TOM SAGAR FAST EDDY TRAINING DATES ….. we are pleased to announce the following dates February 21st at cowm quarry, extreme training. March 7th enduro training for Sportsman/ Novice riders March 8th Expert / Clubman at north venue. March 21st at H20 extreme training… message Christine Parkes or call 07889 924560 .. both with myself and Tom.. limited places .
Graham Jarvis gave a masterclass of extreme riding at Tong on Sunday, winning the opening round of the 2018 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship by over ten minutes from his nearest rivals Paul Bolton and Billy Bolt. The gap between Bolton and Bolt was considerably closer, less than half a second after two and a half hours of racing! Amazingly, this is the first extreme event where the top three places all went to four-stroke riders.
Now in its eighth year the Tong extreme attracts both riders and crowds alike. The rider entry saw over 120 bikes on the line for the first race followed by eighty plus for the second race. This year really was something special, the course was the hardest it had ever been in both directions. Paul Edmondson and Tom Sagar put some thought into the layout that enabled the racers in the morning to circulate in a roughly clockwise direction while the afternoon entrants saw the course completely reversed.
The morning course was tough, all the infamous spots such as the waterfall (which riders went down) the ditch jump, the ravines and the rock garden were included but several new sections joined it all together and the whole course flowed well and had plenty of lines at the trickiest spots. Absolute carnage ruled in a couple of places during the first two laps but once everyone settled down and picked lines, it all became slightly easier, but only slightly.
The stream sections were used extensively with steep descents into the water and even steeper climbs out which quickly became slippery as water was dragged out of the stream and tree roots began to be exposed. Many of the sections had hard rock climbs that proved to be equally tricky. Huge numbers of spectators helped out by pulling riders up banks despite a large marshalling force present at all the tougher sections.
The same start line was used for both races but the morning racers turned right as they joined the course while the afternoon riders went left. The youth class was first away and they hit the course hard. Gas Gas Uk’s Tom Knight took the lead on the first lap and by the time he reached the Rock Garden, virtually at the end of the lap, he had a 30 second lead. The youth class was packed with talent as young Knight worked hard to keep ahead of Will Stansbie who eventually took second in class and Israeli rider Suff Sella who grabbed third.
Knight got a clean run and made the most of it keeping ahead of the pack for a couple of laps but with this type of event experience counts and one of the most experienced riders around Tong is Mark Houson in the Vets class. He eventually wrestled the lead from Knight and charged onwards, even as the last few seconds of the race ticked away on the lap clock he powered through the time check to grab another lap, the only rider to post nine laps in the morning race. Karl Greenhall took fourth overall and second in the Vets, a lap adrift of Houson, as Anthony Crowe just took third in class by 20 seconds ahead of Andy Harvey.
James Crookshank had a cracking ride in the Sportsman class taking the win over Josh Haith and Jack Winn in second and third but it had been a real battle as virtually every riders was stuck at some point and the Sportsman entry was huge.
The course was the toughest ever seen for the Youth, Vets and Sportsman riders but although a few spots proved tricky the course was never altered or sections cut. Riders simply had to get on with it, which they did, much to their credit.
As the last rider exited the course from the morning race, the start line for the afternoon race was already packed. With Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis and Billy Bolt headlining the event alongside KTM’s Paul Bolton, Gas Gas Factory rider Danny McCanney, the ever improving KTM mounted Sam Winterburn and Jonno Richardson representing Beta the Championship class was packed with real talent.
A new class was added to the afternoon line-up. The Elite Vets and it attracted plenty of very talented riders and yet another Knight in the form of Juan representing Gas Gas UK, this class really made their presence felt and spectators witnessed some excellent lines and manoeuvres from them. The Expert and Clubman classes were equally balanced with around 25 riders in each.
As the start flag dropped it was Paul Bolton who gained the upper hand with Bolt, Jarvis and Richardson close behind. Danny McCanney got an average start but within a few minutes he had crashed and injured his hand, forcing him to retire. By the time the riders reached the ditch jump it was Bolt who headed the pack, closely followed by Richardson.
