Tag Archives: Report 2016

Event Report – Plas Onn (Mar 16)

Event report by Rob Sloggett, Geoff Jones and Ian Emery

Mothers Day saw the second round of Aqueduct Classics 2016 series offer a great day’s competition to the 70 riders who braved the changeable conditions at Plas Onn (Selattyn). It was great to see that 23 of these were Pre 65 bikes with over half campaigning in the 50/50 route. A further 20 bikes were twin shocks with the Clubman route being the most popular (7 bikes). As always the Air Cooled Mono class was well represented with a good support class of Modern Monos enjoying a Championship league of their own.

This months event report is kindly contributed to by Paul Owen, Geoff Jones and Rob Sloggett

Paul Owen – 50/50 class (Pre-65)

It was a cold fresh morning on the hillside looking down the Ceiriog valley, but once I got going I soon warmed up.

Section 1,2 and 3 were going up the stream, section 1 was straight forward on the green (50/50) route, dropping into the stream and across a greasy leafy bank then back into the stream to the exit gate.

Section 2 and 3 were very similar, starting in the steam there was a rocky step that you had to get right and then around a tree, across the water to a steep slippery bank then a sudden drop back into the water and then around a few rocks to the exit gates.

Section 4 was on a grassy bank and around two trees that looked easy but you couldn’t really touch the front brake on the downhill stretch. It was then a ride across a few fields to the far end of the land to section 5 and 6. Starting off in the stream you had a rocky section between some trees, across the bank, then back into the stream and a steep incline up a greasy muddy exit, my rigid bantam was perfect for those condition.

Section 6 was similar to 5 but had a challenging 2nd half to it with rocks and roots, if you messed up the first lot of rocks you would be all arms and legs up to the exit gate. You then started to make your way back to the start with a stop in each field to experience the rocky gullies.

Section 7 saw the greens doing the same route as the expert red class, dropping into a left hand turn and up what seemed like the Grand Canyon, but after watching a few riders fail trying to pick their way around the big rocks I decided to hit it straight on and just hope for the best. It looked daunting but was a proper grin factor when I cleaned it twice and only had 2 single dabs.

Section 8 was in the next field and a similar start dropping into the stream and weaving my way on and off the muddy bank, back across the stream to a steep turn and up another rock path to the exit gate.

Section 9 and 10 were very similar with a crossing from bank to bank across the stream then a short steep rocky incline to the exit gate. Every section was challenging but nothing dangerous, another cracking trials held by the club, roll on round 3! .

Geoff Jones – Observer

Despite it being a snow threatened Mothers Day the second round Aqueduct Classic 2016 series attracted 71 riders in all, high up in the Welsh Hills at Plas Onn farm. Again the sections were set to accommodate a slightly snow covered landscape, which made for a very wet and slippery going. Luckily the terrain allowed for all sections to be more or less run in the stream which flowed through the venue, which avoided the near impossible going elsewhere and protecting the land owner’s fields.

Section 9 was set for the four routes, White (beginners), Yellow (clubman), Green (50/50) and Red (Elite).

White route more or less followed the stream bank with a water splash to cross to the opposite side where the end gate was situated, accessed by a climb out of the steam and a sharp slippery right turn to the end flag.

Yellow followed a similar course but ridden within the stream, which had the pitfalls of rolling rocks and deep pools hidden by the now muddied waters, again the end gate was accessed by a climb out of the stream with a sharper right turn to the gate, surprisingly more than a couple of riders who had cleaned the main part of the section, fell foul of the degree of offset to the end cards and missed the exit.

Green took a similar course to the Red, starting off through a water splash exiting on the opposite bank to execute a sharp right rocky turn, back into the stream with a sharp climb out and around a tree stump to dive back into the stream again, to access the end gate. Again this took one or two fives from the unwary, having cleaned the section cresting the bank and missing the sharp offset exit to the end gate!

Red obviously being the more demanding again set off through the first water splash, with a steep climb out up a rocky muddy bank to crest onto a bordering field, which although quite flat was deceptively slippery and in itself took one or two marks, with competitors losing too much momentum due to lack of grip. After a 180 deg turn the bank was descended to the second water splash with the same sharp climb out around the same tree stump that greens were using, but after dropping sharply back into the water the sting in the tail for the reds was a sharp right turn to climb a rocky waterfall In a narrow gulley, with an immediate left turn out of the section to the offset exit.

