With the NSW Championship series this year reduced to five rounds a few riders from Northern NSW have made the long trek down this year to support their home State Series.
Appin motorcycle complex was the venue for the first round of the NSW Moto-Trials Championships. A good rollup of riders throughout all of the grades saw some excellent riding
Bob "Macca" McGlinchy together with Tony Coomer, Allistair Farquar and helpers put together a very good spread of sections for the lower graded riders and with help from the Byrnes boys produced some spectacular sections for the guns.
A very welcome entrant for the series this year is New Zealand number 1 rider and the Australian 2009 Open Solo Runner up Jake Whittaker together with his minder. He was given a great reception at rider briefing and as the day progressed he was to show the expertise he has gained riding in Europe competing in the World Junior Championship rounds. Jake is travelling across the ditch to compete in all the NSW Title rounds, so a very competitive series is in store.
At the completion of the first lap, Jake's tidy first lap score was to be the difference between NSW ace Kyle Middleton repeating last years first round win. Both these riders carded laps of 3 for their second lap and Kyle put in another lap of 3 on the final round but unfortunately for him it was not enough to take the win.
Five times Australian Champ and current NSW title holder Colin Zar had a very unsteady opening first lap which saw him give away some easy points at the first few sections. The near flawless rounds Jake and Kyle put together on the second and third lap really made Colins task near impossible with his uncharacteristic higher second lap total.
Kevin Zar had a few extra fives with the 90 second time limit catching him out and taking a toll on his finishing score.
Mick Byrnes was back home from an extended holiday break and showed some of his class with some impressive riding after being away from his bike for so long.
Rob Jones having parted company with his 4T Montesa was riding his new Beta EVO and really took the A grade sections apart. I was riding behind him on his second lap and he made it all look so easy. It will be interesting to see if he moves back up to the premier line as he becomes even more settled on his new bike. Zac Hale from Northern NSW made the trip down with his dad Garen, both are riding the A line this season and I'm tipping it wont be long before Zac will be making it up to the top end of the results.
Kristie McKinnon the Australian Women's champion, along with Graham Peace were missing from the starting line-up preferring to hangout at some other Trial in Scotland.
Australia's other two top lady riders were out mixing it with the boys on the B line. It was a very much improved ride by Jonathon Chellas that was to keep Michelle from beating the boys again. Michelle again showing her great riding skills on some very tricky terrain . Ailsa was finding the going a bit tough and will be finding more time to spend on her bike to narrow the gap I'm sure.
The lower grade sections were really set out well and proved a challenge without any hint of danger. With the whole field riding all sections, a couple of the longer ones caused a few hold ups. Section 9 in particular caused some heavy congestion and Bill Guthrie parked his bike and spent well over an hour of his riding time in helping mark to get a better flow of riders moving through. A big thank you from all riders Bill, as many were pushing hard at the end of the day to compete their laps with the earlier 3pm finish. Tremendous ride on the C grade line was put in by Rhys Collin riding in Veteran class, I'll have to keep an eye on him.
Close scores in many of the minor grades saw some riders really putting in some very determined efforts.
Peter Legrove had a comfortable win over Paul Mac with Les Boniface lowering his guard this round to let the young fellows push him down the ladder a bit.
Full results should be posted on this site soon.
With a long trip home ahead, I left as soon as I finished, so I would like to thank the officials especially those who gave up their ride, and a special thanks to the team of markers for ensuring a good days riding.
Looking forward to round 2 at Pacific Park on 23 May.
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