2017 Rock Oil XC Rd.1 at Bicton

Experts startBicton Farm near Shrewsbury. Report & pics by Tilde Tighe.

The opening round of the 2017 Fast Eddy Racing Rock Oil XC series could not have got off to a better start with great conditions, an upgraded course and a guest appearance from Yamaha’s Jamie McCanney to launch the yet another championship year into the spotlight.

Bicton Farm near Shrewsbury has received serious attention over the past few months and it was obvious just how much work had been done to the venue, especially the woods section, to turn it into one of the Fast Eddy Racing favourite locations for the coming year.

The weather in the run up to the event had been unpredictable but stayed dry, which allowed a practice day to run on Saturday and also meant that the farmer, Matt Egerton, could re-grade the course on Saturday evening ready for racing on Sunday and what a day that turned out to be.

Sion EvansThe first round of each Rock Oil XC Championship always starts at Bicton Farm and host ‘A Lap For Joe’ in memory of Joe Edge, a young rider who lost his life doing the sport he loved. This year saw another increase in the number of riders participating in the memorial lap, which grows with each passing year, as every rider with a bike circulated slowly behind Paul Edmondson and Joe’s Dad as they led the pack around the course.

Sunday started with the first Youth race of the year and saw a dozen young riders take to the Bicton course, some for the first time ever as their XC racing careers got underway.

Dan LeadbetterThe course was made only slightly easier for the youngsters, missing some of the trickier woodland sections, but it proved to be fast and flowing and promoted great racing. In the BW85 class it was Sion Evans who took the first win of the series, overall and winning his class ahead of Bradley Price and Sam George while Cory Cookland won the SW85cc class ahead of Connor Davies and Lucas Holdcroft.

Jack Sandland continued where he left off last season with a win in the 65cc class ahead of Alfie Davies and Jake Willis while Alfie Dawson tackled the tough course on his Auto for the first time and managed six laps which was quite an achievement.

Chris TompkinsThe first adult race had been full for days in the run up to the event. The start area was packed with the ranks of Veterans B, Youth B, Sportsman and Novice riders, all set for two hours of great racing around the rejuvenated course.

Although Bicton Farm isn’t the largest venue used by Fast Eddy the course was flowing and fast over fields and through woodlands alongside the River Severn and the ground was simply in perfect condition.

A huge class of Vets B riders started the race and the track improvements soon became obvious, as the racing was close but fast, especially through the woodland section where the track had been cleared and widened to make it faster and slightly less technical.

Lee Allis-Smith had his bike running sweetly and had no trouble taking the overall win and the Vets B class win just ahead of Mark Plain, clocking 18 laps as Fast Eddy regular Shaun James nailed third in class.

Jamie McCanneyChris Tompkins was the top Sportsman on the day and had a terrific ride to take his class win and second overall against a huge field of eager Sportsman riders. Liam Belfield and Louis Allen backed him up on the podium. Nick Whitehead was going really well until he had problems and was last seen running across the fields in search of an 8mm spanner.

All of the top three Youth B riders were tightly packed on 18 laps but it was Dan Leadbetter who managed to gain 30 seconds over Harrison Holdcroft to take the win with Will Farrow coming in third.

Chris WagstaffJosh Lucy and Dan Jones were just seconds apart in the Novice class top two slots with third placed Steve Farthing less than a minute adrift to the leading pair. Tony Chawner went well until his front brake pads fell out although he did manage to refit then with the aid of a twig until he could get back to the pits. All in all, a pretty eventful race.

The line up for the afternoon race was impressive. Jamie McCanney, Mark Roberts Sam Winterburn Alex Walton and Shaun Buchan were just a few riders to grace the Expert class, many using the race as an opportunity to get some competition time in before the Enduro GP and BEC seasons get underway.Josh Lucy

Max Ditchfield got the jump at the start of the second adults race around the first tight left-hander and lead the class off into the distance as McCanney was stuck mid-pack initially. By the end of the first lap the plan for the race had been set with McCanney out in front as the others scrabbled for positions. Jamie McCanney rode a flawless race and finished over three minutes clear of Mark Roberts in second spot on his new Colwyn Bay KTM Stuff machine. Sam Winterburn had a real battle to keep ahead of a hard-charging Alex Walton but he took third place for his efforts.

Lee Hattersley just nicked the Clubman class win from friend and rival Ryan Armitage, literally with yards to go to the finish flag. They had battled throughout the whole two hours and Hattersley’s
determination paid off as Armitage’s small error cast him dearly. Nathan Rogers took a solid third spot.

Cole Cookland, in the Youth A class, had a terrific ride. He was 11th overall with 10 Experts ahead of him but class rival Sam Davies hot on his heels in Lee Hattersleysecond spot. Cole CooklandGeorge Yardley, who usually flies around Bicton, was Lee Allis-Smithdown in third place, which was really unusual.Yamaha mounted Chris Wagstaff once again took the Veterans A class win to back up his Champions title from last season. Kev Sandland was three minutes behind him but had Gary Benniman breathing down his neck as the race concluded. Sandland took second and Benniman third in class.

