Wednesday November 12, 2014 at 10:30am
The eighteenth annual running of this event was also the penultimate round of the Eastern Centre Pre-70 Championship. It was staged over four laps of 12 sections within Rendlesham Forest, where a mixture of steep sided clay pits and some tight nadgery stuff in the trees provided a good range of challenges. Heavy rain was forecast for the middle of the day, and would make the clay banks very tricky if and when it arrived. As it turned out the rain didn't arrive until many riders had completed the trial, it did make things as slippery as expected but had little effect on the results.
In the Pre-Unit class Mark Fletcher (Royal Enfield 500) held a single mark advantage over Clive Dopson (Norton 490) at the end of the first lap on the hard route. Fives on the bank of section 4 and in the trees at section 10 contributed to a second lap score of 14 for Fletcher, Dopson with a lap of 7 marks lost took a lead which he was to hold for the rest of the day. Eventual second placed rider Matthew Skeet (Ariel 500) recovered well from scores of 14 and 12 on his first two laps, his consecutive laps of 4 would leave him just a single mark behind Dopson at the end of the day.
On the intermediate route Nick Dyble (BSA 340), who was the sole contender, had a pretty good day aboard the only rigid bike in the trial, finishing with a very creditable score of 35.
Gary Baker (Triumph 200) had no competition in the Unit class on the hard route, none the less he returned the second best hard route score of the day. The steeply cambered exit from section 6, which was only cleaned twice all day, accounted for two thirds of his total score.
On the intermediate route Bob Clarke (Triumph 200) held a single mark advantage over Colin Rose (Triumph 199) at the end of their first lap. Roses' second lap was his best of the day losing just 3 marks, Clarke fived sections 4 and 7 on his way to a second lap score of 14 which left him well adrift of Rose and only a single mark ahead of Colin Sadler (Royal Enfield 248) who was recovering from a poor start. Lap 3 saw Sadler put in his best lap, pulling clear of Clarke and closing in to within 4 marks of Rose who had returned his worst lap score of the day on 11. With final lap scores of 5 and 7 respectively Rose held off Sadlers challenge to finish 6 marks clear.
Richard Challis (BSA 249) was the only Unit rider on the easy route, apart from struggling with the very tight turns at section 3 where he lost 11 of his total and a surprise 5 on his final attempt at section 7, little troubled him on his way to recording the best easy route Pre-70 score of the day.
Graham Brown (James 246) was a convincing winner in the Two-Stroke class on the hard route, a big cautionary dab on each of his attempts at the cambered exit of section 6 being the only marks recorded against him, giving him the best hard route score of the day. Veteran rider Allen Collier (Frances Barnett 250) finished a somewhat distant second but well ahead of an out of practice and seemingly out of sorts Daniel Carter (James 250). Despite his lacklustre performance the day wasn't all lost for youngster Carter as he was the best performing Woodbridge member on the hard route, retaining his hold on the John Easty Memorial Shield.
Graham Braybrook (BSA 186) had just two dabs all day on his way to beating last years winner Trevor Hill (BSA 185) into second place on the intermediate route in the Two-Stroke class. Albeit for an unfortunate stall over a fallen tree trunk on the entrance to section 3, John Chapman (BSA 185) would have taken second spot, as it was he finished just a single mark behind Hill.
Veterans Brian Fletcher (Royal Enfield 250) and Eddie Hood (Frances Barnett 197) were tied on 14 marks apiece at the end of their first lap. Hood took an early advantage on lap 2, however his lead was short lived as he unexpectedly fived the ups and downs on the bank at section 12. Fletcher had a four mark advantage going into lap 3, and with a tied lap had the same lead going into the final circuit. Despite an early 2 and a dab Fletcher managed to hang on to take the win by a margin of two marks.
In addition to the Pre-70 bikes a large class of Twin-Shocks were also participating with father and son duo Richard (Suzuki 250) and Tom Norman (Fantic 200) and Graham Palmer (Yamaha 175) fighting out a three way battle on the hard route. With an opening lap of 2 Norman senior took the early lead by three over son Tom, with Palmer just a single mark further adrift. Palmer put in the best second lap, losing just two against three and five for Norman senior and junior respectively. On lap 3 it was Tom Norman who excelled achieving one of only two cleans all day on section 6 and indeed being the only hard route rider in the field to record a clean lap, and putting himself back in contention. Palmer had only had a single dab on his third lap, leaving him sandwiched between Norman senior who was one mark ahead and Tom who was one mark behind, positions that were to remain unchanged on the final lap.
On the intermediate route a three on his first attempt at section 6 was the only loss of the day for Kevin Plummer (Fantic 200) but would be enough to consign him to second place. Kevin Bishop (Honda 200) had a single dab on each of his first two laps, taking the win by a solitary mark.
On the easy route Mark Gibb (Honda 125) had a single dab on section 4 on his first lap and a five on his second go at section 3, he troubled the observers no more all day and was the only rider to keep his total in single figures on the easy route.
Royal Enfield 248
Frances Barnett 250
Royal Enfield 250
John Easty Memorial Shield