CHG 16th Annual Sphinx Trial, April 19, 2009

Top lady: Andrea Cottle. Picture: Andrew Luff

Report by Ben Falconer, Pix - Andrew Luff Results

More pix (more than 700!) at Jack Stringer's site


A word of thanks from Martin Worgan, who rode with his brother Nick: "We would like to pass on our thanks to Cheltenham Home Guard for an excellent trial yesterday. The sections were all possible (if I was allowed a few attempts on some of them!) and the going and overall mileage was spot on."

Neil Ludlow took plenty of video footage - look up "Sphinx LDT" on YouTube and you never know, it could be you, caught on camera.Kevin Lennox. Picture: Andrew Luff

Press Report

RIDERS covering a very wide range of abilities enjoyed a long day in the saddle on the 16th annual Sphinx Long Distance Trial. Expert level riders put their reputations on the line and mixed it with the lesser lights in an event which time and again proves a great leveller.

Steve Saunders had more to lose than most in an event where one slip up on sections which are often ridden without the benefit of inspection can cost dearly.

One dab on section 2 at Colesbourne gave him the premier award, the same number of marks lost as Steve Venn. As an organiser, Venn was ineligible for the overall award but losing one dab at Sudeley was his only blemish.

Event secretary Mike Clarke made his LDT debut, only three months after a heart attack and lost only 2, one each at Irene's Farm, and Langley Hill. He finished just behind runner-up Mike Husband, lsoing out on special test time.Norman Blakemore. Picture: Andrew Luff

One of the best rides of the day came from Chris Poel, who manhandled his twinshock Honda XL round for 2 marks lost as well. In the same bracket was Peter Barnett, who kept his score safely in single figures, despite the relative handicap of a Suzuki DRZ 400.

The trial was shortened this year to around 70 miles, taking in some classic Cotswold trials territory. Starting and finishing at Hazleton village hall, where the event is supported so well by villagers, it has an old time appeal for everyone from former world championship contenders to trail riders whose only trial of the year is this one.

The event's two top lady riders, Andrea Cottle and Trudi Silvey, finished at the right end of the results, thanks to some inspired performances. Andrea made a mockery of Boyd's mud, and Trudi followed expert advice to master the mud at the penultimate section in Hazleton.

Rob Pike. Picture: Andrew Luff

The club would like to thank a small army of observers for their patience, the landowners for their generosity, and the villagers of Hazleton for their hospitality.


Premier: Steve Saunders, (Beta) 1 mark lost. (Geoff Gibbons Trophy for best Western Centre rider)

Best club official: Steve Venn, (Gas Gas) 1.(Mark Kirby award)

Runner - up: Mike Husband, (Gas Gas) 2.

Second club official: Mike Clarke, (Honda) 2.

Best up to 250: Chris Poel, (Honda) 2.

First class: Ben Falconer, (Gas Gas) 3. Dave Cottle (Yamaha), Thomas Pike, (Yamaha) Gavin Moore (Gas Gas), Keith Wells (Honda/Gas Gas), all 4. Adrian Clissold (Beta) 5.

Best over 250: Peter Barnett (Suzuki) 8.

Second over 250: Graham Lavis (Gas Gas) 10.

Top organiser: Steve Venn. Picture: Andrew Luff

Pre-65: Paul Farley (AJS) 14.

Best lady: Ann Cottle (Scorpa) 26.

Best twinshock: Nigel Tustin (Honda) 28.

Team Award: Team Knobhead - S Saunders, John Luff (Beta) 7, Mark Thornhill (Yamaha) 7.

Fastest special test: Guy Mansfield-Smith (Husqvarna) 47.38 seconds.