The ditch was approached from the opposite side to previous years with very little run-up room and a flat take off across a very wide ditch. It looked sketchy but Bolt, Bolton Jarvis, Richardson, Ludgate and company made it look easy. There were two jump options and a slower option through the ditch itself, many riders approached the ditch and then opted for option three when they saw the width that had to be cleared.
Bolt seemed to have things under control and lead for a while but then got stuck on one of the big hills, allowing Bolton and Jarvis to pass him. Bolton grabbed the lead but Jarvis hit his rhythm by the halfway point and took the lead, disappearing into the distance. He lapped the whole field up to third place and finished with over 10-minutes in hand.
Who would be second went to the wire, literally. Bolt continued to close on Bolton and with the chequered flag waiving the pair approached the finish line flat out with Bolton just ahead. A last second lunge by Bolt was to no avail and he had to take third, by less than half a second. Bolton had shown he is still a force to be reckoned with and had ridden an exceptional race, especially the first half where the lead yo-yoed between three riders. Jonno Richardson took a solid fourth spot on the Beta with Parkwood Offroad’s own Will Hoare grabbing fifth.
Juan Knight’s silky smooth riding style saw him take fifth overall and top spot in the Elite Vets. Where others struggled, he rode as if it were a Sunday trail ride making the toughest sections look easy at times. It was a long way to second place in the class where Harold Crawford finished 18th overall, just ahead of Andrew Reeves who took third.
Sam Ludgate put on a terrific show to take seventh overall and top spot in the Expert class. He was up against some fierce competition but still managed to get well inside the top ten with second in class Chris Windle finishing 10th overall. Jack Spencer was a minute and a half behind him in third.
In twenty-second spot was Stuart Mack, top Clubman rider on the day with eight laps under his belt. Thomas Johnson just made second spot on eight laps as Matthew Alpe took third in class.
This was the best ever event at Tong. Switching direction for the races worked perfectly and gave the riders completely different challenges in each race and spectators plenty to watch as the action was everywhere, even on the ‘easy’ bits.
It was a gamble by Fast Eddy and his crew but it certainly paid off and provided two races tougher than anything witnessed at Tong previously. It was a cracking start to a well-established series that improves year after year. Cowm Quarry with its rocks and huge twisty climbs is next in line and could not be more different to the tight, gnarly woodland at Tong. It will be the event to watch as Billy Bolt will not want to give up his British Extreme Champions title easily.
Well done to all at Fast Eddy Racing, the crew, helpers and marshals made it all run like a well-oiled machine.
Words Tim Tighe. Pics Tilde Tighe
In the timeless Neverland between Christmas and New Year scores of the bored and simply overindulged turned out for Keith and Eddy’s Xmas bash at Ashby, two hours of simple, freezing, ice-encrusted, muddy fun which masqueraded as the final round of the Fast Eddy Racing Winter Series.
Ashby isn’t used much these days for events, mainly for practice, but when an event does run there it is always memorable and this event was no different. Following one of the coldest nights of the year the mulch covered parts of the track slowly began to thaw in the weak winter sun. The deep pools of standing water would take a little more convincing to begin to thaw but after a couple of laps over 50 bikes had smashed the ice to oblivion.
The going varied all around the course but just so riders didn’t think it was too easy the Fast Eddy track crew threw in some decent sized rocks on the central MX section of the course.
With a short section of new going off the start line it didn’t take long before all classes were away and into more familiar parts of the course, the separate classes mixing within a lap.
Jay Thomas and Adam Castledine were out in front alongside Jack Ditchfield and Sean Wainwright while a surprise late entry from Jack Staines saw a fearsome Honda 450 tearing up the track in the Expert ranks. It was a real grueller of a race and Jay Thomas just gritted his teeth and clung to the overall first spot as if his life depended on it. He’d had a lead over second placed Jack Ditchfield for quite some time but Ditchy also kept plugging away to take second place with Sean Wainwright eventually taking third.
James Palmer has a terrific ride to take fourth overall and win the Youth A class ahead of Charlie Chater and Archie Collier. Keith Staines maintained his Christmas tradition of a single muddy outing by winning the Clubman Vets by quite a margin over Julian Cook and Chris Wagstaff.