This was a terrific start to the 2017 Rock Oil XC series. Bicton had never been in better shape, despite rain coming in for the final lap of the day. If this is a sign or what’s to come then the Fast Eddy Rock Oil XC Championship is going to be a cracker this year. Image galleries on www.foto-x.co.uk

Get your diaries out……

Paul EdmondsonFast Eddy 2017 events, dates and venues.

Now that his globetrotting is over for a while Paul Edmondson has finalised his events for the year and there are a few surprises to say the least. Cross Country, Sprints and extremes plus three brand new venues all have the potential to make this the best season yet for Fast Eddy Racing.

The Fast Eddy Rock Oil XC Championship is the bedrock of the Fast Eddy Racing events calendar with seven races planned throughout the season. Add to that six rounds of the ACU GBXC British Sprint Championship and the dates for the season are beginning to fill nicely.

Much to the delight of many riders the Great Britain Cross Country series, GBXC, makes a welcome return with three events all destined for large, rolling hillside courses in Wales and Shropshire.

For the Rock Oil and GBXC Cross Country series there are new classes planned with the introduction of Vets B and Youth B joining the Sportsman and Novice riders for the two-hour morning races starting at 10.00am. The two and a half hour afternoon races start at 12.30pm and will hold Experts, Clubman, Youth A and Vets A.

New to the calendar is the Steady Eddy X-treme series which is specifically designed without the Pro’s in mind, it is a ‘No Pro’ series but it will still be challenging with the likes of Cowm Quarry and Westwood in the line up but it won’t be near impossible. The three Steady Eddy X-treme events will have the same classes as the normal Eddy’s Xtreme’s but without a Pro class.

Classes remain the same for the ACU GBXC British Sprint Championship with Championship, Expert, Clubman, Youth, Vets and Sportsman riders all competing for their respective ‘Champion’ titles.

Here’s how they all line up:

Fast Eddy Rock Oil XC Championship: Youth race and two adult races: March 12th at Bicton, SY3 8EU. Round 2 has been postponed at the moment. The third round is at Brake Hill Farm (NN14 3NB) on April 30th again with a FED day beforehand on the 29th. The fourth round is at H2O Oswestry on June 17-18th with FED practice on Saturday and racing on Sunday.

Castle Caereinion, hosts the fifth round over the weekend of 1-2nd July and the sixth round is at Green Hall Farm, SY22 5LG, on 2-3rd September.

The final round will be at Butts Quarry, S45 0HW, over the weekend of 7-8th October, again with FED practice on Saturday and racing on Sunday.

The GBXC Cross Country Championship will have racing on Sunday and practice on Saturday.

With big courses planned for all three events the GBXC Cross Country series starts at the superb Westwood venue, S75 3DL, on April 1-2nd then moves to Ratlinghope, near to SY5 0NS, a Fast Eddy blast from the past with huge rolling hills, over the weekend of June 3-4th. A new venue yet to be announced will host the final round in South Wales on August 5-6th.

The ACU GBXC British Sprint Championship has six rounds at three venues and starts on May 20-21st at Rogers Hill Raceway in Dorset, DT2 7HN. With Bicton Farm in Shropshire completely upgraded over the winter period the championship moves there on July 15-16th with a big lap planned using all of available land at the venue. August 12-13th sees the final two rounds at Green Hall Farm, which should be in prime condition at that time of year.

Finally, the new Steady Eddy X-treme series kicks off later in the season at Cowm Quarry, OL12 8XG, on October 28-29th followed by the second round on the weekend of November 25-26th at a venue yet to be confirmed, with the final taking place at Westwood, S75 3DL, on December 16-17th.

As if that lot isn’t enough, there will be a large selection of practice days throughout the season at Bicton and H2O, SY10 7PA, with the first official day at H2O running on May 7th.

The final round of the 2017 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship, the H2O X-treme Classic will run on August 19th at H2O and the small matter of the Great Britain round of the Enduro GP series at Hawkstone Park, SY4 4NA, will be dominating the calendar over the weekend of September 23-24th.

To enter any of the events listed above call 01543 370070 or 07889 924560.

 

Eddys Xtreme Enduro Round 3. Abbeycwmhir.

The 2017 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship.

Billy Bolt finally got what he deserves, his first major extreme enduro win, at Abbeycwmhir on Sunday.

Billy BoltRockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider Bolt took first place at the third round of the ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship, Ed’s of the Valley, organised by Paul Edmondson and his Fast Eddy Racing crew. The 12-mile course turned into what Bolt described as a ‘slog-fest’ as heavy rain and high winds battered the venue throughout the day.

Strategy, with a huge amount of luck added, was the key in the afternoon race as more than a few riders fell foul of the ‘outside assistance’ rules, going for third lap and consequently running out of fuel out on the course. Both Graham Jarvis and David Knight were disqualified for outside assistance. They took a chance and pushed their luck going for a third lap and lost out. Kieran Hancock also dq’d for the same reason.

