibility of creating a motorcycle show within the Bridlington Spa for October 2019.  Race the Waves was originally intended to serve only as a pilot to generate and drive motorcycle interest to Bridlington, which had previously been viewed within the powered two wheeler fraternity, a scooterists destination.

The Yorkshire beaches which historically held motor speed trials and races, stretch South from Coatham Sands (which lies near the mouth of the River Tees ) down to Filey’s Beach, which is only a short distance along the coast from Bridlington.  These beaches have been well documented over the last century with references to historical Motoring Speed Trials & Racing.  Paul’s early years were heavily influenced by not only living close by the Yorkshire coast but also motorcycle racing, be it Road Racing, Scrambles, Grasstrack or Sand Racing.

Thankfully Ernie Crust from Coatham near Redcar, documented much of the UKs historical motor racing which took place on or near the Yorkshire Coast.  The earliest reference to beach Speed Trials within the UK relate to 1905, when motoring Speed Trials were first held on Filey’s stretch of hard sand, which is approximately only 30 minutes drive from Bridlington.  Ernie died in 2018 but his publications, ‘A Dash Between The Tides’ &  ‘At The Drop Of The Flag’ have offered invaluable references and have been hugely influential towards the thought processes concerning the production and delivery of Race the Waves at Bridlington.

Early Racing 2.png
Early racing 1.png

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Bridlington Town has long been associated with Speed Trials from as far back as 1904 and the last documented running of the Bridlington Speed Trials was in 1924.  It was held along the Kingsgate road which lies parallel and only a short distance away to where we showcase our tribute to the Heritage of Motoring Speed at the Yorkshire Coast, Bridlington’s South Shore beach

Running 3.png
Running 5.png

 Classic Bike Rallies 1970s style courtesy of Stewart Would

Running 2.png

This image was taken at the Bridlington Speed Trials of 1924.

Running 4.png
Running 6.png

Motorcycles were first used on Filey’s beach in 1910 but weren’t used at Saltburn Sands until after WW1 in the very early 1920s.

ecil Edge won with a speed of 71 mph from a flying start over a one mile course with his Napier.


I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

legacy trials100.jpeg
brid spped trials.JPG

“Bridlington Speed Trials 21st June 1923. 

This picture was published in the Penistone Express on June 30th 1923. Leslie Hawthorne won the amateur 350cc class aboard his Sheffield Henderson, a marque that was short lived, being produced in Sheffield's Fitwilliam Street only from 1920 to 1923.”

!00years note.JPG

Our unique ingredient, the style of the vehicle takes preference to the year of manufacture.  In general terms, cars are of a pre-1960s style and motorcycles are of Classic & Vintage styles.  Our ‘Theatre of Imaginative Automotion & Nostalgia’ is presented to the public with multiple vehicles performing 1/8 mile drag-style runs along  Bridlington’s firm tidal sand, after being flagged away from a standing start.  We embrace and combine, both our Yorkshire beaches and motoring speed heritage with the American Hot-Rod street-races of the 1950s.  Everyone who supports the Race the Waves weekend is encouraged to adopt a suitable vintage / lifestyle dress-code to compliment the whole weekend experience.


I will always be thankful to Joe Oz who was the Staging Boss from the first running of the TROG in America.  Joe or Oz as he was known, brought a unique style to his role and he was very helpful with guidance for me, ahead of the first running of Race the Waves in 2018.  He posted the images in hard copy to me from his home in America, which I consider were two lucky charms ahead of running our first Race the Waves.


The original "3 Amigos!"

Henry Cole offered his Best Wishes for Race the Waves 2019

The casual seaside family visitors experiencing ‘a dash between the tides’ and settled to enjoy the entertainment.


Having fun ‘at the drop of the flag’ ahead of dropping the clutch.


2019 and Race the Waves became a full weekend in Bridlington which attracted International interest too.

It was great to include the French, Normandy Beach Race (NBR) organisers in 2019.


Running maintenance is all part of the weekend for the NBR entrants.


The NBR support crew checking out Race the Waves 2019.


Belgium sent entrants.

The V8 Brothers Garage arrived via a North Sea ferry with their two race cars


NBRs Jean-Mark with his wonderful Buick straight 8 original race car on the Bridlington beach


More International interest came from Southern Spain in 2019.

Overland journey by ‘Coast Classics’ with their 2 historic American race cars.


The children get in on the act too, by offering time on the sand for their Tot Rods.

Laicy Moat the youngest and only female to enter in the inaugural Race the Waves still enjoying the fun in 2019.

The 2020 running of Race the Waves unfortunately (through COVID-19) had to be postponed until May 2021.  But our valued group of BACKFIRE Promotions primary volunteers have now become officially recognised by the forming of ‘The Oily Tykes Society’ (not for profit organisation) and also becoming the key marshals for the  ‘TOTS Racing Club’.

Race the Waves 2021 Promo day at Sewerby Hall

pROMO DAY1.png

L - R ... Rob Huxtable, Mike Benton-Rose, Stu Coupland & Neil Bagley, all members of the recently formed ‘The Oily Tykes Society’ &  TOTS Racing Club key marshals.

bottom of page