Event Report – Plas Onn 05022023

After a warm up event in January at Nant Mawr Quarry, the Championship season started with Round 1 held at the ever popular Plas Onn.

104 riders were split as 28 Pre 65’s, 30 Twinshocks, 14 AC Monos and 32 Modern Monos. The Expert route was highly contested with 17 riders following the blue and red flags. As usual, Inters and clubman riders were high with 45 and 37 riders respectively and it was great to see 5 Novices enjoying the days sport.

Paul Owen – Pre 65 / Inters

It was great to be back out on the little bantam again as I had not turned a wheel since the beginning of December and to much unhealthy eating over Xmas has seen me out of shape. That plus a few ongoing injuries I have picked over the years seemed to pay me a visit in the New Year. So I was very reluctant to get excited about throwing myself at some sections but plenty of deep heat and a good self talking to did the job.

With well over 100 competitors turning up and a healthy number of pre65 intermediate green route riders {17}, I set off to the sections. Here are 3 of my favourite ones.

Section 1….. with a gentle right handed turn between some trees that got greasy later on and dropped into a muddy wet hole. Then out to a sharp left hand turn on the off camber that was so easy to lose the front on. Then a drop off over some roots to a step back up and gently around a tree were you had to stay tight to, but the tree roots got proper slippy. Once around that, it was over a few rocks to the out gate. The Section was easy but also easier to lose the front end if dabbing the brake.

Section 5….. starting in the damp slippy field that you droped down a 10ft off camber drop to the rock stream bed. Then you turned right and followed the rocky gully up and between some roots onto a steep incline on wet muddy grass to the out gate. The rocks in the gully kept moving every lap so you just lent back with a constant throttle position and hit them. On the fist 2 laps the sun was in your eyes and blinded you for the climb to the exit gate. I never thought I’d complain about the sun at a trial haha.

Section 9….. the top end of the farm and you droped back into a dark dinghy rocky stream gully. This looked easy . Just drop into the bottom and follow the rocks up but if you got it slightly wrong, getting over a big slab rock it was hard to hold your line between 2 big boulders that you had to turn immediately left and over a big greasy tree root to the out gate.

It was a great trial. Nothing dangerous or too hard and it was normally the easy bits I dropped marks on. It was a big lap on the welsh hillside and took 2 hours to do the 1st lap with walking the sections etc. With lap 2, 3 and 4 taking 1 hour each, so 5 hours in total. And I was shattered burning off my winter coa!

Best training out there though as it includes a hard work out and plenty of banta and laughter with the other competitors and observers and all for £20. Another cracking event by a great club and riders of all ages and calibre. I feel old now at 51 but was happy to finish 4th, even though the top 3 are all 20 years older than me. Like my school report used to say… MUST TRY HARDER. Final a big get well soon one of the organisers and rider Russell Jones who is out of action for a while with a badly broken leg.

Alan Hotchkiss – Modern Mono / Clubman

After a leisurely drive up the 483, singing to Steve wright Sunday love songs, low winter sun full my mirrors, I arrived at Plas Onn with Ken Bo and Robinhiou Foulkes tucked in behind, to be greeted by the carpark attendant in a jovial welcoming manner ( LOL). After signing on with the lovely ladies ( and Jan ), I ordered my usual from the Chris de burger, I was then good to go apart from my accompanying MANFLU (serious stuff). Following the riders briefing by Mark (poor old Russ was still laid up ) we were dispatched to our start points, I was joined by my usual accomplices; Steve Harding and Tony Williams, but Tony took early retirement with technical issues.

All sections I found challenging ( new kid on the block) but a few in particular …

Section 3 – Drop into the stream, across and then a tight back in followed by a hairpin out,which became more difficult by the appearance of a large rock on the apex of the hairpin

Section 4 (the snake) – A long section manned by the observer and assisted by the Carpark attendant. A slippery drop into the stream, straight across up a slippery bank, tight right back in up a shaley stream, 90 left out around a tree, back in up the stream and a very tricky exit past a tree which I managed to punch with my clutch hand.

Section 5 – For me was a daunting entry on a slippery diagonal camber, up a slippery rocky stream followed by a tight left out of the stream and immediate right up a climb to the exit. The sun in my eyes and lack of grip cost me points.

Section 8 – A ( straight forward) drop in to a rocky stream, tight right, follow the stream then climb left around a tree, cross the stream and exit. All in all a great day, so tiring I nearly fell out of the van after I had loaded up.

Massive thanks to all the people whose hard work makes these events happen .

Richard Corbett – Modern Mono / Clubman

The day started well with some bright sunshine and I arrived at the venue at around 9.35 am. After signing on I took the opportunity to look at section 9 and then made my way back to prepare for the start of the trial.

I enjoyed all of the sections but 8, 9 and 10 were the most interesting and challenging.