Jacob James had an outstanding performance on his way to Clubman class victory with 12 laps to his credit, just ahead of Rich Heslop and Glyn McGuire. Ben Martindale once again picked up the Sportsman win just ahead of Paul Clarkes and Luke Austick.
Kristian Ankritt topped the Novice runners with Joe Poole and Andrew Williams just a lap adrift of the leader. The Sportsman Vets was well attended and it was Nick Barrow who claimed the class win with Chris Edwards in second spot and Michael Eaton third. Toby Flack had a tough old ride around but still nailed the top spot in the Youth B class ahead of Will Farrow and Ben Cook.
This was a typical winter event. Muddy, cold but lots of fun once the racing was over and there was time to reflect on just how tough it had been and how mad everyone was to have ridden it.
Actually, it ran rather well. Once the first few laps were completed riders settled down and Ashby Moto Parc reminded everyone just how tough it could be. It was and experience to ride but also really entertaining to watch. The Fast Eddy crew did a great job in tough conditions to layout a course that suited virtually everyone and even throw in a few hard and easy options to boot.
Pics Tilde Tighe. Words Tim Tighe
Harry Edmondson posted yet another victory in the Steady Eddy Xtreme series as round two of this seasons series took place at a cold but sunny H2O just outside Oswestry on Sunday. He took the lead from the start and never looked back but it wasn’t all going to be plain sailing.
Billed as an ‘introduction to extreme enduro’ the course was perfect, until the cold weather took hold, then it became much harder than anticipated even though the sunshine thawed most of the frozen areas. The large amount of woodland was unaffected by the cold weather and as with most Fast Eddy layouts there were plenty of lines to choose from at each of the trickier sections but along the valley floor and the steep slopes surrounding the valley it was slick to say the least. The hard-packed moto-x track also needed to be approached with care at the start of the two-and-a-half hour race but as the laps passed and lines appeared the whole thing became slightly easier. The course held nothing that could really be considered extreme by Pro rider standards but the cold and icy patches wore riders down and it became very hard going for many riders inexperienced with these types of conditions.
So, Harry Edmondson headed the Clubman class and had a healthy lead until he lost his rear brake a quarter of the way into the race. With so many slippery descents and just a front brake young Edmondson’s race suddenly became very interesting as a hard-charging Henry Yardley kept the pressure on for the next handful of laps. Edmondson really deserved his win, many riders would have quit with the loss of the rear brake in these conditions but he kept it going and eventually finished nearly five minutes clear of Henry Yardley in second spot. These two were the only riders to clock 11 laps, and each one was hard earned. In third spot came Jack Spencer at the head of a gaggle of Clubman riders who had been close together throughout the race.
With the top nine places going to Clubman riders, Geraint Rogers, riding in the Clubman Vets, sneaked into the top 10 with nine laps under his belt. He was followed by Steve Norbury, second in class, who had a belter of a race and just edged Darryl Mead to third in class.
The Youth result seemed to be a foregone conclusion as George Yardley rode exceptionally well and was cruising at the head of the class but disaster struck just laps from the end when he crashed heavily just past lap-scoring on an open field. It was enough to see him DNF which was a great shame considering his terrific ride. Mathias Salin had always been in contention and took the Youth class win by some distance over Jamie Williams with Zac Ward filling the final podium place.
Nils Ogden was a lap up on fellow Sportsman riders as he swept to class victory, the only Sportsman inside the top 20. Ricky Downes and Robert Crayston battled it out for second and third spots with Down finishing just ahead of Crayston.
Jason Clark headed the Sportsman Vets as Nick Barrow and Neil Myers closed him down over the final few laps but Clark had a considerable margin by that stage and he finished at the head of his class.
The Novice ranks were full of expectant and energetic riders, many eager to try a taste of extreme terrain for the first time so Lewis Moore did very well to take the win at the head of such a large class. Luke Ames nailed second spot with Gage Whyte taking third in class.
The event turned out to be tougher than planned but that is often the nature of extreme events when the weather takes a hand in proceedings but the majority of riders stuck at it and gained invaluable experience of what to do when the going gets tough. The course included a few new sections which all rode well but it was a hard-riding day and the course didn’t make things easy.
