Spencer ties up D.K.Laing win

Spencer ties up D.K.Laing win

Bassenthwaite’s D.K.Laing trial on the first Sunday of November traditionally opens the Northern Centre’s trials championship season with a couple of rounds before Christmas prior to the remainder of the season’s year continuing until the end of the following October – strange but true; the reason being is that by finishing in October the year’s champions can all be at the Centre’s AGM on Remembrance Sunday to collect their trophies.

However, two of the three class winners on the Hard, Green and Clubman course were not eligible for championship points as  to be eligible riders have to be centre residents and the hard course winner Jack Spencer and the Clubman course winner Gary Younghusband both live elsewhere, so only the Green course winner Stuart Gaskell qualifies as of right.

Starting from the mining museum at Threlkeld near Keswick, the four laps of 12 sections proved to be a tough and challenging event as befits a centre championship round, so it was good that the weather was fine, dry but windy as the glowering south face of Blencathra provided the necessary winds for the nearby hang gliding bravehearts to enjoy the trial from above, as did the smattering of spectators at ground level.

The excellent entry of 78 riders was the largest any club in the centre had enjoyed for many months, and though there were a few retirements, those who persevered were able to be well satisfied with their efforts over this tough terrain.

Spencer’s winning hard course loss of 29 was matched by former centre champion Tom Swindlehurst, and it was undoubtedly his run of four consecutive cleans on section six that gave him the narrow advantage on a hazard where Swindlehurst lost nine without a single clean amongst his loss on the section. Darren Brice did clean the tricky hazard just once  whilst Wilf Shuttleworth looked as if he was about to on his final attempt until he slipped off on the final grassy slope after managing the hardest parts.

Stephen Dixon took third overall having clinched his 17th Centre Championship with the 2022/2023 series whilst Darren Brice was fourth in the trial, though both riders were some way adrift of the leading pair who had tied on 29 marks apiece.

Stuart Gaskell was another class winner who benefitted from having more cleans than his nearest rival, James Black, whilst Jake Gowan  was third, enjoying his comeback to trials. Sections three, eight and ten were the more difficult for the Green course riders, Blask, Andrew Payne and Robert Taylor were the best on the third, with Gowan the best on the eighth and Black topping the results on section ten.

Two of arguably the oldest riders in the trial were first and second in the clubman class with Younghusband winning on 12 and Nick Shield second on 14. but they were way ahead of Ben Brayton and Anthony Brockbank who were third and fourth. In a tough trial where modern bikes ruled, John Gornall’s eighth place on his delightful 250 Francis Barnett was a fair effort from a rider who is still recovering from discomfort following a trialling crash some while ago.

The full results can be found from the Results link on the Home page and Eric Kitchen’s pictures will be in the Gallery , probably Tuesday.