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Alderney Hillclimb


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#1 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:40

Having recently spent a few days on the charming channel island of Alderney ,where you don't apparently need an MOT and over 18's can ride motorcycles without a helmet, I notice there's a hillclimb course running up from one of the beaches towards the airfield. The amount of tyre marks left on the startline would indicate that it had been used fairly recently.
Does anyone know anything about it?
I'm told the only way to get cars on and off the island is by craning them out of a cargo boat - the old fashioned way! Sounds like a bit of a logistical headache for the event organizers....

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#2 RAP

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 11:53

Organised by the Gurensey club as an end of season event.
Link to 2006 results
http://www.gmccc.co......02006 web.htm
Also a sprint at Fort Corblet

I don't know when these started but the earliest reference I have is 1991.

RAP

#3 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:43

Originally posted by RAP
Organised by the Gurensey club as an end of season event.
Link to 2006 results
http://www.gmccc.co......02006 web.htm
Also a sprint at Fort Corblet

I don't know when these started but the earliest reference I have is 1991.

RAP


Thanks RAP. It's a lovely venue for such an event, very picturesque. I walked around the north of the island and was struck by how good most of the road surfaces are, how deserted the place was - almost no traffic at that end of the island even in high season - and how many rather interesting corners could be included in a sprint course or indeed special stage....

#4 CNE

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 15:34

Hello Simon,

Good to hear you enjoyed the delights of Alderney. As a part owner of a house near Braye Bay (and a frequent visitor) I can fully endorse everything you say about the place.

There are two hillclimbs in Alderney (Fort Albert and Fort Corblets)

Here's a link to a webpage from one of those competing last year.

http://www.cwgsy.net...ge/alderney.htm

I think the tyremarks were probably a result of someone undertaking 'early' practice for the 2007 Hillclimb. Either that or the aftermath of the 'Alderney Week' celebrations. You are right about cars not requiring MOT's but then again there's no traffic police either. At the last count I think there were only two coppers and one police cell on the whole island!! The hillclimb is scheduled for the 14th and 15th September if anyone is interested in going.

The island also has some extremely curious ancient by-laws. Take this one from a recent Alderney Journal.

'An Alderney couple has used an ancient law to stop the States painting yellow lines outside their house. Yesterday morning Philip and Rosemary James used the 'Clamour de Haro' to stall the Public Works department in painting the yellow lines on the upper high street. The States have temporarily stopped painting the lines.

To invoke the Clamour, which is in effect an injunction, the aggrieved party has to go down on one knee and recite the Lord's Prayer in Guernsey French and there has to be two witnesses. If it is registered at the Court then then work in question has to stop for a year whilst the case goes through the proper legal process.'


I thought it was a joke as well but the Journal has pictured said Mrs. James performing the ancient rite outside her home in the high street.

Speak soon, Simon

Chris E

#5 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 08:27

Thanks for the link Chris, it looks like the Corblets start line is next to the war memorial? The web page also answers my question of how the cars get to the island . I note the comment that it only cost about £170 to do the two events including the boat trip. Sounds remarkably good value these days.
We stopped in Braye. Very nice beach and the food at that little pub halfway up the street (the Divers, I think it's called) was excellent value for money.
I love the concept of 'Clamour de Haro'... sounds like something from an old Ealing comedy!

I shall endeavour to be back on the island for next year's events if I can swing it....

#6 CNE

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 14:20

Simon, as far as I can recall the sprint was from Fort Corblets to the Hammond War Memorial.

Apparently the entry for hillclimb and sprint is between fifty and sixty cars which is pretty good considering the difficulties transporting them over from Guernsey, plus an increase in the entrance fee to £ 200. Of course, motor sport in the Channel Islands has really been boosted by the success of Andy Priaulx. Priaulx comes from Guernsey and is very much the home town hero for the whole CI as you may have gathered when you were over there. I seem to recall his career started with hillclimbs didn't it?

Quite agree with you about the Divers. The Braye Beach hotel does the haute cuisine bit but you can't beat the prices (or the grub) at the Divers. They've still got the diver figure of 'Buster' Crabbe in the corner I take it?

Guess I'd better conclude this now before Twinny gives me the red card for doing the work of the Alderney Tourist Board for them!


Chris E

#7 Stephen W

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 14:27

Originally posted by CNE
Andy Priaulx comes from Guernsey and is very much the home town hero for the whole CI as you may have gathered when you were over there. I seem to recall his career started with hillclimbs didn't it?

Chris E


Andy Priaulx did start off in Hillclimbs and was the 1995 British Hillclimb Champion having been 4th in 1994 and 6th in 1993.

:cool:

#8 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 14:56

Originally posted by CNE
They've still got the diver figure of 'Buster' Crabbe in the corner I take it?


Chris E


It was so busy when we were in there I just squeezed inside the door and grabbed the nearest table so didn't actually see it I'm afraid.

