Mersea Island Scooter Rally 2016 | RALLERY
Dodge the tide
It was the weekend after the August Bank Holiday so it must be time to make my annual pilgrimage over the water… or the causeway to Mersea Island for the fun and frolics that the Colchester DVLC organise for our delectation. Whilst Mersea may have lost its ‘National Rally’ status, for many it remains one of the highlights of the year and attracts many scooterists from around the UK and mainland Europe, all there with the same aim… to have a bloody good time! Mersea has something for everyone and this year it even had a scooterist wedding, congratulations to the happy couple Dean & Wendy!
Beer & banana
There’s certainly no excuse to be bored when you get there, with multiple music venues catering for all of our diverse tastes, which leads me nicely to the wide choice of food stalls available to soak up the alcohol. Coupled with the games on the Saturday afternoon (with host Ginger Tony) keeping the large crowd entertained as he persuades the next group of victims, ahem, sorry volunteers to step in to the arena! Usually those that are pissed enough can be persuaded to perform for the baying crowd.
Although I’ll never get used to seeing the infamous beer & banana race done on tandem push along scooters rather than the real thing? From egg catching to tug of war and wheel barrow racing to putting on frozen t-shirts there’s something for everyone. If that doesn’t float your dinghy then the large dealer market area will keep you busy as you look for a bargain, or the all important part to get you home (or a target mouse mat!)
Dazzled at the show
The custom show attracted a large number of entrants from rats to full-blown custom and it was great to see Dazzle in her glorious third incarnation taking the best of show trophy.
One popular attraction at Mersea is the dyno, people queue to have their pride and joy put through its paces. This years dyno was supplied by Lowestoft Lambretta Works. They used a braked dyno offering more realistic speed figures than the usual inertia type. Without a bhp read-out this turned into a top speed scream off. The fastest speed recorded was 90mph by a Gilera Runner, with the fastest Lambretta and Vespa achieving 84mph. Although they all might have squeezed a few more mph from their steeds if they’d taken the head down behind the headset streamlined approach one of the Yorkshire lads adopted. He certainly got value for money though as he sat flat out for ages trying to improve on his 56mph!
Another great addition this year that drew a large crowd all day on Saturday was the display set up by the British Scooter Sport Organisation (BSSO) with several race bikes on show covering all classes including a display of the latest Casa Performance parts by JB Tuning, thankfully close to a drain so it could catch the drool from salivating onlookers.
You can never stop a racer wanting to compete and the temptation of the dyno proved too strong for several of them, with an interesting battle between 3 of the new Production Class riders putting their off the shelf RB 200 kitted Lambrettas to the test. For those that haven’t had the good fortune to see these lads in action on the track then this new class has seen some excellent close racing as it really is a test of rider ability on identical engines. With the only accepted change to the engine being the use of different sprockets this was evident in the speeds the 3 lads achieved. SLUK’s very own Barrie Braithwaite came out top with 78mph, closely followed by Steve Hamilton with 76mph and Carl Fox with 71mph. If you get a chance then pop along to watch some scooter racing, it’s a great day out.
As the day turns into night the various music venues start to fill up with something for everyone, including a good selection of live bands. One highlight for many is the legendary Darkside marquee, which caters for those that prefer modern (well quite often 25 year old) dance and indie sounds. It’s always busy and come midnight switches over to the silent disco. Although if you do take off your headphones you can listen to the screeching – sorry I meant ‘singing’ from everyone there, lost in the music and in blissful ignorance that some SLUKin’ bastard was videoing them!
With many partying hard on Friday night, Saturday was a little quieter as those planning an early exit on the Sunday did the sensible thing and got some zzzzzzzzz’s, although there were still plenty of people about to keep the Darkside marquee jumping until they had to shut down at 3am.
Sunday morning was greeted in my tent with a great big ‘feck off you bastard’ as I was sleep deprived, nothing a coffee and breakfast from the onsite canteen didn’t help remedy though.
Tent packed up it was time to head off to overtake the Sunday drivers on my way home after another cracking Mersea Island rally. Whilst numbers seemed slightly down, there was no change in the top atmosphere and vibe that this rally has. Slightly fewer numbers is no bad thing as it meant I didn’t trip over loads of guy ropes on my way back to my tent!
Thanks to Niamh and all the DVLC for another great, well organised rally and to all who played a part in making it a top weekend!
Words: Shaun Hodgkin
Photos: Andy & Shaun
Custom show results
Trophy Sponsored by Winner
Best cutdown/oddity/chopper Peterborough Roundheads Illusion 2
Best street racer Velocity Scooters Li S1 – VEZ 8928
Best vintage Scorcher Bella 465 UXS
Best original Vespa The Victoria Inn Rally 200 MGU 57P
Best original Lambretta Mansfield Monsters SC LD150 YAR 52
Best Vespa restoration Brighton Up Cleaning GS MK1 – 815 UYK
Best Lambretta restoration The Arrows SC Li S1 OHV 433
Best engineered Vespa Freande Handover Lammy trike
Best brightwork Big 7 scooter club Dazzle
Best custom paintwork SRP Race Tech Start me up
Best auto The Darkside Sonic
Best Vespa KTF Soul Club Faithful Friend
Best Lambretta LCGB Dazzle
Best of show (Phil Rudkin) Dazzle
Gallery by Andy G
Gallery by Shaun