The sections in general we’re flowing but technical, with nothing to cause a stop under the slippery conditions, but never the less designed to take marks.

Rob Sloggett – Elite Class (Modern Mono)

With both of my classic bikes under the weather and having some well-deserved TLC, my aim of stepping up to Elite class on a Modern Mono this year to allow me to experience the depth of the new challenge but on a bike I felt comfortable tackling them on came into play. I was so please with the challenges laid out by Aqueduct at this level. Everything was safe but challenging and enough new variety to make me drop some fives and re-engage my brain to watch the experienced Experts on their lines.

A couple of sections really jumped out. Section 1 was an absolute gem as you entered high up a bank and dropped down perpendicular to the stream bed. The aim was to then fire it straight up the opposite bank and then a left turn on a camber around a tree whilst scrubbing off momentum. The rest of the section was straight forward but this steep drop in and equal climb out was a length and gradient uncomfortable to me. First attempt, I bottled the drop in taking a more gradual drop down the bank, almost traversing it at a diagonal. This resulted in me getting on the power at an angle with the rear wheel inevitably spinning out resulting in a very graceful five. Second lap, feeling more comfortable on the bike and looking at the lines taken, I approach high, dropped straight down and allowed the momentum plus a squirt of the throttle to fire me straight up the bank. A single dab around the tree on the 3 remaining laps left me feeling that I had improved in one area but still had something to learn regarding this type of obstacle.

Section 6 was another great section for the Elite route with a muddy entry leading to an across gully routing, a large loop on the left hand bank then traversing back across the gully over a selection of rocks and roots to enter the second parallel gully. This then offered a 20 second challenge taking an S shaped path around or over a number of sizeable rocks until you exited up a shallow right hand bank. The range of scores across all classes of bike on the Elite route shows how the team setting up the sections found the best use of the land to ensure there was something for everyone but nothing to put anyone off or put them in harm’s way.

As always, we have to pass on our appreciation and thanks to the club officials, observers, catering team and land owner. The next completion is on Sunday 3rd April at Pen Y Graig Quarry.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Elite: Ben Butterworth, Ariel (2); Russ Jones, Francis Barnett (25); Steve Thompson, BSA (26)
Pre 65 50/50: David Beddoes, BSA (4); Phil Alderman, Triumph (5); Carl Winstanley, James (9)
Pre 65 Clubman: Roger Smith, BSA (2); Terry Lloyd, Tiger Cub (7); Graham Miller, Tiger Cub (8)
Pre 65 Beginners: Andrew Huxley, BSA (27)

Twinshock Elite: Danny Littlehales, Fantic (8); Alan Miles, Chase TY (18); Steve Shelley, Honda TLR (24)
Twinshock 50/50: Philip Clarkson (9); Alex Barrie, Honda (15); Ian Emery, Ossa (18)
Twinshock Clubman: John Sowden, Bultaco (7); Karl Kavanagh, Fantic (10); Phil Cottiga, Fantic (13)
Twinshock Beginners: Pete Thomas, Yamaha (17)

AC Mono Elite: Craig Howarth, Scorpa (51)
AC Mono 50/50: Stephen Richards, Yamaha (8); Gordon Wilson, Honda (21); Paul Cartwright, Beta (57)
AC Mono Clubman: Andy Steele, Yamaha (24); Mike Sutton, Ossa (26); Steven Blaxall, Fantic (27)

Modern Mono Elite: Rob Sloggett, Beta (68)
Modern Mono 50/50: Alec Roberts, Gas Gas (9); Liam Marsden (40)
Modern Mono Clubman: Bob Shelley, Gas Gas (8), P Hempkins, Beta (10); Ken Williams, Montesa (12)
Modern Mono Beginners: Andrew Dean, Gas Gas (7); Glyn Evans, Beta (10); Pete Rainsford, Montesa (21)

Class Breakdown:

Pre 65 – 23
Twinshock – 20
A/C Mono – 9
Modern Mono – 18

Elite – 11
50/50 – 24
Clubman – 28
Beginner – 7

Event Report – Plas Onn (Dec 16)

Event report by Rob Sloggett and Ian Emery

December has quickly come around and this report checks into the last event of Aqueduct Classics 2016 Championship campaign and what an event it was. Last visited in June, the venue whilst starting off a bit chilly quickly warmed up as the 60 riders comprising of 24 Pre 65’s, 16 Twinshocks, 9 Air Cooled Monos and 11 Modern bikes gathered at 11:00 for the off. A good split of 8 Elite riders, 22 riding the 50/50 route (to be renamed “Intermediate” for the 2017 series), 23 Clubman and 7 Beginners were offered the usual mix of 4 laps of 10 sections. And what a great set of routes they turned out to be!

