Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Paul Owen and Steve Blaxall
Its probably no coincidence that the remake of 101 Dalmatians was release round about Christmas in 1996, and what a way to parody this by having 102 bouncy trial rider pups (I know its a very tenuous link!) turn up to Decembers trial at Plas Onn for the closing event of the 2019 calendar!
With no nasty Glenn Close character to be found, only happy faces and warm smiles on this chilly day were treated to a very well deserved thank you to Harry South who was hanging up his observer board to the last time. I did not realise the pure breadth of Harrys observing activities (not just at Aqueduct) and it truly is people like this who ensure that week in, week out we get to enjoy our sport! A final thank you from me Harry.
So how did the numbers break down? Well in terms of classes we had 32 Pre 65’s, 30 Twinshocks, 10 AC Monos and 30 Modern Monos. Across the routes we had a great turn out of 20 Experts, back on the Green flags saw 40 Inters, 29 Clubman and a really health 13 Novice riders.
Can I close this introduction by asking the question…… In what other club could you see a Velocette lining up alongside a Vertigo !!!!!! I think that says it all….
Paul Owen – Pre 65 Inters
It was a cold icy morning up on the frosty mountain tops of the ceriog valley at plas onn farm. It was the final round of 10 and there was 101 competitors turn up for what must be one of the premier classic trials clubs in the uk.
Quality riders from all over the country went head to head to take top step honors to finish off the 2019 season. All 10 sections were challenging and here are 3 of the 10 for the green route. But this trials had a festive Christmas theme with many riders dressed as Santa and his elf’s plus a snowman and a Christmas pudding.
Section 3 was a up stream start in the water. And over a submerged large rock and immediately up a slippy muddy 4 meter high bank and as you crested the top you had a meter drop off and back down the bank into the stream that almost seen me going over the handlebars . and then another similar climb and decent on the opposite banking . Then back into the stream to the exit gate .
Section 5 was interesting as there was a reindeer in the section. But at a closer look it was the observer in his Christmas fancy dress costume. Ha-ha. We drop down off the path into a rock stream gully, we had to keep to the right and that brought us out and across a muddy off camber bank that wanted to drag you down and so easy to take a dab to save losing the front wheel, we then dropped down across the stream to the left and a steady climb over a rooted bank and back into the up hill rocky stream and with a sharp right up the bank and to the exit gate.
Section 9. This was a drop down a slippy bank into and across the stream and straight up a muddy bank into the field. The dropped back down and across to the other bank. Then back down again but this time we stayed in the freezing water in the stream and we picked a line over the green slippy rocks and then into a very tight left turn and I steep climb over rocks next to the waterfall and then a right turn and out gate. On lap 3 I was just about at the top of the waterfall section and I lost traction but then it gripped and the front wheel was up high. I managed to put my right foot down to save it but with a muddy slippy rock my foot was on the move. And with this the bike did a perfect 180 degrees pirouette and I plunged down back into the stream. Luckily with some fancy foot work I managed to stay upright , then I looked up the banking and seen about 20 riders waiting there turn. Hopefully they didn’t recognize me as i was dress in a Santa suit. Hehe.
Finally I’d like to thank all the observers and members of the Aqueduct Classic trials club for all there hard work and efforts. Roll on 2020. And merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone
Steve Blaxall – AC Mono Inter
I arrived at a very cold Plas Onn confident that i would stay warm for the day in my Santa outfit. It was great to see so many riders turn up in fancy dress and having a laugh. Sad to see Harry hang up his clip board but good to see the warm send off he got. I’m sure his services will be missed. Here are the 3 sections which kept me thinking – even after the trial had finished :-
Section3 – A straight enough but narrow approach along the left side of the stream, where the stream bent left ,we carried straight on and immediately up a steep climb muddy bank. At the summit was a slight left turn with a nasty little drop off back into the stream up the opposite bank, turn right, back down across the stream turn left and out. 1st lap was a right royal cock up! Concentrating far to much on the narrow approach, i had no speed at the foot of the climb, gave it far to much throttle and half way up the climb all i could see was my petrol tank. I had to bail out. That’s a 5 then. Next lap a bit worried i would repeat the same, i made an effort to keep up my speed before the climb. It worked. With a little extra burst of throttle at the foot of the climb the bike went up with relative ease. I was surprised, The rest of the section just seamed to flow. Think i learnt something there.
Section8 – Simple enough or so i thought when i walked the section. Wrong! Very muddy down hill approach in to the section, follow the stream down hill a little then turn right and out up on to the bank. turn round and back towards the stream. Here was the real problem for me. A very tight down hill, left hand turn around a tree in to a shallow channel. The section then went gently uphill to the right with a left turn to the exit. The turn around the tree got me every time. I did not have an answer for it. Still don’t! I’m still thinking about it.
Section10- Right turn down the bank, across the stream. Turn right again in the muddy edge of the stream and back across the stream. Take care to miss the large rock on the left and go up the opposite bank, turn left at the top back into the stream and line up for the rocky climb out, turn left at the top and out. Was finding this section really flowed well for me. Until lap 3! . Not sure really what happened. But the large rock i needed to miss. think i hit it, and down i went. Cleaned the section again last lap. It got me thinking, don’t take a section for granted. Keep your concentration up. Despite wearing a Santa suit all day.
