With such a busy classic calendar in the North Wales area it was always going to be inevitable that clashes with the Kia rounds were going to take place and with Congleton being local to us a drift to the national championship was probable so it was great to still see almost 70 riders turn up for a warm Sunday at Pen Y Graig. Having visited the venue the previous month,the clerk of the course and his team had promised some new terrain within this great venue and the riders were not left disappointed!
The 68 riders were broken down into 27 Pre 65's, 12 Twinshocks, 9 AC Monos and 20 Modern Monos with 12 Experts, 30 Intermediates, 18 Clubman and 8 Novices making up the distribution.
Mark Newman - Pre 65 (Intermediate)
Riding the green intermediate route on a 350 Norton pre65, my report on Section 1
It turned out to be my favourite one of the day as I watch a couple go through and thought to myself its getting through the tight turn after the hill thats causing a problem. So I set off up a short but steep off camber climb across and behind a group of trees then a sharp drop back onto the main path, up the opposite bank and around trees and rocks where its a bit loose under the wheels but all is well.
Then facing the steep but short bank with the tight turn to the right between said trees, I took a wider left hand approach taking it easy on the big Norton knowing to much speed and I will not make the turn. Perfect line eased through the tree, another full lock turn had me back down the bank before I knew it, just over a cluster of rocks and out the end cards for the perfect ride
Big grin, all sections cleanable and did clean them all just not on all 4 laps ! ...great trial. Huge thanks to all.
Rob Sloggett - Twinshock (Intermediate)
I woke up in the right frame of mind... right 6 months off of inters, 4 months with the bike being rebuilt and the last two months getting back into it on the clubman route. It felt the right time. Then I walked section 1! I have always said trials is 60% skill and technique and 40% mental attitude and seeing the 10 ft cross camber climb with minimal lateral run up filled me with doubt (and almost made me walk the clubman route). But it was time to bite the bullet again, get back on the horse, take control in the driving seat... yep all that motivational stuff you hear.... Being one of the first riders through the line was unscrubbed and a traverse entry was likely to slide out so I postioned the bike diagonal in the entry gates (but straight on to the bank), put the rear wheel as close to the wall with a slight downward run in and selected first gear. I was genuinely expecting the rear wheel to spin so took maximum opportunity on the compacted track entry line and lo and behold the Butaco dug in, found grip up the bank and flew up with ease. The rest of the section whilst complex comprised of up and down bank routes with turns around trees. Happy with the outcome and a clean on lap 1. By lap 2 the line had been scrubbed and it was obvious that a new entry line of traversing the track and turning in and up the bank was ridable and in the spirit of learning I took this line lap 2. Another clean and a tick in the box. Two further cleans gave me a clean sheet.
Not the same on Section 3! If you look at the results, this section took 9 occurrences of 15+ marks in the Inter classes including 4 maximums which included mine. Fair play to Mark Gaskell, the only Inter to clean it I think. You truly were a brave man to throw that Triumph Twin up there! So what was the challenge? Well the twist for the Inters was simple. Run into the section with a right hand drop down a bank, then a left hand climb across two small bumps to be presented about 15 foot in front of you with a tall off camber bank with roots across it. OK on its own probably BUT at the foot 7 ft back from the bank between two flags were two lines. To the right a rock slab about 2 ft across but sloping down right to left. To the left a cluster of rocks with a tight line through it but causing you to approach the bank off line to the left. Neither were good but you had to pick one, commit 110%. hope you got to the top and if you did not, have a plan to lay the bike over on the slope face or let it come down on its own accord. My first attempt blew my confidence, I took the right hand slab, got 75% up the bank, got caught on the roots and a scrappy exit saw the bike come down hard. The next 3 attempts took the left hand line but after the first off, my brain could not commit and all three attempts were lack luster the truth be told. I really wanted to get the bike up there but in my head I knew I was not going to get up there and the way down was not going to be pretty. My 3rd lap was probably my best effort with 80% of the slope being achieved but I had to dismount and push the bike across the camber to stop it dropping down the bank and this really sapped my strength.
The effort on Section 3 lap 3 really sapped my upper body strenght and the next few sections saw a couple of silly 3's and two 5's on sections I had cleaned previously, purely due to a lack of upper body / arm strenght. This was a big learning to my cimb backup into Inters and something I need to work on.
