Manchester 17 MCC Boxing Day ‘Madness’ Trial

manchester17Manchester 17’s Boxing Day ‘Madness’ Trial almost ended up a Brightmore family testimonial as both the younger Brightmores, Mitch and Ash fought for best performance on the hard route while Dad, Chris just missed out on the furthest clean tie break on just a single dab on the clubman route to Kia champ Chris Garlick.

It was older brother, Mitch’s day though as his 2 single prod ride was enough to beat youth class younger brother Ash who’s 3 and 2 singles easily took second from other high quality youth B class local rider Tom Shepherd on 14. Manchester 17’s own trials sec Mike Roberts took a distant third on 25 for the 10 section 4 lap event.

Watty’s quarry overlooking Manchester and the Cheshire plain gave a good mix of big gripy grit stone rocks and boulders with steep rough grass bankings and gritty sticky somehow gripy mud to entertain the entry of 50 odd hardy types looking for a proper Boxing Day sporting occasion. The 10 sections were condensed into a short ½ mile lap below the quarry face to offer at least some shelter to the hardy observers and with the promise of heavy rain everyone got on with things at a decent pace even though the rain never materialised.

The clubmen route was as usual the heaviest supported with 25 riders of all classes taking on the yellow markers and with fine singe dab rides from Chris Garlick and Chris Brightmore it was Liam Robinson who brought his elderly Greeves into third on just a single maximum on rocky section 9 followed by Manchester 17 stalwart Marty Hill who, like Robinson, only lost marks in front of Stu Johnston on a maximum and 2 singles. Mark Reynolds will be disappointed that a missing score on the easy’ish last section dropped him down the order in what is usually one of his best events of the year ending up on 9. Section marker and local farmer Ade Bellis brought his 4 stroke Beta out for it’s once a year outing to end the day on a respectable total of 10.

The easy route gave a chance for some of the clubs regular observers to have a ride as well as bringing out regular riders on some less regular machinery. Neil Trevor was best on the white flags on just a couple of singles while Bert White left the sidecar at home and gave his sole BlueTaco an outing to end up second on 3. John Wilson aired his little 175 Yamaha instead of his more weighty 250 to take 3rd on 6 which included a stall in front of Harvey Lloyd on section 7. Paul Mountford took his increasingly competitive Honda to 5th just a prod behind Bultaco mounted Carl Baker. Richard Moyes who rode to the trial from his home just a couple of hundred yards away got the drop on his mate John Bradshaw 10 to 11 in their once a year festive season ride.

Once again this small venue close to the Manchester suburb of Marple Bridge brought out many locals to spectate including Dave Watson who’s off this week to navigate in Graham Knights buggy at the Dakar in Saudi Arabia of all places. Former mud specialist Joe Hayes turded up with his daughters and took a observer board. Winsford’s Atkinson family brought Grandad along to renew old acquaintances as well as to make some new ones. Rights of way specialist Hugh Cleary visited as did a few other trail riders to take advantage of the hot food trailer and free mine pies provided by the club and butty van John.

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Report: Ken Roberts