It was a cold but sunny morning where 70 riders of all abilities waited in anticipation for the off to test their skills on the banks of this ancient forest venue where rocks, roots and more were waiting in undergrowth. Ten Experts were on parade with Stephen Douglas 300 Gas Gas over from the Milton Buzzard club taking the overall hard route and Expert class to win the premiere award 'The James Cup' losing 0 marks. This Trial also incorporating the Norton Trophy for the best performance on a Pre 65 machine riding the Yellow standard route with the event also holding Meteor group status.
Howe Wood Watlington was the venue where 3 laps of twelve sections were ridden with had steep climbs cambered roots and sweeping sandy banks. Conditions were dry throughout and it was always going to be a battle of nerves between the top riders in all classes.
First up to section one was Expert Sean McCullagh with Tom Mitson on the pen a drop over some loose rocks before a short sharp climb over roots with an equally steep descent, a clean here set the precedent for the day.
Best Youth A on the hard route was Bret Harbud on six
Best Intermediate went to Dean Devereux piloting the trusty TLM 260 around for eight marks lost on the 50/50 route.
Dean made short work of section two recording three cleans a steep drop then a climb over roots before a loose sandy climb up to the ends.
On the standard Yellow route best performance went to Stefan Walters on his immaculate Fantic 200 best Twinshock also went his way.
Stefan was inch perfect on section eight every visit starting with a right handed drop into a mulch of leaves a steep climb out then a flop around an aging sycamore before climbing a bank to the holly bush exit.
Best Pre 65 and Norton Trophy went to Jason North with a sprinkling of dabs totting up to five.
Jason's Tigercub coping with the various terrain with no problem.
In the Clubman class Nene Valley raider Simon Levett just edged out Pre race favourite Adrian Steele on most cleans both losing ten marks.
The loose clay turns of Jim Axfords posed problems for most during the proceedings but Simon with pinpoint accuracy was on song today with three great cleans.
Tim Blackmore BSA Bantam 185 parted with 19 marks but still made best Two Stroke in the British bike class although engine gremlins played a big part in two of Tim's failures.
Another great ride was that of Kevin Bint 350 Triumph this was a heavy old lump to handle around this technical but open course, Kevin was rewarded with runner-up in the Unit class also in the British Bike.
Ex Scrambler Brian Tomkins TRS 250 pressed on for the win in the Novice class. Brian was spot-on at section six a series of wall of death climbs and turns finishing over a lattice of roots.
On the White easy course Norton mounted Steve Jones roared around to the delight of the crowd cleaning every section at some stage five was his tally after an enjoyable day
Mick Clarkson Bantam 186cc lost 23 taking best Two Stroke with Roy Haines 250 Ariel Leader Twin on 28 in third spot.
Many thanks to all involved for a very enjoyable day.
Report Ken O'Brien
Premiere and James Cup Stephen Douglas 300 Gasser 0
Expert Sean McCullagh 300 TRS 1 f/c
Tom McCabe 300 Gasser 1
Jeremy Callow 260 Mont 1
Graham Haslam 125 Beta 2
Matt LeFerve 250 Gasser 3
Youth A Bret Harbud 125 Beta 6
Intermediate Dean Devereux TLM 260 8
Jason Clifford 250 Beta 14
Rowan Hill 260 Mont 28
Yellow middle route
Best overall and Twinshock Stefan Walters 200 Fantic 2
Clubman Simon Levett TRS 280 10 mc
Adrian Steele 250 Beta 10
Alan Taylor TY250 14
Novice Brian Tomkins TRS 250 32
British unit Jason North Tigercub 5
Kevin Bint Triumph 3TA 37
White eased course
Overall and Unit British Steve Jones 500 Norton 5
Two Stroke Mick Clarkson Bantam 23
Roy Haines Ariel Leader 28
Unit Class British Chris Pickup Tigercub 51
John Eckhart 500 Triumph 63
Novice Ian Homer 250 Beta 33
Twinshock Dave Barron 200 Honda 36
Steve 'Rambo' McHugh 200 Honda 41