So what were the other highlights. Whilst I dropped a silly 5 on Russ's Section 7 on lap 1 down to stalling it on a downhill element, the next 3 laps saw cleans and the refining of my rock gully technique the last few competitions I think showed as I felt more confident picking the line as opposed to letting the bike take me where it wanted . The same was found of Section 1 and 8 with a great set of rock gullies and specific lines being needed and the bike felt planted and I certainly felt more in control of my destiny.
All in all a great event. The Inter route was challenging and on a couple of occasions I knew the obstacle was a stretch. It showed me my weaknesses both in technique and mental capacity but also gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling where I could see the improvement in my technique so hats off to Russ and the guys for a great days competition...
The feedback on Facebook from the riders provided a few sound bites as follows:
First trial in 15 year and to say I sooooo enjoyed myself! Youve got a great little club Russ and the team. So friedly and welcoming to a first timer, sections perfect and organisation spot on. Cant wait for your next one. Really appreciate your hard work #itjustdoesnthappenonitsown - Elwyn Beddoes
Great trial today. I think we got more than our moneys worth. Thanks to all the team. Will sleep well tonight. Thanks Again - Garry Shaw
Another cracking event. Thanks to all. Some challenging sections on the yellow route today. Persuaded my "young un" Charlie to step up to yellow today which he found hard going but managed to do them all. Thank you to all observers who helped him on the way - Neil Parker
What a great trail, sections were spot on in the clubman route with no long queues! I felt it my duty to provided a bit of entertainment for the observer at one section! Thanks to the team for stepping up to observe where needed. Much appreciated - Tim Godsmark
The venue for the next event is just being confirmed with the land over but as always we have to close this report with a big thank-you to all of the observers, sections setter upers admin staff and Chris DB for the catering, plus the landower for the use of this great venue.
As this is the thrid event of the championship, the current table can be found here.
Pre 65 Expert: Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (17); Pete Morris, Triumph (31); Kev Ellis, Triumph (32)
Pre 65 Intermediate: Roly Jones, Ariel (16); Mark Gaskell, Triumph (17), Mark Newman, Dave Lovell, Phil Alderman all tied on (17)
Pre 65 Clubman: Graham Miller, Triumph (3); Terry Lloyd, Triumph (4); Keith Baddeley, James (16)
Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O'Toole, Matchless (3); Alan Dyson, BSA (25)
Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (24); Julian Price, Fantic (30); Steve Thompson, Honda (45)
Twinshock Intermediate: Alex Barrie, Honda (33); Rob Sloggett, Bultaco (64)
Twinshock Clubman: Chris Foreshaw, Fantic (7); Neil Parker, Honda (23); Matt Hopkins, Yamaha (33)
Twinshock Beginner:Chris Jones, Yamaha (7); Darren Riley, Bultaco (21)
AC Mono Expert: No Enteries
AC Mono Intermediate: Gordon Wilson, Honda (23); Martin Powell, Honda (25); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (30)
AC Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Honda (34)
AC Mono Beginner: No Enteries
Modern Mono Expert: Alan Mills, Beta (39); Declan Marsden, GasGas (82)
Modern Mono Intermediate: David Ellis, Beta (9); Ronald Corbett, Beta (15); Steve Walker, Sherco (16)
Modern Mono Clubman: Elwyn Beedles, Sherco (15); Perry Tattum, Beta (27); Jim Marsden, GasGas (43)
Modern Mono Beginners: Nigel Rigg, Honda TRS (6); Guy Cowper, Sherco (12); Chris Matthews, Beta (13)
Section 1 - Izzy
Section 2 - Annette
Section 3 - Gordon
Section 4 - Jan
Section 5 - Geoff
Section 6 - Mark
Section 7 - Russ
Section 8 - Dave
Section 9 - Christine
Section 10 - Suzanne
Pre 65 - 27
Twinshock - 12
A/C Mono - 9
Modern Mono - 20
Total = 68
Expert - 12
Intermediate - 30
Clubman - 18
Beginner - 8
Ariel - 1
BSA - 10
Dot - 1
Francis Barnett - 3
James - 1
Matchless - 1
Norton - 1
Triumph - 9
Bultaco - 2
Fantic - 4
Honda - 4
Yamaha TY - 2
Aprilia - 1
Fantic - 1
GasGas - 1
Honda - 3
Scorpa - 1
Yamaha - 1
Beta - 10
GasGas - 3
Honda - 1
Montesa - 1
Sherco - 4
TRS - 1