Watergate Sprint replaces popular Hillclimb event in 2021

Thursday 14 January 2021

The ground-breaking Cornish motorsport event Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb will be re-vamped in 2021, re-launching as Watergate Sprint.

Scheduled to take place on 18/19 September, the popular closed-road event will see a new look for 2021 as it changes from the previous Hillclimb format to utilise a different section of the B3276 coast road between Padstow and Newquay.

With building works scheduled to take place in Watergate Bay itself during September, the lack of suitable start and car parking at the base of the course has meant that the traditional hillclimb format would not be able to go ahead as planned in 2021.

However, the forward-thinking organising team from the three promoting motor clubs, Truro and District Motor Club, Plymouth Motor Club and Newquay Auto Club moved quickly to seek an alternative format, creating the Watergate Sprint which will see the coastal road surrounding the traditional Boardmasters venue play host to around 100 cars and competitors tackling the new course against the clock.

First run in 2018, the Newquay based event became the first hillclimb in the country to take advantage of new legislation allowing public roads to be closed for motorsport. Attracting a bumper entry of over 100 drivers each year, the event has drawn significant interest from motoring fans and competitors across the UK, bringing many enthusiasts to the region as the traditional tourist season ends in the county. The event has also raised over £11,000 for Cornish charities.

Despite the format change, Event Director Roger Hargreaves believes Watergate Sprint will offer competitors and motorsport fans another fantastic weekend of action.

“Of course we are disappointed that we are unable to run the Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb again, especially as we were forced to cancel in 2020 due to COVID-19,” he says.

“We have dedicated a lot of energy into making this event happen for Cornwall over the years, it means a lot to the community and sport in the region. Whilst it was a blow to find out that the hillclimb may not happen,  we were eager to find an alternative and we believe that we have come up with an event that offers something for everyone and are very excited to share our plans for September”.

In a mirror image of the Hillclimb, the course will start on the Newquay side of the B3276 coast road, at Trevelgue and cars will tackle the 820-metre sprint towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section of the road mixed with a technical element including a tight 90-left turn before the finish. The paddock, trade and display area and spectator viewing will all be located together offering the perfect motorsport weekend.

“Effectively we will run the event in exactly the same way as we ran the Hillclimb, but without the ‘hill’ element and so by definition, we have to call it a sprint” continues Hargreaves.

“We will be returning to the more traditional hillclimb format in 2022 but for this year, we are confident that it provides a great challenge for competitors as well as good viewing for spectators. That means we can continue being one of the biggest motorsport events in the South West. We would like to thank all our supporters and backers for their faith in the event and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Cornwall in September”.

Watergate Sprint will also continue to donate profits to local charities, which for 2021 have been named as Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.