SECOND CHANCE Chris Stay
Flash your mind back to the ACU Youth British Trials Championship around 2006–2012; I certainly can. A few names come to mind that for whatever reason disappeared from the sport. At the early 2017 season adult British Championship round at Hook’s Wood a polite young man came and talked to me, it was Chris Stay. I can remember the likes of Chris, Bradley Cox and George Gosden all battling in the youth classes. A series of events took Chris Stay away from the sport but, now more settled in life at the age of 22, it’s very much a case of unfinished business as he returns with support from TRS importer Steve Saunders and BVM Moto.
Back in trials, how good is that?
My passion for the sport never went away, it was just a change of circumstances that created the fact that I moved away from competing. This year for me is about getting back into trials and seeing how I get on in the Expert class as I previously rode the Championship route. Next year I am hoping to improve in the Expert class. Hopefully all being well and with a successful 2018 I can move back up to the Championship class in 2019.
I remember you giving it full gas at the British Championship rounds.
They were really good times. As you have mentioned, the competition between my traveling partner from the Isle of Wight George Gosden, and friends Corey Cubik, Tom Dexter, Joel Edwards, Jack Howell, Bradley Cox and many others was very intense but equally enjoyable; happy times!
Did you win any Youth British Championship titles?
Yes, I was C Class British Champion in 2006 and I also came 2nd in the Youth B and Youth A Classes. Who sponsored you in the Youth Championships? I rode for John Lampkin on Beta for three years in the C Class, one year on a Sherco in B Class, and finished off my youth years on a John Shirt Gas Gas. We had good support from John Shirt Jnr at Gas Gas UK and, of course, my parents – the bank of mum and dad. I would like to thank everyone who has ever sponsored or supported me. I appreciate everything everyone has done to help me over the years.
Then you sort of dropped off the radar?
I started working in my dad’s garage, which was a natural progression for me, but I did not realise how much working there would change my life. There was a person that worked at the garage who did not have any respect for other people and would bully me and put me down at any opportunity; this really affected my confidence as I was still only 16. Away from work I then unfortunately got in an altercation with another person which resulted in my jaw being broken. This really affected my confidence and with problems at work I did not realise I was entering the downward spiral of depression at a very young age.
Difficult times, I would imagine?
Yes, very difficult. I left the garage and started taking casual labour jobs, but in truth I was very depressed. Trials riding was the last thing on my mind. I literally cut myself off from the outside world.
How did you turn this around?
I started talking to the right people about my problems and going to the right places to seek help; things turned around and started getting a lot better. Something good usually comes out of bad times and I now have a job I really enjoy, working on diesel pumps and injectors in a workshop environment based in Southampton with good people.
And so you moved back to competing trials?
The Gas Gas that I started practising on again was from when I was riding for John Shirt in 2012. It lay in my father’s garage for 4 years until I got back o n it again and started riding. I soon realised that I still had a burning passion for the sport. Despite the fact that I had been away I enjoyed competing in the Expert British Championship.
How good’s the TRS?
It’s very, very good! I will contest the last few rounds of the BTC this year and in 2018 my aim is for the top in the Experts Championship. I am hoping this will be my second-chance year. For everyone who has made this possible – TRS UK, BVM MOTO, my dad Alan Stay, Joe Henderson, Mark Coombes and my training partners Josh Stevens and George Gosden, and especially the trials ‘family’ for welcoming me back, it’s a massive thank you.
53 Chris Stay (JST Gas Gas UK)
54 TRIAL MAGAZINE