I managed to get an ok result. Yes i got some 5’s but that the way it goes. Really enjoyed the day. The club did a great job handling such a large entry and so did the observers for sticking out the cold. And not forgetting Mr. DeBurger for feeding the 5000. A Big thank you from me for a superb 2019
Rob Sloggett – Twinshock Clubmans
Having not ridden for a few months, I thought I would close the year having a leisurely ride on Clubmans and having a go at getting to know the Majesty better. One thing I do know is that I have been a 1st gear rider and had not really used second in ANY sections, so my aim this event was to where possible use 2nd and get use to the gearing characteristics. This turned out to be a really good and interesting experiment as in most cases, 2nd was really useable, for one section (more on that later) it did get me in trouble and in another I accidently pulled 3rd and discovered just how much low down grunt the Majesty still had…
So what were my three favorite sections of the day? Well first choice had to got to Marks on Section 8. This has always been a favorite of mine as the uphill flowing gully’s between the trees really make you think about allowing the bike to move between your legs. I ended up clean on this one, even after pulling 3rd on my 3rd lap! But every run had the potential to lose the odd dab.
Section 9 was my Achilles heal! What seemed simple section with a drop down a shallow bank, across the stream bed, cut back across and up and around the bank, drop back in then back up the other bank for an easy exit should have been clean all the way for me….. But it wasn’t! 3 on the first lap, 3 on the second…. right stop. What’s different ? Gear choice. Drop down to first for the 3rd lap for a clean and a silly single on the last lap. Analysing my ride, the first transition across the stream and up the bank had me carrying to much speed in second gear, getting me off line and then totally putting me out of my stride. Definitely a good learning exercise, I should have been able to compensate but didn’t so one for the practice area I think….
To be honest the rest were all good and I would struggle to pick another favorite as they all had something different….
As always, we received great feedback on social media and some of the comments are below:
Well today finished off another brilliant Aqueduct Season and what a cracking trial to finish with. Thank You so much to the Accy Team for putting on such cracking trials, thank you to all the landowners for letting us play, a massive thank you to the observers as always I’ve stood there with a clipboard it can be a bloody cold job. Lastly thank you to the riders for supporting both the club & ourselves. Over a hundred riders today, amazing – Chris De Burger
Another amazing event!!! Ace to see everyone in costume! Can’t thank all the observers enough!! Plus Harry on his last day! I had a excellent ride and only dropped 2 marks. Only been back riding 6 months after 15 years, July Aqueduct trial was my first introduction back into trials, and I have met some amazing people! So as I’ve had 3 wins “one white and 2 yellow” I think I will move up from Clubman’s to Intermediate next January! Hope everyone has a good Xmas See you all again next year – David Williams
Great day at an absolutely brilliant trial today, sections were perfect for the nice wet slippery conditions. Big thanks again to all involved in the setting up and running of all the events this year and I can’t wait for next year. Best decision this year, buying a bike second best, joining Aqueduct Classics. See you all next year – Jeff Hughes
So that concludes 2019….. A BIG THANK-YOU to everyone who has contributed to the event reports. They get read by a lot of people and are a permanent record of the event and paint such a great picture of the club, especially for people thinking about joining us. I hope if you like reading them, maybe in 2020 you could write a short bit as well…
Pre 65 Expert: Phil Haughton, Triumph (4); Chris Gascoigne, BSA (8); Kev Ellis, BSA (20)
Pre 65 Intermediate: Craig Haworth, James (12); Dave Lovell, Triumph (14); Paul Owen, BSA (15)
Pre 65 Clubman: Rober Smith, BSA (8); Jeremy Sutton, BSA (10); Garry Holt (13)
Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Triumph (17); Alan Dyson, BSA (27); Tarquin Millard, Triumph (54)
Twinshock Expert: Matt Spink, Fantic (7); Paul Smart, Fantic (13); Ian Jones, Yamaha (21)
Twinshock Intermediate: Vince Brett, Honda (7); Paul Cook, SWM (8); David Matthews, Bultaco (9)
Twinshock Clubman: Tony Haughton, Honda (8); Trevor Bennett, Beta (10; Graham Pennington, Ossa (10)
Twinshock Beginner: William Leigh, Yamaha (4); Chris Jones, Yamaha (10)
AC Mono Expert: Robin Foulkes, Yamaha (60)
AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Young, Gas Gas (15); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (18); Martin Powell, Honda (28)
AC Mono Clubman: David Lewis, Ossa (7); Ken Williams, Honda (15)
AC Mono Beginner: No enteries
Modern Mono Expert: Colin Sagar. Beta (6); Declan Marsdan, Gas Gas (69)
Modern Mono Intermediate: Nigel Sproson, Montesa (12); Seb Clarke, Vertigo (17); Shaun Clarke, Sherco (17)
Modern Mono Clubman: Colin Steele, Beta (2); David Williams, Montesa (2); Paul Hardaker, Beta (3)
Modern Mono Beginners: Jeff Hughes, Beta (2); Chris Matthews, Beta (8); Charlotte Bloor, Gas Gas (13)
Section 1 – Harry South (last time ever…. thanks Harry)
Section 2 – Ian
Section 3 – Izzy
Section 4 – Annette
Section 5 – Dave
Section 6 – Danny
Section 7 – Russ
Section 8 – Mark
Section 9 – Pete
Section 10 – Gordon
Pre 65 – 32
Twinshock – 30
A/C Mono – 10
Modern Mono – 30
Expert – 32
Intermediate – 30
Clubman – 10
Beginner – 30
Ariel – 1
BSA – 11
Francis Barnett – 3
James – 3
Triumph – 12
Velocette – 1
Aprilia – 1
Beta – 1
Bultaco – 3
Fantic – 8
Honda – 4
Kawasaki – 1
Majesty – 3
Ossa – 1
SWM – 1
Yamaha TY – 4
Fantic – 1
GasGas – 3
Honda – 4
Ossa – 1
Yamaha – 1
Beta – 12
GasGas – 8
Montesa – 4
Sherco – 4
TRS – 1
Vertigo – 1