Island Classic 2017

On 28 January I took a day trip to Phillip Island on the ZX14R. The reason for this trip was the annual Island Classic race meeting, featuring teams from the UK, Ireland, NZ, the USA and Aust. I really like this event – not just for the bikes and racing, but also because a standard entry ticket provides full access to the pits and the pit roof area. And it’s quite OK to ride through the tunnel into the centre of the track and anywhere around the track outer perimeter. That’s good access for getting involved in an event. It was beautiful weather with plenty of sunshine and temps around 22 -25C – pretty good for PI!

When I first arrived I headed for the museum to see the new collection of racing winning Cagivas that they have just purchased and put on display.

After a look at the bikes and the info at the Visitor Centre I headed back into the track and straight through to park in the centre of the track. It was great wandering around the pits enjoying all the sights and sounds, and of course, events like this bring out some pretty special spectators’ bikes.

I spent ages peering into various pit garages and photographing the bikes and people fettling them. I’m always more interested in the 1970’s and 1980’s superbikes than the really old British and American iron.

I even managed to get up close to a few of the British team stars during their lunch break. Jeremy Williams, below, is still an incredibly gifted rider. His lap times and race craft was spectacular.

The fella below has won a few trophies at the Isle of Man TT races I believe!

Above: John McGuinness

Above: Cameron Donald

After a really good wander around the pits I headed over to the inside of Turn 4 to take some race photos with my ageing SLR. As I said, Jeremy McWilliams (#99) at age 52 can still really ride at a very high level and led every race that I saw him in.

The big Irving Vincent powered sidecar was impressive, however, the real star exhibit was the priceless Britten.

By around 3.45pm I was done and headed over to my Kawasaki and kitted up to head for home. As I was doing so a fella with some pretty impressive camera gear stopped to chat and take a couple of pics of the Kwaka. I got talking photography him and it turned out to be none other than legendry Team Kawaski Australia racer Murray Sayle! That topped off an already excellent day. A gentle ride completely around the outside of the track to take in all the sights and I was off towards Melbourne in still, perfect riding conditions.

Link to a gallery of photos, CLICK HERE






4 thoughts on “Island Classic 2017

  1. Hi Jules,
    You have no idea how much pleasure it’s given me to see this post and to drool over the photos in your link. What an absolutely amazing collection of machinery. Apart from the race bikes, it was the sheer variety and in some cases rarity of spectator bikes that bowled me over! Congrats too on your photographic skills – serious talent there mate.

    Was it at this meeting that you caught up with Steve Hoswell’s riding partners? When I caught up with them on Friday, they mentioned that you’d met up at the Island.

    Thanks again for the nostalgia!

    • Hello Geoff, I’m delighted that you enjoyed all the photos and I really appreciate your praise. I made a decision a while ago not to throw a lot of money at photographic equipment, byt rather just try to work at getting the best shots possible with what I have. However, virtually all the static pics are taken with an iphone as it is just so convenient and the image quality is surprisingly good. As you can tell, I really enjoy this event and it’s actually one that I’m quite happy to go to alone, so that I can please myself how much time I spend on specific aspects.
      I met Rick and Stuart quite by accident on the Turn 4 infield. It was good to chat with thim as Rick has pretty sophisticated technical insights and Stuart was actually competing.
      I’ve just clocked over 60K kilometers on the ZX14 and it’s running better than ever.

  2. Thanks for the photos Jules. I showed my grandfather your photos. He loved viewing the old Brough. He used to ride side cart back in the 40’s for years. Think it brought back nostalgia and many stories! Thanks again.

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