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Ten years ago Thunderbird Park was the setting for the 2000 Australian Moto Trials Championships.  We are fortunate this location was again made available for holding our National event.

The Trade area in conjunction with the marshalling and score tent area really gave the meeting a great atmosphere.  The omission of the scoreboard certainly was not a great idea. Spectators and competitors alike find it is the heart of a Trial as it gives everybody an idea of what is happening out on the course as it is updated throughout the day.

With all the preliminaries behind us and a beautiful sunny day overhead everyone was keen to get the Trial underway.

The lower grade sections set by the Queensland Trials committee for the 2010 Titles was certainly challenging right across the board. In saying that, what should be kept in mind is the rain that came on Thursday and Friday really put some slip and slide into sections that were originally set as a dry course.

In the Veterans Class I, like many others I have spoken to, found it a huge, but very welcome step up in challenge from the Open events we all participate in during our riding year and it gave a fair chance to all age competitors to get a result on riding ability despite some of the grumbles, especially on day one.

Without a doubt this years list of riders was of the highest quality I have ever lined up with, and the most competitive ever to contest this division.
Two of the competitors John Rees and Brenton Hogan are men that can still hold their own at red plate level. Others like David Goldsmith, Paul Moore, Craig Gillies and Mike Frith all former Australian Champions, together with Peter Bayles, Greg Nordsvan, Tom Rafferty set such a high level of riding skill, that your riding and concentration cannot waiver at all. The absence of Rob White was probably due to his trip earlier in the year to compete in the SSDT.

This year was the first time from 16 wins that the venerables factor has played a part in helping me secure the Title.

When a grade that has such a huge age difference and a wider range of rider ability, this year has hopefully given people a first hand look at how our Veteran handicap system can keep older competitors keen to maintain their fitness and skill levels when the sections are set at a true Championship standard. With such challenging sections, physical fitness and riding skills both come into play and really does not give anyone a free ride. More importantly it gives the opportunity to young veterans to ride out the venerables factor.

The easing off of the section difficulty on day two brought the scores down considerably, but in doing that it brings back the 95% concentration factor and reduces the riding ability factor which can allow a single dab to be the difference to winning or losing which I feel takes the real purpose of riding away.

A huge thanks to all the markers on both days. Lots of familiar faces spread around the course looking after the riders. I would especially like to thank a couple of very experienced markers from both days for taking the time to explain to riders what they were looking for in areas where crossing your own lines was indeed a very fine line.

I did not see very many of my competitors ride on either of the two days. The couple of sections that I saw David Goldsmith ride, was as though it was 30 years ago, what a class rider. On day two I saw Connor Hogan ride a couple of sections with his Dad present, but unfortunately never saw Brenton ride a section. Paul Moore and myself did travel at times together and I think this really gives motivation when you see the effortlessness and smoothness Paul displays in his riding.

A rider that was keen to come over to Australia for this years event was Warrick Merriman, father of multi World Enduro champion, Stefan. Lack of securing a suitable bike for him to compete was unfortunate.His presence really would have given the Veterans class an International flavour and shown where his son has acquired his riding pedigree, especially in the conditions Thunderbird Park offered.

With such a high number of the field being tested on the lower grade line, time was a concern. The 90 second time limit very rarely comes into play for the vast majority of riders and the flow of riders through sections thankfully, was pretty good on both days.

General consensus after talking with a few new and seasoned Open riders was that the higher grades sections on day one were too similar and wet and after reading Kevin's and Kyle's reviews would tend to agree from what I saw.

Knowing Jake Whitakers form this year in the three completed NSW State Title rounds and witnessing his abilities in very wet and slippery conditions in NZ in June this year, this trial was there for his taking. The section setters could not have helped him anymore with the sections offered. The pity of this is the most important Trial of the year had most of our Australian talent looking pretty ordinary, particularly on day one.  Showcasing our premier riders when we have a chance to draw spectators should have been given more consideration with a wider range of section diversity, I feel.

Jakes win was very well deserved.

I have followed the hard work and dedication he has put in since I first met him as a fourteen year old boy at a NZ South Island title round 5 years ago, he really is setting the bench mark at 19 years of age and growing in skills and confidence.

Neil Price coming home as # 1 Aussie is a fitting reward for the effort he and his whole family have devoted to Trials over so many years, congratulations. The WA Trials community must be very proud.

I really do see a promising long list of young and not so young Aussie talent now having Jake in their sights. I'm tipping it will take lots of practice and a very big chunk of dedication, if they want to take the Australian number one plate away from Jake after such a magic display of riding.

Congratulations to Michelle on regaining her title. With such a close result and the never give in attitude of Christy, it is pretty obvious the standard of our women riders will continue to rise.

Another rider that competes all year on his twinshock, and I'm sure has given everyone the heads up is Jamie Isherwood. His win over some of Australia's best tried and proven twinshock riders must have been a very rewarding feeling for him, well done.

I would like to commend the Trials committee for the enormous amount of effort you put in to stage such an event, despite a few criticisms, a great Trial and a great venue produced a memorable weekend. Great big thank you to the section setters and all helpers, even though they had some unplanned moisture added, for a really challenging standard for this years titles event.

Thanks to the Team riders in the Anzac Dominos and NSW Country Boys who contributed to securing the State and Trade divisions.

Steve Holzhauser.

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