VC St Raphael Cycling Club

The Perfs

A History of Perf’s Pedal Race from memory written December 2010 by Mick Waite the organiser of all 45 events.

Perf’s started life in 1964 as an independent (semi professional) 1 + 2 cat. race in July (yes July) on the Harting Hill circuit, West Sussex. 2 laps of a 25 mile circuit finishing at the top of the long Harting making 3 climbs. Ryall Raxar provided the winner Tony Mills and the winner of both primes was Alan Jacob. Prize fund was £3 for the winner, then £2, £1 with bottles of St.Raphael wine for the primes.

The 1965 event moved to Hambledon and it’s early season slot where it remained until early 80s when the event outgrew the village and the Parish Council finally got their way after several years of trying and banned the event. A three and a half mile course was used at first with the race going through Hambledon and finishing on the straight just outside on the road leading to the Bat and Ball Pub. Being only 8 laps (total distance 28 miles) the event usually ended in a bunch sprint with Ian Hallam and Dave LeGrys among the fast finishing winners. Other highlights during the Hambledon years were Graham Moore winning 3 times in 6 years and top level local roadman Derek Witt beating a quality field in 1973. With pressure from the Parish Council mounting the finish was moved further round the circuit to the top of Windmill Hill. The first event with this finish saw a breakaway of local TT rider Nick Frewin and a young Sean Yates, well there was only ever going to be one result with Sean winning on his own.

Next stop for Perf’s was the Lodge Hill circuit at Newtown with Tim Stevens winning the first event at the top of Lodge Hill in 1982. Snow was a problem for the 1983 event with Lodge Hill unusable, a course was found on the event day – no Police permission required and so we would not get away with it now – when Tim Harris recorded the first of his 3 wins during the 80s. The 1989 was the last at Newtown with the Police now allowing a full field size of 80 a full field started, but the Police were not happy with some of the riding and the race had to be abandoned. I am 100% certain that the club would have had its first winner that day as one of the club’s fastest ever roadman sprinters Nick Noble was riding. Nick kept his form to win the Wheely Down Road Race two weeks later.

After these troubles Perf’s moved to Forestside circuit at Rowlands Castle in West Sussex The 1991 event was affected by snow with Forestside unusable so the riders who did make the event, some 35, raced on the Racton circuit finishing on the road outside Funtington Airstrip. This provided the club with it’s only ever winner in Paul Rogers. Now established as the early season event that all riders wanted to win the finish was moved from the Green at Rowlands Castle to further around the course at the top of Forestside to help with the problem that so many spectators brought to Rowlands Castle.

During the 90s the event was moved between Rowlands Castle and the Owlsebury circuit near Winchester. With the mild wet winters flooding became a problem in Woodberry Lane at Rowlands Castle until new drainage work was completed in 2004. The previous year’s race at Owslebury was also cancelled due to flooding, well a puddle that the Police were not happy with, we all went home and the puddle was gone by 11.30am, but the Police would not delay the start.

There are so many obstacles in promoting in February, but one that can happen at any time of the year is road works and the 2007 event was moved to the Portsdown Circuit at Southwick because of road repairs at Dean Lane End just outside of Rowlands Castle. Perf’s returned to Rowlands Castle and the Forestside Circuit for 2008-2009 although the start of the 2009 event was delayed to enable iced over puddles to be broken up and salt put down on icy corners. 2010 brought more snow problems with the roads around Portsdown Hill course left with a large number of dangerous potholes, trying to move to other local courses proved impossible with the same problems, so the event was cancelled. 30 years ago I would have run the event but risk assessment and health and safety issues it is not now possible. The 2011 event is down to take place on 13 February – we live in hope.

Perf’s has had an impressive list of winners since1964, but my best memories after Paul’s 1991 win must be the years at Hambledon with those bunch sprints with 40 riders – field limit was 40 – going through Hambledon village missing all the parked cars and occasional skip bin to provide the spectators on both sides of the road back to the 200m mark with an exciting finish.

Mick Waite
Organiser 1964 - Present

Winners of Perfs Pedal Race 1964-2010

Year Name Club

1964Tony MillsRyall/Raxar
1965Barrie HeathBournemouth Olympic
1966Graham MooreBristol Road Club
1967Alan WilliamsDragon RC
1968Not Held
1969Not held
1970Graham MooreBristol Road Club
1971Graham MooreBristol Road Club
1972Clive CrossleyBristol Road Club
1973Derek WittGS Europa
1974Bob WoodleyKingston Phoenix
1975Ian HallamBeeston Road Club
1976Dave LeGrys34th Nomads CC
1977Clive OxborrowBrighton Mitre CC
1978Glen LonglandAntelope RT
1979Sean YatesArcher RC/Cutty Sark
1980Tim Stevens34th Nomads CC
1981Piers HewittVC Europa
1982Tim Stevens34th Nomads CC
1983Tim HarrisWilleboro-Van-Peer-Kyoso 
1984Tim HarrisWilleboro-Van-Peer-Kyoso
1985Glen LonglandAntelope RT
1986Tim HarrisWeilersport
1987Nigel PerryG S Stella/Wielersport/VRV
1988Mark MarkowskiHastings & St Leonards
1989Race stopped by Police
1990Simon BrayInvicta-DLB/Phil Corley Cycles
1991Paul RogersVC St.Raphael/Waite Contracts
1992Brian FlemingCC Romford
1993Richard WoolesCC Abergavenny/Owen Construction
1994Colin LangleyCC Luton
1995Martin MarkowskiVelo Club Bayeaux
1996Brian FlemingCannon Sport Club/Omega Bio Racer
1997Justin ClarkeGiant-Portland
1998David RandPDM Sports-Concorde-WCU
1999Paul WilkesVC St.Martinus
2000Justin HoyLiphook Cycle RT
2001Julian WinnWelsh Cycling Union Private Member
2002Barry ElcombeFestival Road Club/Nico lapage 
2003Cancelled due to flooding
2004Julian WinnPinarello/Corima
2005Chris NewtonRecycling Xpower/Litespeed
2007Alex Dowsett100% ME
2008James StewartKFS Special Vehicles/Sunday Bikes
2009Will BjergfeltSports Beans Willier
2010Race cancelled due to poor road surfaces