Event Report – Pen Y Graig Quarry 040124

The quarry is always a favourite spot for a lot of riders and with a cap on the entries, a lucky 72 riders jockeyed for the starting honours of the opening round of Aqueduct Classics 2024 season. A number of changes had come into play this year, mainly around the championship classes and refining a few matters that had confused some, so with everything clear and above board 23 pre 65 machines lined up with 9 twinshocks, and 17 Modern Monos. A new class (Pre 2000 Watercooled Monos) had been introduced this year to allow the early water boilers to have a class of their own and not be penalised against the modern mono bikes. It was great to see 9 bikes sign on in this class. The cut off for Air Cooled Monos had been clarified as Pre 1996 to move bikes such as the Air Cooled Scorpa into the Modern Mono class so this class concluded with 14 bikes.. These contest of the routes was split with 8 Experts and 3 Novice riders top and tailing the experience bands. In the middle it was great to see a balance of 24 clubman and 37 intermediate riders fighting it out in the most popular routes!

Nick Shenson – Observer / Section 8

Tales from Section 8

Well, Sunday was my first day observing and was posted on Section 8 with Gordon to act as my Apprentice Master. After a good long chat walking down from the farm, we set about walking the individual routes and running me through the essentials to get me up and running. Section 8, best described as quite shaded up against the quarry wall, damp, mossy and rocky. A hint of drizzle in the air would add to the already slippy nature of all the routes. The we started. Slow at first, with a steady flow of riders on the yellow and green routes. It soon became apparent where there riders were going to have the most fun, the tricky first turn at the top of the first incline on the green was going to punish the bikes with restricted lock. The next place was the slightly off camber run along the quarry face before dropping back down to the end was catching a few out. As the day went on as people were starting their second and third trip round that run seems to cut in and improve, then deteriorate towards the end. We had a look later and found that as that had worn in it had exposed a shiny damp tree root running across on an angle. More and more riders also started to fall victim to the green route cutting up and rocks gathering on the route, requiring intervention before causing too much bother.

The drizzle picking up later in the day adding another element to contend with. The experts seemed unperturbed by the first sump guard grinding ascent and left me in awe every time they came round – although I honestly thought we were going to have to start a moon rescue mission when the big water-cooled Gas Gas started to get a little flighty – well brought back to heel! Watching the little four stroke twin shock make short of the expert course was a real treat.

A big thanks must go to Gordon for putting up with my chatter all day and all the riders who not only offered kind words and support but kept me entertained with their riding skills and cheeky banter. I had respect for those who volunteered to observe before trying it myself and have even more so now. I had a fantastic time and hope to do it again soon, thanks.

Tony Williams – AC Mono / Expert

Pen y Graig trial arrived to a welcome by Steve and Ali then put into your parking spot by Geoff . We started on section 6, that grumpy man observing . A twisty tight turning section could easily drop marks on this one but scrapped through , then on to section seven, Alan Thomas observing. What a pig to ride, over large rocks that moved and really unbalanced you then bloody trees in the way as well. I’m sure Russ and Mark been have been watching the arena trials! Lucky to get through on 3. Next few sections not to bad, not easy, really testing ones.

Then down to section 2, Dave Lovell observing. Another pig of a section, it was pure luck if you cleaned it, A short run on flat to a tight turn back to right up over rock steps then tight turn down hill to a tight left uphill across rocks then a off camber, long exit. Another bloody 3. I’m afraid that was the story of the day for me, must try harder.

Must say a good safe trial and a real challenge. Toughest I’ve had with Aqueduct but really enjoyable. Thank You everyone for a great day.

Richard Webster – Pre 2000 Watercooled Mono / Expert

Most Sundays begin with a meet up at the nearest Greggs or McDonalds on the way to a trial or practise. All the top athletes and riders do the same apparently and last Sunday was no different. We arrived at PEN Y GRAIG and parked up in the pristine farmyard and made our way along the red carpet to the butty van for our second breakfast before signing on and embarking on the usual pre-trial gossip and bull#@!t.

