Event Report – Pen Y Graig 050524

Photos courtesy of Richard Webster via Aqueduct Facebook Page

Can you believe that we are already at Round 4 of the 2024 Championship and a visit to Pen Y Graig say 64 riders join us for a fantastic day of trials sport.

Out of trend, the largest class was Modern Monos with 22 bikes, with Pre 65 and twin shocks having 15 and 12 bikes respectively. The Pre 2000 Water-cooled class is slowly growing with 5 bikes on the day and the well established and contested Air Cooled Monos having a very respectable 10 bikes.

Our Expert and Novice routes certainly demonstrated that it was worth putting the flags out as 7 riders took to the Red route and it was great to see 5 White route riders continue their enjoyment of the sport. In the mid ranks we had 29 clubman riders take to the Yellows and 23 inters tackling the Greens.

As you can see from the table below, almost all of the classes apart from the 3 in yellow have at least one rider taking part in that class/route combination.

Steve Harding – Clubman / Modern Monos

So we are back at Pen y Graig on a beautiful spring morning the sun shining and all the blue bells in full bloom,  what more could you ask for.

First of all as usual, a huge thanks to all the Aqueduct team for putting on such a great event again, all of the observer’s for giving up there Sunday,  the land owners and Chris deburger for keeping us fed and watered.  

So we get underway at 11oclock as usual after the short briefing and instructions to keep the noise level down to help keep the neighbours happy on our way down to the quarry,  not hard to do as it’s down hill so tick over was plenty enough. 

So here are a few of my favourites of the day, we started off on section 10 at the bottom by the fuel drop off. You start off and straight away up and over a slippery mud bank on to some shale, keep climbing and turn left round a tree and and along a bit of an off camber rocky ledge before a tight left. Then down over some more loose rocks before getting back to the bottom then almost stop while doing a really tight right only to head back up on the slippery shale bank again. A left turn past another tree and then down over some more rocks back to the bottom and out of the section.  Not the easiest but enjoyed it.

Section 7, Alan on watch, a cracking section this one. 

Through the start gate and drop down before another slow right before climbing up a steep slippery shale bank turning a bit left then half way up a bit of a right before getting to the top. Navigate between two large boulders whilst going over some loose rocks at the same time braking to turn tight left. Then along the top and drop back down on the loose shale to the bottom of the section before another slow right and back up the bank over a couple of steps and out of the section. I only managed to clean it once but enjoyed it. 

Section 8 In the shade of the trees a nice flowing section to cool down a bit from the sun . You start off from the top a bank and drop down into the section and over a bit of a log, then a bit of a right up and left round a tree then drop back down on a bit of an off camber bank and back up over a bank then back down and up again then left out of the section.

On lap 4 the heat was getting to me a bit and dropped some daft 5s, no excuse really it was the same for everyone,  overall I really enjoyed the day and once again big thanks to everyone involved,  look forward to seeing you all next time, cheers.

Mark Gaskell – Intermediate / Twinshock

I have struggled to finish a trial this year, either mechanical (unforgiveable) or rider (!) breakdown. Determined to set this state of affairs right, I arrived at PenY Graig with a fully fettled Whitehawk and a positive mental attitude. The sun shining helped.

The biggest problem I have riding the Whitehawk as opposed to the Triumph is the lack of engine braking. If I remember to cover the rear brake (and not the gear lever!) then it helps. Downhill turns are my nemesis on this bike. Guess what the Aqueduct team gave us today? Here are some of my best (worst) bits, riding round with Mark Newman, doing his best to stop me rushing into sections:

Section 2. A deceptive section, long, with lots of off camber turns.  Lap one, the nice lady observer warned me not to miss one of the gates. I misunderstood her, and missed the gate. A slack dab on the last lap saw me finish on 6.

Section 4. Mind games. The last elements of the section involved a tight left, then up to crest a short steep bank, with an off camber plunge down the other side. A tree was helpfully placed to collect anyone who went off line. Two cowardly 2’s, then a clean, followed by a 5 when I stalled on the crest.

Section 6. A nice easy climb up a rooty shale bank, turn left and back down, then pick your way across loose off camber rocks, before a short climb round a tree to the end. A 3 on lap one, as my path across the rocks was wrong, then a clean. Lap three didn’t concentrate on the “easy” climb, and my back wheel caught on a root for a 5. Lap four clean.

Section 7. An uphill rock step needs the application of more power if you are going to get over it.

Here endeth the first lesson.

Section 9. The last elements of this section got trickier as the passage of riders polished a root on the right turn out of the base of the building. I had managed to clean it on the first lap, but had a 1 and a 2 on following laps. On the last lap Jeff, the observer, pointed out that Mark and I were on the same score for that section, just to ramp up the pressure. We both cleaned it to tie that section, but Mark had managed not to have four silly 5’s, so had a far healthier score.

 I managed to finish 3rd Twinshock Intermediate, so quite pleased. I would prefer it if people didn’t point out how many Twinshock Intermediates were competing though, thank you.