This third round came as a real shock to many riders who hadn’t ridden a big lap Welsh forest enduro in wintertime for a while. Mud, ruts, big hill-climbs, fast fire-roads and brash, all with fallen trees and a few rocky sections, made for a fuel-draining lap.

Juan KnightThe event wasn’t considered extreme, more a Hard Enduro, but looking at some of the hill-climbs they would not have disgraced any extreme enduro. The floor of the forest remained generally in good shape but there were a few sections that became extremely rutted and hard to negotiate.

The morning race saw riders start four at a time with the Veterans class leading the way. Mick Boam and Juan Knight, both on Beta machines, were in the mix alongside Kiaran Hankin , Karl Greenhall, Andrew Reeves and Alex Owen as the pack disappeared into the trees with over half an hour until they reached lap scoring once again.

Harry Edmondson 2The guys out front had a run at the hill-climbs and fared much better than many of the Sportsman and Youth riders following in their wake. Knight and Boam led the field with Knight stretching a slight lead into the second lap where another contender had joined the fray. Harry Edmondson worked hard to get to third spot, a teenager lacking the core strength and physicality of the older riders. He just relied on ability and it paid off as he eventually overtook Boam to finish in second place behind Knight. With the veterans win in the bag and the fastest lap of the race at 35minutes 27 seconds under his belt Knight was followed by Boam as Andrew Reeves took third place.

Luke OwenFor young Edmondson, the winner of the Youth class, this was an excellent outing. He posted three laps, one of only 16 riders to do so out of a field of 90.

Dawson Marriott already had two series wins in the bag so second place didn’t damage his title challenge too much but fellow Youth contender Tom Knight was unlucky to finish fourth as he crashed just before the finish line allowing Will Stansbie past to take third place.

hard pushTwo Sportsman riders stood head and shoulders above the rest. Luke Owen and Darren Heyes both completed three laps and they certainly earned their first and second spots. James Walker took third, just missing out on the chance of a third lap.

Many riders found themselves out of their depth at times and the ones who were finding it really hard were spared further suffering by being pulled from the race at lap-scoring when it was clear that they would simply not have enough time to get anywhere near completing another lap. Considering the conditions, it was a smart move.

The afternoon race results are still provisional at this point although it is clear that Billy Bolt took the win.

Hillclimb mayhemThe Pro class line up was once again top-notch. Husqvarna’s Jarvis and Bolt lined up alongside Eurotek KTM’s Knight and Bolton, although to be accurate Knight did start at the back of the pack with eight riders off the line before him. D3’s Sam Winterburn, Keelan Hancock, Luke Flack, Owain Humphreys and Gary Daniels all had to be passed by Knight for him to get to the head of the field.

Soon it was Bolt, Knight and Jarvis fighting for the lead. All three had there time at the front but Bolt openly admitted that he sat behind Knight for a while, watching the big Manxman attacking the course and learning as much as possible.

Fred Adams

Bolt pitted at the end of the second lap to refuel. The others continued for a third lap and their fate was sealed. Knight and Jarvis were joined by Keelan Hancock in the ‘ran out of fuel’ group and all three were excluded for outside assistance.

Billy Bolt had a clear lead as even second placed Paul Bolton had dropped 10 minutes, his bike repeatedly stopping apparently. Jarvis was second across the line but DQ’d, so Bolton took second spot with a terrific ride from D3 Racing’s Sam Winterburn to take third in the Pro class. Luke Flack took forth place and Owain Humphries fifth.

Matthew Jones climbed to fourth overall and top place in the Expert class by over five minutes, his recent good form continuing to pay dividends. Brad Williams’ first outing for a while saw him take second as Lee Sampson pulled a couple of minutes clear to take third place over Olly Megson who eventually finished in fourth.

Matt JonesSam WinterburnFred Adams was the only Clubman rider to post four laps, and consequently take the class win. Lewis Ellis and Liam Phillips completed the Clubman top three.

This was an extreme event in every sense of the word, especially with the elements against it but as part of the ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship the Ed’s of the Valley event bought something very different to the series and now the dust has settled and the mud is drying it will soon become a talking point in history. As the mid-point of the series it was make or break for many riders with only a handful on the ‘make’ side of things.
Paul Bolton

Well done to Jess & Harry Hockly for their efforts and to the Fast Eddy crew and all the marshals who managed to keep the races running against the odds as the weather tried its best to kill the event.

British Extreme Enduro Championship. Rd 2. Cowm

Graham Jarvis ProThe 2017 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship. Round 2
Eddy’s X-treme at Cowm

The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Racing duo of Graham Jarvis and Billy Bolt tightened their grips on the 2017 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship at Cowm Quarry on Sunday by taking the top two spots in the Pro class around the toughest course ever laid out at the venue.

Usually the steep hillclimb at the heart of the venue is the centre of attention but for the afternoon race it was quite the opposite as crowds gathered at an perilously deep hole that the Pro, Expert and Clubman riders had to negotiate and it didn’t fail to deliver the thrills and spills everyone anticipated.

