Event Report – Plas Onn (Jun 16)

Event report by Rob Sloggett & Mark Gaskell

Sunday 5th June saw Aqueduct Classics put on another fantastic Pre 65 and Twinshock Trial where 53 riders enjoyed a warm and dry days competition. The 16 Pre 65’s were joined by 17 twinshocks, 8 Air Cooled Monos and 12 modern Monos. The Clubman route was the most popular of the day with 19 bikes contesting this class and a further 17 in the 50/50 group. 10 Experts and 7 Beginners made up the final totals.

This month’s reports is contributed to by Rob Sloggett (Twinshock 50/50 class) and Mark Gaskell (Pre-65 50/50 class).

Mark Gaskell (50/50) – Triumph Tiger Cub

I’m not normally that keen on riding in hot weather, but as I’d made some adjustments to the Tiger Cub, I was looking forward to trying it out.

Plas Onn is a superb venue for trials and a new area of the land was being tested, with four sections a good few minutes ride away. This involved three field margins, a green lane, and a tarmac driveway, with fabulous views over the North Wales countryside to distract you. Pity I’d forgotten my camera!

The team had cleverly set all the sections to be under trees, keeping riders and observers alike away from the decidedly un-Welsh sunshine. I was riding the pre 65 green, or inter route, in the company of my good friend Tim Godsmark on his C15 BSA, out celebrating his wedding anniversary.

Sections one to three were familiar, set in the stream at the corner of the rear of the farm. Each had subtle twists on previous trials to keep it fresh. I was pleased to clean all these, finding the Cub a lot easier to manage now that the forks had oil in them! Section four was a new one, an off camber slalom on fresh grass over plenty of roots. The baking sun made it relatively simple to clean, if you kept control.

After the top gear blest (25mph in my case) over to the new area, section five took a serpentine course on a steep, grassy slope. Easy to get wrong when you are desperately trying to find the rear brake pedal!

Section six started with a steep downhill to a tight turn around a tree. First lap I came to an undignified halt when I misread how little grip there was and fived. The other three laps needed a dab apiece to keep me moving and on through the rest of the section.

Section seven looked far worse than it turned out. The start looked like it would have very little grip, when in fact we cut through to rock almost immediately. A right then left to a narrow muddy ledge, then left and right down a step to the finish. I was pleasantly surprised to clear it on lap one, and only lost a silly dab later in the day when I wobbled at the exit.

Section eight again had far more grip than it looked, so was relatively easy to get through, as evidenced by my four cleans.

Returning to the farm by the fields and lanes which we rode out on brought us to my nemesis, section nine. Climbing up a streambed, we turned right out of the stream, then left and back across and up the opposite bank. Or we would, if we had the skill and throttle control to do so! I was sadly lacking in both, and gained a maximum score of four fails, with varying degrees of severity. Then watching one of the other riders clean it almost effortlessly added insult to injury!

Section ten was being observed by the aforementioned Tim Godsmark’s wife, Ange, coincidentally also out celebrating her wedding anniversary! I helped her celebrate by charging across the off camber roots of her section with much noise and drama for three cleans, then going off line on the last lap and getting far too intimate with a tree. She didn’t laugh. Much.

A superb day, many thanks again to the team at Aqueduct Classics, the observers, the land owner, and anyone else who had a hand in it.

Rob Sloggett (50/50) – Yamaha TY

I supposed its unusual for an event report to be completed by someone who ended up as a DNF but as I got a lap and a half in before experiencing my first ever puncture in all of my years competing (running repair kit now purchased and will be in the car for the next competition after a weekend of practicing tube changes to F1 team standard).

Having just had the engine on the TY rebuilt this event was as much as a shakedown ride as well as a championship round for me and that is never good as on lap one I was paying more attention to the engine note and getting use to the extra cc’s after the rebore than my line in the sections!

But what about the event, well Mark has already sung the praises of the new sections and I think the team did a great job of starting to explore some new terrain that complimented the normal high level of stream sections common to this venue.

Sections 1 to 3 are always killers. At the Intermediate level, they have just enough complexity in the gullies to keep you occupied with the bank elements giving just enough variety to not make it just a blast up the stream.

The area around Section 9 and 10 has been a common staple now and the team did an excellent job with Section 9 giving an exit that really stretched this class. This gave the day a real balance as this class is the stepping stone into the Elite group and every now an then an obstacle that challenges but is not dangerous gives the riders that opportunity to learn and develop. This section took a total of 211 marks off of 16 riders (ave 13 per rider) and almost 50% of this routes total score across all bike types. Only 7 out of the 13 riders in the Inter group took maximum marks on this section.

The new sections were a good development by using a set of banks with varying terrain (which included loose boggy ground, grass and stoney gullies) and I am really looking forward to seeing how the Clerk of the Course and his team develop this potential for future events.

We now have a summer break as our next competition is a two day event on the 17th and 18th September at Carrog Isa. Saturday will be our normal Championship event whilst Sunday, we will be hosting a round of the Kia National Twinshock Championship for the second year running. As always we would like to take this opportunity to thank the land owners, club officials, observers and the catering team for giving everyone such a greats days competition.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Elite: Peter Edwards, BSA Bantam (18); Russ Jones, Triumph Twin (20)

Pre 65 50/50: Jim Pickering, BSA Bantam (5); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (14); Mike Butler, BSA Bantam (19)

Pre 65 Clubman: Graham Miller, Triumph Tiger Cub (3 FC); Jon Flower, BSA (3); Terry Lloyd, Triumph Tiger Cub (4)

Pre 65 Beginner: David Beddoes, OK Supreme (6)

Twinshock Elite: Colin Leese, Chase TY (8); Stephen Knight, Yamaha TY (30); Martin Roberts, Fantic (39)

Twinshock 50/50: Adrian Kent, Bultaco (2); Ian Emery, Ossa (7); Chris Kent, Bultaco (13)

Twinshock Clubman: John Sowden, Bultaco (8); Karl Kavanagh, Fantic (5); Keith Gush, Yamaha TY, (21)

AC Mono Elite: Jerry Hawker, Honda (5); Tony Gush, Honda (12); Terry Musgrave, Honda (24)

AC Mono 50/50: Gordon Wilson, Honda (25 FC); Paul Cartwright, Beta (25);

AC Mono Clubman: Neil Francis, Aprilla (9);

Modern Mono Elite: Christopher Dean, Jotagas (32)

Modern Mono 50/50: Declan Marsden, GasGas (27); Liam Marsden, GasGas, (69)

Modern Mono Clubman: Patrick Forde, Beta (7); Steven Creaser, GasGas (8); Jim Marsden, GasGas (14)

Modern Mono Beginners: Wayne Francis, Sherco (26 FC; Harley Lewis, Beta (26)

Class Breakdown:

Pre 65 – 16
Twinshock – 17
A/C Mono – 8
Modern Mono – 12

Elite – 10
50/50 – 17
Clubman – 19
Beginner – 7

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