Costa Brava Two Day

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS -

It’s hard to de­scribe the fun fac­tor of this now well es­tab­lished two­day trial on the Costa Brava in Spain. I can only speak from what I find, and see, and this year that was three hun­dred and sixty rid­ers hav­ing the time of their lives. With last year’s re­port by this magazine on the event in S’Agaro at Platja de Sant Pol, Sant Feliu be­ing very well re­ceived word soon got around that this was the place to be in late Novem­ber 2017. The rid­ers and sup­port­ers who at­tended this event were also priv­i­leged to have, from the Trial World Cham­pi­onship, Ja­pan’s Takahisa Fu­ji­nami and Mat­teo Grat­tarola from Italy. Throw in such past mas­ters as Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen, Charles Coutard, Jamie Su­bira, Steve Saun­ders and John Lampkin to name but a few and you can soon get the pic­ture of the ‘Fun in the Sun’ that fol­lowed.

To say that the or­gan­is­ing club makes you wel­come is a mas­sive un­der­state­ment. They want you to ride and will make it as easy as pos­si­ble for you to both com­pete and travel to the event, as a healthy en­try of 360 rid­ers, with a very strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Great Bri­tain, found out this year. The trial is based in the Ho­tel S’Agaró just a stone’s throw from the beach, and most im­por­tantly it is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from Barcelona air­port which is around ninety min­utes away.

So You Want to Ride

Af­ter our first visit in 2016, we spoke with the su­per en­thu­si­as­tic Joan Co­mas and his fam­ily early in 2017 to con­firm the dates so we could ar­range a re­turn. I then had a con­ver­sa­tion with him in May, and he in­formed me that it was all com­ing to­gether very nicely for the Novem­ber dates of 18th and 19th. Over the com­ing months, he ex­plained that the club and its hard-work­ing mem­bers at Moto Club 2d Trial Costa Brava were putting the 2017 event in place step by step. The en­tries were made avail­able on the 1st Septem­ber on­line: www.tri­al­costabrava.com, and in five days the en­try was full!

The next ques­tion we had from many rid­ers was ‘which is the eas­i­est way to at­tend the event?’ Once you have had your en­try con­firmed you could also book your ho­tel, with con­tact de­tails once again on the club’s web­site. There are two main ho­tels: the one that is the tri­als head­quar­ters and con­tains the pad­dock and the race of­fice is lo­cated at the Ho­tel S’Agaró, Platja de Sant Pol, Sant Feliu: www.ho­tel­sagaro. com. Reser­va­tions: 0034 972 325 200 Mail: info@ho­tel­sagaro.com; or just around the cor­ner, is the Ho­tel Bar­carola lo­cated 200 me­ters from the pad­dock: www.hotel­bar­carola.es Tel: 0034 972 32 69 32. We have stayed in the Ho­tel S’Agaró and also vis­ited the Bar­carola, and they are both very good to eat and sleep in. Both are ide­ally lo­cated and very ac­com­mo­dat­ing for the rid­ers and their fam­i­lies.

Ma­chine trans­porta­tion from Great Bri­tain can be made very easy by con­tact­ing Clas­sic Trial Magazine by email for the de­tails of the car­ri­ers and the price for each ma­chine next year. Email eng­land@trial­mag.com, and we will pass on your en­quiry. Many rid­ers used this ser­vice in 2016 and 2017 and had spo­ken very highly of it.

The At­trac­tion

The event is lo­cated at the far end of the long sandy bay at S’Agaro, with the Sant Feliu just over the next hill. On our trip from Barcelona this year we took the costal road from Tossa De Mar to take in the stun­ning sur­round­ings. This year the at­trac­tion of the trial was made more than en­joy­able due to the ex­cel­lent sun­shine and the warm weather that ac­com­pa­nied it. As with any ma­jor event, the event started the day be­fore; in this case, Fri­day is where you can sign on and get your ma­chine scru­ti­neered. Typ­i­cal of any Span­ish event this is a much laid back af­fair with not too much has­sle in­volved.

The ma­chines are left overnight in a se­cure, pa­trolled com­pound, with se­cu­rity per­son­ally on hand dur­ing the days of the trial. The ac­tion starts nice and early on both days at 8.30am and the rid­ers move to the start ramp at their ap­pointed times. This is usu­ally quite chaotic, but it all even­tu­ally goes to plan! You are then let loose to fol­low the well-marked out course of ap­prox­i­mately six hours of rid­ing, which takes in some breath­tak­ing scenery in the sur­round­ing hills and moun­tains that are found in abun­dance in this area.