The third and final round of the series is in a couple of weeks time at Westwood near Sheffield on Sunday December 10th. It proved to be a cracking event last December.
A practice day at the ever popular Bicton Farm, SY3 8EU, has just been announced by Fast Eddy.
It will run on Sunday 3rd December. Cost is £25 for adults and £15 for youth riders.
The dates have just been released for the 2018 British Extreme Series.
Beginning in January at Tong, as is traditional for the series, it then moves to Cowm Quarry in February and H2O in March.
The Extreme ravines event in April is the fourth round followed by the Hawkshead Extreme in May.
The sixth and final round will be at Green Hall Farm in Mid wales in August.
More information will be released soon but the great news is that the series has a new title sponsor.
Enjoy six days of riding in the beautiful Catalan countryside and on some of Europe’s best practice tracks & enduro trails, in north-eastern Spain, with Fast Eddy, Tom Sagar & guest riders. Available dates: December 11-17th (2017) January 21-27th, February 11-17th, March 11-17th. Price includes six days of riding, track fees, accommodation, breakfast, lunch & evening meal.
Cost is £699 per person plus flights & bike fuel. Maximum of 12 riders. To book please call call 01543 450150 or 07889 924560.
Torrential rain on Saturday killed the planned practice day at Bicton Farm and nearly put paid to the second round of the Fast Eddy Winter on Sunday but the brave and the foolhardy turned out to battle the weather and each other for two races at this popular venue near Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
Earlier in the week the course had been prepared to perfection with a new layout and new challenges. Unfortunately, all the hard work was undone by the unpredictable British weather. A very trimmed down course was used for the first race of the day that saw the youth riders in action but this was expanded to include the woodland section for the main adult’s race, even though it was still small compared to the usual layout.
The rainfall had been epic overnight and continued early on until it cleared as the youth riders started their race at 9.15am. Course conditions were very slippery initially but improved slightly as the race progressed and lines started to form around the maze of sweeping bends on the stubble field.
The 85-150 riders were first off the line but within a lap they had been passed by 65cc rider Jack Sandland, who was in his element. Spending most of the race on his pegs Sandland had lapped the field by the halfway point and managed to clock and extra two laps over Riegan Reece, also on a 65. Sandland took an impressive win with Reece second and fellow 65ccer William Barnett third. Top of the 85-150 class was Daniel Withington followed by Ben Houghton and Jake Willis.
Another downpour just ahead of the main race of the day made conditions very difficult but the rain passed as the riders left the start line and the sun shone, until just over an hour later the most torrential prolonged downpour of the weekend hit! The rain wasn’t the killer though, it became very cold and the last few laps of the race were pure torture for the riders still going.
The initial battle in the Experts class was between Harry Edmondson and Derek Bawn but Young Eddy turned on the gas and gained a significant lead by the halfway point, then went into cruise mode. It was a mistake, Bawn kept the pressure on and took Edmondson by surprise, taking the lead for a handful of laps before being overtaken by the eventual winner Edmondson. Bawn secured second spot but the tussle of the day was between Expert Henry Yardley and younger brother George in the Youth A class. Henry had quite a lead but inch by inch George came within passing distance. A slight tumble from Henry, right by the pit entrance, gave George the chance he needed and he made the pass. Henry soon put things back into order and ended the race in third place while George took third in the YouthA class behind an in-form James Palmer and Charlie Chater in second spot on his new Yamaha 125 machine.
Chris Wagstaff topped the vets A class ahead of Dave Cooper while Nick Barrow took the Vets B honours ahead of Andy Davies and Roger Withington. Jacob James had the Clubman class all to himself as condition took their toll and his competitors DNF’d.
Carwyn Rosser headed up the Youth B’s some four laps ahead of Adam James in second spot while Ben Martindale took eighth overall and top Sportsman position for the umpteenth time this season. James Flannigan grabbed second place ahead of Chester Norton in third.
Josh Lucy secured the Novice class win by three laps over nearest rival Kristian Ankritt with Andrew Williams filling the final podium place.
