From the archive: Festival of Legends at Hawkstone Park with Cumbria Twinshock: September 10/11, 2016

Words: Tim Britton Pics: Fiona Watson

The weather is a major concern for any event organiser and the track record for the UK recently hasn’t been that good and as CDB pitched the gazebo and set up the stall for the Hawkstone Park Festival of Legends, the conditions were looking distinctly dodgy.

With the wind getting stronger that Friday evening and the ‘R’ word being bandied about there were some worried faces.


Still, weather forecasts can’t always be believed and yes there was a drop of rain on Friday evening, some cloud on Saturday and a little shower, but Sunday was glorious, all blue skies and warm sunshine.

Flying high in Sunday’s sunshine, Honda Evo 500 rider Russell Harthill crests one of Hawkstone’s jumps.
Can you name all of the 13 legends here? Actually, all 13 might be pushing it as one rider is pretty much hidden so name 12 of them.

The idea for the Hawkstone Park Festival of Legends was quite simple – hire the legendary circuit, invite as many legendary riders as possible and put on races for twinshock and Evo riders.

It worked too, the racing was good, maybe not as many people went along as could have but there were enough to convince the organisers to do it again next year!

Racespec’s Dave Watson in the parade lap.
One of the Legends Evo riders, Honda-mounted Rick Du Feu powers through the berm.

Under the guiding hand of Darren Hudson and Geoff Shuttleworth the event ran fairly smoothly even if, thanks to the Friday rain, the fearsome hill wasn’t included in the course.

Being as the majority of the entries were on bikes with vast amounts of suspension it seemed as though they spent more time in the air than in the loamy sand making up the track but despite the evidence from our pics in this feature there was plenty of groundwork.

Dick Clayton was to be the first holder of the Frank Mercer Trophy presented at the awards ceremony by Jolene and Dougie Mercer of Toughsheet.
This is the sort of thing Hawkstone and MX is noted for, fast, furious action.
With so much action to see it’s hard to know which way to look and whichever way you do look there will be something else going on behind.
All of the winners with organiser Darren Hudson, yes he’s in there, and Dougie and Jolene Mercer. Prizes were partly sponsored by Putoline Oils.

Speaking of pics, our photographer took around 2000 images over the weekend and there will be a few on our Facebook page, some more in a gallery on our web page and the bulk in a special area our web guys are sorting out where they can be viewed and downloaded.


Anyway, it was an excellent weekend.

Roll on Hawkstone Festival of Legends 2017.

Concours Champ


The organising club – Cumbria Twinshock – invited even non-riding enthusiasts to bring along a bike for a display in the marquee if it rained or outside the marquee if it didn’t rain.

There were a few bikes on display and the bike deemed best on the day was a 1989 YZ490 owned by Andrew Philpotts.

Our photographer managed to grab him before he wheeled his bike away and took this picture.

The delighted concours winner admitted he couldn’t lay claim to restoring the bike as he bought it just as it crossed the finish line at the 2014 Vets MXdN at another legendary circuit, Somerset’s Farleigh Castle. “American MX star Broc Glover used it on a parade lap and it had been brought over from the States for that event.

All I did was make an offer and buy it,” says Andrew. Well you’ve kept it in great condition Andrew.

Vaughan Semmens

It was the sad duty of the organisers to announce the passing of Top 35 rider Vaughan Semmens on September 10 – the first day of the event. Vaughan had been ill for some time and had hoped to manage to make it to Hawkstone one last time. Sadly, cancer is no respecter of such wishes and the lad passed away early on the Saturday morning.

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