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SACU 2004 Championship ENDURO
Round 9 - ELRAT Shiplaw Enduro - Cloich Forest
12th September 2004
Ian Paterson has again set out a very popular and testing course through Cloich Forest near Peebles - and Andrew Flockhart provided the fast and flowing test - always ready to catch out the unwary with off cambers and some very slippy bits. Always the best event of the year ( I write the report and it's my club !!) it proved very popular this year as a fairly testing track - fairly tight on time but very rideable.
2004 has been a very enjoyable season with a wide variety of courses. Shiplaw is back to a true Forest enduro with lots of mud and slippy off cambers on the going. A reasonable entry of 80+ riders enjoyed a fairly dry day with only brief spit of rain - unlike the last time here where rain almost stopped the event. The marshalls - lead by Johnnie Flockhart - kept the track going with only minor changes . A few riders ignored the marshalls directions and got well bogged - you were warned !
The course stared with a quick blast up the forest road ( some riders leaving the start on the back wheel - I suppose it saves on tire wear ) then into the woods . Some fairly tight tracks and slippy stones underneath meant the riders had to take some care but could still get up a reasonable speed. Then it was out of the woods into the test. As before it was Jocks's Field a fully taped MX type test about 2.5 Km in length with the Experts taking about 3 minutes to get round.
A quite stretch of track and then a flying leap down to the first corner , then a right and a tight left - with Grant Smith getting more grip than he bargained for and flying over the 'bars. Then on round the wide corners to the "flying leap " and the only complaint. They all want a faster runup to the jump - but the club tries to keep speeds down and limits them to about 30 yds. A fast blast down the hill and an off camber turn up and round THE TREE followed by a very fast off camber to the second half of the test over the burn. Slippy , wet, tight and stumpy in parts - finishing with a tight turn round the cottage to the B's. Easy !!
Unlike previous years this is only the half way point and it's then back out on to the course. Throught the gate - where the guys with the video cameras waited - always a bad sign - as Rab Moir provided the entertainment with a very fast dismount crossing the rut .
The second half of the course had some steep downhills with ruts to catch out the unwary.
No major dramas on the course - apart from Crawford Carrick Anderson who took a rut too fast and removed his mudguard on a tree. But still won the event - way to go.
Becoming a regular at ELRAT events Colin Macrae showed what he can do on a fast bike with 5th overall in the Experts on the new Suzuki 250 4 Stroke.
In the Expert class Crawford Carrick Anderson won the event ( and the Championship) ahead of hard charging Murray Thomson. With only a few seconds separating them there was no room for error. Grant Smith came in third after a slow first test and continues to threaten. Duncan Jamieson - last years Clubman Champ - came in 4th in his first event of the year.
Andrew Flockart pushed hard for the win in the Over 40 class looking to retain his title in 04. His first test was the best of the day and even beat the experts. Ian Paterson followed up in 2nd to keep his title hopes alive. All to play for at the final round at Bon Accord. Dougal Walker showed a turn of pace to finish in 3rd just ahead of Campbell Chatham and Bill Brown.
Paul Chatham must have been a bit nervous at the start of the event as a win here would give him the Championship in his first year of racing. But it just pushed him even faster to finish 29 seconds ahead of Michael Lowrie with Allyn Scotland close behind. This makes Paul the Clubman Champion for 2004 - and still only 16 years of age. Alan Reid and Ian Shedden were inseparable in 4th place and John McGaff just missed out by 3 seconds. Close racing all round.
Kevin Ostroznik keeps up his winning ways with a 2 second lead over Mark Ewing to take the win here. Thomas Melrose finished in 3rd ahead of Grant Miller - who always looks relaxed - and Graeme Crawford with Colin Macdonald finishing in 6th - fresh from his Dawn to Dusk ride ( only 4 1/2 hours here instead of 12 !).
Liz Millet finally got a decent result with no bike problems this time - finishing in 6th - even though she sneaked along the Expert loop to see what it was like. One other rider who will remain nameless also tried the Expert loop - and is probably still there !
Thanks to Alex Maclennan of the Forestry Commision for help in arranging the event and for use of the land.
And a big thank you to the top Test Timing team of Rachel (The BOSS) , Gayle, Scott and Moira .
See you all next year .
Pictures from Rosie , Sonny and James - many thanks . Click to enlarge