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The Watergate Bay Sprint

*2024 event has been cancelled*

The Watergate Bay Sprint returns every year with hundreds of cars competing against the clock for the best time. 

The event boasts everything from standard road cars to full blown race cars, with a brand new category for electric cars. Spectators can watch the action from the side-lines, whilst getting up close to the race cars and soaking up the festival-style event.

All profits are donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Lifesaving Club.

In 2023, the event partnered with Carbon Offset Cornwall to reduce the environmental impact and help woodland biodiversity by planting 50 trees. 

Watergate Sprint 

New electric vehicle category

In 2023 the Watergate Bay Sprint introduced a category specifically for electric vehicles. Whilst `EVs` are quickly becoming a common fixture on our roads, their use in motorsports and competition is largely lowkey outside of the global Formula E and Extreme E series.

But with most automotive manufacturers now offering a dynamic range of electric vehicles and with EV technology developing at a rapid rate, their use in competition has seen a large increase over the past few years and Watergate Bay Sprint is set to embrace their presence with a dedicated class.

The introduction of electric vehicles goes hand in hand with their Carbon contribution programme which is looking at reducing the environmental impact of the event. To ensure a sustainable future for the motorsport community, competitions need to adopt a variety of new technologies from sustainable fuels to electric vehicles and demonstrate them leading events.

Electric Vehicle
Watergate Bay Sprint Motorsport Event Cars Blue

The event first ran in 2018 and has grown year on year. The 900 metre course starts near Trevelgue along the B3276 road, towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element including a tight 90-left turn before the finish.


As in previous years, Watergate Bay Sprint will also continue to donate profits to local charities. From its inception, Watergate Bay Motorsport has ensured charities like the Cornwall Air Ambulance have benefited from over £30,000 since 2018.

Hailed as one of the best motorsport events of the year by spectators and competitors

2022 event 

The 2022 event has been hailed as the "biggest and best yet", organised between Devon and Cornwall motor clubs, Truro and District motor club, Newquay Auto club, Plymouth Motor Club and Camel Vale Motor Club. 

An extension of 80 metres from last year brought an additional twist for drivers. From standard road cars with basic safety features to full-blowing racing cars, 110 cars and drivers each day battled it out in everything from an ex-Petter Solberg World Rally Championship Subaru Impreza WRC, to a Series 1 classic Morgan. 

2022 Report

The fight for the coveted Fastest Time of the Day Award would see Mevagissey’s Andy Williams secure the accolade on both days, hurling his impressive Westfield SE through the course in spectacular fashion to be unbeaten over the weekend.

Williams soon got to grips with the new length course, setting an impressive pace from the outset, but sealing Saturday’s win with a time of 28.34s on his third and final run of the day. The second day time also came on the final run, with 28.42s good enough to claim the trophy on Sunday.

Watergate Bay Sprint Motorsport Event Cars Blue 99

2021 event

With spectators taking advantage of views of the entire course, bumper crowds flocked to the venue to witness the racing. 

Class honours and the coveted "Fasted Time of the Day" were both up for grabs. Undefeated champion from the 2019 event, Dorchester based Roney Thorne thundered his five-litre Pilbeam MP43 to the fastest time on both days. He again remains the man to beat for next year's event. 

We knew the competitors and fans would enjoy the new format, but everyone has been so very enthusiastic about the Sprint style of event. We have had many comments across the weekend from people that have said it's been the best event they have done in some time. That of course is encouraging for the future

Watergate Bay Sprint Motorsport Event Cars Black
2021 report

Class awards

Local drivers took the honours including Liskeard's Sam Perring with the Rally Car class victory, and Matt Ewer from St Austell scooped the Modified Production Car Class win.

High-speed spins

Several drivers were caught out by the tricky course layout. Richard Travail's BMW MINI came off the worst after impact with the protective bales during a high-speed spin in the "s" bend, with just cosmetic damage to the car as a result. 

Local charities

All profits were donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. With £11,000 being donated to date, organisers will announce this year's addition to that total in the near future. 

Deputy Event Director, Dave Brenton shares his thanks to all the sponsors and backers who make the event possible. Full results can be found below. 

Full results

2019 report

Coupled with stunning weather in the county, spectators headed to the motorsport extravaganza in their droves.

This year's fastest lap time was from Dorchester based Rodney Thorne who thundered his powerful five-litre Pilbeam MP43 to the fastest time on both days. A time of 31.27sec on Saturday and going slightly better on Sunday with a 30.63sec, ensuring he will be the man to beat for next year’s event.

Jointly organised by Newquay Auto Club, Plymouth Motor Club and Truro and District Motor Club, the Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb in 2018 was the first hillclimb to take place since the passing of a Parliamentary law enabled timed motorsport events to take place on closed public roads.

This year the race will have some exciting changes. Thanks to approval from Motorsport UK, the governing body for the sport in the country, the challenging course will wind 850 metres along the B3276 coast road between Padstow and Newquay, an extension of 130 metres from its original length.

There will be a wide range of cars competing throughout the weekend, divided into 12 classes. Standard road going cars to highly modified racers and rally cars.​

Spectators will be able to get a better view of the action thanks to a change in the location of the paddock and trade areas. Motorsport fans will be able to see much more of the hill and have full access to the paddock.

Last year, there was success for local crews on both days with Tavistock’s Doug Bennett taking the opening fastest time on the Saturday event in his powerful Sylva Striker kit-car, whilst Chard-based Stewart Lillington took his Radical SR4 kit-car, to the quickest run on Sunday.

The event will also be the figurehead of Cornwall Motorsport Month which takes place throughout September. The county has a rich heritage of motorsport activities throughout the year. The campaign is supported by Motorsport UK and Visit Cornwall and has been created to highlight the region as a prime destination for both tourism and motorsport.

The inaugural running of the Watergate Bay Hillclimb took place in 2018 and was dubbed a huge success after attracting a capacity entry and raising over £6,000 for the local charities Cornwall Air Ambulance and Cornwall Food Foundation. The event also donated on 2019.

Full list of entries can be found here.

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