It wasn’t the only new section. Site operator John Whittle had been busy over the last few months making considerable adjustments to the course and adding new rock gardens everywhere. The start area had a very different layout with riders leaving the line, hitting a sharp right-hander, negotiating a log section at speed before entering a narrow tunnel before exiting onto the course proper. Watching over 100 Sportsman riders squeeze through in the opening race was literally getting a quart into a pint pot!Mick Boam Veterans

At 9.30am the racing got underway and the veterans were first off the line with D3 racing’s Karl Greenhall showing he still has some speed, in short bursts, taking the holeshot ahead of Mick Boam on his Rock Oil Beta and Neil Crayston who was again mounted on his electric KTM.

Within yards Boam had the lead and he stretched a comfortable gap in a couple of laps, easing over the rocks as if they were tarmac. He was smooth and composed, for most of the race, and went on to take his second win of the series. He was matched on laps only by fellow Vet Dawson Marriott YouthKiaran Hankin, both riders posting nine laps but Boam had a healthy lead of just under five minutes. Third overall went to Youth rider Dawson Marriott who is getting closer each race to taking the overall win but as consolation he won his class by a mile. Third in the Vets went to Vince Harker who finished just seconds behind Marriott.

With a clear winner in the Youth ranks it was a free-for-all for the remaining podium places. Harry Edmondson was in the running initially but on his fourth lap he was taken out hard by another rider on one of the hills then snapped his gear selector which put him out of the running completely. Will Stansbie took the runner up spot, a lap down on Marriott, as Tom Knight put in a terrific performance to claw his way to third in class.

With over 100 Sportsman riders it was aLuke Owen Sportsmannyone’s guess who would win but Luke Owen eventually took the win despite a very poor start and several ‘incidents’ as he described them. Calming himself and getting good lines, riding very smoothly around most of the course he finished ahead of a pack of Sportsman fighting for a podium place. Darren Heyes just pipped Ryan Crayston to second place by 50 seconds, demoting Cranston to third but with a great ride all the same.

The start area was packed with riders and spectators for the afternoon race and it was well worth the wait to witness a spectacular start from the Pro riders.Lee Sealey Start

Lee Sealey on his Yamaha Offroad Experience machine used every ounce of experience gained from his Super Enduro outing to get to the log section first and bounced across most of the section, the only rider to even attempt such a move. His claim to fame was brief as he DNF’d after two laps but it got the race off to a great start.

Even though Sealey’s efforts were impressive, Eurotek KTM’s Paul Bolton was alongside him as they hit the narrow tunnel with no sign of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Team riders Billy Bolt or Graham Jarvis, in fact, Grimbo was last off the line.

BB4Paul Bolton took the lead as Billy Bolt quickly moved through the pack ahead and by the time they entered the new rock garden just before the huge hole it was Bolt who headed the race. Paul Bolton remained in second spot as Jarvis had worked his magic and was a bike’s length behind in third with D3’s Sam Winterburn catching the leading three.

Bolt, Jarvis and Bolton traded places for the first hour, Jarvis suffering from arm-pump, until he suddenly came good and moved up a gear to put nearly five minutes between himself and the chasing pair. All three made mistakes, Jarvis and Bolton having to make second runs at the huge hillclimb and it was one of these mistakes that allowed Billy Bolt to take second spot and pull nearly 40 seconds over Bolton in third.

Paul BoltonJarvis was long gone at this point, nearly five minutes ahead of them, riding as strongly and smoothly as ever to take his fourth win of the season and second Eddy’s X-treme win of the year. Billy Bolt is a quick learner and he had none of his trademark spectacular crashes as he picked his lines and pushed hard for a well-deserved second place. Paul Bolton is a pure competitor and pushed as hard as he could right to the finish line and third place.

Fred AdamsKeelan Hancock is always near the front of the pack and fourth overall was a good result. Gary Daniels, one of the most underestimated riders in hard enduro, really showed his mettle by taking fifth in a tremendously talented field, a cracking ride for a very talented rider.

Sam Ludgate took sixth place on his Appleyard Beta but it didn’t matter because he was the first Expert rider home at the front of a tough set of Expert competitors around an ultra-tough course. Zac Sherwin matched Ludgate on laps but was a minute adrift in second place while Ben Wibberley took third in class.Sam Ludgate Expert

Fred Adams finished an amazing 20th overall as the first Clubman rider to pass the chequered flag. With a huge Clubman class behind him that was quite an achievement and his second Eddy’s Xtreme class win this year. Lewis Ellis and Ashley Bell joined Adams on the podium in second and third places respectively.

Each event in this Championship outshines the previous. Tong was terrific but Cowm was really something special. Paul Edmondson and his team, alongside John Whittle, made the course something that any promoter in the world would be proud of. With not a tree in sight virtually the whole venue is viewable from a single point but the course was packed with spectators at all the tricky sections and as a spectacle it will be hard to beat.   Liam RobinsonLaunched!Pro top three

Round three of the Championship takes place in Mid-Wales in just over two weeks time near to Saints Well, LD1 6PT and will be a forest based ‘hard enduro’ rather than an extreme, in the words of Fast Eddy, although I’m sure many riders will question that after a lap or two.

