The 2018 Winter Series Trials Championships began on Sunday 7th January at Sweetwater Brook, Calbourne, courtesy of Mr Trevor Strickland. The Club would like Trevor for welcoming us back to this superb venue for the season opener. Special thanks also to the owners of Calbourne Mill for the kind use of their car parking facilities along with Mark Coombes and Calvin Wright for setting eight excellent sections, Viki Taylor for her great camera skills, the Observers and to all those that helped clear up afterwards.
The weather conditions were perfect, a bright clear day with wall to wall sunshine providing the riders with an excellent start to the Championship. The Club would like to welcome new member Robert Baker - we hope he enjoyed the Sweetwater course and look forward to seeing him at future trials. Two Expert riders this afternoon, James Stay and Jos Wright. It was James who kicked off his 2018 campaign with maximum points following an impressive performance. Jos has just moved up from the Youth classes into the Adult section and held his own with a confident effort finishing on a total of forty-four.
The very well contested Intermediate class provided the closest battle of the day. Andy Steele fought hard to complete the trial for a loss of twenty-one to take the win. Alan Gosden finished just one more mark behind in an excellent second place with Steve Groves in third. Malcolm Hawkins and Shaun Harris’s scores were tied on forty-three – these two were separated with Malcolm notching up just one more clean. Simon Newnham was taking part in the Sportsman class (on the B route) and finished with a very impressive total of just seven dropped marks.
Ben Brodie and Phil Chase have both moved up into the Clubman class for the opener, from the Novices. Ben definitely had the upper hand on the day with a clear win from Phil, sections two and seven proved to be the deciders – very good effort by both of these improving riders.
The Novice class was won by another improving rider, Dan Flux. Dan finished on a total of only six, Paul Kent was on target to take the win until he received a maximum five point penalty on the penultimate section on his last lap, which more than doubled his total – handing Dan the win. Excellent riding though by both riders. Steve Chase took a solid third place, not too many more behind.
Nick Symes (Twin Shock) started his season with a perfect ride, despite the rather muddy and slippery conditions. Nick managed to maintain the level of concentration and determination over the four laps of eight sections to finish with a clean sheet – superb riding. With that in mind young Alfie Haydon (Youth Novice) was riding the exact same course as Nick, Alfie was absolutely on fire today and produced what was arguably the best performance of the day - dropping only two marks! Brilliant result for this very determined young man – very well done Alfie.
The Adult Beginner’s class attracted five competitors which resulted in a win for Joe Taylor. Mike Attrill was not far behind, just seven marks between the two. Relative newcomer Finlay Lockhart was certainly another rider on form and secured a solid third place and five Championship points to kick start his 2018 season. Harvey Grieve was the sole rider in the Youth Expert class but despite the lack of opposition he completed the day with a very competitive total – good effort Harvey.
The Club next meet for the Mercury Cup trial on Sunday 21st January, starting at 12 noon, signing on from 11 am. The full details will be available from the Club website nearer the time. The full details of the Annual Awards Dinner and Dance night (Saturday 24th February) will also be made available there very soon.