This year sees the introduction of a pre-2000 water boiler class and the opportunity to add another bike to the collection – a Montesa 315 is my choice for this year.

After a quick rider briefing and reminder from Russ about new rules etc, we all quietly made our way down to the quarry.

Section 1, a fairly simple looking section with a tight turn midway through after an awkwardly positioned tree caught a few riders out and if your clutch wasn’t working properly (Chris Garlick excuse #1) it was even more difficult.

Section 2, a mixture of rocks and turns around the trees was also making life difficult for a few experts around the first turn, but once through this part the section was fairly easy to negotiate.

Onto Section 3 which featured a difficult climb up and over some large fallen trees towards the end of the section. Bive it too much or get your timing wrong and it was a difficult right turn before exiting the section. If you were unlucky enough to have the wrong throttle on your bike, it was made slightly more challenging (CG excuse #2)

A tight turn back on yourself featured in the middle of section 4 with slippery off-camber routes causing a few marks to be lost during the day.

A difficult turn and sharp climb up the bank at the end of section 5 resulted in a bit of a hit and miss scorecard, early riders through benefitting from more grip than the following riders apparently (CG excuse #3)

Up to the top of the quarry for section 6 which featured a nice rock wall step in the middle of the section followed by a very tight left turn over some awkward rocks. Riders were warned of crossing over their lines at this point in the section by our eagled-eyed observer.

Section 7 was another winding route back and forth across the rocks with a tight right hand turn up and back across loose shale at the end – caught me out on the first lap being too cautious (faffing)

Another jumble of rocks and turns at section 8 looked more difficult than it was, the scorecard reflecting this with a fairly low average score.

Down to Section 9 and a set of turns and banks which took fewer marks than it could have done if the weather had turned – maybe I missed the sunshine as Kev had his sunglasses on all day?!?

And finally section 10……disaster for me. Lap one I managed to knock my lanyard off going across the camber section and another 5! It didn’t get much better on the next lap and I couldn’t master the camber.

So, my first trial of the year and the second outing on the 315, at least I didn’t drown it this time like Nant Ucha in November.  For me, and from the other experts I have spoken too, the sections were spot on. Yes, they were tight and harder than normal, but an expert route should be challenging and the club delivered a great mix of sections – thank you. Onto the only moan…….section 10 queuing. And if you are one of the many riders who skipped passed it on the way down and had to double up at the end – shame on you. {Section setters – it was too long. Soap box away for another day.}

The first battle of the year between myself and CG ended with him taking the victory, it was close and if you ever need an excuse for your poor score then please see him at the next trial, he’ll be signing copies of Vol 2 of his latest book which has just been published. Only joking Chris, looking forward to the next trial and the year ahead – and I am 13 years your senior by the way.

The day was signed off with the obligatory beer or two in the first pub we found (The Hand Hotel, Chirk) to relive the day and continue with the usual banter.

Thanks to all involved with the organisation as usual, you do a fantastic job for us all – it really is appreciated. Shout out to all the observers for giving up their time whilst we play on bikes, CDB for keeping us fed and watered, a round of sarcastic applause to the neighbours for restricting the entry and a thank you to the landowners. I look forward to seeing you all again at the next round.

Mike Griffiths – Observer/Section 6

PenY Graig Quarry and what a cracking section I had. (6) The day started well with Wendy sharing her lovely cake, though it was nearly ruined when going for a butty and was greeted by the ‘legs’…. CDB must have won a bet to wear them in public ? Anyhow to the trial and I had a slippery journey to my section where on first glances it looked too easy. Ah but when it came to riding it I was surprised as the yellow was niggly. Yes I had a clean ‘cos the observer was not watching’. One or two good rides and some views on the riders.

