Now well and truly settled into its mid-July date, the Manx National Two-Day Trial gets underway this Saturday with around 250 competitors from all parts of the UK ready to take on two great days of Trials action on Solo and Sidecar machines.
The first riders get underway at 8am on Saturday morning, leaving Douglas Rugby Club to set out on the separate routes for solo and sidecar competitors. The solos covering nearly 80 miles and 80 observed sections across the weekend with the sidecars covering around 60 miles and 75 sections.
The Solo’s head west and south on the first day with early groups including Glen Lough, Old Stoney Mountain Quarry, South Barrule and Ballaspit. Following the lunch stop the route takes competitors through Glen Rushen Gulley, down the Sloc and onto the South coast with groups at Pooil Vaaish near Gansey, Scarlett and finishing the day with two very spectator friendly sections in Castletown on the beach and directly in the Square.
Meanwhile the Sidecars will be heading north on the first day with early locations including Bims Field and Injebreck Gulley and Tholt-y-Will Plantation, with Snaefell Mines, Conrhenny Plantation and Larkhill amongst the groups on the menu for the afternoon run.
The solos head north on Sunday and the Sidecars south making sure the riders truly get to see all aspects of the Islands scenery and rockery. Heading towards Ballavitchell and Kings Forest for their first tests, the Solo riders will then head towards the Baldwin area and onwards for a lunch stop at Conrhenny Plantation. Once refuelled they will continue to groups at Windy Corner, Snaefell Mines and Axnfell Plantation amongst others, ultimately finishing their day at Knock Froy.
The sidecars will be covering groups including Glen Lough, Old Stoney Mountain and Ballarock in the morning run, getting as far as Pooil Vaaish in the south before heading back towards the final four sections at Knock Froy.
There are real chances of local glory in both main classes this weekend with Andreas man Barry Kinley going for his hat trick after taking the win in 2016 and 2017. Back after a couple of years out is another former winner and local rider, Josh Brain and its likely that these two will be battling it out for most of the weekend to take overall glory. Add in a third local in the shape of Juan Knight and it could be a local domination at the top of the Expert Solo class.
The Clubman Solo class remains wide open as usual with a number of riders in position to take a win including 2017 winner Nigel Crowther on his Vertigo.
In the sidecar class it looks like the local pairing of Nigel Crellin/Chris Molyneux will start as clear favourites in a smaller than usual field. Concentration will be the name of the game and current leaders of the British Championship, Olly Lace/Ealish Baxter will be aiming for the podium as will Nigel and Gracie-may Scott who currently lead the Intermediate Championship.
Riders and Observers signing on will take place on Friday 13th July at Douglas Rugby Club, located on the outskirts of Douglas, just near to Quarterbridge on the TT course.
The trial itself commences from 8am on each day from the same place.
The weekend is completed by the Presentation of awards on Sunday evening, 15th July 2018, at the Palace Hotel, with doors opening from 8.00pm.