Fast Eddy Awards Evening

What an evening! The FamilyFast Eddy Racing Presentation Evening at the Holiday Inn Telford was the best yet. Apart from the dozens of awards presented by Paul Edmondson, James Jackman, Jack Edmondson and Lee Sealey, the auction organised by Lee Eddy and Claudette Chater raised over £2300, which will be donated to the local Air Ambulance.

Several top named riders had contributed items to the auction including Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Billy Bolt, Nathan Watson, Steve Holcombe, Jamie Lewis, Paul Bolton and Fast Eddy himself, with many other items donated as raffle prizes.

Brilliant! Big thanks to everyone who donated items for the auction but Fast Eddy’s 1996 ISDE top took the highest bid! Still got it Paul Edmondson!

For the first time, a disco was included in the evening’s entertainment and it was worth every penny as Rich Cookland and Mick Boam will agree with.

A cracking evening, shame we have to wait 12 months to the next one.

2017 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship at Tong

AM start lineThe Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team had a cracking start to the ACU Fast Eddy British Extreme Enduro Championship by taking the top two steps of the podium in the Pro race.

Graham Jarvis put in a master-class of skilful riding to take the win nearly nine minutes ahead of teammate Billy Bolt, the only riders to clock up eight laps around the extended Parkwood Offroad course.

Eurotek’s Paul Bolton secured third place, which was an excellent result considering he had just returned to racing following an injury and was unable to put his full weight on his recovered ankle. His holeshot and easy passage over the first rock section showed he was back in the groove right from the start at the head of the field.Graham Jarvis

Eurotek KTM teammate David Knight crashed hard on the opening lap, on a steep downhill section with a sticky throttle while battling to get to the front of the pack following an uncharacteristic start, which saw him back in sixth spot over the first rocky section.

The Extreme Enduro Championship opening round at Tong certainly lived up to it’s billing by providing the toughest and longest course ever built at the venue. The Fast Eddy crew went all-out to include new sections and their attention to detail was obvious. The new sections were gnarly and tricky with no respite anywhere, added to the infamous waterfall, rock slabs, gulleys and ditch jump and everything in between, the course was a true extreme test. Heavy overnight rain certainly didn’t make things easier but as it abated conditions stabilised and racing began.

Danny McCanneyA tight left-hander off the start lead to an even tighter right-hander ahead of a rock section that finished with large rock steps before getting onto the course proper. This was only used for the start much to the relief of many riders. Picking a line whilst walking the course is one thing but getting that line with 80 other riders also trying for their chosen lines is another, as was the case in the Sportsman class.

Billy BoltThe Vets were away first and, with hindsight, they were relatively trouble free with Mick Boam and Mark Houson, two long-time Tong rivals at the head of the pack shortly into the opening lap. They have enjoyed many battles at this venue and Mick Boam enjoyed this one even more as he took the overall win and the Vets class ahead of Houson who was trailing by over seven minutes. They matched each other lap for lap but Houson couldn’t close the gap. Kieran Hankin pulled six minutes on Karl Greenhall to take third spot.Harry Edmondson

The Youth class rider know no fear and they hammered at the course right from the off. Dawson Marriott got a flyer as Harry Edmondson struggled to start his Husqvarna then crashed hard, allowing the pack to get away from him. Tom Knight was amongst the leaders and showed just how much he had improved over recent months to work his way into the top three by the end of the race. Edmondson pulled back some time on the opening lap only to lose it and more on the second lap as he opted for the hard route on the rock slabs. A superhuman effort saw him lift his bike upright just yards from the end of the ‘No Help’ zone. Incredibly he managed to get to second in class by the end of the race. Dawson Marriott didn’t have quite so much trouble and put in an exceptional performance to win the Youth class and finish fifth overall against some really tough competitors. He was focussed and fast, dealing with the numerous jams at tricky sections and he thoroughly deserved his win.

The Sportsman class was a much tiDawson Marriottghter affair. Les Mudie took the win at the head of a class of 80+ riders and was joined on the podium by Chloe Richardson who matched Mudie on laps but just couldn’t close the three and a half minute gap he had on her. It was the tightest finish of the race in terms of class positions. Jamie Rogers was a further five minutes adrift in third spot but all three were on the same lap.

The entry for the afternoon race virtually matched the morning contingent. The course was altered to incorporate the waterfall, ditch jump and the rock slabs on the opening lap, which were not in the first lap of the morning race, and several other sections were included to give a lap of around 16-18 minutes for the Pro class.

Eurotek’s Paul Bolton tore off the startline and grabbed the lead but Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team rider Danny McCanney was in hot pursuit as Graham Jarvis languished in fifth with David Knight sixth and Billy Bolt way down in eighth spot.Paul Bolton holeshot

Within minutes news came through of Knight’s crash, much to the disappointment of the crowds at the ditch jump and the waterfall. Billy Bolt and Graham Jarvis didn’t need any encouragement to take full advantage and Jarvis quickly took the lead with McCanney, Bolton and Bolt vying for second spot. Jarvis pulled away as Bolt surged to within catching distance at one point but the Sorcerer gave his apprentice a lesson in how to turn up the heat and surged to the finish line nearly eight and a half minutes clear of Bolt in second, both riders on eight laps. Bolt has improved and matured considerably since his first outing just 12 months ago at Tong and he rode a cracking race behind his teammate. Jarvis posted the fastest lap of the race on his final lap of the day as the track cleared of traffic and gave him a good run. He hadn’t escaped completely unscathed and put his hands up to a couple of ‘interesting’ offs during the race.

