21 February | Adventures
For the launch of our Flyback Chronographs we headed to Pendine Sands for a day of hot rod racing with Old Red
Pendine Sands is a famous 7-mile stretch of beach, situated on the south coast of Wales on the shores of Carmarthen Bay. The sands stretch from Gilman Point in the west to Laugharne Sands in the east, with Pendine village sat close to the western end of this stunning beach. It is the perfect spot for a great British walk, but it has a far more celebrated past.
 


Since the early 1900s the sands have been used as a venue for car and motorbike races - from 1922 the annual Welsh TT motorcycle event was held at Pendine Sands. The firm, flat surface of the beach created a race track that was straighter and smoother than many major roads of the time.

In the same decade it also became clear that roads and race tracks were no longer adequate venues for attempts on the world land speed record. As record-breaking speeds approached 150 mph (240 km/h), the requirements for acceleration to top speed before the measured mile (and safe braking distance afterwards) meant that a smooth, straight surface of at least 5 miles in length was required.



The first person to use Pendine for a world land speed record attempt was British racing legend, Sir Malcolm Campbell. On 25 September 1924 he set a record of 146.16 mph in his now iconic Sunbeam 350HP car Bluebird. This sparked the beginning of a series of world records, as Campbell and Welshman J. G. Parry-Thomas repeatedly outdid each other during the late 1920s. Unfortunately Parry-Thomas became the first person to die making a world record attempt, marking a very sad end to the racing duel.  

With this rich racing history and an epic Welsh landscape, we could think of no better place to launch our quartz Flyback Chronographs. So after a four-hour drive from the Farer studio, heading west towards the setting sun in the Porsche 356, we arrived just in time to sample the excellent local cuisine. Given it was also the day after Valentines Day we had the pleasure of a local crooner serenading us throughout dinner which, put simply, wasn’t as good as the local beef or lamb.


At the crack of dawn we all headed down to the beach to meet a very friendly and useful beach warden called Frank. With Mackie and Amy Shore armed with their cameras, we walked the length of the beach, marking-out the track with our Farer flags.

All we needed now were the stars of the show - Craig Callum with Old Red. This brilliant hot rod is based on an original 1930's Ford Model A and she looked resplendent in Farer livery. We started her engine and spent the day speeding along the sands, before the tide chased us from the beach.

We didn’t quite hit the record breaking speeds but Old Red didn't miss a beat all day and we all experienced the utter joy of racing down the flat sands, foot to the floor, salty air in the face and occasional mouthful of sand. A brilliant day in a brilliant location.
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