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SACU 2004 Championship ENDURO
Round 1 - Grampian MC Lossie Forest Enduro
28th March 2004
With one of the biggest entries so far the Grampian Clubs Lossie Enduro was set to be a testing event for officials as well as riders. A lot of new faces were to be seen in the paddock looking to test themselves against a very fast and tight course. With check times set to encourage riders to keep up to speed and not just rely on test times it was a course that rewarded consistent riding. With the top riders in each class cleaning the times it was then down to the two tests per lap to decide the eventual winners. A new feature for 2004 was the Slalolm test with riders having to accelerate then brake for the next corner over a large open area. Interesting and different - and a welcome change for riders.
Kevin Gauld as Clerk of the course did a good job of keeping the event running smoothly assisted for the first time by members of the newly formed HOOM club. This is a group of riders who will help clubs to marshall events after being trained in First Aid and attending the Enduro Seminars. Non competitive - they are a new resource any club can call on for their event.
The course was changed in places from 2003 to discourage riders picking their own route in the test but was still a fast blast through the trees and then a hard charge through deep sand before a steep sandy hill climb. Colin Macrae was riding and must have thought he was backin the Dakar !. Robbie Head was also along to complete the "Rally" class.
Several stamp checks were set out on the course with willing officials there to offer words of encouragement. That was the only time you got a rest then it was back out on to the course for more tree dodging.
Overall winner and sand King was Chris Hay (Current British 125 Champion). He had the fastest individual test times of the day as well as fastest total. A very convincing win after his recent training event at the Diss in Norfolk. He was followed home very rapidly by the ever improving Crawford Carrick-Anderson who just keeps getting faster. Richard Hay on the big 450 Yamaha made up the podium places just behind Crawford. Ricky Mair continues to develop and is another sand lover in 4th. Derek Little must be relieved to get the first round out of the way after his broken leg in the first round of 2004 and continues to build up his speed. Murray Thomson defending Champion came in in 6th place after crashing and suffering a concussion. He did well to only lose 1 minute on time !
The new faces in the expert class of Chris Buchan and Chris Stewart did very well to only drop a few minutes in their first year in the class. The times are a lot faster and show we have a lot of "STRENGTH IN DEPTH" in the sport in Scotland.
In the Clubman class Michael Lowrie had a battle with Craig Jagla swapping test times over the day but emerged victorious by 5 seconds over 4 1/2 hours racing and 6 tests. Looks like it will be a hard fought year ahead with some very close racing. Alan Lauder was nearly there and managed third with Paul Chatham in 4th in only his first season on Clubman racing. Paul has some very fast tests but was held up by a fallen rider in the test. Unlucky - but that is the sport - next time he will bring a chain saw into the test with him.
Allyn Scotland - a well named rider took the honours in the Sportsman class ahead of Nikki Webster and Gareth Jamieson. Times were slacker for the Sportsmen but the course was a bit demanding for some of the newer riders. Hopefully these riders will continue to enter other events - as make no mistake - this was a very fast and tough event. The rest of the year will seem easy !!
In the over 40 class - where the racing is tough and the riders are tougher - Graeme Naismith put in some very fast times in his first year in the class to beat "local" rider Sean Wooley. Sean was out on the Yamaha 250 f and getting some very good traction with it. This was a 2 stroke test course with only Andy Flockharts KTM 450 getting near the leaders. Campbell Chatham was a very happy man with third place on his first year in the class and his return to competitive sport. Ian Patterson pushed hard for fourth place with some very fast slalolm times. 2nd place in the Championship in 2003 he is trying for one place higher this year.
I have been promised by the organisers that Monaughty will be easier and will be longer than last year. What more do you want ? RAIN - MUD - BOGS - HILLS - see the SBEC and the ELRAT for those !
Thanks to the Grampian club for organising the event and providing a fast start to the season.
Derek Liitle flies in the test
Additional photos can be seen at http://www.35mmsport.com/ - courtesy of Jim Falconer.
See below results for more photos.
Final Enduro Results Lossiemout
Photos from Rosie Patrick - RAJ Graphics. Click to enlarge.