A fine gathering of riders quietly waited in anticipation for the start of Ixion's first round of the 2019 club championship at Folly Farm, Beckley on 30th December.
Much rain on the preceding weeks meant for a shortened course as waterlogged areas of the farm were a no no.
Four laps of ten sections were ridden with a variety of roots gullies cambers and sandy hill climbs. The sun was low in the sky the frost was lifting and to these elements add four laps of ten sections with slick cambers and turns the scene was set.
Rob Warner 300 Mont started the season off with a win in the Expert class running out a two point winner over Chris Wickham 300 Beta.
Warner was inch perfect at section one ' Jakes ' a triple sandy bank loop that dried out though the day but this hazard got worse not better as roots began to appear through the sandy climbs.
Wickham had four perfect cleans on the steep downhill rooted muddy slide of section seven but the sting in the tail was the last turn, an off-set cambered drop before a left-hander up over more roots.
George Clarke 125 Sherco was looking in fine form losing forty-five to take best Youth on the Expert Route.
The ever popular Yellow standard route was totally dominated in the Clubman class by Ixion veteran Adrian Steele whose immaculately fettled 250 Beta made short work of most sections losing a miserly three marks.
Steele rode section eight ' Axfords Bank ' like a main road this a seemingly mild looking job but if you got off-line at all you were on a three or worse.
Two steadying prods were needed on separate laps by Adrian on this the hardest section of the day.
Runner-up in the Clubman, Graham Grove lost eighteen with a couple of these going astray at section four a short ditch crossing then a greasy turn before a three-yard run up a steep bank.
Jim Morris took best Novice Kevin Bint best Pre 65 Sam Cherry best Twinshock and Amy Clarke best Youth A to complete the Yellow route winners.
The Sportsman eased White route sections had seventeen riders with varying machines on show Mono's Pre 65 British and Twinshocks vying for glory.
Brian Ayres took the overall win on the little 200 Beta with a loss of seven showing all his years of experience on section nine a 200 yard field crossing with boggy turns and a steep gradient finish four cleans he recorded here.
Justin Cookson was only one mark adrift in second spot he had a clean ride at section ten ' Gorse Bush Climb ' a tight turn rising to a cambered ledge before a slippy left turn over roots to the ends.
In third place came Steve Chandler putting the TLR 250 Honda in all the right places for a creditable loss of eleven. Ian Homer Beta was back in fourth a further two marks adrift on 13.
Report Ken O'Brien