Once More, Reeth Was Terrific

Following last week’s column about a possible tax threat to January’s Sheffield Indoor Trial, I half expected a phone call, and sure enough I had a phone call midweek from Neil Crosswaite of Avondale Management, promoters of the Sheffield Arena trial.

Neil had been on the phone to the specialist department of HM Revenue that deals with such promotions and with whom he has a good relationship, and they assured him that the story as reported in the Daily Telegraph wouldn’t affect the foreign riders that are likely to take part in the trial.

Whilst there seems to be some truth in the Telegraph story (as you would expect), like all tax claims, there is a personal allowance before tax liabilities take effect, and by all accounts, the likes of Bou, Raga etc come nowhere near being liable for any potential UK tax claim.

So as Neil says, as far as he understands it, there should be no problem.

Congratulations must go to Tony Bou on winning another World Championship which he nailed for certain in Italy at the weekend, and despite the occasional threat from his nearest rivals, it’s been pretty clear all year that there was only ever going to be one Champion. Just as it was in the days of Jordi Tarres and Dougie Lampkin, Bou is at the very peak of his abilities and following my personal belief that seven titles is about the maximum number any one rider can stay at the top for, it looks as if we could be in for at least another three years of Bou domination before another comes along to deprive Bou of the titles he currently seems to be making his own. Or I may be wrong

For many UK riders this weekend has been all about the Reeth Three Day Trial, an event that has been in the three day format since 2003. On a personal note, it’s the seventh Reeth Three Day I have ridden, and undoubtedly the best. As the years have passed, the trial has become progressively more difficult (or so it has seemed), but this year there has obviously been a significant policy change to ease the sections, especially for the clubman riders, and judging by the comments from virtually every rider to whom I spoke, the trial was so much better for being a touch less aggressive.

Easing he sections significantly, combined with mild and fine weather produced a three day that was undoubtedly superb value for money and in every respect the Richmond Club crew that organise the trial are to be warmly congratulated for such a tremendous trial. Quite simply there was absolutely nothing to question, it was as good as any trial can be and the level of organisation was fantastic.

Being an organiser in a small way of events myself, I know that the secret is to have a crew who all do their bit with efficiency. Don’t interfere with one another, just do your bit and let the trial come together. Sounds easy, and it is when you are doing four laps of ten sections round two fields, but over three days, 111 sections and three totally separate courses, each well over 30 miles in length doesn’t bear thinking about, so to get it totally spot on is a credit to all concerned – once again.

I had a bit of a chuckle late on Sunday night when I read Andy’s piece about the attitude of the Ossa concern at the Italian round at the weekend, and whilst I like to hope I’m totally wrong, I have asked myself a number of times if the Ossa project would ever get off the ground. Nigel Birkett, with whom I have a very good relationship, has always been 100% positive about the Ossa business, but I can only say that making one bike is a long way from making several hundred, what with all the different variables that have to come together – development, promotion, parts availability, assembly etc, etc, etc, not forgetting of course the investment required to get to the production stage and the marketing of a new product in a very select business where the already available products are second to none.

Time will tell