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Ever been to a wild beach race? If not, then you have to make sure that a small Island in Denmark makes it onto your bucket list. This is where probably one of the coolest and most authentic beach races ever takes place: The Rømø Motor Festival!


Without really knowing what to expect we started our trip from Berlin to Rømø on early Friday morning, on the last weekend of August. All we knew was that this weekend was going to be centered around three very important things in life: the beach, vintage racers and authentic open-minded people.

As we got closer to the German-Danish border we began to see the first competitors on trailers and on the road. After arriving we quickly put our baggage in the apartment and headed straight to technical inspections in the centre of Lakolk. Now you have to imagine Lakolk being a really small Danish town, which at this point looked like a typical 1940s/1950s location with all those hot Ford Models, ChevroletsPlymouthsIndiansHarley-Davidsons etc. Only pre-war vehicles with no (performance) parts newer than 1947 are eligible for racing.

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After all technical inspections on Friday it was time to inspect the race track for Saturday’s schedule of racing, racing and even more racing. There was not to be seen much of the track on Friday since one of the state’s regulations for the Rømø Motor Festival to take place is that the race action is limited to one day and that everything is cleaned up right after the races. Nevertheless we were able to get a first impression of the following day, since quite a lot of old vehicles and first spectators met up at the beach for a stunning sundowner.


It promised to be one of the last great days of summer 2019 with an estimated 26 degrees and sun all day! Things were running on a fixed schedule so after making it through the huge crowd of spectators, race action was about to begin! Thanks to the Rømø Motor Festival organising team we were able to get into the boxes to take some shots of those sweet racers. One condition was given out though: an absolute must was to be dressed in proper fashion, which included authentic race overalls for the drivers and period correct clothes for the journalists/photographers.

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Not being an outright expert on vehicles up to 1947 and with so many custom builds around it was rather difficult to identify the bases of those racers. Between Ford Model A Roadster and different custom Plymouth and Chrysler the variety of cars even extended to several belly tank racers and the biggest monster on the beach this day: the 1914 American LaFrance with a 27L V12 Hispano-Suiza engine and 650bhp!

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The bike range also offered everything the classic bike aficionado might look for – from several Harleys and Indians to a very clean BSA C10 build that caught our eye. This BSA was raced by one of the youngsters of the field, which also gives a good insight in what the team of the Rømø Motor Festival wanted to achieve: A wild mixture of people from all ages, all following the same passion.

We were delighted by the thrilling races of the day and the atmosphere and will definitely attend the 2020 edition of this astonishing event.

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The Rømø Motor Festival celebrated 100 years of Danish beach racing this year. The racing originally took place on Fanø’s beach in the early 1920s but came to a sudden stop when the speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell (more than 240kph on a beach!) lost a tyre while attempting another record. This tyre killed a young spectator and was the very reason beach racing at Fanø was banned. The current rennaissance of racing on the beach began in 2016 and is hopefully going to be around for many years to come.

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Author: Martin Pieper

As editor Martin regularly writes about all topics related to motorsports, motorcycles and events. Classic dreams: A Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL and many, many superbikes.

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