A lunch check is sit­u­ated at around half dis­tance, where food and drink are avail­able, and the club takes your fuel cans that you have to pro­vide your­self. They ask for your fuel cans to be taken full to the start on both days, very sim­i­lar to any ma­jor event, with your rid­ing num­ber dis­played. The trial fin­ishes in the small mar­ket town of Sant Feliu with food and drinks pro­vided free of charge to the rid­ers.

Three Routes

There is a choice of three routes, which caters for all lev­els of abil­i­ties for both the male and fe­male rider. The blue route is the hard­est of the three. De­spite the fact that the event at­tracted some world-class rid­ers from the present and the past it was still very ride­able. The 2014 Pre-65 SSDT win­ner Rob Bowyer rode this route on his Tri­umph and would agree that it was hard work but com­mented that every sec­tion was ride­able, and he most cer­tainly en­joyed him­self with some ex­cel­lent sup­port from his fel­low com­peti­tors. When you con­sider he was against the likes of the Honda TLR and many good two-stroke mod­els this was no mean feat in­deed.

The green route is very good, and I would rec­om­mend this for the ma­jor­ity of the good Cen­tre stan­dard of rider. If – and it is a big IF – I was to com­pete in the event I would choose this route. One rea­son would be so that I could com­pete against so many of my good friends I have made along the ad­ven­ture of the magazine’s pro­duc­tion, and I also thought the level of dif­fi­culty in the haz­ards was very good.

The yel­low route is sim­ply su­perb. If you want to en­cap­su­late the at­mos­phere of a for­eign com­pe­ti­tion and en­joy rid­ing your tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle, then this is the one. With the largest en­try, this class is an ab­so­lute ‘blast’. Jan­ice Proc­tor, who oc­ca­sion­ally test-rides for Trial Magazine ti­tles, rode this route on her 175cc Majesty. She ex­plained that the haz­ards were all en­joy­able to ride, with the tracks hard in places but with noth­ing too dif­fi­cult for the av­er­age rider. The class has the most en­tries, with over 200 this year to prove just how pop­u­lar it is.

Fan­tas­tic Fun

As it turned out this year’s event was played out in the bril­liant au­tumn sun­shine. To have two of the world’s cur­rent top ten rid­ers, Fu­ji­gas and Ital­ian Mat­teo Grat­tarola, in the event and to see them en­joy­ing them­selves so much was a priv­i­lege to watch. The nee­dle match be­tween good friends Steve Saun­ders and John Lampkin, aided and en­cour­aged by Glen Sc­ho­ley, was a sign of two top rid­ers with the ut­most re­spect for one an­other but still pre­pared to put en­joy­ment first.

Ex-Bultaco team rid­ers Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen from Fin­land and Charles Coutard from France were a plea­sure to watch. With so many prob­lems in the cur­rent world, we live the ca­ma­raderie shown by all the rid­ers, fam­i­lies, friends and spec­ta­tors was a priv­i­lege to be amongst.

Headed by Joan Co­mas, the Moto Club 2d Trial Costa Brava should quite rightly very proud of this event. Clas­sic Trial Magazine would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank them all for so much fan­tas­tic ‘fun in the sun’. See you all next year. Thank you.

It’s a proud Joan Co­mas with his son Nil on the right. Joan ac­knowl­edges the fact that the trial could not run with­out the sup­port of the other club mem­bers at the Moto Club 2d Trial Costa Brava and his fam­ily.

Dan Clarke (Tri­umph): The run­ner-up in 2016 and again in 2017, his ‘Trick’ Tiger Cub shows what can be achieved on a Pre-65 ma­chine.

Takahisa Fu­ji­nami

(Honda): The one and only orig­i­nal ‘Play­boy’ of the world tri­als scene from Ja­pan had this four-stroke Honda on loan. The fun fac­tor dis­played by ‘Fu­ji­gas’ en­cap­su­lates what the whole event is about: Fun. Med­eric De­lan­noy (Fan­tic): Very ac­tive and pop­u­lar on the world tri­als scene, Med­eric is a huge clas­sic tri­als fan. He is the min­der for the Sherco fac­tory rider Alexan­dre Fer­rer.

John Lampkin

(Fan­tic): The nee­dle match be­tween John and Steve Saun­ders was all taken in good hu­mour. On the Fri­day at scru­ti­neer­ing John’s Fan­tic 300 suf­fered an en­gine prob­lem and he was out of the event. He was res­cued by Spain’s clas­sic tri­als spe­cial­ist An­gel De­lay, who loaned him one of his own ma­chines. John was very ap­pre­cia­tive of this kind ges­ture.

