Abergavenny AC: 3rd round Club Championships

A hard course + lots of rain equals disaster. 45 entries and only 8 finishers means thats the weather was bad (heavy rain all day) and the course was too hard.

It seems that for every 10 good trials, you need to have one that
doesn’t go well. The trial at Llywdcoed Farm, that was set out on the
harder side, became impossible as rain turned into an all-day deluge.
Infact some of subs wouldn’t have been out-of-place in next weeks
Mitchell Trial at the same venue. This trial will live long in the
memory of some of the riders and club officials.

That there were 45 entries but only 8 completed cards really says it
all; the conditions were horrendous and even reducing it to 3 laps of 15
sections didn’t help. With a venue like Llywdcoed it is difficult to
make last minute adjustments and the weather conditions made things very

The hillclimb on Section 11 providing early entertainment; a wet,
slippery full out 3rd or 4th blast. Some early cleans showed it was
possible for the Clubmen, but it required too much nerve and skill for
most of the Sportsman and Twinshock entry. One rider, on his Beta Techno
had three spectacular failures in a row near the top of the climb,
summing up the effort and approach of many of the riders on the day.

Section 13 was unlucky for some, with the Merthyr Club’s Martin Jones
achieving a spectacular off after his throttle stuck open attempting the
steep muddy exit. With a damaged cable and not wishing a repeat
performance he wisely retired, but not before Alastair Bedford showed
the more experience riders on how it should be done with a beautiful
ride across the log and up to the exit. An injured shoulder also saw Dai
Bedford’s forced retirement on the first lap.

Credit should go to the finishers; Jake Evans-Luter put in a determined
ride on the Expert route to once again provided the ride of the day. Of
the 5 Clubman to finish the day, Dai Clothier used his experience and
skills to be the only rider to finish below 3 digits. The mossy rocks
only offered some relief late on and finding grip was the main challenge
all day.

On the Sportsman route, Gavin Griffiths was the only finisher and showed
many of the older riders that he’s got the determination to tackle a
difficult trial. The Youth C and D riders rightly decided to ease the
sections and all of them completed a large number of the sections, a
sensible approach from their minders which saw them gain valuable
practise at a difficult venue.

Gavin on Section 3

Of the 4 Twinshock entries, only Mike Roberts on his 156cc Fantic
finished, with myself and Gavin retiring. Gavin after he flipped the bike on the steep muddy slope of section 13 and myself after scalding my leg on section 4 on the second lap. I carried on for a bit, but also
must of popped the exhaust gasket in attempting the hillclimb

In the van after the trial
After putting the bike in the van and changing in the back (it was still pissing down) I noticed a couple of marks on my left left from the exhaust, the biggest of which was on top of my leg. The combination of hot exhaust and soggy trousers = interesting scalds ! The Jumbo obviously didn’t enjoy the trial either.

Lesson’s learnt; The trial was too hard, certainly for the conditions and even in the dry for the majority of the Sportsman entry who turned up. The Abergavenny club will need to pull out the stops at the next trial by setting out a good balanced course and by ensuring that there are observers on the day. Offering free or 1/2 price rides for people who entered this trial might encourage people to give Abergavenny another chance.

The results (of all of the finishers…)

Jake Evans-Luter 64

Dai Clothier 92 Steve Duggan 102 Richard Aldridge 110
A Thomas 113 Mark Davies 118

Gavin Griffiths 123

Mike Roberts 92

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