Stopped at the Braye Beach Hotel , nice place, very smart and some fancy food but all at very fancy prices....much preferred the pub grub myself....

#9 CNE

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 17:12

Originally posted by Stephen W


Andy Priaulx did start off in Hillclimbs and was the 1995 British Hillclimb Champion having been 4th in 1994 and 6th in 1993.

:cool:


Thanks for that Stephen. Thought he did.

According to the cv on his own website Andy Priaulx was also Channel Islands Hillclimb champion 1991/1992, so it is possible he might have done a run on the Alderney course.

Chris

#10 Stephen W

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 09:15

Originally posted by CNE


Thanks for that Stephen. Thought he did.

According to the cv on his own website Andy Priaulx was also Channel Islands Hillclimb champion 1991/1992, so it is possible he might have done a run on the Alderney course.

Chris


In 1992 Graham & Andy Priaulx were driving a 2 litre Vauxhall powered Mallock Mk 20. As to appearing at Alderney I'll have to leave that to the Channel Islanders to answer!

:wave:

#11 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 15:33

Reviving an old thread - I finally got to attend the sprint and hillclimb events on the channel island of Alderney last week.
Great fun and very much a throwback to a more laid-back era of motor sport.
The sprint held on the Friday runs about 650 yards from the war memorial , through a fast left, the a fast right and along a straight past Fort Corblets (from which the course takes it's name) to the finish near the lighthouse. During that run it crosses and re-crosses the railway time twice . That makes life "interesting" for those in ground hugging single seaters and especially interesting for those in karts! The course record is held by former British Hillclimb Championship regular Mike Dean in his 3.5 litre Gould-NME... what a sight and sound that must have been to witness!
The competitors all came in by cargo boat on Thursday morning and a temporary paddock was set up on the common behind Braye Beach. Most of them were towed up to the course (no need for trailers) on the morning of the event and lined up on one side of the approach road. This didn't even have a 'Road Closed' sign on it. At times the red flags came out to allow a delivery van from local laundry service to pass. Shades of speed trials in the 1920s! There was no hassle with any of this. It was all very calm an civilized. Can you imagine it on the mainland? No, nor me. Added to which you could walk along the course to a different position for spectating when the red flags came out to allow cars back to the pits. It felt more like watching a rally to be honest.
The entry was around 60 and included sand racers, motorcycles and karts as well as the mor familiar saloons sports cars and single seaters. The motorcycle competitors all seemed to have generators and tyre blankets on the go in the paddock which looks odd to those of us used to mainland events.

BTD went to Glen Tanqueral in a 1300 Jedi which had languished in his garage for the previous two years.

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One of the bikes tipping into the first bend . The first railway crossing can be seen halfway along the straight. The guy in yellow is the excellent commentator and the others on the scaffolding and rooftop are spectators who bagged a good position

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A Westfield crossing the second set of railway lines at the right hander with Fort Corblets (now a huge private residence) in the background.

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Mike Dean, course record holder , 3rd BYD on this ocassion, in the 1300cc bike engined Mallock he shared with Tim Torode who was 2nd BTD. In the background in Longis bay and three more forts. The island is peppered with military sites on every headland and beach, many date from Elizabethan times and many more from the German occupation of 1939-45.

The hillclimb at Fort Tourgis, at the other end of the island...all of a mile and a half away, it's a small place... runs up the main road from the harbour to the airport. Again around 650-700 yards long .
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The course starts by a large lump of German concrete called 'Helgoland Lager' - An OMS leaves the line - very posh house on the right, MUCH bigger than most of those in the island. Paddock in the background either aside of the concrete thing on the left of shot.

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It then goes into a a sweeping first bend up off the beach with a big pill-box/bunker on the outside, ideal for standing on to get a good view
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As seen from the bunker, Emma Parr in the very fast 6.2 litre "Cool Runnings Chevrolet" sand racer
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Up past the huge old fort with more fortifications visible in the background...
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To a sweeping final ess bend which caught out a lot of runners and was the choice spectator area.
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Tim Torode's Mallock took BTD from Tanqueral's Jedi with the Cool Runnings sand racer in the hands of Scott Rayson an impressive 3rd. Rayson left huge tyre marks on the top ess on his fastest run which drew a few gasps from the spectators. Brave man!

Unlike mainland events there was 1 practice and 6 competetive runs each so it did offer pretty good value . The entry for the two events was £200 plus £30 for the boat trip back and forth from Guernsey. Spectating was free. :clap:


#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:32

Just to reinforce all that has been said above about the delights of Alderney. She who must be obeyed and I adore the island, and I would recommend both the Braye Beach Hotel and Divers, above. The place with its Napoleonic Wars and WW2 fortifications drips history, the beaches and rock pools are superb and the whole atmosphere is sleepily relaxed to the point of being mind-numbing. Admittedly, after three or four days there you'll be climbing the walls wanting SOMETHING to happen...but for peace lovers seeking a short break Alderney can be absolutely magical. If you want night life, this ain't for you. Flying in from Southampton on the Trilander as it touches down and rolls out you are aware of rows of spectators in the long-grass verges, looking on - rabbits, dozens of them, sitting up, heads turning as the plane rolls by. You get the picture?