Steve Saun­ders (Fan­tic): How was he never a world tri­als cham­pion, was a ques­tion asked by many. Now a very suc­cess­ful tri­als im­porter in the UK with the TRS brand, he to­tally em­braced the true spirit of a clas­sic trial.

Mat­teo Grat­tarola (Honda): By the time you read this the world will know that Mat­teo has moved from a two-stroke Gas Gas to the fourstroke Montesa for his at­tack on the 2018 Trial World Cham­pi­onship. He used the trial to be­come ac­cus­tomed to four-stroke power on the Honda.

Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen (Bultaco): A mas­sive sup­porter of both Trial Magazine and Clas­sic Trial Magazine, the three-time World Tri­als Cham­pion from Fin­land was in ac­tion on one of his ‘home-brew’ Bul­ta­cos. Now re­tired from busi­ness he em­braces the clas­sic tri­als scene with both hands, en­joy­ing both the rid­ing and so­cial side of the events.

Martin Gil­bert (Honda): Amaz­ing the Span­ish spec­ta­tors with his an­tics on his 85cc Honda two-stroke, Martin was 3rd on the yel­low Clas­sics route.

Jan­ice Proc­tor (Yamaha): Rid­ing the yel­low route, she found the haz­ards all ride­able and, along with her part­ner Andy Hip­well, they took in a small hol­i­day which in­cluded the two days of tri­als ac­tion.

Han­nah Ves­ter­i­nen (BSA): The daugh­ter of ‘Vesty’, she is a very com­pe­tent tri­als rider. De­spite a few ma­chine prob­lems her fun fac­tor was clear to see. Rob Bowyer (Tri­umph): En­cour­aged and ap­plauded by a su­per en­thu­si­as­tic crowd who en­joyed the ‘roar’ from his Tri­umph Twin as it echoed around the Span­ish hill­sides, his full-on at­tempts at all the haz­ards was al­ways well ap­plauded.

Andy Hip­well (Honda): Mak­ing his first tri­als ap­pear­ance in Europe the Gas Gas UK parts man­ager had a smile on his face all week­end.

Mar­i­ano Gomez (Mer­lin): The very proud fa­ther of two of Spain’s top off-road mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers, Afredo and San­dra, he up­held fam­ily hon­ours and came home in 3rd po­si­tion on the green Mas­ter’s route.

Jordi Vil­lalba (Moto-Guzzi): In­ter­est­ing ma­chines al­ways catch the eye of Clas­sic Trial Magazine and this four-stroke Moto-Guzzi was one of them. Gior­gio Dallavec­chia (SWM): One of the fi­nal sec­tions on both days is lit­er­ally on the beach at Sant Feliu.

Jac­ques Tous­saint (Fan­tic): Some of the haz­ards are based on an ex­posed head­land close to the blue, sparkling wa­ters of the Mediter­ranean coast. An­drew Chan­dler (Montesa): Hav­ing con­trib­uted so much to sup­port­ing English rid­ers in the World Tri­als Cham­pi­onship in the past, An­drew is a mas­sive clas­sic fan. He com­peted on one of a very few Montesa Cota 242 mod­els. Ben But­ter­worth (Tri­umph): It was good to see young rid­ers such as Ben en­joy­ing the at­mos­phere of a clas­sic trial to the full.

Robin Lus­combe (Tri­umph): On the green route rid­ing in the Ex­pert Pre-65 class, the ex-side­car Bri­tish Tri­als Cham­pion came home a splen­did 4th.

Trevor Ben­nett (Fan­tic): A man of many tal­ents, Trevor is the man to go to see if you have a prob­lem with your ma­chine as he gave sup­port to many of the English con­tin­gent. Clas­sic Trial Magazine would like to thank him for his sup­port shown to us.

John Hulme Clas­sic Trial Magazine: “On be­half of my wife and I we would like to say a huge thank you to ev­ery­one at Moto Club 2d Trial Costa Brava and the S’Agaro Ho­tel for their warm hos­pi­tal­ity. Once again we have had a su­perb time and en­joyed every minute of the event – thank you”. It’s al­ways sad to re­port the death of a fel­low tri­als rider. On the Saturday French rider Philippe Fabre from the mo­to­club Provence Trial Clas­sic suf­fered a heart at­tack in the morn­ing and passed away de­spite the ef­forts of the emer­gency ser­vices. A minute’s si­lence headed by Joan Co­mas was ob­served on the Sunday evening by ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance. As a part of the event you can pur­chase tick­ets which are drawn at the awards cer­e­mony on the Sunday evening with the prize this 350cc Ossa Yel­low Grip­per. The lucky win­ner took the ma­chine home on Sunday night.

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