Romanian team and Fast EddyPaul Bolton had a terrific ride to take third place and spoil a potential Husqvarna 1-2-3 as Keelan Hancock was pushing hard in fourth on his St Blazey MX Husqvarna as Daniel McCanney gave Husky its fourth top spot out of five.

It was tight at the top in the Experts class as Matt Jones, Sam Ludgate and Charlie Frost fought for supremacy. Jones got the best of it and took the win three minutes up on Beta mounted Ludgate while Frost enjoyed his first real outing in anger on his Active Bikesport MRS Sherco.

The Clubman class was huge and volatile, with a dozen riders capable of nailing the win. Fred Adams proved to be the best of the lot as he put in five laps to take the class victory as behind him Brad Lilburn and Ryan Armitage fought for second and third. Lilburn got the break and finished just a minute ahead of Armitage who had close friend and rival Lee Hattersley just 15 seconds behind him.

Three riders from Romania entered the event and it came as quite a shock to find that the course was somewhat smaller than they were accustomed to. Usually a lap is around 50km but at Tong they found there were just as many challenges as in a huge 50km lap. Nicusor Botoaca, Dumitreascu Alexandru and Stefan Muntean represented the Stlina Viking Pruszynski team and all three finished, much to their delight.

This was a cracking event, full of action and incident, a proper extreme course. We know that because for the first time ever, Graham Jarvis didn’t tell Paul Edmondson that he had made itMick Boam too easy. Praise indeed.  Fast Eddy MC

The Championship could not have asked for a better start and if Tong is an indicator of what’s to come then the whole series is going to be epic. The second round is on February 5th at Cowm Quarry where there is not a tree to be seen. Talk about going from one extreme to another!

Keith & Eddy’s Xmas XC Ashby Moto Park.

 

jack-sandlandThe annual pilgrimage to Ashby Moto Park just after the Christmas festivities dust has barely settled was a chance for a laid back outing for two XC races and an early finish then off to the pub!

Keith Staines and Paul Edmondson run this small event for the dedicated few who are missing getting muddy on a regular basis although the track was in pretty good shape and even the woods were not too difficult compared to other years.

The day started with a one-hour Youth race that was won by Jack Sandland, who battled his way through to the lead position and tackled the two new huge mounds in the centre of the MX track with ease, much to the surprise of dad Kev.harry-edmondson

Tradition dictates that there is always a slight delay before the start of the adult’s race. This is to accommodate site owner Keith Staines who is never prepared and also likes to make an entrance, although he spent quite some time taping his trousers around his waist, unable to find any traditional bailing twine long enough to do the job, he did eventually make the start, unrecognisable in a new shirt and helmet.

james-palmerThe Experts were first away and surprisingly Harry Edmondson got a poor start for once (stalled it!) but within half a lap he had fought his way to the front. He proceeded to put on a brilliant riding display of smart moves and impressive jumps to take the win and lap virtually the whole field. Alec Everitt was in second spot, a lap down on the leader as Adam Castledine took a solid third place.

There was quite a battle in the Clubman class as James Palmer took the win whilst fending off several challenges from Chaz Chater on a BW85, the finished level on laps but Palmer had gained a significant lead over the final few laps. Darren Cox took third in class, a lap down on the front pair.

keith-stainesKeith Staines suffered throughout the race as his tape job on his trousers failed miserably but he forged onwards to take the Veterans class win, apparently it is difficult to change gear when you have one hand on your trousers for most of the race. Kev Sandland, unable to pass Stainer because he was laughing too much, eventually took second in class just ahead of Nigel Travis in third.

Nick Whitehead took an impressive win in the Sportsman class. He warmed up on the pipes and tyres before the race and looked as if he had been practicing constantly over the last few weeks (in preparation for Eddy’s Xtreme at Tong) so it was no real surprise that he took the class win by a cnick-whiteheadlear lap and was well up amongst the overall places by the end of the race. Matt Davis and Louis Allen fought over the remaining top spots with Davis just pipping Allen to the post.

The Novice class was another close-run affair with Darren Thorpe just beating Dan Laight to the finish flag to take the win while Brad Jefferies nailed third place.

It was a cracking day out with plenty to challenge riders as the course went from woodchip to slippy mud in places with the odd ice-covered ditch thrown in for good measure, but most of all it was fun and very enjoyable for both riders and spectators.darren-thorpe

Well done Keith and Eddy.

Fast Eddy Winter Championship. Final round.

adam-jamesA last-minute venue change paid dividends for the fourth and final round of Fast Eddy’s Winter Championship on Sunday.

