WVAC Stan Hinsley Trial, August 9, 2009

report by Bretton King

Most trials riders dream of managing to clean an entire event and Sunday's Stan Hinsley Trial held by Wye Valley AC saw centre champion Simon Welch as favourite to pursue and achieve that same dream, and after three laps he was very much on course for it.

Rocks, roots and risers posed the challenge in this centre round and Welch was never going to be threatened for the win as he dominates this championship year on year. Lap by lap he racked up clean after clean and as his hopes rose, so did the self-imposed pressure, when on approaching the 37th sub's climb – disaster – he found neutral and a three was marked on the card by ever watchful Dan Sanders – much cursing and only 39 cleans!

The contest for second in the championship is where the action really lies and this year John Luff heads for it in confident mood aboard his 300 Beta. Third on the day and nearly half the marks of a revived Barry Husband netted Luff more points and extended his lead over Henry Bendall, who is still yet to settle on his new 290 Sherco. Matt Christopher took a comfortable Inter win ahead of Simon "I have got to finish the Scott!!" Wearmouth and will soon be amongst the Experts if he can eliminate loose 5's.

Another rider threatening to get amongst the Experts is former Welsh champion Ashley Reed who feels he is about ready to move up to the top class once again – and his 10 mark victory over Gary Morgan confirms his undiminished ability. Indeed Ashley hasn't lost any of his banter skills either… go on Ash go for it!! The Clubman Expert route saw Nathan Pekala victorious too thanks to his superior ability on sections 4 and 10 compared to vanquished Chris Wickham's performances there. Hope you get those wheel bearings sorted Chris – pass the oxy-acetylene will you!

On the Clubman route, a real clash of heavyweights took place as Tim Wheeler and Martyn Wilmore locked horns – no blood drawn but Tim took the top podium step after a furthest clean tie breaker ahead of a mid-week knee operation. I thought only the Aussies and Poms did all the verbal sledging – not true… just watch, listen and learn as the two W's pile verbal pressures into each other in pursuit of overall dominance – all good clean fun though really.

Nic Toms romped to an eight mark win over Phil Marsh for best novice, Nic making light work of the slippy rocks in section 9 and increasing that advantage as the day wore on – who says ex-motocrossers can't ride trials bikes? Jon Bliss cruised his 125 Gasser round for a tidy Over 50 win over Martyn Goodall and newly four stroke mounted Dai Clothier, tied on 8. Andy Pitt took time off from marking out the Club's upcoming National and promptly took the member's award on his TY monoshock, while C class youth Leam Fenn embarrassed many a seasoned campaigner by dropping only 17… where were you Alf, Pete and Mike? Experience over youth – wise head on old shoulders?? I don't thiiiink sooo… More like embarrassment by youth!

On the popular Junior Championship conducted route, Jake Hoare was a big winner, out-gunning Dale Screen by 8 marks on the expert course, while a far tighter tussle on the novice one saw Ioan Heycock sneak a one mark win from brother Ben and Aspen Hopkins who lost one apiece. In fact, going back to the trials rider's dream of cleaning a whole event, Ioan outshone centre champion Simon Welch on Sunday as HE was the one to clean the whole trial and not soon-to-be-wed Simon. Aaahhh… yet again, youth triumphing over experience – sorry Simon, couldn't resist it. Well done to all junior riders – its good to see you enjoying trials.

Finally, many thanks were expressed to the observers, officials and land owners for collectively providing another great Wye Valley trial. Want more?? Then get out on September 20th and do the Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial based around the glorious Olchan Valley and Longtown… you'd be mad to miss it…