The ground-breaking Watergate Bay Sprint is all set to wow thousands of motorsport fans with a thrilling weekend of action this September [16/17], as the popular closed-road event has been given the all-clear to go ahead as planned.
Held near Watergate Bay in Cornwall, Watergate Bay Sprint uses the B3276 coast road between Newquay and Padstow, with competitors from across the UK heading to the region to contest the prestigious timed race, which was the first speed event to take advantage of a Parliamentary law enabling roads to be closed for motorsport use in England.
After the inaugural running as a `Hillclimb` in 2018 and starting from Watergate Bay itself, the event switched to a `Sprint` in 2021, starting on the Newquay side of the B3276 at Trevelgue. Considered one of the highlights of the motorsport calendar, cars will tackle the road towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element that includes a tight ‘90-left’ turn before powering towards the finish. The event attracted around 120 competitors each day in 2022.
Authorised by the sport’s governing body Motorsport UK, organisers have been issued the permit authorising the event to go ahead following a renewed consultation with both local residents, parish and town councils.
Whilst many were supportive of the event, some concerns were raised over the diversion route and disruption to the road infrastructure during the weekend, as well as the environmental impact of a motorsport event of this size taking place in Cornwall.
Parish and Town Councils surrounding the area put forward their commentary, and the event launched a Public Consultation, inviting locals to air their views in an online survey and attend a public forum evening at Mawgan Porth Village Hall. The findings of both were submitted to Cornwall Council Streetworks department which subsequently authorised the event, enabling Motorsport UK to grant the necessary Permit.
Dave Brenton, Deputy Event Director is delighted to be able to continue planning for this year’s event.
“I and the entire organising team are very happy to have received the permit from Motorsport UK and I’d like to extend my thanks to every member of the local community who reached out to us over the consultation period,” he said.
“The event does cause a level of travel disruption to local residents over the weekend and going forward we are committed to better communication, timely information and diversion route management to give them plenty of prior warning of the event.”
“For some time, we have been looking at various Carbon Offset programmes, as we certainly appreciate the impact that any motorsport has on our environment. But with proper management and willingness to invest in a programme, we hope to ensure Watergate Bay Sprint doesn’t leave its mark in any way.”
Watergate Bay Sprint will also continue to donate profits to local charities. From its inception, Watergate Bay Motorsport has ensured charities like the Cornwall Air Ambulance have benefited from over £30,000 since 2018.