| Stokes Dominates at Peel
||Limbering up for his first crack at the British
motocross championships in a fortnight's time, Chris
Stokes wrapped up the King of the Beach title in fine
style at Peel on Mad Sunday afternoon.
In front of a large crowd of spectators, the 426
Yamaha rider scored three wins and a second for a
clear overall success in the Ramsey MCC promoted
|The first A Group race was a real humdinger with no
fewer than four riders vying for the top spot.
Stokes led for the first two laps, however with Juan
Knight right on his tail he was forced into a mistake
which put him back down to fourth.
Knight also slipped off and in the space of little
more than one lap John McCanney was elevated from
fourth to first, dragging Michael Kelly through into
second place behind him.
Nevertheless, a remounted Stokes continued to charge
and he was soon back in the driving seat with a brave
move at the Castle turn.
At the flag, it was Stokes who crossed the line first
in front of McCanney and Kelly, with Gareth Quayle
picking up the pieces in fourth after cousin Knight
suffered another tumble on the final lap.
Knight came out of the blocks like a man possessed in
the second race and he fired Dave Reilly's 520 KTM
into a never to be relinquished lead.
Stokes realised early on that there was to be no
living with the Andreas man in such a determined mood,
and he wisely settled for second safe in the knowledge
that a lowly finish for his rival in the first race
would keep him out of the overall scheme of things.
But Stokes did grab the hole shot in the third and
final heat, holding off Knight for the duration, with
Colin Dentith a good third on the second 520 KTM.
Irishman Jim Somers looked set to mop-up in the B
Group, but a mistake at half distance in the first
race handed similarly 426 Yamaha mounted club
secretary Ian Lees the honours.
Somers made no mistake in the second race, leading
from start to finish from former leading local
schoolboy rider Rob Boyles, while the County Carlow
man scored another clear victory in the final
qualifier in front of Gary Kelly and race one winner
The C Group saw Kelvin Potter of Douglas grab first
place away from Ashley Jones on the final lap of race
one, after Crosby's Chris O'Hanlon had done all the
With the less experienced riders really struggling in
the soft silky sand, it was more a case of the
survival of the fittest and race two was a complete
turnaround with Lee Kaniewski (who lives quite
literally within a stone's throw of the beach),
leading all the way from the consistent Jones.
Potter had two wins and a third; Kaniewski a single
win, a fourth and a fifth; and Jones a full set of
Heat three looked to be going to another Peel man
Kevin Quirk, but when he dropped it on lap four,
Potter stepped in for his second win, once again from
There was drama even before the King of the Beach race
got underway when Juan Knight's KTM refused to start
This left rival Chris Stokes in a commanding position
at the front of the field, and he rode on to take the
Marine Hotel sponsored Jeff Smith trophy in fine style
from John McCanney, Michael Kelly, Mark Lund and
Lund received the Peel Car & Commercial Centre cup for
the best performance by a local rider under the age of
l The organisers wish to thank the Department of
Tourism for its financial support; Peel Commissioners
and IRIS scheme contractors Brands for their joint
efforts in preparing the beach; sub-contractors
Sweeneys of Peel for the loan of bollards and the use
of a digger and driver on the day.
Further thanks go to the local constabulary; Peel
Harbour keeper Michael Cannon; the Marine Hotel and
everyone else who helped with the running of the
In total, almost £500 was raised for Peel Lifeboat via
flag collections on the beach
A Group: 1, Chris Stokes (426 Yamaha) 42 points; 2,
Juan Knight (520 KTM) 30; 3, John McCanney (250
Yamaha) 26; 4, Colin Dentith (520 KTM) 23; 5, Michael
Kelly (250 Honda) 20; 6, Gordon Rice (426 Yamaha) 16;
7, Gareth Quayle (250 Yamaha) 13; 8, Mark Lund (250
Suzuki) 12; 9, Ben Begbie (250 Yamaha) eight; 10, Tim
Dedman (250 Yamaha) five; 11, Rob Watson (250 Yamaha)
two; 12, Steve Ascroft (500 Kawasaki) one.
B Group: 1, Jim Somers (426 Yamaha) 42; 2, Ian Lees
(426 Yamaha) 35; 3, Malcolm Kirk (250 Yamaha) 24; 4,
Gary Kelly (250 Yamaha) 18; 5, Robert Boyles (250
Honda) 15; 6, Maurice Bellando (220 Kawasaki) 14; 7,
Nigel Beaumont (250 Suzuki) 13; 8, Richard Hulme (400
Yamaha) 13; 9, Alex Baraona (500 Kawasaki) 12; 10,
Barry Galloway (250 Yamaha) seven.
C Group: 1, Kelvin Potter (250 Honda)40; 2, Ashley
Jones (350 Suzuki) 36; 3, Lee Kaniewski (250 Suzuki)
29; 4, Jonathan Watts (250 Suzuki) 29; 5, Kevin Quirk
(250 Yamaha) 16; 6, Callum O'Shea (250 Yamaha) 14; 7,
Chris O'Hanlon (125 Suzuki) 13; 8, Gavin Bennett (400
Suzuki) 12; 9, Charlie Dillon (400 Yamaha) eight; 10,
Michael Stevens (400 Yamaha) six; 11=, Nathan Cafearo
(250 Honda) and Martin Kelly (250 Honda) one.
King of the Beach: 1, C. Stokes; 2, J. McCanney; 3, M.
Kelly; 4, M. Lund; 5, G. Quayle; 6, C. Dentith; 7, G.
Rice; 8, B. Begbie; 9, R. Watson; 10, L. Kaniewski.
Words and pictures by John Watterson
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