Section 8 was a drop into a stream and then a ride up a gulley and a tricky left/right around a tree. After dabbing once on lap 1 and 2 I took it steadier on the third and fourth lap and managed to clean it both times. 

Section 9 was a similar format, a left hander into a stream and then quite a sharp right over some big rocks before another left hander and through the end cards. A nice steady throttle was the key to this one and keeping the front-end light, four cleans was a good result for this one.

The final section was a straight section into a sharp left hander, around a tree, a short climb leading to a right hand drop and then a very sharp turn to the left and then out. The first lap was a bit sketchy but by lap two I got into the groove and managed four cleans by the end of the trial.

I really enjoyed the day and the weather made it even better. I only dropped 2 marks which I was very happy about and came away with the class win, not a bad result for a 60-year-old riding a cheap Chinese bike, even if I say so myself. 

Thanks to the organising club and all officials/ observer’s for putting on a great trial, looking forward to the next one. 

Michael Griffiths – Observer / Section 2

Back to Plas Onn and what a grand start to the day. Lovely sunshine on the drive over and radiant smiles on arrival. Down to park and General Geoff was in charge. ? Met many of the riders ’till ‘Butty’ and little brother caught me at the burger van. Then it all started. Even the rotund burger man got at me though his charming assistant was most polite. Must have been the influence of her mother showing.

Onto the trial and I was out in the depth of countryside at section 2 on what looked a very easy section. One of those niggly ones that was easy to clean or do a dab or three. Yes there were a few crafty dabs and ‘oh bugger’ comments . Soon after lunchtime the sun hid away and it went a tad chilly. Most riders got round quite quickly but one or two ( I’d not seen before) were treating the event like a Sunday jaunt and took 2 3/4 hours for their first lap .

They were not too amused when it was suggested they get a move on. Don’t forget newbys we are standing for up to four hours in 3c.. For me it was nice to be back and enjoy the day so look out at the next trial ‘old grumpy ‘ is back…

Mike Smith – Modern Mono / Inters

A quick recollection of the green route from Sunday 5/2/23

Section 1 – In through the gate into a slippery right turn, around a tree leading to a small water splash leading into a tight left. Drop over some roots onto some loose rocks with very shallow water. Small step out onto tree roots which were quite slippery but didn’t cause any issues. Head for the exit gate on a slight incline on a medium right turn, wet slippery grass and mud required a nice light throttle for a smooth exit..

Section 2 – Bottom of the field with a bit more water in the gully, in through the gate through some shallow mud/water and up over a small rock step. Nice tight right turn dropping back into to gulley. Lots of Little rocks which jumped around like crazy on lap one but were much easier the remaining laps. I took a wide line to the right and then crossed over to the left to make the exit of the gulley on the right trying to keep forward momentum while lifting the front over an old pipe, careful to avoid missing the last gate on the left before going for the exit. So far so good.

Section 3 – Back across the next field to the bottom and straight into the section, nice tight turn right round the tree keeping the front wheel high and the power on. This helped the front float over the rock step and line up the climb up the gulley. This was a very tricky cluster of rocks and roots with flowing water. I watched 3 people keep right and 3 dab…. So I chose the left and selected second gear and let it have it. The little Montesa flew over the rocks and I nearly messed up the exit left but fortunately salvaged the attempt.

Section 5- I had mixed results in this one. Lap 1 through the start gate and drop down a small step over some roots into the gulley, quite a bit of water over some small rocks all loose and moving around everywhere. I dabbed and made the tight left turn and followed the course missing the large rocks and then back onto the left bank. Care was needed to line up the attack due to some strategically placed rocks which the weather gods had thrown down the hill the week previously. I found keeping forward momentum quite tricky here but nevertheless missed the boulders and made it through the exit gate. Lap 2 was my best attempt and managed a clean. Foolishly on the 3rd I rode into the section without looking and didn’t see the roots at the beginning were now soaked in water and the Michelin decided it had had enough and went from underneath me. A very undignified dismount resulted in a soggy bottom and a red face. Lap4, I stopped and looked at a different approach angle, the plan was drop in slower and go towards the tree… well that didn’t work either. Another bath in the water. The poor bike was taking a beating but it fired up ok and I continued on my now deflated path.

Section 6 – I enjoyed this one, second gear all the way. Start by carefully dropping into the gulley at a 45 degree angle which had plenty of people dabbing and taking a sharp breath before crossing the river bed and climbing up into the adjacent field, a very tight turn right before dropping back into the gulley and climbing up over rough dislodged rocks and ruts. The secret was to open the tap and let the motor rip. If you didn’t you’d loose momentum on the last 10ft of the climb,it was slippery as hell by the bridge… great fun.

Section 7,- This was a nice thought-out section in some slightly deeper water which crossed over from bank to bank up some steps and over some slippery slopes. Everyone appeared to be enjoying this one and I never saw anyone have any real problems. I watched Ben do the biggest bunny hop on his Arial here and thought I may as well go home 🤣Amazing rider.

