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The 2018 Championships were always going to be a tight event with  last year’s #5 Jack Favelle, #6 Hayden Eardley and  #7 Ben Walling all going hard for the podium.  Walling’s ride was a Beta 80, Favelle mounted on a Sherco 125 and Eardley on the mid wheel, electric powered, Oset 24R. All looked confident, displaying nerves of steel and massive eager grins.
The big question for the three riders was ‘Were the sections going to test them for their ability to ride the big splats they enjoy, or, would it be down to technique and tight turns; a much harder mental test’. 
Day one saw all three enjoying tricky sections that tested their ability for tight turns. Section 3 and 7 seemed to pose the biggest test with the loose dirt challenging their throttle control. The minders had their hands full and were putting in a huge effort to support the lads, and at times looked a little wrecked themselves.
At the end of the day the results were close, the closest in the competition,  Eardley on 17, Favelle on 19 and Walling on 29, still in the chase after having a couple of bad sections.
Day two and the three lads were eagerly anticipating what was to come, all looking for that one rock or slippery corner which would separate them. The three started together in a pack and watched each other closely to get any added advantage. It was clear at the end of lap one that it was going to be a close result as Walling cleaned with a brilliant ride. Lap two was quick and the result saw all three drop only 2 points each. It all came down to the final lap; the mental test was on for both rider and minder. Eardley had a tough final lap, getting stuck in section 8 and nearly running out of time. He had to dig deep to pull his bike up a rock and then race it to the end. Favelle and Walling excelled, finishing clean for the lap, which would make the scores interesting.
Day two results saw an excellent ride from Walling to finish on 2, Favelle 6 and Eardley 7.
When all was done and dusted, both Eardley and OSET took their first win at an Australian Championships, finishing on 24 points. Jack Favelle finished on an impressive 25 and Walling come back strong, finishing in third on 31.
Well done to all participants in this class and their minders who put in a huge effort.


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Col Scott