2012 Scottish Six Days Trial

SSDT12-1904BNewcomers of all ages are looking forward to making their debut in the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) that will take place in and around Fort William from 7th to 12th May. Amongst them will be father and son, Patrick (46) and Gareth (18) Palmer from Aberfeldy, Perthshire, a mere 90-minute drive away from the event's base in the Scottish Highlands.

As well as sharing a passion for motorcycle Trials, Gareth and Patrick work together in the family's holiday lodge business, and with only a few short weeks to go have been spending most of their spare time training together for the 2012 SSDT.

For Gareth, taking part in this year's SSDT is part of his coming of age celebrations. The teenager passed his bike test in January and his entry to 'The Scottish' was an 18th birthday present from his family.

"I first got into trials in five years ago when I was 13, but it wasn't until two years after that I started to take it seriously and compete in local events. I watched the Scottish Six Days Trial for the first time back in 2008. From then I've been to watch every year and I've always fancied having a go at it myself," says Gareth.

Gareth, his father Patrick and his sister Bronwyn (16) are regulars on the Scottish trials circuit, having competed in a number of national and club trials. The famous Scottish Six Days Trial will be by far the largest event of Gareth and Patrick's riding careers to date and Bronwyn also hopes to compete in the famous competition in the future.

"It's such a big thing for us," Gareth continues. "It's a great event for everyone involved, but I think if you are from Scotland it feels that bit more special. I'm really looking forward it and it will be fantastic to be able to say afterwards that I have ridden in the same event as my favourite riders such as Dougie Lampkin."

Father and son train together, but will ultimately compete against each other at the SSDT. It will not be the first time this father and son duo have been rivals as Gareth and Patrick have competed in a number of the same events since Gareth moved up from youth class two years ago.

SSDT12-1904CThe pair are potential contenders for two of the special awards in this year's SSDT. Firstly, the Davie Hogg Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the best Scottish newcomer and secondly, the Ian Pollock Memorial Trophy, which is similarly awarded to the best newcomer overall and is open to riders of all nationalities.

Commenting on his hopes for his debut performance, Gareth concludes: "As this is my first time, it's hard to say how I'll do. My main focus will be on having fun and as long as I finish, I will be happy. Anything else that happens will be a bonus. It would be fantastic to win the best Scottish newcomer award."

The SSDT is organised by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club. EventScotland is continuing to support the event this year as part of its national funding programme. The SSDT is free for spectators to watch on all days - for a full nine-day motorcycle entertainment and music schedule please visit www.ssdt.org.

The official event programme, containing routes and spectating opportunities along with a range of interesting articles and additional information, will be available to purchase in and around Fort William from mid-April. It will also be available to buy online and further details can be found on the website.