Rockshocks Classic Trials Championship Round 2: Huddersfield Falcon MCC 06/04/2023
Report and Photographs by John Dickinson
Just a month after the successful opening event of the 2023 Rockshocks season, courtesy of the Congleton guys and gals, Huddersfield Falcon hosted Round 2 on Good Friday at Whitegate Farm, Cartworth Moor, high up above Holmfirth, the town made famous for being the venue of long-running TV programme, Last of the Summer Wine. Some would say that was quite fitting!
Falcon club stalwart Bob Tyas informed us that the event made history as the 150 strong entry is the largest that the
club has catered for since its inception in 1961. And it could have been more as riders were still requesting entries
after the closing date.
Clerk of the Course NIgel Greenwood knows this steep-sided valley like the back of his hand and while it is compact, NG created variations on his theme that kept the trial fresh. With a nice beck to work with plus the steep valley side there was good variety. And while there were several single figure scores recorded, these were exceptional rides and any score in low double figures was a good one!
Topping Expert Twinshock was Welsh ace Miles Jones whose score of just eight on the four-stroke Honda TLR kept the chasing, squabbling pack of Fantics at bay. It was a real battle for the podium as well with Yorkies Darren Wasley and Will Tolson holding off Graham Tales and Richard Webster with Simon Hirst the next Honda home.
One notable entrant was three time World Champ Yrjo Vesterinen who turned out on his very special 280cc Bultaco but Vesty admitted to not having ridden much of late saying before the start, "Maybe I should not have come today, I am not really prepared for this!"
And a notable retirement was Nigel Scott who was out for a gallop on pal Roy Palmer's infamous Kawasaki KL four-stroke 'Ratta' which suffered a broken clutch cable - and Scotty managed to 'lose' the only solderless nipple they could find!
The small 10 strong Expert Air-cooled mono class amazingly had three two-stroke Honda TLM260R models in the top five. Amazing as none were officially imported into the UK back in the day! And taking the maximum points was Lancashire's Ben Butterworth who recently bought the 260R jointly with brother Jack - and it was Ben's turn for a go on the lively stroker.
It was a pair of TY Yams who completed the podium though with Sam Clarke taking second, out on the Yam although he also has a Triumph twin and a Bultaco in the arsenal - the Bultaco being used to take the Premier in last year's Leven Valley Two Day.
The Yam was the tool for Good Friday though and after dropping 17 marks to the 15 of Ben Buttie, it was probably the five on section 16 that cost Sam a run at maximum points. Patrick Edwards took third on his Yam with the TLM260Rs of Anthony Ayrton and Roman Kyrnyckyj following home.
Expert Pre-75 Britshock proved a triumph for Robin Luscombe and his Bantam although at the finish Lusky thought his loss of 21 was not good enough to win acknowledging that, "There are a lot of good riders in the class."
Triumph mounted Ben Robinson bagged second, three maximums against the one five mark loss for Robin proving pretty much the difference. And Ben managed to stay one mark ahead of Paul Dennis, the latter out on a Bantam - complete with a very standard looking frame - instead of his usual Tiger Cub.
There was good variety of machinery in class though with Peter Ashmore's James. Martin Stanistreet's Villiers and the rasping Triumph of Rob Bowyer the next three home. It wasn't a good day for the Triumph twins with neither Rob, George Emmott and James Hough able to mount their usual challenge.
Two notable retirements were Nick Shield on Andy Bingley's awesome Ariel and 280 BSA mounted Chris Garlick, a potential winner. Also, 2002 Champ Liam Robinson and Matt Chambers were both no shows on the day.
As ever, the Clubman classes were jam packed, with Twinshock boasting over 50 challengers. And up at the sharp end it was the usual Fantic versus Honda battle. And it was the Italian two-strokes who came out on top with Chris Tolson and Andrew Dawson both posting single figure scores, Chris just getting the drop, six marks to seven.
There was then a slight gap back to West Leeds club stalwart Howard Gulley who led a quintet of chasing Hondas comprising Ian Blackburn, Mark Barrow, Michael Platts and Jim Williams.
Moving on to Air-cooled Mono and we had a clear winner in Andrew Coulson who enjoyed two speedy cleans on the tricky section 12 in the amphitheatre, a feat only matched in class by fifth placed Steve Williams.
Paul Atkinson took second place, just one mark ahead of the ever present Keith Burgess, Paul's GasGas sandwiched in between the two Yamahas.
Lowest score of the day, in either class, was posted by the vastly experienced Tim Blackmore who cruised his Bantam round the two laps of 20 sections for a mere two marks. These were a dab in the third section on the opening lap and a second lap dab at the eleventh sub.
Tim made a tricky course look easy as shown by the
runner-up score of 12 by Wetherby's Ian Myers on his
tidy Cub and just one mark astern was Chris Myers from Coniston, Cumbria on the 250 Tribsa featuring a Triumph Tigress engine.
Huddersfield clubman Chris Haigh took his Velocette MAC
to seventh place before turning his hand to working out the results for all our benefit.
Huge thanks to all who provided a near perfect course and sections and of course to the willing observers with whom it is always a pleasure to chat.
Ben Butterworth cues up the Honda for the final climb of section 11
Gee-it up there lad. Maximum effort from Mr Knaggs
Chris Haigh urges on the big Velo
A brace of Myers. ''Wonder if anyone would notice if I just nudge this rock under his back wheel''