It was way back in 1910 that the first Kop Hill Climb on the outskirts of Princes Risborough in the Chilterns took place. It became a major event on the motor sports car and motorcycle calendar and many famous names had runs up the hill including Malcolm Campbell in his 12hp Talbot ‘Blue Bird’, Raymond May’s Bugatti, Henry Segrave’s Grand Prix Sunbeam, Count Zborowski and Archie Frazer Nash. Check out their website for more details. www.kophillclimb.org.uk
The last event in this early period was on 28th March 1925 and when, as a result of a minor accident to a spectator, the RAC decided to ban all motor sport on public roads.
In 1999, as part of the Risborough Festival, the Town Council, in association with the Bean Car Club, held a commemorative run up this famous hill. The current revival began in 2009 and was a fantastic success, only trumped by the Centenary in 2010. In the Centenary 350 vehicles ran the hill, additionally, there were 300 vehicles on display in the paddock. 8000 spectators came to view the hill climb and we raised a substantial sum for our local charities.
This year’s event on 24th and 25th September looks like it’s going to bigger and better than ever – there’s lots for all the family to see and do, it’s not just about the classic cars and bikes – there’ll be celebrities, displays, modern supercars and much more – all making for great photo opportunities. I’ll be there myself as an accredited member of the media – third time in three years, and I can’t recommend the event enough, especially if the sun is shining!
If you do make it, one of the techniques that you’ll get the chance to practice is “panning”, where you follow a moving subject keeping them sharp in the shot, whilst creating a sense of movement with a blurred background and maybe even a bit of motion blur on the wheels too. But you’ll need to watch your shutter speed – too quick and you’ll freeze the action, too slow and it’ll be hard to keep the moving subject sharp, so experiment and find the ideal settings.