The way we were: August 1938

Published: 07:30AM Jul 9th, 2013
By: Richard Rosenthal
While unable to break the late Eric Fernihough’s Gatwick sprint trials record, the 11.87 seconds recorded in his first run in the standing start quarter miles ensured Noel Pope (998cc Brough Superior) was fastest man of the day in the Sunbeam MCC event to secure the Bickell Cup...
The way we were: August 1938

Riding his 998cc Vincent-HRD V-twin Ginger (S) Wood recorded 12.50 seconds to set second best time, gain the Fernihough Cup for the best non-expert time and move status upwards to expert. Just three one-hundredths of a second behind Wood was sprint motorcycle builder Francis Williams with his 498cc Cotton-Blackburne. The Motor Cycle’s scribe finished his summing up of the event “…to anyone with motorcycle blood in his veins an afternoon with the Sunbeam Club at Gatwick is the best of good fun”.

In summing up the effect the extremely wet weather had on the year’s ISDT Mr Loughborough for the ACU added an interesting comparison of statistics given in percentages.

Gold medals: 59.2 (1937), 15.8 (1938)
Silver medals: 9.86, 13.87
Bronze medals: 9.39, 7.18
Finished, no award: 0.94, 2.39
Retirements: 20.66, 60.77

Based in Llandidrod Wells, the 1938 ISDT was then one of the wettest on record. Weather accounted for many retirements with riders simply losing machines in streams that had suddenly become deep fast flowing rivers.

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