The Mid Antrim Motor Club have been promoting trials around the slopes of our famous County Antrim landmark now for 69 years and the 69th promotion was another excellent, well supported event. 75 competitors took to the slopes to tackle 3 laps of 15 sections in dry but windy conditions. Clerk of the Course Jimmy Dickey and his team of course markers had set out a revised clockwise circuit of the mountain which proved to be very popular with the competitors.
In the expert grade Harold McQuaid added his name to the Mackness Slemish Cup for the 5thtime with a magical performance of trials riding losing only 15 marks. Jonny Lunney was 2ndlosing 29 marks and Stuart McClurg 3rd losing 38 marks. Last year’s winner Broughshane’s William Dickey was 4th losing 60 marks.
In the Semi Expert grade former Ulster Champion Phil Hanlon was the winner losing 12 marks. John Millar, making a welcome return to the sport, was second losing 34 marks. Garth Mackey was 3rd losing 38 marks.
The Clubman grade had the largest entry with 26 competitors. Of the 23 finishers Martin Drennen was the winner losing just 3 marks. Martin had 2 clean laps which is no mean feat around Slemish. Philip Morrison was 2nd losing 7 marks and Steven Cromie 3rd losing 8 marks. Newcastle’s John Heenan was a creditable 4th losing just 10 marks on his 350cc twin shock Bultaco machine.
In the Sportsman grade David McKee had 2 faultless laps but took 1 dab on his last circuit to win this grade from Keith Annette who dropped 3 marks. 3rd was Jonathan Russell who dropped 7 marks. 18 competitors started in this grade and all finishers felt well satisfied to have completed the ‘Slemish’.
The organising Mid Antrim club were very happy to have 14 youth competitors compete at ‘Slemish’. Thanks to the help of landowner Robert Fleck an extra piece of less demanding terrain was made available and all the youth competitors were able to have the ‘Slemish’ experience. Alex Lennox was the Youth A winner. He won the John McCosh Memorial trophy for the 2nd time. George Taylor took Youth B honours, Jay Piper Youth C big wheel, Dylan Smyth Youth C small wheel, Shannon Smyth youth D and Harry Smith Youth E. The youth are the future of our sport so it was great to see such a good enthusiastic bunch out competing and enjoying the trials sport.
The ‘Slemish’ was the final round of the Michelin Mid Antrim Trials Series. Steven Cromiehad already sealed the title but an excellent final round by George Robinson secured 2nd place with 3rd place going to Stuart McClurg. With 50 competitors scoring points in the series the club are very happy with the participation from competitors and thanks must go to Michelin Tyre PLC for their continuing support.
The ‘Slemish’ was the last promotion of the Mid Antrim Club for 2014. As they approach 2015 they will be promoting their ‘Shane’ and ‘Slemish’ trials for the 70th time, that has to be a milestone worth celebrating so keep watching the website www.mamcbikes.co.uk for all club details and if anyone has any ideas on how the club should celebrate 70 years of motor cycle trials in the Mid Antrim area they would love to hear from you.