Report Ken O'Brien

Pics Gary Dowzall

It's January it's Cox's farm and it's wet and once again Darren Snell 250 BSA lifted the prestigious Norton Trophy for the 4th time winning in 1994 2006 and 2007. Conditions today were ultra slick around the whole course and Snells loss of 44 painted the picture to perfection. Although the rain held off untill late in the day 3 laps of 16 sections was enough to test the determination of most. Darren was good on sub 13 ' rocky twist ' a combination of short climbs and rocky outcrops taking a single dab after 3 visits.

Mick Clarkson immaculate B40 looked to be enjoying himself in the mud with some quality rides on the long and seemingly endless climbs of 6 and 7 cleaning in style on every attempt. A distinct disadvantage in these conditions for the bigger Pre Unit bikes with Neil Osman 500 Ariel running out the overall class winner attacking section 13 at great speed to get to the sandy summit of ' Hawthorn Bank ' before dropping steeply and blasting to the ends.

In the 2 stroke class Mark Howse Bantam was often heard ringing it's neck around the woods but no more than on Jim Axford's section 3 ,this was a truly old fashioned section, 60 yards of natural stream based reed bed full of hummocks and pits it was hard work for all as the line changed often but the little Bantam screamed through for a two on the second attempt.

Alan Taylor had the honour of taking the Twinshock class with some brilliant rides with one exceptional clean on Celia Walton's number ten a straight 3rd gear blast over roots with a deep muddy slot to negotiate first off, On the eased alternative route Arthur Walton riding a bog standard Rigid Ariel excelled in these conditions posting a supreb clean on the 'same for all' sub 4 a 150 yard climb starting in the soft stuff and ending on the hard stuff, This was more of an expert section as when grip became available at the half way stage there was no turning back if you got it wrong you were going to the moon. A good turn out of Ixion Clubmen on any machine bolstered the entry with up and coming rider Vince Branch coming out on top with the little 125 Gasser gasping for more fuel on full pin at most sections.

Many thanks to the few observers who braved the wintery conditions and the team effort of all riders who picked a board up to make the day a success.


Class Rider Machine Marks Lost
Norton Trophy Premiere Darren Snell BSA 44
Unit Mick Clarkson BSA 60
Pre Unit Neil Osman Ariel 122
Two Stroke Marke Howse Bantam 54
Twin Shock Alan Taylor Bultaco 56
Clubmen Vincent Branch Gas Gas 34
Eased Blue Route      
Best Rigid Arthur Walton Ariel 94
Unit Gary Fleckney 500 Triumph 137
Two Stroke Chris Waddup DWM 156
Twinshock Mick Young Honda 134
Clubmen John Young Gas Gas 80