When the Clerks of the Course arrived at the rain soaked car park at Litton in the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday morning, it was obvious that the event would have to be moved elsewhere. Keighley Gate near Silsden has roadside parking and is one of the more enjoyable venues on the Yorkshire Classic circuit. With its long winding stream this year providing most of the 10 sections, the 56 riders were not disappointed. For the first time in recent memory two thirds of the entry were riding the premier route, a situation that Club hopes will continue in future.
The premier route took marks from every rider with John Maxfield on his Bantam taking top honours to win the David Emmott Memorial Trophy with a loss of a measly 2 marks, 4 ahead of his main Premier route rival Tony Calvert. Chris Gascoigne (Francis Barnett) lost 7 to make up the threesome that remained in single figures. Velocette rider Chris Haigh, fresh from his sunshine tour of the Caribbean, was on excellent form losing just 10 along with Paul Preston (James) shrugging off his back problems to join Chris on the same marks.
The Clubman route also remained unconquered with Steve Rayner (Cub) having a good ride for a change on 5 being the only rider under 10. Bantam riders Mick Haslam and Geoff Walker rolling back the years both finished on 10. John Feather on his rigid Ariel also deserves a special mention for losing only 19.
The rocks in Bradup beck had gained an evil layer of slime during the past year and early riders were punished for taking the plunge. Section one at the lower end of the Beck was tricky enough to take a single mark off Maxfield, Calvert and Preston with a mud slot turn to the final climb out taking the marks.
Section 5 turned out to be the biggest mark taker for the clubman and second hardest on the Premier route. The big step shortly after the start was tricky and the clubmen could choose to avoid it but it was followed by slippery rocks that took marks from everyone with Rayner being best on his first lap two. On the premier route only Maxfield, Gascoigne and newcomer to pre65 trials, Chris Greenwood stayed clean here with Calvert slipping for two on his first lap.
The final section was the sting in the tail and early riders had the benefit of the fresh grass near the ends cards. Inevitably this didn’t last and early bird Mick Clarke steamed his Ariel through in third to stay feet up along with Tony Swindenbank Bantam. Greenwood Jnr lost 11 of his 13 total here as his Cub was struggling off song at high revs.
A special thanks go to Clerks of Course George Emmott, Tim Pawson and Gary Marshall for their quick action in moving to this excellent venue and of course to the Landowner, Observers and Barry Pickard for results and photos.