Southern Centre and Waltham Chase Awards for 2023

Tuesday February 27, 2024 at 10:33am
Southern Centre and Waltham Chase Awards for 2023

The annual Southern Centre Trials Championship Awards and the Waltham Chase annual awards for 2023 were presented by Tim Lightfoot the President of the ACU at Otterbourne in Hampshire. One hundred and fifty guests packed the Village Hall for this very popular event which includes the presentations, photo slideshow, food, a band and a raffle with prizes including tickets for Motocross Des Nations Tickets and free training day with Billy Green and Jazz Hammond.   

Thomas Moss carried away his fourth consecutive Southern Star Award for the expert class after winning the first seven rounds of the championship to gain a maximum 140 points, this included winning both rounds at the Isle of Wight Two Day Trial. Ben Lovelace had a good season to finish second in the class, winning the final two rounds which included the 81st Perce Simon held in atrocious wet weather in October. Old rivals Kev Nolan and Wayne Holdsworth took the result down to the last two rounds in the Clubman Expert class, with Nolan getting the verdict.

The Past Masters was introduced this year and is the most hotly contested award with some riders reviving rivalries from the past including some from schoolboy days. Gary Tarrant overcame injury and floating metalwork in his knee to win five rounds, with three seconds and a third he topped the class. Paul Doney was second overall taking two wins whilst Ian Hitchings racked up the points to finish third. Ian Wakeford also had two wins but only contested four rounds. Sat together at the awards, the true spirit of trials was evident with the banter and the appreciation of the group’s achievements during the year.

2023 was an excellent year for the Keet Family, dad Glenn managed to win the Clubman class despite chasing Richie, Tommy and Reuben around the woods, although there were also other family members on hand. All three boys flew the flag for the Southern Centre in the ACU Belle Trailers National Youth Championship. Richie picked up the Youth B Southern Centre award winning six rounds and several non championship open trials. Tommy contested a mixture of Youth C and Youth B, gaining two wins in Youth C including the tough Perce Simon Trial and a second to Richie in one Youth B. Reuben took two wins and a second which was enough to secure the Youth D championship. The family ended the evening with a full table of awards between them, as well as the great success, the three boys are excellent ambassadors for the sport of trials!

The closest championship class was the sportsman with Tony Chalk and Tom DeJong gaining a trophy each after tying on 111 points each, there were eight different winners across the nine rounds but Tony and Tom were the most consistent. Tim Owen pipped Andy Somerton by four points in the Veteran’s, Andy accumulated more points over the nine rounds despite not winning a round but Tim won four rounds and came out on top when the two lowest scoring rounds were dropped. The result was reversed for their sons in the novice class with Jack Somerton taking three wins ahead of Scott Owen. 

In the twin shocks and Pre67’s, multiple Southern Centre Champion Geoff Muston added another Twinshock C gong to his collection, riding his trusty 125cc Honda for the 27th year, three wins and three seconds gave him a good margin over Tony Billingham in second. Geoff Parker rode his Fantic to the Twinshock D title gaining enough points without winning a round. Graham Barton took three wins and three seconds to top the Pre67 C class, multiple champion Bob Hampton was second whilst Neil Clarke and John Miles both had two wins. In Pre67 D, the final round was the decider with Andy Withers finishing a point ahead of Trev Newell after topping the class at the Mike Slatter Trial.

Rowan Stewart was the Youth A Centre champion with two wins and six seconds during the season, Adam Kilbey improved massively winning the final two rounds. Dave James rode both Youth B and Youth C classes during the year finishing second in Youth B and third in Youth C. Jack Holdsworth took two wins and four runners up to top Youth C.

On the club front, the Rowden family scooped a table full of awards. National Youth Rider Dexter topped the Youth C Electric class, took four Open Trials awards, the Youth Ambassador and most improved Youth rider. Uncle Jamie and Dad Matthew won the clubman and sportsman club championship respectively. Neil Clarke celebrated a good season riding a DOT, an Ariel, a Bantam and a Wasp Triumph Twin to the Pre67 C club championship and a clean sweep of five club run open trials.  In 2023, Waltham Chase organised twenty three trials, seven practice trials and a range of training and social events, this will take some beating!     


Southern Star/Expert Award - Thomas Moss  

Clubman Expert - Kev Nolan

Clubman - Glenn Keet

Past Master - Gary Tarrant 

Sportsman - Tony Chalk/Thomas DeJong 

Novice - Jack Somerton

Veteran - Tim Owen

Pre67 C/ George Allan  - Graham Barton

Twinshock C - Geoff Muston

Pre67 D - Andy Withers

Rigid Tele Forks - Mark Worsfold

Twinshock D - Geoff Parker

Youth A _ Rowan Stewart

Youth B - Richie Keet

Youth C - Jack Holdsworth

Youth D - Reuben Keet


Clubman: Jamie Rowden 

Youth B: David James  

Sportsman: Matthew Rowden

Veteran: Shamus Doohan

Youth C: Jakob Twigg

Youth C Electric: Dexter Rowden 

Novice: Barry Hickman

Pre67 C: Neil Clarke

Twinshock D: Steve Wagstaff 

Pre67 D: Jim Gray

Youth D Electric: Leon Baude

Youth D Petrol: Tommy Wakeford 

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