The start was at The Stocksman, Wigton, the site
of a market with plenty of room for parking and no problems to accommodate
trailers and tow vehicles. Plenty of food was available and there was a
nice place to sit down. John Blakeley was at scruitineering, as a
competitor as Chris Veevers had kindly made his Beetle available for John
There was a long run of 30 miles to the first section, down the A591 on
the east side of Bassenthwaite Lake to the outskirts of Keswick and back
up the other side of the lake on the A66. The Liegeís were delayed when
Kevin Barnes had his alternator fail but was able to continue with some
help from his team mates.
Section 1 -
Black Hole (Restart for 7 and 8) - Like all but the last
hill this section is in forestry. As with a lot of the hills clears had to
reverse back down as there was no exit track, and it wasn't possible to
turn at the top. There was plenty of grip though, and most competitors got
to the top or very close to it, apart from the three Marlins, all of who
failed at the eight, just after their restart.
Setmurthy Special Test
- Pat and Jonathan Toulmin were in charge of this nice simple affair on a
smooth forest track. It was to be a deciding factor in class seven though
as Julian Lack picked up a fail in his Leige and to make it a double went
on to fail the second special test as well later in the trial. twelve
points lost on the Special tests!
Out of the forest it was back on the A66 for a few miles to the Wythop
Plantation Forest Complex where there were four sections.
Section 2 - Routen Romp (Restart for 7
and 8) - A nice smooth forest track which didnít present
any problems for the triallers who didnít have to restart. The restart
wasnít class seven friendly though and Julian Lack was the only contender
to get away.
Section 3 - Big Cockup
- It was a good few miles on smooth forest roads to the next three
sections which were all situated together. Big Cockup really should have
been called Quagmire, such was the mud at the bottom. There was some
confusion here. The start line marshall was allowing some competitors to
start some way back from the line. Then they moved the start line back. It
seems that when Clerk of the Course Dave Miller came along he cancelled
the section but not before Dean Partington went airborne and scored an 11!
Section 4 - Little Cockup
- Not so much mud here. Dave Cook was taking pictures and there was an
exit track at the top. Most of the experienced triallers got to use this
but there were exceptions, including the low slung Midgets of Colin Biles
and Steve Kingstone who bottomed out, Steve right up at the one marker.
Nicholas Cross had been put in this class in his big engined Beetle and
with more ground clearance was able to get to the top. In Class Three
Kelly Thomas (Escort) was the only driver not to clean the section, which
would be significant later!
Section 5 - Lothwaite Side (Restart for
7 and 8) - The last section in this complex is a
glorious long stony track, passing some fascinating rock formations before
emerging through a gate onto a moorland full of grazing sheep. Julian Lack
maintained his form and was the only re-starter in Class 7 to get away.
The class eights faired better, but Alistair McVittie lost his clean sheet
in his interesting Suzuki bike engined, ex Dean Partington, Cannon.
Section 6 - Lowry's (Restart for
everyone) - After a nine mile
road run it was back into the forest at the Hobcarton Complex. Everyone
had to restart and this was to really shake up Class 1. First Dave
Haizelden didnít get away and picked up a 6. Then James Shallcross went
straight through without stopping, scoring 6 as well. This put Charles
Knifton ahead of both in his Peugeot, a lead he held to the end of the
trial, the first defeat for the mighty Dave for a fair while!
Section 7 - Long Crag
- A stony track with plenty of grip, hence tyre pressure limits for all.
It was another of those sections where cleans had to reverse back down and
there was an unfortunate tree to catch the unwary if they came out of the
ruts. There were a few failures here and Nigel Jones lost his clean sheet
after fixing a water leak before Big Cockup.
Section 8 - The Grotto
- A very muddy, rutted track with no restarts. It needed the tyre
pressures pretty low to find the grip and this caught out a few people
including Nigel Jones, Colin Biles and Nicholas Cross.
Section 9 - Ladyside
- A grassy track that became very rutted on the upper reaches. It was
possible to drive out the top, but all but a few of the Class 8 supermen
got stuck at the two facing a tricky reverse under the supervision of a
marshalling Thomas Aldrian.
It was back onto the road again, but for less than a mile before
turning into The Whinlatter Visitor Centre. The sections in this complex
were high above the lakes and the views of Lake Bassentwaite were truly
Section 10 - Lords
Seat (Restart for 7 and 8) - Mark Simpson was in charge
here. There was a restart for 7 and 8 but lesser mortals could blast
straight through and most managed this successfully. In class seven Steve
Kenny picked up a six while the other Lieges went clean.
- Ullister Hill - You have to back down if you fail this
rough track which gets very rutty at the top. Phillip Middleton (Marlin)
and Simon Woodall (VW Buggy) got to the one but most failed at the two or
three. Dean partington (DP Wasp), Tris White (Troll)and Dudley Sterry (MG
J2) all dropped two. For Simon, Dean, Tris and Dudley these were the only
marks they were to drop all day and this is how they finished in the
overall standings after Special Test times were taken into account.
In class four Nicola Butcher got her revamped Beetle to the two, one
further than Michael Leeteís VW, securing her the class win. In class
Seven Steve Kenny had the top front A arm bolts snap on his Liege. He was
able to continue with the front wheel flopping about a bit and won the
- '24' - This section wasn't to bad once you got round
the 90 right over a steep muddy bank at the bottom. This wasnít friendly
to low slung cars and Colin Biles and Steve Kingstone both grounded their
Midgets under the watchful eye of Fellsideís Myke Pocock. Myke was
probably glad he wasnít driving his Skoda when he saw Nigel Jones do the
- Sheepfold - Rough and rutted, there was plenty of grip
but an awful lot of tree roots. Kevin Barnes saw the possibility of a
class win slip away when he couldn't get going and scored 12. Julian Lack
did exactly the same thing, putting Steve Kenny into a class seven lead,
despite failing Lords Seat.
- Sandale (Restart 7 and 8) - It was a long road run of
20 miles to Sandale, a section with a very different character to all the
others. A track through farmland it relies on ruts and mud rather than
gradient to be competitive, but competitors really enjoy the challenge, or
should I say the blast. John Blakeley certainly did, going clean in Chris
Veevers Beetle to the delight of June and Alex. The family really enjoyed
their trial and it was super to see them taking part. The low slung cars
had problems on this one, as did some of the 7ís and 8ís who had to
restart just where things got really sticky. Steve Kenny dropped three,
but still went on to win class seven despite Kevin and Jules going clean.
In class eight only Boyd Webster picked up points and it was a 12 for him.
Special Test - This was a nice
blast across a muddy field. Kelly Thomas (Escort) and Colin Perryman (BMW)
were equal on the hills at this stage. However, Kelly had a howler of a
special test so it was Colin that took the spoils.
With no results on the day, and a long way to travel home, many
competitors skipped the excellent meal available back at The Stocksman.
However, consensus was that this was an excellent trial, spoilt a little
by the number of hills with no exit track at the top. This meant a lot of
time wasted in some long reverses so competitors were rather spread out at
the end. Fred Mills took time to talk to as many competitors as possible
as they went round, explaining that Fellside had lost quite a few sections
due to logging and the weather had prevented them doing as much work as
they would like prior to the trial. But all in all a good event in a very
nice part of the country.