2017 – A YEAR OF CHANGE
The 2017 Youth Trials Championship wrapped up at the final round at Bracken Rocks, Derbyshire with a challenging course taking big points off the entire field. With the shortest series in recent years, four rounds – two in Yorkshire and two in Derbyshire – the feel was very different to 2016 when the series travelled from Scotland to Devon over eight rounds.
2017 is the also year the ACU decided to shake up the youth trials classes by splitting petrol and electric machines. Did it work?
It’s OSET’s opinion the best riders will win, regardless of what machine they ride. The new classification resulted in splitting the medium wheel classes to single figure entries. OSET feel it is not necessary to complicate youth trials – especially as the entire entry at medium wheel level are all primary-aged children. The D class medium wheels for example, had three petrol riders and three electric – all assured podiums at every round!
Ian Smith, said: “It’s been an interesting experiment, adding new classes to British youth trials. It’s confusing to everyone when there are so many classes, and no one wants a championship where showing up guarantees a top championship position!
“From OSET’s perspective, great we have three British champions, with every electric class wholly dominated by our brand, but I do not think this has been the right way to go for the sport. Whilst the debate rages as to ease of riding different machine types, the truth of the matter is different terrain and sections suit different bikes, yet in the hands of the best rider – they would win – no matter their steed!
“I would hope the ACU will look carefully at this year and reconsider the competitive classes for 2018. In addition, we would hope that an extended championship series would be possible again. A four-round series felt way too short.”
In recent years British youth championships being decided on a ‘winner takes all’ option at the final round. This was the case with both the C medium and D small wheel classes. Following in the footsteps of Harry Turner and Harry Hemingway, 2017’s rivalry between Myles Hutchinson and Dominic Horne on their OSET 24.0’s at C-Class Medium electric was no different. It’s a huge well done to Myles, who pipped pal, Dominic at Bracken Rocks to take the championship and enjoy a second year as British champion.
With average entries in the 70s, youth national trials continue to be reasonably well-supported. Entry numbers into three figures is an achievable target OSET Bikes would love to see.
There was nothing in it for D-Class small wheels with OSET 20.0R mounted Euan Sim, Will Sagar and our own Elliot Smith, with just four championship points separating the three boys and all enjoying a win each. Doubtless these three, along with the Isle of Man’s Stanley Cubbon, Scotland’s Joe Drysdale and up and coming Jonathan Hancock will continue to go head to head over the coming years. Interestingly their talents are spread across the UK, another indicator that the breadth and depth of talent in trials riding is growing from these grass root riders.
Toby Shaw continued winning ways on his 24.0R Jr to take the win at every round – phenomenal riding by the young lad from Retford. The big battle for second and third came between Stefan Mewett-Richardson and Alex Horne – with Stefan beating Alex by a single dab at the last round – compelling stuff!
A championship running over less than a 2 month period is too short! Riders now have potentially to wait 10 months before another national round – too long!
Congratulations to all riders who put in the effort – especially those that travelled so far. Hopefully a longer series with up to eight rounds will see the series to grow in 2018.
We look forward to a summer full of fun riding and wait to hear what next year will bring.