Ian Emery (50/50) – Twinshock Ossa Gripper

A very cold start greeted the 60 riders at Plas Onn Farm which led to two immediate problems for me; firstly keeping the Gripper’s engine hot enough to run cleanly and secondly keeping my fingers warm to grip the bars. Luckily a clever Spaniard designed an exhaust system that works as a hand warmer too. This report covers the “Green” or Intermediate route and how my day went.

Section 1 was testing starter. A run alongside the stream with a nasty drop in over rocks to then make a difficult right turn across the water, over algae coated rocks, to then climb the far bank, traverse a camber and drop back in higher up the flow. The first turn was the hardest bit with many riders losing grip especially on the first lap. Section 2 was even harder! A drop into the stream followed by a sweeping U-turn to then climb against the water flow, across a jumble of rocks all of which seemed to be in just the wrong place to allow a smooth line to be taken. Once past these obstacles a 90 left turn followed by a traverse across slippy exposed roots to then blast through a muddy speed-sapping bog before joining the stream again. A long section, with lots of technical difficulty, needing a lot of effort to clean. Great sense of achievement if you did. Section 3 had its sting at the beginning. Two left/right 90 degree turns into the narrow stream gulley with an awkwardly placed rock just catching the rear just as the front pushed against the far bank. Easy to lose momentum but once through, the climb across a mass of exposed roots to the ends was more straightforward than it looked.

Section 4 was a drop into the stream and a tight left turn on the far bank to then climb a rooty step, to be then faced with a clay bank and a swooping left turn across the camber to the ends. It all went wrong for me here when the Ossa spun out just after the roots leaving me feet-up but pointing in totally the wrong direction. A “5” ! Not what I wanted with a Championship at stake. Section 5 was in the next stream cleverly using three parts of previously used sections to great effect. A steep drop on the turn into the stream, followed by a short blast up the far bank between two large boulders, to then cross a jumble of loose rocks, up a root step with a left turn, and then a right turn over a steep hump to join the adjacent stream with a long climb over a root step and loose rocks. Another really good section and easy to get into trouble.

Sections 6, 7 and 8 were in the stream just below the farm. Section 6 looked fairly innocuous when I walked it – a drop down several rock steps into the stream with a 90 right up a steep 7ft climb out into the field, a U-turn, back down again and up the far bank to the ends. What nearly caught me out was just how quickly the turn for the climb out appeared and several times I nearly overshot with the Ossa pulling sweetly from tick-over at the base of the climb. Section 7 resembled a zigzagging snake going back and to across the stream with each turn comprising a climb, a tight turn, and a steep drop back down, before repeating several times up the stream. The turns had to be made very quickly to stay inside the markers and each drop gave a sense of falling as I struggled to hold the bars. Section 8 was a drop in, tight left, and simple climb up the stream but several awkwardly placed rocks made things difficult. Sections 9 and 10 were in the higher part of the stream.

Section 9 cost me some marks. A gentle climb up the stream was followed by a tricky rock step ( very slippy on lap1) followed by a cross camber traverse before dropping back into the stream to turn left towards the ends. This drop back in always seemed to pull my front wheel onto two large rocks which cost me a big dab several times. Finally section 10, a nice flowing series of swooping turns up and down each bank with more grip than the exposed roots would suggest.

Overall, 10 great sections, each with their own challenges, and shows just how much thought was put in by the section-setters. A great finale to the Championship.

Rob Sloggett (50/50) – Air Cooled Mono TY

Why do we do this sport? I asked myself that as I fived my first section of the day. Then as I locked the rear brake (twice) stalling the engine and taking another two stupid fives on other sections over the first two laps, I asked myself the same question.

