Costa Brava Two Day
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 email@example.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 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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.