Thursday January 24, 2019 at 1:24pm
An important meeting took place at the ACU headquarters last Saturday in a packed room to discuss various aspects of the above championship. The meeting included Organisers and Importers together with some members of the Trials & Enduro Committee and was headed by Brian Higgins.
Higgins opened with an informative power point presentation which outlined plans already in place for the new look ACU Trial GB series in 2019 which will again have the Keedwell Group as the title sponsor. Having had dialogue with the Importers in recent months, Higgins was aware that he had their full support to quickly improve the status of the series and one of the first aims will be to stabilize and increase rider participation at each event. With this in mind, it was quickly agreed that the aim would be for the Expert route to become slightly easier with the winner probably losing single figures, whilst the final point scorer (15th) realistically being under fifty. Coupled with this the Importers agreed to encourage some of their top supported riders to move into the ACU Trial 2 class where the six / six split on sections has been widened to enable the Clerk of the Course to have a different split which could mean that the class only rides four or five of the main route sections. Beta Importer, John Lampkin pointed out that out of the permitted ten riders in the main ACU Trial GB class, six will be World Championship contenders. With this in mind it was decided that the four hard, four medium and four easy suggested split on the twelve section layout would be adjusted to eliminate the easier ones and slightly increase the severity (or length) of the others to help with World Championship preparations. Higgins was quick to point out that this would not apply to all rounds as in 2018 some were quite hard anyway, whilst a couple of events were won on very low scores where he would work with organisers in the coming months to adjust. The difficult task of Observing was high on the agenda and whilst many in the room would like to see a band of professional Observers it was quickly dismissed for several reasons, one being the cost. However, it was decided that an Observers DVD will be produced which would form part of the Observers briefing and be available for organisers to use at pre event club nights. Higgins also revealed that a demonstration rider would also take part on the morning of the event. Higgins told the audience, “Our observers do a hard job, in difficult circumstances and I fully understand and appreciate their role. It is my aim to make their day more enjoyable whilst giving the correct penalties as the rules are written and I will work with them to achieve this”. Other subjects discussed at the meeting included the fact that Higgins would be conducting site visits to each venue at least one month in advance of each event to finalise all details. A Warm Up area for riders will open at 9am at each event and it was confirmed that importantly, Dave Willoughby and Elizabeth (who were present at the meeting) will continue with the results service in the same format.
Summing up, Higgins concluded, “I was very pleased with the way everyone grasped our aims and are working together to achieve this. It will take a while to reach the target set but we now have a team of ACU members, Organisers, Importers and Press all working together to give the series a lift. There will be much more press and publicity announcements in the coming weeks and the new website ACUTRIALGB will be part of this process” It is planned to hold a further meeting, possibly on a Saturday night between a double header, later in the year.