Baker eye­ing hat-trick of wins in Ker­now Cup

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Sport - MICK PERRY

SOUTH West Cen­tre cham­pion Joe Baker has won the Camel Vale Club’s an­nual Ker­now Cup Trial for the past two years and the Lyn­ton-based Sherco rider will be out to make it three in a row in this morn­ing’s event at the Garker Val­ley group of sec­tions, near St Blazey.

The meet­ing is also the first round of the Corn­wall Cen­tre Cham­pi­onship se­ries and last year’s event at­tracted more than 100 starters, with a sim­i­lar num­ber ex­pected to do bat­tle again.

How­ever, Baker may not have such an easy pas­sage if world youth cham­pion Billy Green or Corn­wall’s Toby Mar­tyn de­cide to con­test the two-lap, 20-sec­tion event.

There are nu­mer­ous other aces in the pack too, in­clud­ing Ge­orge Edyvean, Ste­fan Good­man, Si­mon and Dar­ren James, plus sev­eral South West Cen­tre stars from the Devon side of the Ta­mar.

Many will be stay­ing in the area overnight for the Cam­borne-Re­druth Club’s Trispen Trial at Gil­bert’s Combe, near Re­druth, on Sun­day.

This event does not nor­mally at­tract as many as the Camel Vale Club’s event, but again cham­pi­onship points are at stake in a multi-lap ten-sec­tion con­test.

How­ever, it clashes with the Ot­ter Vale Club’s an­nual Roy Goleswor­thy Tro­phy event at Wis­combe Park, in event looks like get­ting the year off to a crack­ing start and the two world cham­pi­ons Jef­frey Her­lings (500cc) and Ge­orge Prado (250cc) be­ing among the first to en­ter along with Max An­stie Tommy Searle, Glenn Cold­en­hoff, Shaun Simp­son and Ben Wat­son.

The Mo­tor­cy­cle Club of Great Bri­tain’s an­nual long-dis­tance Ex­eter Trial got un­der­way last evening from start­ing points at Popham Air­field, near Bas­ingstoke; Cirences­ter and Oke­hamp­ton, and around 150 so­los and side­cars, and as well as 400 cars con­verged at the Haynes Mo­tor Mu­seum at Spark­ford for an hour­long sup­per break at around mid­night.

Af­ter that, they faced a num­ber of ob­served hills in Som­er­set and North Devon in the dark be­fore ar­riv­ing at the Cre­aly leisure park for a break­fast stop.

With that com­pleted, they face a fur­ther dozen hills in Devon this morn­ing be­fore the fin­ish on the Torquay seafront from around lunchtime to­day.

Three-time ma­jor win­ner Padraig Har­ring­ton is ex­pected to be named Europe’s cap­tain for the 2020 Ry­der Cup on Tues­day.

Har­ring­ton has been the odds-on favourite to suc­ceed Thomas Bjorn since Lee West­wood said in Oc­to­ber that he would pre­fer to do the job in Rome in 2022, and de­scribed Har­ring­ton as the “bet­ter can­di­date” to lead the team at Whistling Straits.

And the Euro­pean Tour has now called a press con­fer­ence at its Went­worth head­quar­ters on Tues­day, at which Har­ring­ton is set to be handed the task of re­tain­ing the tro­phy won in em­phatic fash­ion at Le Golf Na­tional in Paris last sum­mer.

Bjorn had sug­gested there was no need to rush into ap­point­ing his suc­ces­sor, but speak­ing dur­ing the Turk­ish Air­lines Open at the end of Oc­to­ber, Har­ring­ton was keen for a de­ci­sion sooner rather than later.

“I keep get­ting asked and I’m try­ing to say it hasn’t been de­cided, but once you start talk­ing about it even­tu­ally it starts look­ing like I think I am,” the 47-year-old Ir­ish­man said. “It puts me in an awk­ward po­si­tion so I’d pre­fer the clar­ity.”

The cap­tain is se­lected by a panel com­pris­ing the pre­vi­ous three cap­tains – Bjorn, Dar­ren Clarke and Paul McGin­ley – Euro­pean Tour chief ex­ec­u­tive Keith Pel­ley and a mem­ber of the Play­ers Com­mit­tee.

Linda Ash­ford

Joe Baker goes in the Ker­now CupTrial to­day

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