DABILL’S CENTENARY DOUBLE
When Councillor Blackie flagged off the first rider at the 2014 Scott Trial history would be made. One hundred years of the most famous one-day trial in the world was under way to the loud applause of approval from the enthusiastic crowd in the start field. It was quite an emotional moment, as the rider carrying the number one bib was Roger Tushingham on his restored 1930 Scott 640cc trials special. We often wonder if Alfred Scott knew that one day this event would celebrate its centenary; one fact is certain: he would quite rightly be very proud of this occasion. For the winner, James Dabill, it was a case of a double celebration as, little did the winner of the 2011 Scottish Six Days Trial (which also celebrated its centenary this year) know, but he would add the Scott centenary win to his trophy cabinet and his riding number would be: 200!
Words: Jonny – Pictures: Yoomee and Barry Robinson
It’s a dark morning in the start field for the event that welcomes everyone to Marske, situated high above Richmond on the edge of the moors. The old market town that hosted the many riders, organisers and spectators who would gather in the area from far and wide for this momentous occasion offered them all a good night’s sleep. The riders have to provide a series of fuel cans with their own riding numbers on, which they have to supply to the vehicles that will be transporting them around the course to various re-fuelling areas manned by the many marshals who keep the wheels of the event turning. These vehicles leave the start area at 08.30am – miss the cut-off time and your event is over before you have begun!
As the vehicle headlights faded and night became day the talk turned to the event. The super enthusiastic Richmond Motor Club had erected a huge marquee in the start area to celebrate the 100-year celebrations with many items of nostalgia for all to see. Programme covers and machines covering the 100-year period, including a restored Scott, were on show. In the marquee could be found many a past winner including Johnny Brittain, Sammy Miller, members of the Lampkin family, Bill Wilkinson, Malcolm Rathmell, Rob Edwards, Gerald Richardson, Nigel Birkett, Philip Alderson and Michael Phillipson from more recent times. The queue of riders waiting to have their machines marked and scrutinised in the marquee buzzed with excitement to be part of the celebrations. Friends old and new were on hand to share special moments of the event and give out advice to the riders. Who would win and become part of the history of the 100th event? The riders were finishing their own preparations; ‘should I wear a jacket’, ‘will it rain’, ‘what time is it’, ‘how long have I got’, yes, it was approaching start time. The master of ceremonies for the day was the mine of trials information that is the ‘Trials Guru’ John Moffat, who kept every one entertained with his light humoured banter and knowledgeable facts on the Scott Trial. The event has supported local charities for many years, giving thousands of pounds to local communities and projects, and Councillor Blackie acknowledged Richmond Motor Club for these generous donations. A charity team of riders would compete on various parts of the course in this centenary year to help further boost funds.
The rapturous applause as the first rider, Roger Tushingham on his restored Scott, rode down the start ramp at bang on nine o’clock was a very significant occasion for many of the event supporters who had witnessed this event over the years. The Charity team were next, followed by the competitors who headed out into the unknown to see what this ultimate test of man and machine had to offer them. At 10:07:00am the last man away carrying the number 202, local rider John Sunter, would set out to hunt down his rivals in an effort to set the standard time, which he last achieved in 2011. With a light wind the threatening rain looked like it might well keep away from the day’s proceedings which, for the majority of the day, it did. Who would win? was the question on many spectators’ lips. Bunched together at the back of the entry were four previous winners who all wanted to enter the history books. Dougie Lampkin had first won the event in 1994, followed by three more victories in 2006, 2007 and last year, when he took the laurels in immense pain with his little toe almost ripped off in a high-speed crash. His father Martin also had four victories to his name – could a determined Dougie get the upper hand? Michael Brown was a winner in 2012 and feeling quietly confident; his friend and rival James Dabill took his only win in 2010 and the new young Scott ‘Star’ Jonathan Richardson shocked his rivals with his win in 2011. Throw in the best of the rest, mixing both youth and experience, and we had a race on our hands to determine the winner.
By the time the riders were due to arrive at the hazards known as Reels Head at around 10.20am they were in the Scott ‘zone’ and settling into the event. The noise of the four-stroke powered Montesa with rider number six Richard Hogg on board was the first to be heard at 10.31am, heading towards the steep rock-filled gully that would prove very challenging. Soon the rest of the chasing pack would arrive thick and fast. The carnage would start as the riders became stuck at the top part of the hazard which featured a steep rocky step. Man and machine were littered all around as the heat of the action erupted. The first of the fancied runners to arrive was Brown at 11:08:27am, who took a smooth clean ride, followed by Dabill at 11:08:46am and Richardson in hot pursuit at 11:08:52am with Lampkin at 11:11:10am, who slipped off-line to rescue the ride with a quick dab. The action quickly moved on to Fremington Edge, taking the riders out and further onto the testing course. On the run-up to the event the rain had come down quite heavy and the rivers were swollen in places adding to the problems, with riders getting water in the engines and in some cases filling them full of it! Some of the entrants had already admitted defeat and were out of the event, including Ricky Wiggins with a broken ankle.
