Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial - A rider's view

Provisional Results

Bretton King quite understandably sings the praises of WVAC for the Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial...

The 28th September 2008 turned out to be a fantastic day for the reputation of Western Centre trials!! What am I rambling on about now you may ask, or even thinking, "not another Brett King posting on the website?!". What I am on about here is the Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial staged at Longtown yesterday by the Wye Valley club.

The fact of the matter is that the trial was a resounding success and everyone I spoke to whilst doing the trial and in the finish field afterwards had nothing but praise for the nature of the event. Steve Venn said the trial was "very good" and that "the sections were sensible but still testing".

Neil Gaunt ventured south with his beautiful Ariel and true to form gave a brutally honest assessment when he said that "the course was marked out to let every rider have a ride without crucifying them". He last rode the old Traders Trophy in 1992 and travelled such a distance because he knew that the terrain was a test and set in fantastic countryside (and that says something when you bear in mind that he's a Yorkshireman!!).

The single lap course contained 36 rider-friendly yet still challenging sections on a dual route, thus catering for every ability of competitor present. And who was present you may ask? Well, 71 riders to be precise. How far did they come from? From as far a field as Harrogate, Birmingham, Brighton, Guildford, Daventry and beyond.

Why? Simple really… to ride a trial set out in the manner which gives day-long riding and enjoyment without discouraging future participation and an event reminiscent of the old road-based trials that the "more senior" rider was so used to.

I haven't heard any results yet (it is now Monday afternoon) so this is not written with them in mind. The main purpose for putting this on the website is to let all you non-participants know that you missed a truly great trial set in some of the West's most beautiful countryside and marked out to enable the rider to go home looking forward to the event next year.

The distance and calibre of some of the people that travelled to Longtown gave it a terrific "national" atmosphere which added to the quality of the day and many of them said that the time and cost to get to Herefordshire was "worth every penny". So, non-participants - don't miss out next time… get entered!

Finally, on behalf of all the riders that I spoke to throughout the day, a huge thank you to the Club and its officials, the landowners, stewards, observers and the Castle pub (who provided refreshments in the same vein as that of the Bulls Head at Craswall those many years ago). Let us all hope that this event becomes a regular feature on the calendar and a road-based trial re-establishes itself in the Western centre.

One final highlight of the day for all us Western centre riders in particular was the very pleasant sight of Billy Andrews armed with an observers board, back out amongst the fumes of two-stroke after his recent illness. All I'd say is, "Billy, welcome back to the land of the trials rider… it would have been a sadder place without you!"

Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial - go on, get and enter!

Bretton King explains why trials riders should be beating a path to the entries secretary's door to get a ride in a very special event...

I met Dan and John Sanders and Andy Pitt yesterday at the Torridge club's trial in Devon (97 entrants!), and as we awaited our start time, we discussed the topic of the newly introduced Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial (to be staged by Wye Valley AC). The upshot of our 15 minute chat was that land owners in the area that the trial is to be staged are those same ones that gave permission for land use in the heyday of the club's Traders Trophy (a national trial of major stature at the time) and that the landowners are looking forward to hosting a competition once more.

Whilst I do not profess to know all the reasons for the demise of the Traders Trophy Trial, I do know that this area of Herefordshire has some of, if not the best trials terrain in the centre (so it was not because of poor sections) and that bizarrely, attendance/participation/support by riders was not what it could have been and became one of the issues faced by the club.

Having a road licence and registering the bike was once a deterrent but seems to be less of a problem now looking at the attendance of long distance trials today. The details of the Trevor Hunt Trophy Trial are elsewhere on the website but I think that one or two key points need to be made if this trial is to be a success (i.e. supported by the riders) and the Club are to be rewarded for their considerable efforts in staging the event.

The first point to make is that there is no other trial (omit LDT's for this is not one of those) like this in the centre. It has 14 groups of sections planned, all interconnected by roadwork/tracks… so the event presents the rider with an opportunity to get out on his bike and ride sections as well as roads in a great part of the world.

Secondly, the trial is aimed at the older generation of rider perhaps, but does not exclude experts, inters, etc. below this age group, and it would be worth their while supporting the event as it will open their eyes to what great trials multi-group (sections) events can be. Who knows, it could spawn a centre event that mimmicks the Trader's of yesteryear or turns into a venue for one of the ACU's "Traditional Championship" trials.

Lastly, this trial is not being put on just to satisfy the ego of a clerk-of-the-course… it is being staged to provide riders with a great day's sport.

With all the above in mind, I would like to urge everyone (no matter what class or ability) to seriously consider entering this trial and supporting an event that has the potential to provide a really good day of trials. I should also add that entering at the earliest opportunity would indicate to the club that the event is wanted & viable. If you leave it until the last possible minute, the risk is that the Club will have been forced into taking an earlier decision to cancel it due to lack of interest.

Now, tell your mates, get the entry form off the site…. AND ENTER !!!!!!!

Thank you, Bretton King

[on 14Jul08]