Close but no melon
The annual Watermelon 50 at Reynolds Pasture on Aug. 8 hosted by Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club saw the largest turnout in its five-year history.
More than 265 riders competed, among them several local riders that represented the area well.
The race was broken into two courses with four different levels of competition. The A and B classes raced for eight laps or four laps per teammate, on a tough and rigid course. The C and Family classes raced for 1 hour and 45 minutes on a 3.5-mile course that was somewhat easier than the other one.
The temperatures were rather warm, but the courses could not have been any better. There was not much dust and just enough time between turns at making laps to catch a break and re-hydrate.
The A class had the most exciting race of the day with the top three contending teams within seconds of each other all the way through the event. Red Alexander grabbed the holeshot, and he and teammate Tyler Kyle managed to hold off strong competition from the Tyler Carter/Glenn Hollingshead and the Kyle Henderson/Hunter Walters teams.
On the last lap, Walters was within eyesight of the race ahead of him between Hollingshead and Kyle when Hollingshead crashed trying to go for the win. Walters got around Hollingshead but was unable to catch Kyle.
Other locals in the A class to compete were Mike Monroe/Frank Davis (fifth), Dustin Stevens/Hunter Sanders (eighth), Adrian Gervais/Seth Clayton (11th) and Justin Ridley/Ryan Patridge 17th.
The B class started things off 1 minute behind the A riders, and Johnathon Seales was second through the creek crossing just before entering the woods. There were 48 teams in this class for the event.
By the end of the day, Seales and his father, Tommy, would finish sixth, Beau Burnett/Jacob Davis 12th, Travis Green/Terry Roberts 14th, John Huggins/Jason Copeland 17th and Wes Patridge/Jeff Braswell 31st.
The C class had more locals than any of the other classes here and started on their course 1 minute behind the B riders. Trent Smith/Cody Smith finished eighth, Schaffer Reid/Frank Reynolds 10th, Scott Robinson/Randell Robinson 13th, Blake Terry/Dennis Terry 16th, Avery McCarley/Mitch Arrington 20th, Bobby Short/Rolie Barrett 21st, Harrison Caver/Jackson Davis 24th, Neal Ousley/Landon Barrett 28th, Kayne Hinton/Connor Barrett 31st and David Smith/Chris Smith 32nd.
The Family class had 28 teams vying for the win with Kevin DeLoach claiming the holeshot and being the first one back through the scoring tent at the end of his first lap. He then handed the reigns over to his mother, Kim, who managed to hold on to the lead for her first lap.
They finished the day in first with Ryan Gilbert/Will Gilbert finishing third, Ethan Gregg/Russell Gregg fifth, Austin Anz/Vicki Anz 10th, Michael Castleberry/Colson Castleberry 14th and Trent Huff/Burton Huff 16th.
Awards were presented to the top five teams in each class with each team member receiving a trophy and the top team also receiving a watermelon.