Youth Development Squad's Summer Training Camp 2017

Words and Pics by: Ben Falconer.

Three memorable days of trials riding culminated in a testing event in the shadow of the Black Mountains.

West Glos and Dean Forest MCC, Gloucester and Cotswold MC and the ACU Western Youth Development Squad teamed up to create a three day event on some of the best natural trials terrain in the ACU Western area.

Approximately 30 boys and girls were coached on Friday and Saturday at Longtown, Herefordshire, before a trial set out by WG&DF MCC on the Sunday.

It gave the youngsters opportunity to embed the skills they had learned from ACU Western Champion and YDS leader Simon Welch, ACU Wessex Champion Colin Crease, and other coaches including Ben and Dean Lovelace, Stuart Belcher and Ben Bishop.

So by the Sunday, D class riders Tommy McCarragher and Fred Bishop upgraded from the conducted route to the sportsman route, and Louis McCarragher, Fin Kettle and Adrian Brown moved up to the clubman route and all finished better for the experience.

This is the sixth year of the squad, and sessions cost £5 for ACU Western residents and £15 for out of area residents, and they have proved a big hit with young riders and parents – and it is developing coaches too to secure the future of the sport in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and part of Worcestershire.

On the Sunday, the overall winner was TRS-mounted Gordon Brown, ahead of squad member Victoria Payne by one mark. Clerk of the course Darren Thomas set out 11 sections, most of them rocky stream beds similar to those used in the Wye Valley Auto Club’s annual National Traders Trial of years gone by.

Dan Sanders brought out his immaculate Yamaha TY 250 to finish third overall, eight marks behind Victoria on 41. Former ACU Western champion Nick Draper took his TY175 to second place on the clubman route on 16, behind Martin Jones. Sportsman Plus saw a clear winner in Dai Clothier on 16 and so to the Sportsman route, with Dan’s dad John losing just 7 marks on his James 250.

All proceeds from the trial will go to the squad, and the organisers would like to thank the observers, guest coaches and landowner for all their help.

To find out more, visit the youth section