Rockshocks Classic Trials Championship Round 5: Devonport MCC 17/06/2023
Report and Photographs by John Dickinson
The 11 event 2023 series moved to deepest Devon on the weekend of June 17/18 for rounds five and six when the Devonport and West of England clubs joined forces to promote a superb double-header in the south of the county.
It was a unique weekend for the series with both days spent deep in the extensive heavily wooded areas that this area is known for. Both trials were excellent and enjoyed by the majority, the only downside being relatively small entries of around 50 riders each day so huge thanks to the clubs for cracking on and providing two excellent trials that was appreciated by all who turned out.
Saturday was courtesy of the Devonport gang who made excellent use of their venue at Preston Combe, Woodleigh, Kingsbridge, and in keeping with the recent hot, sunny weather, the shade of the woods was appreciated - although the horsefly bites were less of a pleasure!
The 20 sections, lapped twice as usual, were variations on a theme based on the deep goyles and ravines prevelant in the south Devon countryside. A mid-day start was given to allow travelling competitors time to maybe avoid an extra night's accommodation and then a four and a half hour time limit...the latter having to prove flexible in the end...
Starting with the Clubman classes, local ace Martin Gilbert was in a class of his own in Air- cooled Mono on the Fantic, dropping a mere six marks, three individual dabs and a sole three dropped on the sixteenth section first time through before cleaning it on the second lap.
North west visitor Keith Burgess finished runner-up on his TY Yam with Montesa 309
mounted Pete Blowers, from even further north west (Barrow-in Furness, Cumbria) a close
The largest class was Clubman Twinshock with 17 hopefuls leaving the start. But there was
only one winner and that was Derrick Edmondson who has really got to grips with the
200 Honda. Even Derrick admitted that he could virtually do no wrong on the day.
Derrick's two mark ride, both single dabs on the first lap, was the only single score in class with runner-up, Yorkshire's Michael Platts on his 250 Honda TLR (by TLR Transformations) on 10 while Andrew Dawson (Fantic) foiled an all-Honda podium by pipping Cumbria's Mark Barrow (only a 360 mile drive!) on a tie-break after both riders dropped a round dozen marks.
The second biggest class, with eleven contenders, was Clubman Britshock but again there was a runaway winner with Yorkshireman Nigel Greenwood on his Bantam. Four dabs and a two mark loss second time through section 12 saw Nigel home on just six marks and another major Championship points boost.
There were three different machines in the top three as Darren Walker took his BSA single into second place on the day ahead of Chris Myers, from Coniston in the Lake District, third on his twin-cylinder Triumph Tigress engined Tribsa. Two fives on the first lap stopped his bid for max Champs points.
On to the Expert classes and there was a close finish in Air-cooled Mono as Fantic mounted
Ian Peberdy pipped Roman Kyrnyckyj, all the way from Scunthorpe in North Lincs. Two fives
on the second circuit spoiled Roman's bid for victory on his Honda TLM260R.
And it was another TLM260R completing the podium with Matt Spink - who has competed
on quite an array of machinery - in third. Matt commented that he 'absolutely loves' riding
the Honda two-stroke. (Woody's edit - get the Beamish out you big wuss)
The Expert classes were sadly depleted but in Twinshock there was only one finisher which was Will Tolson who would have taken some beating by anyone on a cracking score of 19 on the Fantic.
Mick Thompson took a nasty tumble on the exit to section 19 on the opening lap when his tidy Majesty pitched him back into the steep, narrow gully and caused his retirement.
This left just Britshock Expert and as with the Clubman class it was a Bantam
winner, this time with Dave Sherlock on board, his score of 58 just two better
than Paul Dennis, another Yorkshire visitor. Cub mounted Youth Fnlay Clarke
bagged third on another Cub while Kevin Ellis thumped into fourth on his sweet
running BSA Gold Star.
The Clubmen cracked on to meet the four and a half hours 'time limit' but the
Experts struggled with the long, tricky sections and had only completed their
first lap by four-thirty! But the club used discretion and allowed them to continue
and to be fair they fair whistled round the second circuit to bring the day to a successful close.
One day down and one to go...