This trial was set by Eric and Lindley, with help from Jason and input from Michael. This means that instead of sections being set from a Masters or Experts perspective, with a concession to allow Clubmen to compete - the sections were set as clubman lines with concessions to the higher classes.
The weather was excellent and the turnout good. We congregated on the top field, as all the sections were on the perimeter of this field.
This started in the SE corner of the field, and took the pilot over some loose gravel with tight turns. A drop into a ditch, followed by a climb past a fallen tree, with some off-camber riding and off-camber tight left turn between two trees.
I cleaned this on the first lap, which always sets a good tone for me. Unfortunately, the next section had me flummoxed more often than not.
This section started at the exit of Section 1. It was perfectly cleanable, as shown in the scores, but some of us had a torrid time of it. The section did an off-camber left loop on a steep slope, which then did a tight right turn around a big log. From there it was down the slope again in a left off-camber loop, with an exit near the top to descend to the bottom of the slope.
On my first lap I turned too tight around the big log and ended up grazing my right arm good and solid against the rough end of the log. On a later lap I left the off-camber track and ended up badly off-piste for a fiasco.
This started at the end of Section 2, next to the ditch at the bottom of the slope. A tight slippery turn around a tree took you up the slope and around a small palm shrub. The u-turn around the shrub is tricky and followed immediately by a steep descent over thick tree roots.
Then a turn left back up the slope, with a final descent onto the field at the exit. The turn around the palm was the crux for many.
This was the last section along the top bank of the field. It started on the field with a straight up a well-worn climb, over two logs (OK, a branch and a small log), with a steep descent back onto the field. The climb was well-worn because we use it to get to the top of the bank during practice.
On the first lap Eric had a sudden fall going over the log. On other laps he cleaned it. We think his back sprocket hooked up on a protruding knot. Some riders struggled on the section, and others, even weak riders, did really well. For Liam we allowed some deviation to make it more doable.
This section was on the north-west corner of the field. For clubmen it started with a steep, uneven descent on the corner of the bank, a right turn back onto the bank through an awkward gap in the rocks. This was followed by a tight left back down off the bank, where the pilot had to find a right turn back onto the bank and onto a path that led up the bank at an angle until the end where a downhill led to the end of the section.
Eric and I lost one point each on this section over the 4 laps. This section is just technical, but not dangerous or scary.
This section started with a crossing of a ditch and a tight right next to a school building. Then you turn right back over the ditch. Some riders crossed the ditch and rode on the cement at the foot of the building, but I found the right floater turn needed to cross the ditch again made me dab. It was easier to stay next to the ditch and avoid going down the clay embankment onto the concrete.
Once back over the ditch a left around a log took you to the base of a concrete staircase. From there we rode down the embankment to the concrete around the building, followed immediately by a right up the embankment. We rode along the embankment, around a brick structure and then up the embankment to the field.
Nobody was able to clean all rounds of this section, but the scores show that Eric had at least one clean. Most people dabbed at the second crossing of the ditch, and if not there then on the right floater turn.
This was on the north-east corner of the field. It started down the stairs to the gulley between the trees, and ended on the court behind the prefab classroom. The stairs were quite tiring due to the bouncing of the handlebars, and the tight turns in the gulley took concentration as the trees have left a layer of slippery leaves.
Nothing is this section was unduly difficult, with Eric cleaning all laps, Lindley dabbing once, and Arno dabbing only twice.
Start from the end of section 7 with a small step up the rocky wall. Ride to the left over the tree roots. Here we have Liam doing the step-up.
You can see the flags of the experts gate and the roots. Clubmen rode between the blue flag and the white on just out of the picture on the left.
Eric about to ride up and down the slope around the tree.
Coenie riding up the slope around the tree.
Above, Coenie is at the top of the bank and turning down around the tree out of picture on the right.
Here, Bruce rounds the first tree and prepares to loop up the bank around the next tree.
After the tree is a tight right loop back up the slope and without good control the slippery surface on the descent will take a dab.
Murray at the bottom of the second tree loop. He has to get his bike left (his right) of the blue flag to round the tree just out of the picture on the left.
Once around the tree the pilot needs to do an awkward right over a root stump, followed by a very tight left and down the rock retaining wall.
After this awkward log, the rider ends up on the tarmac below, visible above in the bottom right corner. From there it is a right loop to position for an easy step up, followed by a small log through to the end gate.
Liam after the tight turn descending onto the tarmac. He now has a right loop on the tarmac to step back up the retaining wall and exit over the log just visible behind the blue flag above.
You can see the end gate between the two trees on the right of the picture above. Martin Kelsey did really well to clean the section on one lap. He did this by taking a sacrificial dab at the awkward log. Everybody else fared much worse.