After a Covid-enforced break of one year, the annual Boxing Day Trial returned to its usual venue in the heart of the Forest of Dean and more than 80 riders turned out for 3 challenging laps of up to 12 sections.
In-form Tom Moss conquered the woodland and quarry venue with apparent ease, well ahead of Henry Bendall, who made a welcome comeback on the Expert route. Tom cleaned every section at least once, bar one – section 8 on the far side of the course. Henry managed a pair of cleans here, the only cleans on this section.
The Clubman/Expert route was more closely contested, with a handful of marks covering James Gammons, Ian Wakeford and Matthew Christopher – the latter’s first lap for six marks lost was the best lap of the class.
Ashley Greedy clocked up 27 cleans on the Clubman route, to Steve Grindle’s 23 and that proved the difference. Steve’s brave approach to use speed and avoid locking the brakes on the very slippery and steep downhill entry to section 11 saw him record two cleans before a three there on lap 3. A five on section 7 in the old heart of the quarry ended his charge for the win. Ashley didn’t record a five all day and cleaned every section at least once.
Nick Greenhill was the only rider to keep every lap score down to single figures to take the Sportsman Plus route win, and the evergreen Alf Bendall was a clear Sportsman route winner.
A feature of most ACU Western Trials is a conducted route for younger riders, many who benefit from the expertise of the ACU Western Youth Development Squad. Ellyn Welch and Milly Tillings battled it out on the hard route, gaining valuable experience. And four riders took to the standard route, learning important trials skills. Riley Nixon was a clear winner on this route.
At the riders briefing, Clerk of Course Darren Thomas asked riders to remember Julian Bishop who passed away just before Christmas in 2020. With the support of his family he was a mainstay of the event’s success for many years. His family continue to be heavily involved with organisation beforehand and on the day, and three of his grandchildren rode too – a fitting tribute to a much-missed cornerstone of the West Glos & Dean Forest club.
Report: Ben Falconer - Pictures: Colin Jones
Premier: Tom Moss, Montesa 300, 24 marks lost
First class: Henry Bendall Gas Gas 300, 65.
Best performance: James Gammons, Gas Gas 300, 36.
Best performance: Ashley Greedy, Beta 300, 12.
Youth B: Jamie Laverton, Beta 125, 65.
Youth C: Edwyn James, Beta 80, 66.
Best performance: Nick Greenhill, Beta 250, 25.
Over 50: Steve Wallwin, TRS 250, 37.
Youth B: Roan Delaney, Gas Gas 125, 54.
Youth C: Aaron Watson, Beta 80, 68.
Best performance: Alf Bendall, Gas Gas 250, 15.
Youth B: Tyler Burnell, Gas Gas 125, 24.
Youth D: Zach Ellway, Oset 20R, 65.
Youth C: Harry Bishop, Beta 80, 107.
Youth D: Ellyn Welch, Oset 36v 20 Lite, 50.
Youth D: Riley Nixon, Oset 20 R, 11.
Youth C: Dillan Jefferies, Gas Gas 80, 68.
Youth E: Eddy Tillings, Oset 16, 76.