With a bumper entry of over one hundred and thirty riders for this year’s Hipwell Hartle trial, the enthusiastic Hipwell brothers Andy and Kev, along with a number of willing helpers laid on another cracking twenty section, two lap event around the Peak District area of Peak Forest.
With inclement weather forecast for mid-day, the first of the riders set off at ten o'clock hoping to get most of the first lap out of the way before it turned wet. As usual the first few groups were intended to get the riders on their way but the third section proved slightly longer to ride than expected but it didn’t cause too many problems, however eventual Novice class and this year’s Les Hipwell Memorial Trophy winner Phil Hulme did cast away one of his only four marks here on his first visit.
The second group saw the first test for the 50/50 class riders with section six observed by Man 17 President himself Ken Roberts, claiming a costly five from Liam Robinson on his second lap which dropped him down to second place from eventual winner Robert Taylor who only cast away three of his overall five marks on this section. Over 40+ winner Chris Brightmore escaped with just a mere 2 marks on this difficult hazard.
None of the Expert riders managed to clean the tricky flick up out of the steam of section nine by the main A6 on both laps, under the careful eye of observer Paul ( Monty ) Mountford, it did its job of extracting the odd one from the cream of the field. After the short road blast it was onto the biggest group of ten sections known locally as Bettfield, just below one of the highest hills in the Peak District known as Mam Tor.
Some of the early riders found the slippy streams and waterfalls of the last group not to their liking but after a few riders had gone up they were soon being rode with confidence and some good cleans were achieved on some of the trickier sections by even the less confident of rider. In fact it wasn't until section eighteen that the eventual clubman route winner Ian Margetts had his first of just two dabs, this low score of two marks was matched only by another over forty rider Mark Timperly and closely followed by Rob Bowyer on his Triumph and Bretton King both on 3 marks each.
The premier award of the John Hartle Memorial Trophy this year went to GasGas Team rider Richard Timperley, who only just pipped fellow GasGas team rider Chris Alford. These two riders rode together all day and could only be separated at the end by the furthest clean rule, which just proved what a close event it turned out to be. The organisers would just like to thank the hardy observers who stood out all day in the rain for the riders to enjoy their day.