Moving from a saturated Hilton Park to Bicton Farm the event enjoyed almost perfect conditions as the track improved lap after lap for the six moto-duro races throughout the day. A slightly shorter course than usual made for some really close racing as both the open fields and woodland section dried out quickly to provide plenty of grip.

The plan was for two 45 minute youth races, two 50-minute outings for the Novice, Sportsman and Vets B with the same for the Experts, Clubman and Vets A. It worked really well and ran bang on time except for a slight delay waiting for the oversleeping Cookland crew at the start of the day.

jack-sandlandThe youth riders started proceedings and Adam James was on fire right from the moment the start flag dropped. He never put a wheel wrong at the front of the SW85cc class and thoroughly deserved his victory in both the first and second youth races taking to impressive wins. Cory Cookland was also on form and took two second places, battling hard throughout each race, while Lewis Hurdsman nailed two third places. Jack Sandland collected two first places in the 65cc class ahead of Jonas Brown and as entertaining as the two races were, they were equalled by the varying antics of parents; from the frenetic running around and pointing of Lance Hurdsman to the reserved clap and thumbs up of Kev Sandland, the encouraging ‘Hurry up you bugger’ of Rich Cookland all going on as Sean James sat by his camper enjoying a brew. A rich and varied selection of enthusiastic parenting!

The first adults group was headed by the Vets B riders with David Williams doing the double in fine style, followed in both races by Shaun James with Dave Bixter taking two third places.

david-williamsFrankie White-Edwards took the first win in the Sportsman class with Archie Collier following him home and Sean Taylor struggling with mechanical difficulties in third spot but the second race saw Collier take the win with Taylor second as White Edwards rode to the finish way down the pack nursing two cracked fingers while Dave Simpkin took third spot.

Dan Leadbetter dominated the Novice ranks in both races as Shaun Cornwall eventually took second spot despite having missed the start of race one and played catch-up to get to third by the end but it was bad luck for Will Farrow as he took second in the opening race only to crash out early on in the second but it was enough for third overall.

dan-leadbetterThe second adult block saw the Experts, Clubman and Vets A enjoy the best of conditions by the end of the day. Dave Cooper nailed the Vets A overall with a second place and a win in the final race with Steve Davis in second. Simon Wright was very unlucky, he won the opening race but was then out of the second and still managed third in class.

The Fast Eddy youngster are coming through the ranks at a rate of knots, suddenly the Clubman and Expert ranks are littered with very fast young riders who have cut their teeth on Fast Eddy events over the years.

lee-sealeyIn the Clubman class there was a three-way battle in both races as Ryan Phillips, Cole Cookland, James Palmer and Dawson Marriott all pushed each other hard. Palmer took the first win with Cookland second and Marriott third as Phillips had a brief break to repair his bike before returning to the race he had once lead. In the second race it was Cookland who triumphed with Phillips climbing to second spot as Palmer took third. Just two points separated winner Cookland from Palmer in second spot as Dawson Marriott took third.cole-cookland

The Expert class line-up was terrific, again, peppered with fast Fast Eddy ex Youth riders. First race winner Lee Sealey had a great opening race against Jack Edmondson, who unfortunately crashed out in the woodland section but Jack returned the favour in the second race following a frantic first 20 minutes where Sealey pulled a lead until the MX section of the track at which point Jacko was alongside him lap after lap but unable to make the pass. Constant pressure from Jack Eddy saw Sealey eventually make a slight mistake exiting the woods, allowing the 2016 Youth World Champion to take the lead and charge for the finish flag.

archie-collierdave-cooperAlex Walton was always in the mix and he posted second and third place finishes to take the class’ second place overall. Harry Edmondson was more than pleased with his ride. In the final race of the day he was ahead of brother Jack during the opening lap and another fourth place finish gave him third overall in class. Max Ditchfield was on form as usual and rode hard to take third spot in the opening race although the second race didn’t go quite to plan and he eventually finished fourth overall. Henry Yardley felt the force as he borrowed Fast Eddys 250 2T Husky due to problems with his own machine and soon got to grips with some real power. He did very well considering the last-minute bike change and showed flashes of brilliance throughout the race.  All in all it was a great day of close racing and a cracking finish to a great Winter series. Well done to Fast Eddy and his crew.

Report Tim Tighe. Pics: Tilde Tighe & Jack Fleming

Galleries: www.foto-x.co.uk

Wild Westwood. The 2016 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship Final Round

Report: Tim Tighe. Pics: Tilde Tighe, Jack Fleming.charlie-frost

As the year draws to a close the long-awaited finale of the 2016 BEEC arrived at Westwood near Sheffield to provide a surprising conclusion to this outstanding series, one where the Experts outshone the Pros for once to provide a nail-biting finish over the final few laps.