Ooh, by the way, we DID once see PC Le Plod wielding a speed gun briefly along the Braye road. But he seemed pretty much to be just going through the motions - gun in right hand, waving 'Good morning' to islander friends with the left...

And 'Helgoland Lager' was one of the island's four Nazi labour (for which read 'concentration') camps - 'Helgoland', 'Norderney', 'Borkum' and 'Sylt' - the only ones set-up on occupied British territory during WW2. If curious, see here: http://www.subbrit.o...ylt/index.shtml. The macabre - and sickening - side of this otherwise delightful island's story...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 24 September 2009 - 08:43.


#13 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:50

Thanks for these great photos, Simon. These Alderney events didn't start happening until long after I stopped living in Guernsey, so this is all new to me.

I wonder if Doug's 'PC Le Plod' was my old chum Phil. who was the Alderney policeman (yes, there is only the one) for a few years.

#14 kayemod

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:24

I'll resist the temptation to compare Helgoland Lager to Carling Black Label, but although I only know Alderney from a couple of day trips, Guernsey where I've spent several short breaks is almost as enjoyable, although larger and more developed, it has a very similar laid back and relaxed feel, and it's a lovely place. When we go, I always check the tide tables before booking, that way I can usually see some sand racing at Cobo Bay on the west coast. Those sand racers like the one pictured in one of Simon's posts, have to be seen to be believed, they may look a bit risky from the driver's point of view, but when you're racing on an oval laid out on an expense of hard sand, there isn't much scope for a mishap of any kind, and as far as I know their safety record is 100%.

#15 CNE

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 17:30

Great pics, Simon.

Try emailing James Varley at the Alderney Journal. He might be interested in using some of them.

It is published every fortnight so they won't have gone to press yet.

www.alderneyjournal.com

Chris


#16 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 20:54

Great pics, Simon.

Try emailing James Varley at the Alderney Journal. He might be interested in using some of them.

It is published every fortnight so they won't have gone to press yet.

www.alderneyjournal.com

Chris


Thanks Chris, I'll try that.

On the subject of sand racing, Kayemod is right, the big Jaguar and Chevy engined devices are something else to see in action. I was lucky to get a guest drive in a meeting on the sand at Vazon Bay in Guernsey back in about 2000 in a loaned Maestro saloon. One of the races was an all-comers/handicap type thing and I got lapped....and lapped...and lapped by those big sand racers so many times , throwing up rooster tails of sand in their wake.
All day long other drivers kept strolling up to me and offering the same advise "stay on the inside line, let them go round you and then duck down!" and my gawd they were right! I got utterly 'filled in' with sand and, more painfully, pebbles. The bruises on my shoulders and chest lasted for ages!
It was absolutely superb fun however, no matter how uncompetitive I proved to be. The whole crowd of racers and organizers were very friendly and laid back. I can honestly say it was probably the most enjoyable day's motor sport I've ever experienced.



#17 Stephen W

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:12

One of my mates went and I was chatting to him about the trip this week-end at Doune. He thought that the hillclimb was marginally faster than the sprint! He also thought the whole week-end was very well organised and yet laid back. He will be going again and I must admit I would love to go as well.

:wave:

#18 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 15:26

One of my mates went and I was chatting to him about the trip this week-end at Doune. He thought that the hillclimb was marginally faster than the sprint! He also thought the whole week-end was very well organised and yet laid back. He will be going again and I must admit I would love to go as well.

The nice thing about both courses, despite their fairly compact length, they were fast and flowing ,not in any way Mickey-Mouse. No chicanes, no fiddly bits.
I notice the speed trap on the sprint (I'm not sure if this was over the finish or on the approach to the first bend) clocked Tanqueral's 1300 Jedi at 113mph, and on the hillclimb he topped 115mph on the way into the ess-bends , which is on a par with Shelsley Walsh speeds for a single seater of this size.
If anyone is looking to run in next years events I know of at least one potential double-driver willing to contribute to costs .... :wave:




#19 RS2000

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 19:22

The only time I asked for regs (quite a few years ago now) they declined to send them to mainland competitors...

Unlike Alderney (or Jersey), it was possible in theory to compete at Val des Terres, Guernsey, as a day trip for anyone living near Weymouth using a road legal car....but I'd seen too many Condor delays and cancellations to try.

Edited by RS2000, 28 September 2009 - 19:26.


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#20 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:10

Ooh, by the way, we DID once see PC Le Plod wielding a speed gun briefly along the Braye road. But he seemed pretty much to be just going through the motions - gun in right hand, waving 'Good morning' to islander friends with the left...

I've just heard a Radio 4 news item reporting on the first ever conviction for speeding on Alderney. The offender was apparently driving at nearly twice the island speed limit of 35 mph.