It was a hard slog for all involved, especially with the hailstorm and heavy rain near the end of the race but it was billed as a Winter Enduro and it is November, the good weather wasn’t going to last forever.
Well done to everyone who attended. Winter enduros are not easy but provide great practice ready for when riders try a BEC or suchlike.
Report Tim Tighe/ pics Tilde Tighe www.foto-x.co.uk
The clue to this event is in the name: Steady Eddy. It was the first of a series of three events aimed at riders wishing to experience extreme enduro, but not too extreme!
Paul Edmondson and his crew laid out possibly the longest course ever seen at Cowm Quarry near Whitworth, to accommodate the scores of riders eager to give extreme enduro a try alongside many other seasoned veterans of riding the tough stuff. By the end of the race there were few riders who would have agreed with the term ‘Steady’.
The response to the series was terrific with over 160 entrants taking to the start line. With no Pro or Expert classes it was the Clubman riders who started first around the challenging Cowm course.
Plenty of thought had been given to the layout with a choice of lines all around course plus hard and easy options in many places so riders could get their confidence on the easy routes before testing out the tougher lines. Cowm is tough and very rocky with some serious hills and descents and although now as extreme as the ACU BEEC course there were plenty of spots where riders had to think twice before attempting them.
The layout was tough right from the start as the course weaved its way around an endurocross style section with rocks, logs, tyres and a water filled tunnel to let everyone know there was to be no let up. For a handful of the quicker riders the lap was under 20-minutes but the majority took around 20-25 minutes to complete one circuit.
With so many riders in the race the length of the course came into play and by the time the first riders completed the opening lap the field was well strung out. A few steep sections required the marshals to step in with assistance but thirty minutes into the two-and-a-half-hour race everything was running smoothly and the tricky sections became more manageable.
Harry Edmondson lead the field throughout the race, finishing the opening lap nearly 10-minutes clear of his closest rival but even such a talented rider as Harry had a few moments he will want to forget where a momentary lapse of concentration saw him on the deck. James Ford carved a second-place spot clear of the Clubman pack, 12-minutes behind Harry but six ahead of third placed Lee Hattersley as these three were the first home and the only riders to complete eight laps.
Mathias Salin had a cr acking ride in the Youth class. He finished in 13th overall with only Clubman riders ahead of him and seven laps to his credit. Jacob Wilson took second in class with Richard Moorhouse third. All three were pretty strung out around the course so it was sheer determination to pass riders ahead of them that got them the top three places in the Youth class.
The Clubman Vets was a much tighter affair with Geraint Rogers leading the class just ahead of Simon Nutter and Michael Rayson, followed by a sizeable number of fellow Vets who all put on a good show.
James Palmer took the Sportsman class win and had a large advantage over second placed Chris Brown and Robert Crayston in third. This pair were very close throughout the race and finished within a minute of each other, both on seven laps.
The Sportsman Vets attracted a terrific entry. Many of these riders have the skills and experience to tackle extreme stuff and this race gave them the opportunity. Andrew Mills took the class win with Dave Askham second just a handful of places behind. Neil Myers completed the line up in third spot just two places behind Askham overall.
Fortieth overall was Aden Overend. He was the top Novice class rider and put in a great deal of effort to get out in front of a large pack of Novice riders and stay there until the end. Lewis Moore took second in class and Sam Porter third in what was a tough event for novice riders.
Once again Paul Edmondson and his crew delivered as promised. Cowm’s John Whittle had put in hours of graft to get the course into shape and it was very enjoyable to ride and to spectate. The race wasn’t the fastest ever held at Cowm, it was more of a grind-it-out type of challenge for many entrants but for those who could ride the never-ending sections it was a cracking outing. The level of the challenges was spot on and for the riders who liked Cowm Quarry, they are in for a treat at the second round which is at H2O.
Report: Tim Tighe. Images: Tilde Tighe/foto-x.co.uk
The 2017 Fast Eddy Rock Oil Championship drew to a close on Sunday with the final round taking place at Bicton Farm near Shrewsbury, the Fast Eddy crew’s favourite venue.
