The first trial of the year for the Wye Valley Auto Club was at Bowley Court, near Bodenham and it stayed dry and bright on the day.
Its a common theme in the off-road press, websites and in club meetings to bemoan the lack of observers and the difficulty in getting them along to trials. It must be said that observing at some trials is not pleasant; usually the weather is a factor and if its cold or infact worse, raining, then yep it can be grim.
The opening Wye Valley Auto Club trial of 2009 proved the observing can be fun and although most of them at the trial had forsaken their ride in order to provide the services to the 75 entrants, it is hoped that this was worthwhile. For me, Section 5 proved not to be the toughest on either route and cleans were the order of the day but it did mean I got a chance to see everyone riding at the event (except for the large Class D entry, more on which below). The trial was well set-out by Clerk-of-the-Course Andy Pitt and helpers and provided the right-level of good humoured competition.
I’m a twinshock bigot, so it was great to see a good entry on all 3 routes, with Mark Vaughan showing how to ride his 31 year old SWM Guanaco on the Clubman route. Along with Ian Spence on his 250 Bultaco and ….. on his well-modified Hiro-powered Armstrong, they provide some excellent entertainment and the right approach to this event. On the 50/50 route, Stephen … on his newly acquired Fantic 240 Pro, was struggling with the bike set up and also the harder sections, but made a creditable finish. On the Sportsman route, the only pre-65 bike was …. on his excellent Ariel 500. The Tredegar Twinshock contigent turned out, with Kevin Pettit’s latest mount being a rare 1974 Fraser Honda, which it seems has a very small fuel tank. Mark Evans Kawasaki KT250 was sporting a new trick exhaust in an attempt to match Dave Woods on his KT250 in the upcoming Sammy Miller Products Championship.
There was an excellent turnout of riders on more modern machinery and the Eric Rees trial provided the right kind of challenge for novice and experience riders alike. WVAC’s Malcolm Howell’s has spent the winter on some worthwhle practice as his performance on the 50/50 route was much improved.
For the first-time in 2009, WVAC is running a Youth Championship of 5 rounds and with 15 entries for the Class D conducted route, the promise of healthy competition and a developing group of talent is excellent. Under the drive and enthusiam of Clive Smith and Richard Williams, it is hoped that the entry can grown and that parents brought their off-spring from as far a field as Swansea to the Marches shows the demand a good quality event is there.
With the club running the Traders Trial on April 25th after a 15 year absence (and yes Tremorithic is back!), 4 more off-road events and a round of the ACU Traditional Championship in September, trials in Herefordshire has not looked so healthy in a long time. The club meets on the last Monday of the month at the Three Horseshoes’s, Allensmore, about 6 miles south of Hereford and is keen to welcome new members of any ability.