Organisers of Weymouth’s Beach Motocross remain hopeful for the future despite this year’s event being stricken by a serious injury.

In its 40th year, the popular event drew thousands of spectators to the beach, who turned out in spite of heavy downpours during the morning.

The clouds later broke through into sunshine – however there were further challenges on the horizon when a race marshal was injured after being hit on the head by a motorbike, just half an hour into the event. He was treated by paramedics at the scene before being airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance.

The majority of spectators waited on the Esplanade for racing to resume at around 3pm, following a safety briefing held in Weymouth Pavilion. It is understood the go-ahead was given by the Amateur Motor Cycle Association (AMCA) which launched an investigation into the accident and appealed for witnesses and any pictures.

Speaking just after the engines roared back into life, Ryan Hope, joint event manager and president of Weymouth & Portland Lions Club, said: “The show must go on – this is one of the town’s biggest events and an important fundraiser for the Lions’ charity.

“The marshal who was injured is a long term volunteer and I’m sure he would want us to continue with the racing. Our thoughts are with him and his family and we’d like to thank the air ambulance and paramedics for their support. It just goes to show how very important the air ambulance is for the public. Obviously we will be having a full debriefafter the event, but we plan for motocross to continue to be held in Weymouth for years to come.” he said.

“We’d like to thank everyone who attended and donated to the Lions charity this year.”

Mr Hope said the Lions Club would support any inquiry into the accident.

Jointly organised by Weymouth & Portland Lions Club and Purbeck Motocross Club, the motocross event is a popular fixture in the town’s entertainment calendar and is one of the main fundraising events for the Lions Club charity.

Suzanne Potts, general manager of AMCA, would not comment on any investigation but said: “Our thoughts are with the injured marshal and his family. We would like to thank the event’s organisers, the medics and the emergency services for how they responded on the day.”

Around 300 riders took part this year.