Then I approached Section 2 for the second lap, saw the challenge of gully and reminded myself “that’s why”.

Then the line I was totally uncomfortable with on Section 6 and tried an new approach made me realise that this sport of as much about the personal challenge as it is the results at the end of the day.

And that sort of sums up my competition (and my year). Ian has given a great review of the sections and we shared the same route (albeit different classes) so what can I add to this report? Well as I said for me the competition is about the personal challenge as much as the result and 2017 will be the year where I know where I am likely to end up and what a good improvement will look like, but what about those two sections mentioned above?

So Russ was looking after Section 2 and this was a great test of someone who is getting comfortable on the green route but offered enough to make you think and take the odd mark off you if you were not 100%. An angular left hand entrance into the gate fed you into an initial tight right hander feeding into a more open right hand arch but with some slippery roots and cambers. Across the gully and then feeding in with a left hand turn fired you up a probably 40 – 60 ft run with some nice texture of roots and rocks to keep the mind sharp. Peeling out of the gully right and up a bank then offered you a 100 deg left hand turn around a tree. A short run across a camber then fired you into a rutted gully which needed commitment of throttle and line to emerge clean. I think each run took the odd dab from me but a great challenging section which was well thought out.

Geoff looked after Section 6 and this was my nemesis. I have always attested to people who ask  me about this sport that approaching a section is probably a blend of 60% technique and 40% mental attitude and when the section is slightly outside of your comfort zone, that 40% can really come into play. When I first walked this section my mind immediately said “five”. I did not like the second obstacle. After entering off a high bank into the stream you were presented with a 90 degree right turn to fire up what (in my mind) was a formidable bank.  So what did I do? First lap I pushed the boundaries of the route (literally) and instead of using the gully tried to capitalise on the opposite bank and using a wider arch to approach the climb. Needless to say my mind said “no” and I locked the rear wheel dropping in for an immediate 5. Lap 2 I walked the section again, watched a few riders and elected for a well planted dab to make the turn in the gully and ended up with what in my mind was an acceptable 2. The bank was not actually that formidable! The next 2 laps offered acceptable scores but has planted a seed in my mind of a scenario that in my next practice session I need to master.

This was a great way to finish off the year and as always a big thanks have got to go out to the landowners, organisers, club officials and observers.

Don’t forget that our next event is on Sunday 15th January 2017  at Carrog Isa. This is the first round of the 2017 Club Championship.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Elite: Kev Ellis, BSA (26); Colin Fray, DOT (33)

Pre 65 50/50: Gary Shaw, Triumph (2); Roly Jones, Ariel (3); Paul Cook, DOT (7)

Pre 65 Clubman: Adrian Kent, Sprite (7); Roger Smith, BSA (7); Peter Cocking, BSA (9)

Twinshock Elite: Stephen Knight, Yamaha (19); Danny Littlehales, Fantic (19); Julian Price, Fantic (31)

Twinshock 50/50: Ian Emery, Ossa (18); Steve Blackburn, Montesa (27); Jeremy Sutton, Ossa (33)

Twinshock Clubman: Peter Elvidge, Bultaco (20); Keith Gush, Yamaha (23); Karl Kavanagh, Fantic (28)

Twinshock Beginner: Craig Fowler, Yamaha (47)

AC Mono 50/50: Gordon Wilson, Honda (9); Paul Cartwright, Beta (25); Martin Powell, Honda (30)

AC Mono Clubman: Neil Francis, Aprilla (10); Steve Blaxall, Fantic (35); Andy Steele, Yamaha (45)

AC Mono Beginner: Pete Thomas, Fantic (15); Chris Matthews, Fantic (92)

Modern Mono Elite: Vincent Brett, Beta (31)

Modern Mono 50/50: Declan Marsden, GasGas (26)

Modern Mono Clubman: Ken Willians, Montesa (21); Steven Creaser, GasGas (22); Mark Bill, Honda (22)

Modern Mono Beginners: Pete Rainsford, Montesa (32)

Class Breakdown:

Pre 65 – 24
Twinshock – 16
A/C Mono – 9
Modern Mono – 11

Elite – 8
50/50 – 22
Clubman – 23
Beginner – 7

Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Oct 16)

Event report by Rob Sloggett and Paul Owen

Sunday 16th October saw Aqueduct Classics return to its Championship round after hosting a very successful event for the Kia Twinshock series. A fantastic turnout of Pre 65 and Twinshock bikes where 58 riders enjoyed a damp but warming days competition. The 21 Pre 65’s were joined by 16 twinshocks, 9 Air Cooled Monos and 12 modern Monos. The Clubman route was the most popular of the day with 28 bikes contesting this class and a further 20 in the 50/50 group. 6 Experts and 4 Beginners made up the final totals.

