This was our first trial at this venue, organized by Kobus Potgieter. The weather was lovely and the scenery spectacular. The photos in this report are courtesy of Rory Bruins.
Despite there being some past masters registered for the event (Mark Du Plessis and Scott Wightman for e.g.), they were rusty and had elected to ride in the Experts class. As a result there was only one competitor (Michael Krause) in the masters class.
(by Brian Barson)
The expert sections were all set at an appropriate level. None were dangerous but all had a significant challenge that was well rewarded with a clean while at the same time not too hard to deter newcomers to the class. There was also a good mix of different obstacles. I really liked number six in the forest and number seven in the rocks.
The venue has a great feel and a wonderful view. There is clearly potential for more sections, which, like any new venue, can be achieved in time. It would be great to have this venue at least once a year.
(by Charles Oertel)
There were 16 clubmen at the start (as many as the total number of riders at some of our trials). So clubmen started on Section 4 to relieve congestion. This may have been a good thing because Section 1 was quite tricky and would have been more so before you are warmed up.
A relatively straightforward ride with stones that could unsettle you, a tight turn at the top that you needed to prepare for, and a scary but harmless drop-off at the end. On my first lap I did not realise how sharp the turn was and lost some points there. On subsequent laps I wondered what the fuss was about.
The clubman line skirted the edge of some rocks in what looked like an awkward way, then had a turn around a rock and a rutted exit with a rock embedded in it. Some riders elected to ride the intermediate line to avoid the awkward rock - with one or two coming short there.
After the first rider dislodged the comfort rock from the awkward line (making it now even more awkward), we were understandable nervous about it. Many clubmen paddled over. With my nerves still on edge and not yet settled down I rode the awkward line and surprised myself with a clean.
Subsequent laps also produced cleans bar one where I lost it a bit, and one or two dabs when I was tired near the end.
This section scared the clubmen due to the large log, and the steep descent and climb with little traction after a tight left turn. I must admit I was very nervous and anticipated 5s and 3s here. However, on the first lap I was the first to clean that section, and in all 5 laps only dabbed once in a trivial part of the section.
A pleasant section - basically riding over small rocks with the potential of going off line. I was continually amazed at what a trials bike will ride over if you just ride and don't think too much about it. Over 5 laps I lost a few points when thoughts did intrude.
This was back at the parking area, and involved some steep ups and downs on a short, sharp bank about 3 metres high. It ended with some rocks on the flat at the top, that could be awkward if your line was not right.
On the first lap I picked up my only 5 of the day, when I did not attack the first climb enough, and didn't make it to the top. On subsequent laps I either cleaned it, or dabbed a few times in the final rocks.
Similar to Section 1, but more docile on the clubman line. On lap 2 my handlebar clipped a sapling and threw me right off balance.
This started with a very tight right turn, that involved allowing your front wheel to ride up the bank in the clubman version of a floater turn. Then there were some very uneven rocks with the sharp end at the top that just needed to be ridden over with vigour.
|Riding Number||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||Total||Overall Standing|
|Mark Du Plessis||104||6||9||5||1||14||0||1||36||5|
|Izak de Vries||98||11||2||2||0||6||3||0||24||2|
|Warren Mc Hendry||102||10||11||3||6||10||1||DNF|