Owd Codger Bert White, was really constipating and went clean. Young Logan Price showed some great prospect as did Rian Garlick. Hard to believe he is related to Chris, who incidentally did some spectacular front wheel turns with the back wheel miles in the air.. Did he stop or was the front wheel just moving ? Cake face , alias Mike Smith rode well but I think it was a sugar rush from all the cake he has to eat at home.. Moz was trying hard and looked very serious. Plenty of dabs and cleans and the rocks on the harder routes certainly caused the loss of quite a few marks. As a new section it was well set out , short and did a great job .

One slight gripe and it’s at some of the riders that drag their feet getting round. studying the section each lap , watching their mates ride it then sitting debating where they went wrong or excelled. Come on lads all post mortems in the carpark afterwards as it can get cold standing there like a prune waiting for some riders who have a leisurely Sunday’s rest and gentle ride round.. In other words there a few of you that need to get their fingers out and keep moving. By dawdling round it quite often means an observer on an out of the way section does not get back before the butty van has closed…

Well a great set of reports and many thanks to the two observers for theirs. It is also great to see a few new riders contribute. Maybe my nagging is paying off.

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 – Chris Chell, BSA (64), SImon Chell, BSA (90)
  • Intermediate – Peter Shone, James (26); Robin Foulkes, Villiers (27); Norman Tarbuck, Drayton Bantam (33)
  • Clubman -Paul Brimelow, Cotton (7); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (8); Jon Flower, BSA (20)
  • Novice – Roger Smith, BSA(7); Terry Lloyd, Triumph (8)


  • Expert – Paul Sagar, Honda (26)
  • Intermediate – Dave Pengilley, Kawsaki (22); Dave Riley, Fantic (28); Jerry Hawker, Honda (29)
  • Clubman – Oliver Barker, Bultaco (17); Phil Cottiga, Honda (25); Graham Pennington, Ossa (31)
  • Novice – No riders

Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Patrick Edwards, Yamaha (27); Peter Ruscoe, Honda (47)
  • Intermediate – Ian Tracey, Ossa (4); Paul Young, Gas Gas (34); Stephen Richards, Yamaha (38)
  • Clubman – Andy Steele, Yamaha (31); Rian Garlick (54); Paul Corfield, Yamaha (55)
  • Novice – No Riders

Pre 2000 Watercooled Mono

  • Expert – Chris Garlick, Gas Gas (28); Richard Webster, Montesa (33)
  • Intermediate – Mike Smith, Montesa (17); Jim Droughton, Yamaha (28); Alec Roberts, Montesa (38)
  • Clubman – Alan Hotchkiss, Montesa (64); Marcus Greer, Beta (106)
  • Novice – No riders

Modern Mono

  • Expert – No riders
  • Intermediate – David Ellis, Beta (21); Elwyn Beedles, Beta (38); Paul Hempkins, Gas Gas (40)
  • Clubman – Ken Williams, Beta (4); Logan Price, Beta (17); Bert White, Beta (24)
  • Novice – Graham Seager, Beta (58)

Observer List

1 – Elwyn

2 – Dave

3 – Wendy

4 – Ian

5 –

6 – Mike

7 – Alan and Brian

8 – Gordon

9 – Kev

10 – Tony


Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 23
  • Twinshock – 9
  • Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono – 14
  • Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono – 9
  • Modern Mono – 17

Route Classes

  • Expert – 8
  • Intermediate – 37
  • Clubman – 24
  • Novice – 3


Pre 65

  • BSA – 10
  • Cotton – 1
  • DOT – 2
  • Francis Barnett – 1
  • James – 1
  • Sprite – 1
  • Triumph – 4
  • Villiers – 2


  • Bultaco – 2
  • Fantic – 1
  • Honda – 4
  • Kawasaki – 1
  • Ossa – 1

Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono

  • Fantic – 1
  • Gas Gas – 3
  • Honda – 2
  • Ossa – 1
  • Yamaha – 6

Pre 2000 Watercooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Gas Gas – 2
  • Montesa – 4
  • Yamaha – 1

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 9
  • Gas Gas – 4
  • Montesa – 1
  • Sherco – 1
  • TRS – 1
  • Vertigo – 1