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

In an interesting twist, it was great to see Allan Seedhouse on a fully electric adult size trials bike mixing it with the pre-65’s. Who would have thought that 50 years of development would take us this far? Well done Allan for your 21 mark score on the Mono Clubman class.

Paul Owen (50/50) – BSA Bantam “Bessie” Rigid

It was a miserable wet start to the day but seeing all the regular friendly faces and the smell of burning oil fumes soon made you forgot about it.

Section 1 was a double step incline, around a tree to the left followed by a slippy off cambered steep bank up around some trees and a steep drop out to the exit. Section 2, you would climb a bank on loose stones, around a left hander on a camber, down the bank into a left hand steep climb then back down to another short off cambered bank with a very trick sharp right hand turn to the exit gate. Section 3 was my most enjoyable section, you dropped into a big bomb hole and climbed out to turn right down another bank and a left hand slippy off cambered climb and drop back into the gully and a slippy routed bank , sharp right turn back down over some rocks and climb back up the other side to a left turn exit.

Section 4 was a uphill climb over roots then a drop back down a bank to a steep drop and up a short bank, over a fallen tree to a drop back down the bank and a tight right up hill exit gate. Section 5 was in the open and in the rocky part of the quarry, with 2 steepish up hill banks then drop back down to a 2nd gear rocky climb and a foot high rock step at the top of the bank. It might not have been that big of a step but on the rigid framed bantam it felt bigger. Section 6 was a proper hard section and on the rocky ground, between trees an off camber bank to another rocky section and up to the exit gate. Section 7 didn’t suit the rigid as it had to many big rocks but it was a muddy start over a few rocks, a left hand turn over some bigger rocks, and a right hand turn into a tricky rock left hander that claimed many riders attacking the slippy run to the exit gate.

Section 8 was heading back down the old quarry with a steady climb over some roots and rocks. You turned right across a flat section to a left then sharp right turn down an off cambered bank then to the exit. Section 9 was similar to 8 to ride, but a down hill start to a right turn, back up the bank to a left drop out and exit gate. Section 10 started between some trees and a drop down then a climb up the opposite banking, around a tree to a left-handed drop, then a right left off camber exit and then back around to start the following lap.

I think it was a great trial and all the competitors enjoyed it.

Rob Sloggett (50/50) – Yamaha TY

It was so nice to get back on the bike after a prolonged break. A puncture in June gave me a DNF and having observed in the Kia Round last month it has been 4 months since my last competitive ride. And boy did it show!

My first lap was nothing short of a disaster with  missed flags and basic errors quickly tallying up the start of a high score for me. Needless to say, after the first lap I put my brain in gear, rewalked every section and the final 3 laps at least gave me something to be more pleased with.

Once again, Aqueduct marked out an excellent trial with a good number of sections on the 50/50 route giving a nice blend of extra aspects to make the rider think and challenge the mind.

I think the first section that springs to mind was Section 6 (I think). If I cant remember the number I can certainly recall the entrance! A beautifully crafted first obstacle offered 3 options across a 4 ft. gate. Image an inwardly curving tree to the left, a rock the size of an average family car size wheel in the middle, or sneak past this to the right but then have to immediately turn left if you took this line. Lap 1 I went for the final option and got it totally wrong! Dabbing with my right foot as the bank dropped away as the left  hand turn beckoned, I struggled to control my speed with the front brake only as I had no access to the rear brake. Luckily a good run out allowed me to save it for a 3 but it wasn’t my finest display. Funny how things hooked up on the second lap as the same route resulted in a clean for that aspect and a silly single dab later on. The final 2 laps found the large rock dislodged and a much more favorable route presenting itself.

