The Figures Tell The Whole Story

The column two weeks ago was all about getting results from events. I was bemoaning the fact that with some clubs results seem to take a very poor second place to everything else.

As I said at the time, it’s a niggle that I’ve been wanting to air for ages, but have been reluctant to do so for fear of upsetting some folks. But I’ve been encouraged by the response the subject brought, so I now feel it was the right thing to do.

What really got me going at the time was that I had ridden a trial and had not noticed any envelopes available to address for results. Rather naively I assumed the results would be available on line at the club website, or at least on a neighbouring club’s website. But no! As I write this, the trial has been long gone, well over 10 days, and I’ve no idea what my results was. I had a c*** ride so best I don’t know, but that’s not the issue here.

Which brought up the subject of money, or at least I was going to bring up the financial implications but ran out of space, so let me cover that aspect of trials now.

First of all, I am referring to an ACU club/centre trial, in fact any event below national status. The figures I’m quoting are set in stone at the time of writing and unless indicated otherwise, apply throughout England and Wales.

Prior to the event the club has to purchase an Authorising Permit which costs £15. Insurance is obligatory and costs £2.60 for adult riders and £1.30 for youth riders, per rider. Payment into an ACU Contingency and Legal Expenses Fund is necessary and this is 50p per rider; the ACU Trials Subscription Fee (Levy) is £1.50 per rider.

Local Centres can also demand fees and these can vary, but using my own North West Centre as an example, they require 20p per rider for the Centre Fund and prior to this year, a similar amount for funding of the teams to take part in Inter Centre events.

So, the total per rider for insurance and levies is exactly £5.00. On top of this you have to add the cost of observer’s cards/punch cards, riding numbers, envelopes and postage stamp and a portion of the permit fee. The exact figure is impossible to calculate but is about 50-75p.

Anyway, let’s be generous and say that the minimum unavoidable expenses in running a trial are £6.00 per rider. This is a minimum figure and I’m the first to accept that there are other costs. Some clubs pay for land and this can vary enormously from £2 per head upwards to £10 per head. Others pay their officials to run the events. Equally, some clubs never pay for land and many officials do the task entirely voluntarily.

Now let me get to the point. I suppose the average club entry fee is between £12 and £16, at least that’s the figure in the north. Now it only takes 30 seconds with a calculator to work out how much profit there can be per trial. On the above calculations the profit for our theoretical trial is £675 and even if the cost per rider was as much as £10, with 75 riders and a £15 entry fee the profit would be £375.

I’m fully aware that making these figures clear will upset some persons, but what I’m getting at is that if a club is prepared to make this type of money (or more) per trial, then it’s only right in my mind, that the promotion of the event in all respects is up to scratch.

Sorry if putting all this up front offends, but it’s no secret, it’s all very clearly spelt out in ACU paperwork. Over to you gents!

Been chatting to Gary Bingley recently who is the Event Co-Ordinator for the World Trial at Carlisle on May 16/17. He is absolutely convinced that this two day event is going to be brilliant. Graham Jarvis and plant contractor Neil Wilson have spent many days crafting the sections and have taken into account every eventuality.

But it’s not just planning sections for dry/wet weather, they’ve shifted soil to create viewing platforms that Gary reckons will enable 3000 people to have uninterrupted viewing of the main showcase sections. As he says, following Hawkstone was always going to be a challenge, and with the recently announced Nevis Range events due over the next three years announced at a time when the Carlisle event is just about coming to fruition, taking some of the attention away from the 2009 rounds, now is the time to remember that a small, select bunch of folks have been hard at work to provide another brilliant British World Round in Cumbria.

Gary is convinced that the trial will be a magnificent success – they’ve even got a huge TV screen for spectators to see the action on, courtesy of the Eddie Stobart Group, and together with all the other sponsors that have come in he is delighted that everything has come together so well.

May 16/17 is the date, so make sure you are there for brilliant world round action near Carlisle in Cumbria.