The 2017 SMCC Club and Isle of Man Centre Enduro Championship kicked off at Carnagrie Feb 12th 2017. With clear skys a little sunshine and a little ice covering any standing water.
Special Tests at Dalby Mountain on Jonny Massan’s land with dry frosty ground was welcome and then on to Cringle for the second test. Wet weather had caused a change of route in Cringle and the test was shorter and more downhill to protect the land. With some entertaining log sections early on and a hedge ride for the sure footed with a ditch to catch the less balanced. Both test routes were complimented by David Knight who is known for his honesty!
With 2 world champions in the mix it was always going to be Danny McCanney v David Knight with the former setting off on the first minute and Knight a minute behind. Generally it was Knight first man into and out of each test with Danny hanging back a little making navigation a little more straight forward in the initial laps.
After 8 tests and 4hours of riding it was KTM mounted Knight that took the honours overall leading McCanney’s Husqvarna by 13 seconds at the finish. Final podium spot went to former centre champion Chris Madigan who’s metronomic pace was too much for regular rival Ollie Megson. Craig Norrey was solid 5th still displaying the loose and explosive style that makes him a spectators favourite.
Top 3 in clubman were split by less than a minute with the win going to aimiable plumber Ashley Kelly with Sam Corlett and Dom Kelly in the top 3 former champion Stuart Storie dropping down to Expert had a solid fourth. With Ramsey MCC joining the calendar this year it would good to see some of our northern friends back down south. Former front runner Eric Herdman got ahead of all the expert class by skipping the Dalby test and proceeding straight to Cringle a quick about turn made sure he recorded times at each test with no late penalties.
New for 2017 is the over 50+ class this has generated a excitment amongst the more antique members of the motorcycling fraternity. The field was a healthy 9 entrants who rode enduros before hydration rucksacks and roll off googles. These lads who know how to gap points, tickle a carb (and your Mrs.) and hark back to the days of rarely washed woolly jumpers to keep the mud off. Old steeds were dusted off or in some cases swapped their kids inheritance in favour of a brand new Yamaha.
With multiple ISDE medals across the class it was always going to be competitive battle. Suprise winner was Stephen Corlett who had been keeping class favourite Robert Quayle honest all day only to be handed the win as ‘Bodger‘ dropped 30 seconds on the final Cringle test. Club stalwart Chuck Bregazzi rounded out the podium head of rockship 450 mounted Nigel Beaumont.
Former youth trials rider Matthew Asbridge was a clear winner in the sportsman class setting both consistent and fast times accross all tests. Second place was Richard Robinson followed home by Michael Keeling who had a torrid time on the first lap in Dalby.
Thanks go to Jonny Massan for the constant support of Dalby land, DEFA for the plantation access. Hogg Ambulance crews, Alan Heath and Jack Collins for the Cringle Test. Dave Leech and Richard Robinson for Dalby, Brenda Crellin, timekeepers Steph Curphey, Clague family. Food was laid on by riders wives and girlfriends at Carnagrie (volunteers welcome).