Section 7 was another one which took a large number of marks across 50/50 class and offered a second half that presented a really stretching level of complexity. An easy entrance turned right into a 180 degree counterclockwise loop with rocks and roots thrown in for good measure. You were then offered a second 270 loop, also counter clockwise but whilst being flat, this 3ft corridor was paved with football size boulders. Plenty of routes to try, none really worked for me!

This was a top event in a class venue and as always a big thanks have got to go out to the landowners, organisers, club officials and observers.

Don’t forget that our next event is on Sunday 6th November at Nant Ucha Farm. This is our Annual Charity event with the proceeds going to a number of chosen charities.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Elite: Kev Ellis, BSA 350 (39)

Pre 65 50/50: Gary Shaw, BSA C15 250 (7); Phil Alderman, BSA 250 (8); Paul Owen, BSA Bantam 175 Rigid (18)

Pre 65 Clubman: Peter Cockins, BSA 250 (1); Roger Smith, BSA 250 (2); Jon Flower, BSA C15 250 (4)

Pre 65 Beginner: Keith Lloyd, Drayton Bantam (1); Stephen Johnson, BSA Bantam (26)

Twinshock Elite: Danny Littlehales, Fantic 200 (23); Stephen Knight, Yamaha 175 (56)

Twinshock 50/50: Jeremy Sutton, Ossa 350 (31); Jed Downes, Honda TLR200 (32); Steve Blackburn, Montesa 349 (47)

Twinshock Clubman: Stephen Collinson, Fantic 300 (1); Mark Blackwell, Honda TLR200 (2); John Sowden, Bultaco 340 (8)

AC Mono Elite: Terry Musgrave, Honda TLR 200 (44)

AC Mono 50/50: Paul Cartwright, Beta 260 (34)

AC Mono Clubman: Neil Francis, Apprilla TX311M (1); Steven Blaxall, Fantic 212 (2); Richard Osbourne, Aprilla (3)

AC Mono Beginner: Pete Thomas, Fantic 155 (14)

Modern Mono Elite: Declan Marsden, GasGas 125 (102)

Modern Mono 50/50: Alec Roberts, GasGas 300 (18); Andrew Dean (35)

Modern Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Beta 250 (5); Jim Marsden, GasGas 200 (8); Richard Corbett, Beta Rev3 250 (12)

Modern Mono Beginners: Connie Jones, Beta Rev3 125 (25)

Class Breakdown:

Pre 65 – 21
Twinshock – 16
A/C Mono – 9
Modern Mono – 12

Elite – 6
50/50 – 20
Clubman – 28
Beginner – 4

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

Event Report – Nant Ucha (Feb 16)

by Paul Owen, Geoff and Jan Jones

A delayed start to the 2016 season as a result of respecting our kind landowner’s wishes of protecting the venues after the heavy January storms resulted in Round 1 of the 2016 series kicking off at Nant Ucha on Sunday 14th February.
Cupid was certainly in the air as 86 riders took the love of their lives out for a day’s competition. What more could a pre-65 or twin shock classic ask for apart from a gallon of fuel, 40 sections and an owner fuelled up on hot steaming team and bacon rolls from Chris De Burgers catering!
Oh by the way, those modern lasses also turned up in good numbers so the speciality teas sold quite well along with the jambon et fromage croissants.
This month’s report is kindly contributed to by Paul Owen (50/50 Route) and Geoff and Jan Jones (Observers Section 5).

Intermediate (50/50) Green Route – Paul “Moz” Owen (Rigid Bantam)

Section 1 and 2 were similar as you stopped into a rocky downstream with a few turns and a tricky exit. Section 3 and 4 were up stream but 4 was a slippery uphill bank then dropping back into the stream for a challenging 2nd part to that section, up an ever changing slippy rocky exit.

Section 5 was shorter but was a tight left turn up a steep bank to turn across wet roots and a steep drop out on more slippy conditions. Section 6 was a longer, bigger version of 5 with an off camber middle section, a long slippy drop out that you could easy lock the front end up and taste the welsh soil, then you crossed the stream, up a bank to section. You were greeted there with a tight Uphill S-bend and drop into a muddy downhill and around an up turned tree roots to the exit, then back across the stream for section 8 and 9.

