Report Ken O'Brien
Cox's farm Beckley was the venue for Oxford Ixion's New Years Eve Trial where a fine gathering of riders quietly waited in anticipation for the start of the first round of the 2024 club championship.
Much rain on the preceding weeks meant for a shortened course as waterlogged areas of the farm were swamped out.
Four laps of seven sections were ridden with a variety of roots gullies cambers and a few big hill climbs.
The sun was low in the sky and the temperature never rose much above zero and to these elements add four laps of seven sections with slick cambers and turns the scene was set for a good days sport.
In the Expert Class John Cowley Vertigo made short work of the opposition losing 15 marks with section six proving the tough one for all classes.
Much inspecting was taking part here as there was little or no room for the wrong choice of line it started with a simple short climb then a slick left handed drop before the hard bit.
A right handed camber and steep climb to the fence line maybe thirty yards up with a greasy drop then do it all agen albeit a straight climb and rooted camber to the ends.
Tom Plant 250 Beta over from the North Berks club took runner-up spot on 20 marks lost pushing Chris Wickham 300 Beta into third spot by a single dab.
George Clark Youth A put a more than creditable ride in on the massively under-powered 125 Beta for the conditions out there losing 41.
50/50 riders new they had to be on-it today as the the opposition was fierce with only 4 marks separating the first five home.
Local Fireman Jason Clifford 250 Nitro hosed it up with a good win on 32 with Ian Watts 300 Nitro a couple adrift in second spot.
A five early-on at section five put paid to any hope of the win for Ian this sub was a steering exercise of the utmost accuracy up through the winding slick woody track with a hop over a fallen tree for good measure.
In the yellow route Clubman class Ryan Ewers wasn't hanging about as the rain was coming and burned around for a miserly loss of 11 marks.
Two superb cleans at section seven ' The Verandah ' a sixty yard double banked climb then a fourth gear camber done the damage taking him to a class win.
Local Moto X aces the Eadle Twins both Gas Gas mounted their scores were almost identical Jake running out the winner on this occasion losing 18 with brother Bruce on 20 marks but traveling companion Kieran Costar Beta 250 slit the pair on 19.
All three riders cleaning section one with ease a seventy yard steep fourth gear climb requiring the same distance to gather speed before the start gates.
Nicholas Thomas TRS 300 took the Novice class and maximum championship points with good rides at section three a slippy drop from the field then a series of loamy turns and a blast out over rough terrain.
The white eased Sportsman route best performance went to Gordon Pusey 290 Beta relishing the conditions he has mastered for over sixty odd years 7 was his tally cleaning all sections a minimum three times.
John Hawthorne Triumph Tiger Cub put a fine performance in on 10 marks lost with good rides at section two a mediocre looking affair with a really deep turn then a short sharp climb and hang on to the ends.
John was eager to see the last section out as machine gremlins were about for the whole of his last but he managed to nurse it around for the Pre 65 win.
Mark Davidson 200 Fantic was also having a good day taking the Twinshock Class in style and the little Fantic could be heard echoing through the woods from afar on full-chat to the delight of the gathered crowds.
The weather was horrendous so many thanks to all who finished and for the observers for standing out in it to the bitter end.
Expert John Cowley Vertigo 15
Tom Plant Beta 20
Chris Wickham Beta 21
Jon Lee Vertigo 27
James Carter TRS 28
Jake Young Beta 29
Youth A George Clark Beta 125 41
Jason Clifford Vertigo 32
Ian Watts Vertigo 34
Paul Hadingham Beta 35
Andrew Earnshaw TRS 36 m/c
Sam Cave TRS 36
Yellow Middle Route
Clubman Ryan Ewers Beta 11
Jake Eadle Gasser 18
Kieran Costar Beta 19
Bruce Eadle Gasser 20
Ian Worral TRS 21
White Sportsman Route
Sportsman Gordon Pusey Beta 7
Adam Wight Gasser 13
Brian Taylor Beta 16
Pre 65 John Hawthorne Triumph Cub 10
Robert Bremner Triumph Twin 18
Keith Baty Bantam 28