Give me a minute & I’ll have something up about all these things!
Just got back from the ICTT & the teams have all had a good weekend, & rode their hearts out. Over the last few years we (& others) have criticised the severity of this event, but Mid Wales Centre got this one just right, it wasn’t too hard. I had congratulated the CofC after the Youth event & before John Collins made the same comment in Public! Yes, we lost quite a lot of marks but it was all pretty well do-able for all riders not just for the National Championship top runners.
Our Youth team pushed MCUI (SC) teams into last position, & were only 5 points behind our rivals up the road from Western Centre. Tom Culliford was our best points scorer, as I expected, & was ninth overall in C class. Victoria Payne made history by being the first young woman to be selected on merit for a Youth team & although she was our non scoring runner she rode consistently averaging less than 3 marks lost/section. They all had T shirts with the event printed on them, & Pete Culliford had made up some professional stickers announcing who we were to be stuck on bikes/helmets/vans [you choose]. So our team all looked the part. Josh Golding was the only veteran in the team having represented us previously, & was our most improved rider on his second 5 mile lap of 20 sections, equalling Olli Humphris score of 24 m/l in the lap. Gareth Talbot had a tough day but stuck at it & improved on his second lap.
This year riders were allowed just 60seconds to ride a section, & although this means each Centre had to provide an observer & a timekeeper it worked well & few people were timed out (when you then automatically are docked a five). Thanks to Theresa Talbot & Nicola Golding who did this for us. Mark Talbot was kept busy as our team helper allowed to ride in support
The Centre can be proud of them & we thank them & their families for their efforts on our behalf. BTW Yorkshire were the clear winner from East Yorkshire, but our friends from South Western Centre had a good day to finish 4th. Sorry to say Western Centre were one place in front of us, & Alex Muirhead was their non scorer as he cracked an engine casing after 5 or so sections on his first lap. Steve Saunders son James was their best C class rider but he lost 48 marks, 9 more than Tom.
The Solo event saw us again unable to quite match the efforts of Western Centre, who finished one place above us again, but we pushed Eastern & West South Wales Centre into the penultimate & ultimate places. I won’t surprise you when I tell you that Colin Crease was our best rider, with an excellent 2nd lap score of 10m/l. On the first lap Kurt Brain was our best runner, & he was our most consistent rider with his laps of 29 & 28. I only saw our team on section 19 where Mary was observing & Phyllis timekeeping, this had a rock face up to be ridden up & down twice with the approach across a dusty track. Lee had a spectacular failure on the second step first lap with cartwheels! Judging from his 1st lap total he was having a bad & frustrating lap most everywhere, but his second visit to 19 was nicely controlled & ridden, in the end Lee’s score was our discard. Fred Adams looked out of control [was it Fred?] on the first step on the first lap & struggled a bit on the second step but had a very nicely controlled ride second time around. Fred was pretty well as high as James Dabill was on the second step on both laps. Awesome Fred! Craig had a steady ride by the look of things. Gareth did the seconds left shouting for us.
It was really good to see the support the Centre gave the guys, the youth team were out in force to watch, only the Goldings, & Olli’s Gran & Grandad couldn’t stay for the Saturday. Dean & Colin Hassall, Adam Colburn, Kurts Dad all came up to help not forgetting Team Manager Tom Crease with the dreadful time of 4 in the morning mentioned as a leaving time as signing on was from 08:00 to 09:00 hrs. Then we drew start position 19 which meant the team hanging around for their 12:24 start. Chris Adams looked to be adab hand at fixing them all up with bacon rolls & Coffee. It was worse for our observing team as they were at their section by 10:00 hrs & as the first lap takes 4hours of the 6hour limit they are out until around 18:20 in the evening. At least Mary & Phyllis had a sheltered section, because about 3 of the Sections were completely exposed to the wind & would have been awful to observe had there been any rain like there was in the Saturday event.
To put things in perspective, there were, IIRC, 2 clean sheets, James Fry & Jonathon Richardson oh & Michael Brown & Alexz Wigg so that’s 4 actually & Dabill dropped one. Thats how it should be, easy for the top men & hard but do=able & enjoyable for the Centre Runners. I spoke to several riders who said they [not from our Centre] that said they hadn’t looked forward to being selected for their Centre in previous years, but who were enjoying this one.
You’ll be pleased to know that Becky Cook was best Southern Centre rider with a best [2nd] lap of 7!
I was interested to listen to a ‘dispute’ between a team manager & a timekeeper in Section 1. The manager asserted that his man was out within 60 seconds & there was chat that you couldn’t time to two seconds in 60 anyway. He was wrong. the timekeeper was perfectly positioned in line with the starts card, & then the ends card, you heard the bleep when the stopwatch got to 60 seconds & the reason the ride took more than a minute was that the rider hadn’t fancied a sharp rocky climb & stopped, he was looking at it, being encouraged & advised by his team leader for too long When he did decide to go there wasn’t long enough left. Simple as that. I wuz thur! The experienced timekeeper kept cool & didn’t allow a slanging match to develop. Interesting that that Centres Observers were talking about the incident at Dinner afterwards – so you see how important these ‘little’ things are to possible winning teams.
The Chair boys did alright although I only saw them on section 10 on lap 2 of their 4 laps. I overheard the observer, who would have seen the punch card totals for laps 1 & 2 suggesting to the Asst CofC that the sections needed to be altered to take marks [at this stage both Wessex & South Eastern had 4 & 3 clean sheets respectively, but wisdom prevailed & laps 3 & 4 sorted out a winning team. Unfortunately it was sorted in favour of South Eastern so we had to be content with 2nd place, so maybe we are disappointed? I don’t know, we just lost a three & a five so I know it was really close, but you can’t argue with three outfits who had four perfect Laps. Well done SE Centre
Right, I’ve put up the Hawkesbury (on Sunday week) Regs for you. They would have been up many weeks ago, but they weren’t sent to me !!! That’s the second lot of Trials Championship Regs that have been available but not sent to me recently – SO – Reminder to Club Comps Secretaries please forward to the Gazette Editor as soon as they are available. Smacked wrists for you.
Please note that Wilts Borders Championship Trial, the Autumn Trophy due on 6th November is cancelled due to a change in the Landowners farming plan
The Centre Dates Meeting will be on 1st November, Clubs are asked to submit their dates, to the Centre Secretary, by October 10th. So Clubs will need to have decided what when & where at their next Club Meeting if not before!
tbc – Frank