As ever, many thanks to all involved in organising the trial. Your hard work is much appreciated!

Olie Dillon – Modern Mono / Clubman

Sunday’s trial at Pen y Graig was my first trial back after a few months off and on a new horse. And what a trial to make a comeback. Once parked by chief attendant Geoff, we were greeted with a beautiful clear view covering miles and miles and a glimpse of the always amazing Chirk Castle drenched in the early morning Welsh sunshine.

After a quick rider briefing from Russ (who managed to upset the team of ladies in the signing on van!!), it was a gentle quiet ride down into the quarry and the sections that awaited.

I’ve never ridden this venue before so didn’t know what to expect….but what a great place for a trial! It had a bit of everything for everyone and also little bits that people don’t like so a perfect cocktail of trials.

Now I can’t remember which section was which apart from one…. Section 5, so I’ll concentrate on this one, which is exactly what I should have been doing when riding it!!! The first lap was an utter nightmare (the observer will account for this too!!) Into the section and missed a gate. Very kindly given another attempt by Mr Observer (sorry, I didn’t catch your name). So second attempt, into the section and through the missed gate on the first attempt, only to miss another!!!! A very deserved big fat 5. And the kicker to this is it turned out to be my favourite section of the trial…..

Even with that embarrassing display of trials riding, it was great to be back in the sections and I had a brilliant day. 

Big thanks to the Aquaduct Classics team for putting on a great trial, Chris de Burger for keeping us watered and fed, the ladies in the signing on van (tut tut Russ!!) and of course the Observers, if it wasn’t for you guys we couldn’t play on our motorbikes. Already looking forward to the next round!

Before we move into the usual stats, we have to close by once again say a huge thankyou to the club team for all of the effort they put in over the preceding months to make this happen, the observers for still taking the time to support and the land owner as always.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – Tony Gush, Dot (21)
  • Intermediate – Robin Foulkes, Francis Barnett (11); Mark Newman, BSA (11); Les Richardson, Drayton 4t (14)
  • Clubman – Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (5); Tim Lewis, Matchless (12); Paul Brimelow, Cotton (12)
  • Novice – Roger Smith, BSA (1); Terry Lloyd, Triumph (10)


  • Expert – Paul Sagar, Honda (11); Paul Smart, Fantic (15)
  • Intermediate – Jerry Hawker, Honda (1); Mike Smith, Honda (14); Mark Gaskell, Whitehawk (36)
  • Clubman – Oliver Barker, Bultaco (17); Phil Cottiga, Fantic (17); Dave Broderick, Fantic (21)
  • Novice – Paul Beswick, Ossa (17)

Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Peter Ruscoe, Honda (10); Terry Musgrave, Beta (55)
  • Intermediate – Dave Matthews, Yamaha (2); Stephen Richards, Yamaha (9); Rian Garlick, Gas Gas (10)
  • Clubman – Ian Emery, Gas Gas (12); Neville Kirkham, Yamaha (31); Paul Corfield, Yamaha (46)
  • Novice – No riders

Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Chris Garlick, Montesa (16); Mike Jones, Gas Gas (50)
  • Intermediate – Alec Roberts, Montesa (10); Neil Francis, Gas Gas (20);
  • Clubman – Marcus Greer, Beta (65)
  • Novice – No riders

Modern Mono

  • Expert – No riders
  • Intermediate – Michael Warburton (0); Stephen Hall, Vertigo (5); Alan Corfield, Montesa (10); Richard Osborn, Gas Gas (10)
  • Clubman – Ken Williams, Beta (5); Bert White, Beta (6); Jason Breakley, Montesa (13)
  • Novice – Tony Williams, Gas Gas (10); Gordon Evans, Tenaci Wong (53)

Observer List

1 – Elwyn

2 – Wendy

3 – Ian Jones & Ffion Gush

4 – Brian

5 – Richard Webster

6 – Nigel Houlston

7 – Allan Thomas

8 – Gordon

9 – Jeff Hughes

10 – Sue


Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 15
  • Twinshock – 12
  • Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono – 10
  • Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono – 5
  • Modern Mono – 22

Route Classes

  • Expert – 7
  • Intermediate – 23
  • Clubman – 29
  • Novice – 5


Pre 65

  • BSA – 4
  • Cotton – 1
  • DOT – 1
  • Drayton (Various) – 3
  • Francis Barnett – 2
  • James – 1
  • Matchless – 1
  • Triumph – 2


  • Bultaco – 1
  • Fantic – 5
  • Honda – 3
  • Ossa – 1
  • Whitehawk – 1
  • Yamaha –

Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Fantic – 1
  • Gas Gas – 3
  • Honda – 1
  • Yamaha – 4

Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Gas Gas – 2
  • Montesa – 2

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 7
  • Gas Gas – 5
  • Montesa – 2
  • Sherco – 2
  • Tenachi Wong – 1
  • TRS – 2
  • Vertigo – 2