Oxford Ixion Harold Avery Cup 03.03.24


Report Ken O'Brien

A clear but cold sunny morning greeted a classy entry of 50 plus riders for the 75th running of the prestigious Open to Centre event the ' Harold Avery Cup ' where in the past such great riders as John Avery Sammy Miller Don Smith Brian Devereux Bill Faulkner Pat Lamper Chris Koch and John Reynolds have all been triumphant.

 The event was staged at Howe Wood Watlington Oxon where ten sections were plotted and ridden four times on the chalky Flinted hills of the Chiltern range.

 Two cups were up for grabs today the Harold Avery best Expert and the Phillip Howkins memorial cup for the best adult performance on the middle route.

 Vinnie Branch was using maximum power on the Gasser 300 as there were many steep rooted banks to tackle on the way to victory in the Expert class taking the premiere award 'The Harold Avery Cup 'with a loss of 13.

 A pair of prods on section two first attempt was not a great start for Vinnie but it was a pretty severe a tight drop over roots with an equally steep climb before lining up for the big rooty outcrop maybe 30 feet or so of continuous bank from a gripless leafy base.

 Youth B Max Golla persuaded the 125 Gasser around for a miserly 5 marks lost on the hard route.

 Section six was proving the bugbear for most a Nadgery twisting uphill moss covered rocky affair then a fairly lenient drop but with a low growing bough to hop over Max taking a steadying dab on his second lap but otherwise clean.

 A class entry of 50/50 contesting the hazards today some dropping in class whilst others are rising through ranks.

 Ian Watts took the class win with an impressive loss of 7 also Gasser mounted going clean at section four.

 A long value for money section starting with a 30 foot rooted climb then a Twitcher of a drop over a blind summit before an angled log crossing with a cambered chalky climb and this is where the necessary throttle and clutch control was required to negotiate the tight turn to the ends.

 On the middle Clubman route Jake Eadle took the Phillip Howkins Cup with a great ride on 7 although Southern Centre Raider Dave Barrett was hot on his heels losing 13.

 Both lost marks at section eight a slick Claggy bank with a looping turn over clay and flints before a fast deteriorating rocky camber and drop to the bomb-hole which had appeared recently a lightning strike taking a mighty Oak down.

 Jack Cox-Wooten was best Youth A on the middle route with some quality rides at section nine a snarly tangle of roots with steep off-set cambers and a blind drop to the ends.

 Alfie Chessman Beta 125 and Charlie Crabtree 125 Sherco were neck and neck all day with Alfie returning a winning card by a single dab 59 to 60.

 Section ten was cleaned every visit by both starting with a short sharp climb then a drop and turn up over a lattice of roots then a drop that many sumped-out on if too steady a descent was taken.

 The White eased-up sportsman route is always popular and this was case today including Pre 65 Twinshocks Youth and more.

 The best performance went to Robert Bremner piloting the Triumph 3TA around for a loss of 2 with Neil Osman on 16 the big Royal Enfield could be heard echoing through the woods from afar.

 Chris Duxbury lost 10 in the sportsman class to top the bill but was only seen and not heard as he took most sections with ease.

 Paul Toplis was best Twinshock on the emerging classic 310 CCM he bought brand new back in the very early 80's 12 was his tally.

 Tommy Goodwin 125 Evo lost 12 in the Youth B whilst young Freddie Warner was the Youth C victor on 11 marks lost.

 Many thanks to al who helped on the day and our next Trial is March 29th Good Friday up the farm at Beckley.