Section 8 – I walked this several times and it was probably the hardest challenge of the trial for me, through the start gate and into the rocks. Lots of dirty water made visibility difficult and speed was in order to keep the front light and the suspension busy, up the narrow gulley and to the left. The climb out of the stream was tight and the gates were carefully watched, I made a right mess the first time trying to do it in second gear and it all happened far too fast resulting in a blind panic. I managed to regain control and continued on through the section across more rocks and up to the left bank. It was then a tight off camber right turn with a little drop off which then nearly sent me over the bars. Challenging to say the least. Further laps resulted in a lower gear and much better control and I even managed a little wheelie out of the section on the last lap.

Section 9. – Nice and straightforward I thought, this was the big ravine that climbed out of the valley to the rear of the property. A gentle drop into the stream keeping to the left bank and crossing between two large boulders. I floated the front wheel over all the rocks and somehow I managed to clean this one every time.

The endurance test getting to section 10 prepared me for the last section of the day. In through the gate and straight up a steep slippery track around a tree. I saw lots of dismounts here due to lack of momentum from the bottom of the valley. Anyway, round a tight right corner and back down the embankment into the stream, across to the other side. This was a tricky spot where roots tried to either wash out the front or you’d loose traction and start to spin the rear, again I was able to use the torque of the Montesa and leave it in second all the way through the section which helped me carry a bit of speed which seemed to help. A bit of a splash back into the water and back onto the other bank around a tree on the right. Finally drop back into the water for a 90 degree turn left back up the embankment over some nasty roots and head for the exit.

Sorry about section 4, my mind kept mixing it up with the others so I thought I’d better leave it out..

In summary the weather was fantastic, the riders were great and helped me pick the bike up, twice… and the organisers yet again pulled it out of the bag.

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 – Ben Butterworth, Aerial (5); Jim Hough, Triumph (19); Jack Butterworth, Triumph (20)
  • Intermediate – Pete Edwards, Drayton Bantom (2); Dave Lovell, Triumph (3); Phil Alderman, Triumph (5)
  • Clubman – Paul Brimelow, Cotton (4); Mike Jones, Triumph (12); Steve Jones, BSA (15); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (15)
  • Novice – Terry Lloyd, Triumph (8)


  • Expert – Steve Clift, Gas Gas (25); Tom Austin- Devey, Honda (44); Jack Lycett, Honda (49)
  • Intermediate – Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (2); David Matthews, Fantic (8); Norman Tarbuck, Fantic (13)
  • Clubman – Ian Thomas, Bultaco (6); Phil Cottiga, Honda (14); Dave Lycett, Honda (14)
  • Novice – No finishers

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Peter Ruscoe, Gas Gas (6); Patrick Edwards, Yamaha (9); Jim Williams, Honda (23)
  • Intermediate – Mark Blackwell, Yamaha (11); Neil Brooks, Fantic (13); Michael Warburton, Honda (17)
  • Clubman – Andy Steele, Yamaha (13
  • Novice – No riders

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Hayden Rainford, Montesa (27); Zain Pugh-Hutchinson, TRS (35)
  • Intermediate – Stuart Parr, Beta (12); Craig Tarbuick, Beta (15); Mike Smith, Montesa (18)
  • Clubman – Richard Corbett, TW (2); Phil Clarkson, TRS (7); Gareth Evans, Vertigo (9)
  • Novice – Jay Hanmer, Beta (11); Joe Price, Gas Gas (35); Nye Pughe-Hutchinson, Beta (40)

Observer List

1 – Julian Price

2 – Mike Griffiths

3 – Dave

4 – Ian Jones

5 – Mark

6 – Jeff Hughes

7 – Pete Thomas

8 – Elwyn

9 – Gordon

10 – Bill Bev


Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 28
  • Twinshock – 30
  • Air Cooled Mono – 14
  • Modern Mono – 32

Route Classes

  • Expert – 17
  • Intermediate – 45
  • Clubman – 37
  • Novice – 5


Pre 65

  • Ariel – 3
  • BSA – 9
  • Cotton – 1
  • Drayton Bantam – 1
  • Francis Barnett – 1
  • James – 2
  • Triumph – 11


  • Armstrong – 1
  • Bultaco – 4
  • Fantic – 8
  • Gas Gas – 1
  • Honda – 9
  • Kawasaki – 1
  • Montesa – 1
  • Ossa – 1
  • Yamaha – 2

Air Cooled Mono

  • Fantic – 1
  • Gas Gas – 3
  • Honda – 4
  • Montesa – 1
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Yamaha – 4

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 10
  • E Motion – 1
  • Gas Gas – 8
  • Jotagas – 1
  • Montesa – 4
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Sherco – 1
  • TRS – 3
  • TW – 1
  • Vertigo – 2