Section 8 had you back in the stream, up a bank with loads of grip, you dropped back into the water for a step-up the back onto the bank to the exit, section 9 was back in the stream, around a few large rocks and a challenging exit across slippy green rocks then tree routes to the exit gate. You then followed the markers to the top of the stream and stopped down a bank to start section 10. Here you had to cross the stream again to a rocky slippy channel that kicked the bike all over the place, across the water again to a steep exit out, then it was out the woods, across the field and back to section 1.

It is a great venue to ride and all the sections were very rideable, slippy but safe and nothing dangerous. Sections 4, 9 and 10 being the most challenging for me on the rigid bantam, but with great company from 80+ competitors, it made for a great day out, roll on Round 2!

An observer’s view at section 5 – Geoff & Jan Jones

We were all blessed with a fine but cold day for our first trial of 2016 at Nant Ucha Farm, the sections had been eased off albeit slightly due to the threat of an impending snowstorm, which in the end did not materialise.

The white route which although it appeared to be quite an easy line, tightened up rather sharply through a muddy slot with hidden roots at right angles to the slot just before the exit, which I think caught several competitors out breathing a sigh of relief after relaxing for the end gate.

Yellow route had a slight climb around a tree with a ninety right downhill, to exit the same way as the whites, which obviously being on the brakes downhill and across the aforementioned tree roots, caught out the unwary with one or two slips, and curses just before the exit gate.

As for the intermediates and experts their job was vastly more difficult obviously, with a sharp left around a tree with exposed shiny roots, a steep slippery climb crest the bank with another sharp right around a tree at the top, to drop back down sharply. Whilst that was it more or less for the intermediates, they had a short run out to the exit. The experts then we’re routed back up another sharp slippery climb to crest the bank again, with a sharp right and a drop off to run to the exit, which was designed to rob the unwary of marks. I think the overall impression was of a highly successful trial, according to comments that we received from a good selection of riders on the day, with good flowing sections, just difficult and technical enough to be challenging but totally rideable .

As always we cannot close an event report without thanking the club officials, volunteers, observers, land owners and catering team who allow us each month to keep our bike engines spinning and (in some cases) our feet on the pegs. Whilst we cannot promise a valentines theme next month, it would be great to see you on the 6th March at Plan Onn, Selattyn.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Elite: Chris Gascoigne, Francis Barnett (5); Jack Butterworth, Triumph Twin (6); Russ Jones, Francis Barnett (7)
Pre 65 50/50: Roly Jones, Dot (9); Harry Lyons, BSA Bantam (11); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (14)
Pre 65 Clubman: Jon Flower, BSA C15 (10); Terry Lloyd, Triumph Tiger Cub (16): Tim Godsmark, BSA (37)

Twinshock Elite: Danny Littlehales, Fantic (15); Martin Roberts, Yamaha (21); Oliver Foulke. Majesty (22)
Twinshock 50/50: Garry Shaw; Bultaco (16); Rob Jones, Honda (22); Ian Emery, Ossa (24)
Twinshock Clubman: John Sowden, Honda (14); Martin Johnson, Bultaco (15); Karl Kavanagh, Fantic (24)
Twinshock Beginner: Pete Thomas, Yamaha (67)

A/C Mono Elite: Phil Hulme, Yamaha (21)
A/C Mono 50/50: Alex Barrie, Honda (8); Gaz Thomas, Yamaha (17), Gordon Wilson, Honda (19)
A/C Mono Clubman: Neil Francis, Aprilla (17); Andy Steele, Yamaha (20); Steven Blaxall, Fantic (61)

Modern Mono Elite: Robert Wilde, Gas Gas (9); Owen Edwards, Montesa (10); R Beddoes, Beta (12)
Modern Mono 50/50: Philip Clarkson, Beta (11); Jim Droughton, Montesa (17); Alec Roberts, Gas Gas (20)
Modern Mono Clubman: Mark Bill, Honda (3); P Hempkins, Beta (8); Ken Williams, Montesa (20)
Modern Mono Beginner: Andrew Dean, Gas Gas (43); Jonathon Hayes, Gas Gas (54)

Class Breakdown:

Pre 65 – 24
Twinshock – 24
A/C Mono – 9
Modern Mono – 26

Elite – 23
50/50 – 27
Clubman – 28
Beginner – 5