Report Ken O'Brien
A clear but cold sunny morning greeted a classy entry of 80 plus riders for the 74th running of the prestigious Open to Centre event the ' Harold Avery Cup ' where in the past such great riders as John Avery Sammy Miller Don Smith Brian Devereux Bill Faulkner Pat Lamper and John Reynolds have all been triumphant.
The event was staged at Howe Wood Oxon where ten sections were plotted and ridden three times on the chalky Flinted hills of the Chiltern range.
Three cups were up for grabs today the Harold Avery best Expert the Spring Cup for best Novice and the Phillip Howkins memorial cup for the best adult performance on the middle route.
Richard Vockins was using maximum power on the Nitro 300 as there were many steep rooted banks to tackle on the way to victory in the Expert class taking the premiere award 'The Harold Avery Cup 'with a loss of 3.
A dab on section two first attempt was not a great start but it was pretty severe a tight drop over roots with an equally steep climb before lining up for the big rooty outcrop maybe 20 feet or so of continuous bank from a gripless leafy base.
Sam Cave over from the Leamington Victory club was going well on the R 280 with a loss of 31 and was rewarded with best performance on the 50/50 route.
Section six was proving the bugbear for most a Nadgery twisting uphill moss covered rocky affair with Sam managing a nice clean on the last visit.
On the middle Clubman route Adrian Steele 250 Beta took the Phillip Howkins Cup with an inch perfect clean ride although Stratford Mcc Raider Clive Charlton on the R3 250 was hot on his heels losing an annoying 1 mark at section three first lap.
A long value for money section starting with a 30 foot rooted climb then a Twitcher of a drop over a blind summit before an angled log crossing with a cambered chalky climb and this is where the necessary steadying prod was deployed by Clive, there were many marks dropped at this stage of the hazard.
Jim Morris 260 4RT took the Novice award with a loss of 41 with four great cleans recorded at Axford's Gully a very steep drop and climb with slick cambers.
As always the White Eased-Up Sportsman route was fiercely contested with several clean sheets in various classes.
Neil Osman 500 AJS went clean with plenty of power for the long climb of section nine the big four stroke could be echoing through the woods from afar.
Clean today as well John Hawthorne Triumph Tigercub 270cc also had ample power to hand for the looping flinty climbs of section ten.
Top dog in the sportsman class was Freddie Davidson Beta 250 also putting in a clean sheet whilst Mark Davidson had a couple of soft dabs on the 200 Fantic but this was enough to ensure victory in the Twinshock class.
Mark took a dab at section two after when a jutting-out large flint pushed him off-line but an excellent recovery.
Best Youth A went to Cerys Walters on the Evo 125 with a superb performance on clean for the day.
Young Josh Carter TXT Racing 125 aced the Youth B with a loss of 19 with four lovely cleans at number two a series of cambers and climbs.
Many thanks to all who helped on the day.