Although used many times throughout the season, Bicton never ceases to come up with something new and provide great racing, which is exactly what happened on Sunday. The small woodland area was utilised to the maximum with a handful of new routes thrown into the mix along with the stubble field sections and part of the old MX track.
The weather was perfect for racing, as was the ground, with berms in all the right places around the seven-minute lap for the adult racers.
The Youth riders started the day’s events and it was good to see this race so well supported. Alfie Rickwood and Josh Williams were two new names on the entry sheet, their first ever XC race, a break from their usual MX outings. Keelan Hope was also back in the ranks putting his MX skills to the test.
In the 85-150cc class Rickwood nailed the holeshot and was untouchable from that point onwards, he was gaining 20 seconds a lap in the first part of the race but Hope got his head down and dug deep to get within two minutes of the leader and take second place with Fast Eddy regular Cory Cookland just eight seconds adrift in third.
It was a tough course for the 65/auto riders but the battle between Jack Sandland and Alfie Davies was impressive as they clocked up 11 laps apiece. Sandland took the class win by 17 seconds over Davies with Will Barnett in third spot.
For the adults race the course was in prime condition, the Youth race riders having taken the slippery top layer off. With everyone from Expert to Novice in the same race it was helpful that the course was one of the longest ever at Bicton.
In the Expert ranks it was time for the re-match between Ben Murphy and Sam Greenslade. The previous meeting at Bicton saw them wheel to wheel for much of the race with New Zealander Greenslade taking the win at his first race in the UK. It was clear from the start that Murphy was out for revenge.
Henry Yardley showed he was back in form and fully recovered by taking the holeshot ahead of a pack of quality experts as Max Ditchfield stuck to his rear wheel while Murphy and Greenslade trailed in his wake. Harry Edmondson bought up the rear of the pack on a Sherco 300, trying the machine for the first time in race conditions.
Murphy, Ditchfield and Greenslade slowly eased a gap on the rest and by the mid-point Ditchy had caught some traffic allowing Greenslade to overtake and pull a 20 second gap with Murphy around 15 seconds ahead. Harry Edmondson eased his way through the pack to join the leader but it was all eyes on the front two as the gap yo-yoed between them.
Greenslade put in the fastest lap of the race to close within 7 seconds of Murphy then ditched it near the finish line, losing 20 seconds in the process. As the final laps approached neither rider had refulled until with 10 seconds remaining on the clock Murphy took a quick splash and left for his final lap. Greenslade had disappeared, out of fuel in the stubble field section he walked disconsolately back to the pits, his gamble had failed.
Max Ditchfield had stuck at it and was rewarded with second overall while a great ride from Harry Edmondson, fending of Henry Yardley for most of the race, saw him take third.
A testament to the quality of the Youth A riders was evident in the results as they took four of the top nine places amongst the Expert riders.
Cole Cookland clocked eight laps to win the Youth A class ahead of many Experts and all Clubman riders, another cracking ride from this youngster whose days in the Youth ranks must be numbered. Sam Davies and George Yardley both rode extremely well to take second and third in class and post 18 laps into the bargain. Will Farrow headed the Youth B ranks ahead of Carwyn Rosser and Adam James.
Jacob James was the only Clubman rider to clock 18 laps. He battled Lee hattersley for the holeshot and continued to work his way through the field, eventually taking ninth overall along with his class win. Hattersley eventually nailed the runner-up spot just less than 10 seconds ahead of Ben Key in third place.
Kev Sandland emulated his sons win in the Youth race by taking the Vets A top spot ahead of Chris Wagstaff and David Williams. In Vets B it was Mark Plain and Joe Webster vying for supremacy with Plain eventually taking the win ahead of Webster as Tony Gunn took third.
Ben Martindale once again ruled the roost in the Sportsman class but was followed closely to the flag by Nick Whitehead with Nick Dawson a little way behind in third. The Novice class went to Josh Lucy who had been bar-to-bar on several occasions around the course, determined to take his class win in what turned out to be a great ride. Dave Withington secured second spot with Kristian Ankritt in third.
The race was a terrific finale to the series with a cracking course and red-hot competition between riders across all classes. Bicton has played its part well this season in several guises but last Sunday saw it at its best.