Na­tional Scene

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Ar­ti­cle: Mike Naish

The South West Clas­sic Tri­als As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual Dart­moor Two-Day Clas­sic Trial at­tracted an en­try of 125 riders, their max­i­mum limit, in the warm Septem­ber South Devon sun­shine. From the Isle of Wight to York­shire and Kent to Corn­wall they came to sam­ple the cream of Devon’s Clas­sic week­ends.

The Pre-65 and twin-shock en­trants faced three laps of twelve sec­tions on the first day of the two venues, through the mainly rocky streams and rock-strewn boul­ders in the wooded copses be­low the fa­mous ‘Hound Tor’ at Wide­combe-in-the-Moor on the higher reaches of Dart­moor, and two laps of sec­tions on day two at ‘The Grove’ a few miles away un­der the shadow of the equally fa­mous Ruby Rocks sec­tions on the lower slopes of the moor. Run as a joint ven­ture be­tween the South West Clas­sic As­so­ci­a­tion and the West of Eng­land Club this was the 28th run­ning of the event.

Three’s Com­pany

Three riders shared the hon­ours on day one in the Star route. Rid­ing the two-stroke route on his 250 Dot was Scott Dom­mett up from Corn­wall, who cleaned the day los­ing no marks. Rid­ing the twin-shock route was Mick Thomp­son on his 320 Majesty from North Devon on one mark, fol­lowed closely by Martin Gil­bert who also took his Fan­tic round for one mark. Colin Mote was the best of the big sin­gles, pi­lot­ing his 500 Ariel around for twenty marks just ‘prod­ding’ here and there amongst the rock­ery. Ti­tle con­tender Thorne Beck­ley Pett aboard his 200 Tri­umph Cub was lead­ing the Unit class from Tim Wooldridge, on seven marks.

On the Past Mas­ters course rid­ing a slightly eas­ier route Keith Wells, who lives in Aus­tria th­ese days, rid­ing a BSA Ban­tam in the twostroke class was the only clean sheet; he was slightly ahead of lo­cal farmer Ge­orge Atkins on four marks, whilst John Jacka plonked the big AJS over the boul­ders and rocks for seven marks from John Man­tle’s AJS on eight.

There was a large twin-shock class on the eas­ier route and Stu­art Keed­well lost just three marks on sec­tion ten, a twist­ing turn in a muddy stream, to head up the class into day two.

There were four ladies rid­ing, in­clud­ing ‘Twin-shock Shops’ John McDon­ald’s daugh­ter Zoe who was hav­ing only her sec­ond ride this year be­cause she was con­cen­trat­ing on her teacher train­ing course at uni..Best of the ladies was Mia Wick­ett from Bude out on a twin-shock this year, re­plac­ing the Tiger Cub and up­hold­ing the fam­ily hon­our for her fa­ther Phil, who was rest­ing af­ter a kid­ney stone re­moval.

The rider who got the most at­ten­tion was Peter Gaunt, out on a Honda 100 twin-shock spe­cial in the Past Mas­ters class that bur­bled away to fin­ish the day on eight marks to head up that class. Peter has only just re­turned to tri­als af­ter an eigh­teen-month lay­off due to ill health but he made a spe­cial ef­fort to get down to the South West to one of his favourite tri­als.

At the close of day one many riders ei­ther gath­ered around the ‘bar­bies’ whilst camp­ing at the start or en­joyed a lo­cal pub meal with the or­gan­is­ers while discussing the day’s events.

The Grove

Day two in the warm sun and the riders faced a dif­fer­ent set of sec­tions based a few miles away at the all-nat­u­ral sec­tions named The Grove, which mainly fol­lowed the streams fall­ing down off the moor. Some heav­ier scores were seen as riders faced slightly big­ger rocks and it was nec­es­sary to hold the line through and over them in or­der to ac­com­plish a clean. Some new sec­tions had been cut out in the streams and some were very slip­pery through non-use. The Star riders were hav­ing bat­tles royal, and the tus­sle be­tween Martin Gil­bert and Mick Thomp­son was re­solved when Martin lost two on the slip­pery en­trance to sec­tion eigh­teen and cast a few more dabs to fin­ish on six to Mick’s sin­gle dab on the same sec­tion. There were only two riders in the Unit class, held on the Star route, and Thorne B Pett showed his class by fin­ish­ing the week­end on just eleven to Tim Wooldridge’s forty-three marks lost.

The Gen­tle­folk classes were hav­ing their own pri­vate bat­tles and in the Pre-Unit and Twin Cylin­der class John Man­tle 500 AJS kept his cool and turned the ta­bles on ex-sub­mariner John Jacka on his 410 Match­less by one mark, so that they both fin­ished on eleven marks over­all. The AJS rider Man­tle got the ver­dict by virtue of the Spe­cial Test re­sults. Neil Os­man was third, on nine­teen marks on the Ariel.

In the Unit class John Roberts from Bris­tol came out tops by quite a mar­gin from David Gol­licker from Weston-s-mare who had found some re­cent good form.

In the two-stroke class Corn­wall’s Chris An­stee on his 175 BSA, who lost six on day one, fol­lowed it up with four dabs on day two to take the class from John Chap­man. John, who al­ways makes the long jour­ney over from Great Yar­mouth, had been in con­tention but lost three marks on sec­tion eigh­teen to fin­ish run­ner-up with Nigel Smith, an­other five marks be­hind. Many lost marks on sec­tion eigh­teen, which was one of the few muddy sec­tions af­ter the mainly boul­der-strewn streams that abound at the venue, but those with mud in their veins took it all in their stride to record cleans.

It was ap­par­ent at the fin­ish that com­plete en­joy­ment had been ex­pe­ri­enced by all, judg­ing from the com­ments and the re­luc­tance to let go of a thor­oughly bril­liant and en­joy­able week­end of sport. To top it off the riders and or­gan­is­ers helped to raise £345 to be split be­tween the ACU Benev­o­lent fund and Hospice care.

Mick Thomp­son

Keith Wells

Mia Wick­ett

Scott Dom­mett

John Man­tle

Thorne B Pett

John Jacka

Peter Gaunt

Neil Lang­wor­thy

John Roberts

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