Over a quarter of a million people flocked to Bournemouth Wheels Festival this weekend as the high energy motorsport and freewheel action event – the biggest of its kind in the UK – returned to the resort for a second year, with a thrilling cliff top display from one of the country’s most renowned stunt drivers.
Attracting an estimated 310,000 people over three days of weather extremes, the second Bournemouth Wheels Festival featured non-stop, high speed action along the Demonstration Straight, monster truck metal crushing, gravity defying quad bike jumps and breathtaking BMX and skateboard tricks. There was also a seemingly impossible stunt along East Overcliff Drive on the biggest day, dubbed Super Saturday.
Paul’s stunt provided the perfect end to the packed programme of supercars, F1s, competition bikes, rally, touring and Le Mans cars roaring along the Demo Straight. With opportunities to get closer to F1 cars than any other event in the UK, combined with the glamour of some of the world’s most expensive Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins – in a collection valued at over £15million – East Overcliff Drive pulled in huge numbers of people across the weekend.
Reflecting the views of participants and drivers across the site, Dodge Viper owner, Mark Kidman said: “The camaraderie in the Paddock was unparalleled – it was all very friendly! The course is great and there has been a fantastic amount of people which is brilliant.”
Close to Boscombe Pier, numerous clubs and proud classic car owners showed off their most prized possessions in a vehicle pageant that covered the promenade against the backdrop of Bournemouth’s iconic beach huts.
In contrast and bringing high action to the beach displays, Australia’s quad bike king, the Kangaroo Kid jumped over a monster truck, wowing crowds in another spectacular stunt attempt. Elsewhere on the extensive festival site, families enjoyed car crushing, stretching and pulling displays from four monster trucks. There was even the opportunity to ride in one of these family favourites.
Max (7) and Harrison (5) from Fordingbridge said of the monster truck rides: “It was really cool fun. The best bit was crushing the cars!”
For many, highlights were the daredevil BMX, skateboard and rollerblade riders of Team Extreme, as well as the fearless freestyle motocross (FMX) jumpers who performed next to the pier when the weather allowed.
One of the best known stars of FMX, Jamie Squibb said of his Sunday performance: “It was one of the best shows of the weekend although we loved them all – we’re buzzing and have had an awesome time!”
Councillor Lawrence Williams, portfolio holder for Tourism, said: “Even with some overcast periods and a torrential downpour, I saw hundreds of families enjoying the enormous variety of action on offer. I would like to thank all of our sponsors, in particular Jeep, Fiat, Abarth and the Coastal BID for supporting the festival, also everybody involved in planning and delivering this event for the enjoyment of thousands of festival goers.”
Mark Smith, Director of Tourism, said: “The public’s admiration for our stunt riders, love of the monster trucks and respect for the speed and power of the performance cars was almost palpable and it’s heart-warming to see residents, businesses and visitors get behind this event, whatever the weather!”