After the hazard aptly named ‘Surrender’ the riders head out onto the famous grouse moors and the unknown as to what they will offer. As they come off the moor they re-fuel the machines and head up to ‘Bye Pass’ which is another well-known Scott hazard. Just after midday the first riders would arrive to attempt the first hazard. Local lass Chloe Richardson was still going strong, as was John Sunter, followed by past winner Philip Alderson on his air-cooled Yamaha which was a similar machine to the one he took his last win on in 1991. Eventual Best Newcomer Billy Bolt would be next on the Ossa at 12:26:58am, with a charging Richardson on his tail at 12:27:28am. Brown was next a few seconds later followed by first timer Jack Price who was going very strong. James Dabill was next with a very nice calculated clean ride which Ross Danby replicated on the Jotagas. James Stones was next and still looking fresh, as were the Gas Gas pairing of Alexz Wigg and Sam Haslam. Dougie Lampkin arrived at 12:36:18am with a very determined look, which was very similar to that of his father Martin when he was at his Scott best. The entry was now getting pretty stretched out as word came in that Martin Crosswaite had exited the event after a huge crash leaving his machine suffering too much damage to be able to continue.
The race to be the first rider back to the finish was a pretty tense affair as both Jonathan Richardson and John Sunter arrived back at Reels Head together, with Richardson tackling the hazard first. The crowd hushed as they spotted Dabill next, some two minutes behind the leading duo, and then it was Rob Pollard, who let out a huge cry of relief as he cleaned the hazard. Brown was next having suffered a punctured rear tyre at the ‘Bridge End’ hazard. John Battensby was next followed by Stones, Bolt, Ian Austermuhle, Danby, and Haslam and then Lampkin; the race was on. Richardson was the first rider back as a shattered John Sunter sat shell-shocked on his machine with blood oozing from his blistered hands. Little did he know at the time that it had all been worth it as he had set the standard time at 05:01:40 – yes he had been on his machine for just over five hours! Dabill was next, enjoying the moment with his young son Archie and his wife Emma. It was Brown next, around five minutes later, and young Stones, Austermuhle, Bolt, Danby and Lampkin, who looked disappointed as he finished. The event for the remaining riders would finish as it had started, with the light fading over the last of the finishers. At the awards presentation in the evening the countdown began with none of the top riders confident they had taken the win. When James Dabill’s name was read out last he strode confidently towards the Alfred Scott Memorial Trophy knowing he was entering onto the record books as the winner of the Centenary Scott Trial – he was elated!
Scott Time and Observation Trial 2014
Scott Spoon Award Winners
1: James Dabill (Beta) 43; 2: Michael Brown (JST Gas Gas) 47; 3: Dougie Lampkin (DL12) 49; 4: Jonathan Richardson (Beta-UK) 62; 5: Ian Austermuhle (Beta-UK) 71; 6: Guy Kendrew (Beta-UK) 74; 7: Richard Sadler (AGB Sherco) 74; 8: Sam Haslam (JST Gas Gas) 79; 9: James Stones (AGB Sherco) 83; 10: Alexz Wigg (JST Gas Gas) 84; 11: Ross Danby (SXS Jotagas) 86; 12: Billy Bolt (Ossa Motos-UK PC Fork Truck) 98; 13: Sam Connor (Beta-UK) 110; 14: Dan Thorpe (JST Gas Gas) 111; 15: Iwan Roberts (Beta-UK) 121; 16: John Sunter (Appleyards Montesa) 126; 17: Will Reynolds (Beta) 127; 18: Jack Price (Road and Trials/Jitsie JST Gas Gas) 129; 19: Ben Hemingway (Beta-UK) 136; 20: Jack Stones (JST Gas Gas) 138; 21: James Lampkin (Beta UK) 145; 22: James Fry (Sherco) 158; 23: Jack Spencer (Beta-UK) 158; 24: Chris Pearson (Splat Sherco) 160; 25: Jonny Walker (Beta) 161; 26: Rob Waite (Beta-UK) 162.
Best on Time: John Sunter – 5:01:40
Best on Observation: Dougie Lampkin 34
Manufactures Team Award: Beta A
Best Club: Richmond A
Best Newcomer: Billy Bolt
Best Under 21: James Stones
Best Over 40: Simon Sharp
Best Lady Rider: Emma Bristow
Best 125cc: Lewis Byron
Top 26 Machines
Beta: 12 – Gas Gas: 6 –Sherco: 5 –: Ossa: 1 – Jotagas: 1 – DL12: 1
The text for this article remains the copyright works of John Hulme