2016 King Of The Castle Photos & Report ….The popularity of this event seems to be growing in direct proportion to the increasing difficulty that riders now experience each year when trying to get a ride at The Big One (Vets MXDN) held later in the season on the same hallowed ground that is Farleigh Castle. I`m told that the bewildering mixture of rules for postal entries & on-line entries that open at a certain time on the dot one evening in February plus different rules for teams wishing to apply or riders who have ridden the vets before or the possibility of being put on a reserve list is making the The Big One a bit too complicated for some to bother with, add to this a limited racing budget & the need to know straight away if you are in or not so plans can be made & you can see why some riders are starting to say “bugger it, lets do King Of The Castle, it`s easier to get in & pretty much the same Track anyway”. It`s a pretty cool event, take a walk around the paddock & a pattern quickly starts to emerge, vehicles park up to form a make shift courtyard complete with pop up gazebo & BBQ in the middle ready for the two day party to begin. With all eras of classic motocross represented, from thundering four-strokes of the 1960s, Twinshocks of the 1970s plus 80s Evo Machines as well as different age group & ability classes there’s something for every type of rider. This year saw the WME PRE 85 boys invited along to play as well as the Partridge Ventilation Pre 83 125 guys, two organisations that are growing ever more popular. I have written before that I think it`s now a simple case of time moving on & the guys who raced classic scrambles machines of the 60s & original riders of 1970s Twinshock bikes are now beginning to hang up their boots for good, it`s the slightly more in number & younger guys from a different period “Evo” who have the desire & disposable income that want to race today, a situation that AMCA classic scrambles clubs should take note of if they want to keep numbers up & prosper, I see no reason why Evo riders can`t be mixed in with the Twinshock lads if it helps keep a club or event going.
To water or not to water, that is the question ! Always a bit of a quandary at Farleigh this one, with the organisers running a slick operation that saw the next group of riders released from the start gate as soon as the traveling marshal appeared at the top of the last hill, there’s no time in a packed schedule to stop & let the water bowser trundle round, so more often that not it`s let loose before racing starts unfortunately the track does not always require watering at that moment in time & conditions can come as quite a shock to the first riders out on the second day of racing, especially if they left the track in wonderful condition on the Saturday afternoon. I remember this happened at last years Vets & Farleigh is one heck of a slippery place when wet, the first few races on Sunday produced a never ending stream of bikes appearing with crash damage so my advice to anyone racing Farleigh is take spares, lots of spares !
The Flying Menace ! Following my extensive investigations “I just happened to be watching BBC`s Countryfile one Sunday evening a couple of months ago” I can reveal “well I think” those small black bugs that fly around & get everywhere are in fact Rapeseed Beetles ! From what I read the EU has rules about spraying with insecticides & this has lead to increasing numbers, farmers are starting to get very worried indeed about their crops. If I remember correctly the bugs don`t seem to be as much of a problem later in the season at the Vets but in July they swarm around a Hi-Viz vest or anything brightly coloured like alcoholics around a free bar at a works do ! So my advice to anyone going along to Farleigh is for gods sake don`t wear anything bright yellow or orange etc, no you are better off adopting the dress code of a Goth for the weekend.
Well that`s it from me folks, bellow you will find over 100 images to help mark the occasion, if you want a copy of something drop me a line & for a few quid via paypal I can e-mail you a high resolution full sized version. I will leave you with this thought, since starting this website I have received many e-mails from classic dirt bike fans from all over the world saying how lucky we are here in the UK to have such a fantastic vintage motocross scene, in their country they either have no organised classic racing at all or the country is so big with enthusiasts spread so far apart it`s almost impossible to get everyone together to stage events like we can here, so make sure you take full advantage of our fantastic racing setup while you can…..All the best, Mr J