When we got back home, I found Roger Brain had put pen to paper & sent over a Report of the Team’s week-end. Here it is.
“Frank, Here’s a summary of the Wessex Adult Team efforts at the Inter Centre Team Trial last weekend.
We all set off up the M5 Saturday afternoon in a Van convoy dressed as if we were all going to the beach with shorts, t shirts, flip flops and vests. Only to be greeted in Bradford by strong winds, overcast skies and temperatures some 20deg. C cooler. After putting on every jacket we could find in our vans, we set about erecting the massive gazebo Chris had blagged from his brother next to his Sprinter. The remaining vans were quickly manoeuvred into position to form a large “U” shaped wind break.
Before the light failed we had a quick scout around the sections, which the lads thought were well laid out and would be both challenging but rideable without being too dangerous. The sections consisted of rock slabs, boulder strewn steams, huge climbs and descents, artificial man made sections, and tree roots.
Section 15 was a particularly ugly piece of work, up a stream bed over green boulders then up a three tier waterfall before turning immediately left up a metre step then on up a near vertical clay bank through trees for about a hundred feet climb.
Despite all the hype and banter from the Western Centre the Sunday started well for our lads, discussing lines in the sections and despite nerves, performing well with a majority of cleans and odd dabs. Disaster struck for Fred halfway around the first lap when his Mont developed a misfire and awful starting problems. A spark plug change did nothing to resolve the problem. Despite the frustration he soldiered on determined to get around and not let the team down.
Lee was experiencing some carburetion issues with the 250 Gasser on the flat out 3rd gear climbs of four of the twenty sections, which had their throttles back to the stop and engine rpm’s maxed out and tested to the limit.
Kurt, Colin and Craig were on a mission. Kurt was doing his usual thing of cleaning the radical stuff and dropping the odd dab elsewhere. Colin was drawing on all of those previous years of trials experience, as well as holding the team together and Craig seemed to have his boots super glued to the pegs.
The first lap concluded with the team feeling both good, and frustrated, about their ride. A lengthy visit to the pit area revealed Fred had lost coolant out of the Mont and was burning oil. A hasty refill of both had the bike running good again. With all bikes and riders refuelled it was into the second lap.
As usual sections were starting to deteriorate but the lads really put every effort into minimising marks lost. We managed to get Lee awarded a re- run at section 6 when he was bulked by other riders walking the stream prior to the huge rock slab exit hazard. Needless to say that saved valuable marks on his re-run.
Colin and Kurt were riding like their lives depended on it. Craig had raised his game and was riding brilliantly.
Dreaded section 15 soon appeared and was deemed almost impossible as the fives were relentless. To our amazement Kurt had one of his magical moments and bounced up the waterfall then attacked the clay bank climb bouncing his way all the way to the top on the back wheel for a one with the team shouting and willing him to the end cards.
Fred was now in the groove, with the Mont going well and his score reflecting the fact. Lee was having good rides when he didn’t need the engine power but still hampered by his carburetion issues. Colin was doing what Colin does best, and turning in a good solid performance.
When the results came in Wessex had beaten seven other teams and beaten the Western Centre. I am told on good authority this is the best result achieved by the Wessex Centre Adult team in years.
I would like to say how proud I was of the whole Team. The efforts put in by the riders, sometimes under testing and difficult circumstances with bike issues etc showed great determination and grit.
To witness these efforts and team spirit over the weekend was a pleasure not to be forgotten. Chris Adams, with his now legendary barbecue and hospitability regime made the whole experience all the more pleasurable. Thanks to Tom and Mary Crease for their efforts as Team manager and Dean and Colin Hassell for their input.
In closing it just leaves me to thinking, if only the Wessex riders had better access to this type of venue and quality of sections I feel they could all quite quickly start to make inroads into catching up with the fortunate Northern teams that have this luxury, all the time, every weekend
Regards: Roger Brain”
Thanks Roger, your Report gives us a good perspective on how it went for us. Only one question – what start Number did we draw?