Always eager to provide great value for money, Paul Edmondson added a night race just for fun once the extreme championship had been settled and it proved to be hugely popular with both the riders and onlookers who witnessed the hundreds of small lights bobbing about in the Westwood woodland.

brad-lilburnAt midday the start flag dropped and the final two race-filled hours of the championship began around a course that looked fairly straightforward but proved to be anything but as the race progressed. Tight, technical woodland filled with bomb-holes and streams, fallen logs and rock outcrops bought the race into sharp focus for riders right from the start as the inevitable log jams dotted the early part of the course, allowing the fast boys to gain ground while lesser riders toiled with their machines over slippery logs.

luke-flackThe packed entry line up was terrific. No David Knight, no Billy Bolt, no Graham Jarvis and no Jonny Walker left the race as open as can be and ready for a new name in the BEEC winners records. Just four riders stepped up to the Pro plate, all credit to them. Gary Daniels is always a contender and has been ever present in the pro class all year long. He was joined by MPS Sherco’s Luke Flack and two of the D3 racing stable of riders, Rich Ely and a revitalised Sam Winterburn, but the eventual winner was none of the above!

The battle of the day was in the Expert ranks as Keelan Hancock and Charlie Frost yo-yoed at the front of the field, taking the lead then losing it as they passed backmarkers littered all around the course until Hancock made a slight error in the final few laps by following another rider who became stuck, allowing Frost to build a significant gap to finish the race in the number one slot. Luck may have been involved to a degree but fantastic riding, commitment and determination also played their parts in delivering victory to a worthy Charlie Frost. Hancock could be seen as unlucky after he had lead the race on and off until over the halfway point but finishing just 24 seconds adrift is no mean feat. It was close and just one more lap could have seen a very different result. Ben Wibberley took third in the Experts. Upholding the honour of the Pro ranks Luke Flack grabbed third overall, winning his class into the bargain ahead of Rich Ely and Gary Daniels.

mick-boamThe Clubman class witnessed a real ‘old school’ battle between Fred Adams and Dan Knaggs initially, trading blow for blow over each obstacle but it was Adams who hit his rhythm by the midpoint of the race and then disappeared into the distance to win the class by over five minutes as Knaggs took second, a lap up on third placed Ryan Armitage who was virtually on home turf.

Looking at the results it seems that Brad Lilburn dominated the Youth class and, fair play, he rode really well but there were a string of riders who gritted their collective teeth and charged around a course that became increasingly tough as the race progressed. Dawson Marriott took second spot and Thomas Widd third but young Tom Knight of the IOM dynasty had a great outing, as did Rosie Rowett who kept the princess in the box and continued to ride despite her ankle swelling in her boot! Henry Yardley was unlucky as he suffered head gasket trouble but made the finish all the same.

Mick Boam, ‘suffering from old age, too many beers and not enough exercise’ ripped john-mitchinsonthe Veterans class in his usual feet up style but was happy to see the finish flag for once. Anthony Ayrton followed him home ahead of Alex Owen.

Darren Cox headed the pack of the large class of Sportsman riders as Reece Pickersgill and Ben Linklater filled the other podium spots but it was a big old class with some very competitive riders in it, a few were large on guts but fell a little short on talent and consequently the race was a series of deadlifts over obstacles but they attacked the course with true extreme enduro enthusiasm, which made for great spectating.

As the main race finished there was just over two hours until the evening race began at dusk. The venue looked like an electricians convention as LED helmet and bar lights blinked into life, amazing to see how technology has moved on in recent years with 90 minutes of light from a single charge on some of the helmet lights and they were pretty powerful.

The view of the start line was spectacular, proper ‘Close Encounters’ stuff. Once the race was underway it was awesome to see strings of lights weaving around the woodland as photographers did their best to obliterate riders night vision with their flashguns.

fred-adamsrosie-rowett

Luke Flack swapped the 4T Sherco for a 2T and simply rode as if it was midday, never missing a beat as his portable floodlight arrangement illuminated most of the venue. He took the win and restored some respectablity to the Pro ranks. Ben Wibberley was the Expert winner as Ryan Armitage nailed the Clubman class.

Anthony Tempest took the Vets win as Darren Cox was first Sportsman past the finish flag. Dawson Marriott headed up the Youth ranks.

sam-winterburnIt was a perfect finish to a truly excellent day and fantastic Extreme series and there were many requests for further night races in the future. Fast Eddy will almost certainly accommodate such requests so sorting Christmas presents has never been so easy: A set of LED’s please Santa!

Well done Fast Eddy and all of his trusty crew who put on a great event once again and another top notch series to boot!stream-section

Rock Oil, GBXC and Sprint Nationals Dates for 2017

series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Schedule: Rock Oil XC and GBXC (all events except 1st Rock Oil XC)

Saturday

10.00am – 4.00pm FED Day

Sunday

8.45am-10.00am Youth race

10.00am – 12midday Novice, Sportsman, Youth B, Veterans B.

12.30 – 3.00pm Experts, Clubman, Veterans A, Youth A.

Training schools begin in March.

 

Fast Eddy Rock Oil XC Championship

March 12th, April 8-9th, April 29-30th, June 17-18th, July 1-2nd, September 2-3rd, October 7-8th.

GBXC Championship

April 1-2nd, June 3-4th, August 5-6th

ACU GBXC Sprint Nationals

20-21st May, 15-16th July, 12-13th August.