It proved another stellar weekend at the ACU British youth nationals for OSET Bikes. Making up nearly the entire entry in the D-Class small wheels and podium finishes for every other OSET in the championship, the young riders continue to demonstrate exceptional skills on two wheels.
George Hemingway was back to his unparalleled best this weekend. He comfortably took the win on both days after losing only three dabs across the two trials. Day one saw him clean the whole trial until the last section on the last lap – a killer one dab! Joining him were Toby Shaw and Jasper Fox who swopped steps on the second day.
Ian Smith, founder of OSET Bikes and minder to his own son, Elliot in the D-Class, said: “Every year I watch these kids ride they just keep getting better and better. Seeing George ride 72 sections over the weekend and lose just three marks is an absolutely phenomenal achievement.”
The two venues are set on either side of a valley in beautiful woods. Travelling through typical high-hedged Devon countryside, riders enjoyed stunning views from Moretonhampstead DMC’s venue, Bullaton Farm. With the start field at the top of the bluebell-covered, woods, the riders were split into two groups. Half the field starting from section one and the big wheels off from section six. The entry was reminded that bluebells are very slippery – not just for bikes but for minders running after them!
Just missing out on the podium on the first day was Stefan Mewett-Richardson from Kent. In his final year of D-Class he is the epitome of a hard-working rider. On first entering the nationals he was finishing in triple figures. This year, his hard work has paid off and he’s definitely on the pace and a contender for a podium this year.
Ian added: “Stefan started riding at our OSET Cups with the Kent Youth and I’m delighted that this year everything has clicked into place for him at the British Championships. Like many riders, the step up to national level is a big jump and there’s a lot to learn. With 80 kids competing, new venues, travelling, staying overnight, long trials, bigger laps, time pressures and the standard required, it’s a lot to take on. I’m delighted Stefan has stuck with it and is now enjoying the personal rewards of competitive riding with the best in the country.”
Day two and the start field was nestled at the bottom of the valley with riders similarly starting off at two separate start points but riding up into the woods on the opposite side of the valley from the previous day.
One of the youngest competitors is the Isle of Man’s, Stanley Cubbon at age seven. He will no doubt be looking forward to his home round at the end of July after finishing fourth on day two. Along with every other parent analysing results to see where marks were lost and lessons can be learnt and practice needed, a consistent ride and he too could be in with a shout of a podium finish.
Ian said: “There continues to be a depth of talent within the D-Class small wheel with the likes of Freddie Stephenson, Alex Horne, Kai Kiernan, Harry Smith and our own Elliot all burgeoning riders.”
Myles Hutchinson continued winning ways in the D-Class Medium wheels, enjoying the top spot on both days.
“The D-Class medium wheels is a challenging course and really tests the youngsters. The gradual progression through obstacle severity and technical skill needed at the different stages, allows riders to develop and test themselves safely.” Added Ian
The C-Medium Wheels continues with the battle of ex-OSET riders, Harry Turner and Harry Hemingway who have consistently swopped first and second places on the podium. Each enjoying a turn in the number one position this weekend, Dominic Horne joined them on both days to take third.
Ian said: “The OSET 24.0 is proving to be a competitive bike in the medium-wheeled classes. They’re available later this year and we’re looking offering the youngest riders a genuine choice of a bigger wheeled machine with proven pedigree while older riders have the option to invest in a great practice bike that’s ideally placed to help develop the more technical skills.”
In the B-Class Oliver Smith rode the prototype OSET PR1 to finish second on the podium on both days. Ian said: “I’m delighted for Oliver. This year, everything has really come together for him and he has been able to ride more consistently. He’s riding happy, with confidence and belief and it’s great to see.”
The next double round takes place in the Isle of Man on 30 and 31 July.
A big thank you to Moretonhampstead DMC, West of England Motor Club and all the observers and helpers for setting out and hosting two fantastic trials in two stunning venues.
Results from Day 1 here
Results from Day 2 here
Images courtesy of P Hutchinson.