The United Kingdom has held off a fast-finishing Australia to retain the prestigious International Challenge trophy at the 24th AMCN Island Classic.
Australia’s attempt to reclaim the International Challenge from the UK got off on the wrong foot when Irving Vincent-riding speedsters Cameron Donald and Beau Beaton were forced out of proceedings by mechanical problems on Saturday, while Phillis – who started from second on the grid alongside McWilliams – retired from race one with a flat tyre.
Beaton is considered by many as the best local rider in the international challenge but his winning charge last year was halted by engine failure in race 3.
He bounced back to finish third in the last race but by then the Brit’s were unstoppable.
John Allen and Scott Webster rounded out the Australian contingent.
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit came alive in the fourth and final race in the multi-national event after Aussie rookie Alex Phillis (Suzuki XR69) won a thriller ahead of Jeremy McWilliams (Harris Yamaha) and another local, Steve Martin (Suzuki Katana).
With Jed Metcher (Harris Honda) and Shawn Giles (Katana) also performing strongly, Australia managed to claw back some points on the UK but it wasn’t enough to deny victory to the visitor for the third successive year – with the tireless veteran McWilliams also taking home the individual standings for the fourth time.
The final score saw the United Kingdom complete the event on 651pts ahead of Australia (640), Ireland (539), America (357) and New Zealand (323).
There’s no doubt the weekend was not just reserved for racing it was a time to catch up with friends, heroes and mentors of the sport.
Beau took the opportunity to do so, here is just a few snaps of the festivities.