A few weeks ago I got a present from ACU Headquarters, a lovely certificate that said our club was now licensed to run motor cycle events on their behalf. Mind you It’s been a long time coming,but at least now the really serious event organisers will be getting the recognition they deserve. Personally I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the present set-up ,because it tends to attract the wrong sort, ( willing amateurs,lacking proper business sense, running events on a shoe-string.) What we need are more hard-nosed managers, able to maximise earnings for our sport, and then maybe we can all be paid the proper rate for our involvement. And when the certificate runs out, in a few years time, I’m sure none of us will mind paying the ACU a fee to renew it.
The 100th Anniversary Scottish went off well. The organisers did just enough to make it special, and everyone watching must have enjoyed their week. The No 1 Wessex team, the two Ians and Andy Noad, had a wonderful time, all finishing more or less alright, although Ian Shuttleworth collected more bruises than was good for him. By the end of the week he had so much strapping on his rib-cage that he couldn’t bend down properly. Sadly,it seems that this will be their swan-song, because they’ll all be off doing other things from now on.
Our team,( Team Titanic ), had a bad week.We were again without our real leader,who had stayed home to look after the dog, and both our riders were carrying injuries which precluded any chance of a decent result, so the main aim was for them to finish the week without further grief. However even that proved to be over-optimistic when on Thursday Craig went off the track at speed, near Fersit, head-butted the only decent-sized tree for miles, and knocked himself out.Becky meanwhile, drove more slowly, stayed safe and finished the trial in good order.
I had a good week. Once my chambermaiding duties were over, ( washing and dressing the team ), the rest of the day was my own. Friday was the best day for me. I went with Chris and Janet to Kingairloch, did two hours bog-walking ,watched the section, listened to Harry Lampkin give a southern teenage Prima-Donna a proper telling off, walked down to the road, then got picked up by the team van just in time to join in the White-Van Grand-Prix. ( Now that is dangerous, but you do get to see a lot of sections in a very short time.)
The trial itself was decided on Town-Hall- Brae when Alex Wigg’s chain came off and the resultant five lost him the trial. The new Shercos seem to have a problem with chains, and I’m surprised theyr’e not yet looking for a cure. Still before you can solve a problem, you have to admit that you have a problem.
When I got back from Scotland I volunteered to help with the British-Championship-Sidecar-Round, held at Lamb’s-Lair and Chelwood and run by BSSA. One good thing about watching sidecar trials is that the entry tends to go around mob-handed, so there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the action. What strikes me most about them is how much they mirror our trials. Their courses now have become all nadgery and they hop up, down and sideways, just like our solos do. Sadly though their game is dying, for they had only four outfits riding the hard route in a total entry of just nineteen.
Still it looks like the ACU Headquarters recognise that there’s a serious problem, because they sent John Collins along to visit the event, and at a meeting afterwards he asked for suggestions on how the sidecars could be saved. For me it was quite a depressing discussion because ,as is usual, no good way forward was identified.
I can’t understand why they didn’t ask me. I could have put them right. It’s all the ACU’s fault. They should never have removed the sidecars from the solos in British-Championship events in the first place. At the time it seemed the right way, trials were going crazy, and old type sidecars couldn’t be accommodated, but now they are much like modern solos and they would all fit in a lot better. At the moment even the solo championship is in trouble, with small entries and small crowds. A return of the sidecars could only improve matters for everyone,in my opinion. …………………. BA