It’s Anyone’s Game

As the British Youth ACU National’s kicked off in the Isle of Man last week, the two-day event proved this season, the championship is there for the taking in many of the classes! 

 With the exception of the super talented ex-OSET rider Harry Hemingway in C-Standard Wheels and new to nationals D-Class rider, Ellis Barton who both rode to the top spot over the two days, every other class is wide open.

Founder of OSET, Ian Smith, whose own son Elliot, enjoyed a third and second on his OSET 20.0R, said: “As a dad I was super proud to see Elliot on the podium on both days.  He had some cracking, skilful rides.  As a manufacturer, we’re delighted to see so many riders competing at the highest level that started their careers on OSET.  It’s shaping up to be the most exciting season yet and we’re looking forward to the next round in June.”

Riders enjoyed arguably the most breath-taking trials venue in the UK – Scarlett.  A rocky headland, on the edge of Castletown in the south of the island, the sea makes for a beautiful back drop to sections you’re unlikely to ride anywhere else in the country, where smooth throttle control is key and the amount of grip is surprising.

Day two meanwhile moved inland to Kings Forest at Greeba – terrain familiar to many.  Slippy roots, tight turns and steep ascents – it was all about the power delivery!

Up in the A-Class Joe Faunthorpe marked his return to nationals, after a few years out, to take the win on the first day – nothing like saying you’re back than standing on the top spot!  Daniel Slack, who has always been a podium finisher, was having none of it and dug deep on day two, taking the win.  With all four boys in the As mixing positions – it looks set to be a close finish.

By far the biggest class of 2018, the B-Class, looks like Jack Dance, Northern Ireland’s Reece Gazzard  and Ben Dignan (two solid second places) – will be swopping places throughout the season.  Harry Turner stepped up and sits in a magnificent fourth – testament to his riding ability to mix it at the top end of the table in his first year.

Hemingway brothers meanwhile carried on the family tradition to dominate the C-Class Standard Wheel – taking first and second and joined by Charlie Crossland.

In the C-Class medium wheel Scotland’s Euan Sim and Lincolnshire’s Jasper Fox traded places over the two days with last year’s D-Class medium wheel British Champion, Toby Show taking two solid seconds – another class where it’s wide open!

There’s only one mark between local lad Stan Cubbon, William Sagar, Joe Drysdale and Elliot Smith in the D-Mediums – completely nail-biting!

While the D-Small wheels , still dominated by OSET is also strongly supported with Ellis Barton enjoying wins on both days.  Jacob Wilson equally consistent in second with Ruari Young sitting in third after the double header.

Round three sees the caravan move to Low North Park Scarborough on June 03.  A great woodland venue, with water sections and huge rocks.  Riders will need to bring their A-Game as the quality venue provides a diverse of challenges to cover just about every skill needed by a trials rider.  Either a dry dustbowl or a muddy wood – watch the weather!  There is no water or electric on site so be sure to bring everything you need.

Images courtesy of Gemma Drysdale (thanks)