Len Hutty Trial
Sunday 7th December 2021
With around 200 riders already signed up via the ACU system and entries being taken on the day, this could have been every rider’s nightmare; long queues, no flowing rhythm, bikes cooling off, getting cold, muscles stiffening up and generally all the bad things expected of a local trial with a huge entry... But it never happened!
Yes, there were one or two queues but nothing horrendous, in fact, the day turned out for many to be a gathering of friends that hadn’t been in touch since the start of Covid.
The Surrey Schoolboys Trials Club organised, set up and ran this annual event that brings together the TVTC, Star Group and the South Coast Group. The trial was set up in memory of Len Hutty, a great friend to many and known to all but the youngest of today's entry. Leonard liked a chat and would have been extremely happy with the way this year’s event evolved; lots of time to talk, a set of challenging sections, no need to rush, a special test to finish and all this at Hungry Hill, a venue that has so much motorcycling history, some of it created by Len himself. It is the most fitting place to hold this annual trial.
For an off-road motorcycle fan, you could take your pick of bikes; amongst those represented were old rigid four-stroke thumpers, four-stroke springers, two-stroke twin-shocks, modern four-strokes, monoshock two-strokes, electric etc. Everything was on show, all riding one of four routes with each route laid out to take marks from all but the very best.
With the severity of the sections in each class pushed to the top end of the scale, it was a day for the “on-form” riders rather than the casual ones, though all would enjoy it anyway just because of the occasion.
The youth, as always, were fearless in their quest to beat their friends and rivals up the vertical banks and treacherous root steps. The more experienced (see older) riders held back, with the knowledge that a line would be “cut in” if they they waited; then, as it slowly appeared, the queue would grow as the old hands moved in to take advantage. This happened throughout the morning on nearly every section and it will be interesting to see who prevails in the results – youth or experience?
As the day wore on, a steady stream of riders flowed through the start area to refuel bike and body. This space was never empty of people and you could always find a friendship to reacquaint or an arm thrust out for a fist bump. This was the day to enjoy the company of friends, ride at an iconic southern venue, forget about everything else and enjoy the day.
While wandering about in the late afternoon, I got to listen to many stories. It would seem that almost everyone nearly cleaned each and every section, but unfortunately this root had grabbed a footrest or the rider before had destroyed the line, the sun was in the wrong place, the bike “coughed”, the marker was hidden etc, etc. We’ve all heard or used them before and today was no different. What was apparent that everyone I spoke to or heard had a great day riding and talking – just as it should be.
The best comment I heard and one that captured the day perfectly was from Mick Marshall. When I asked him if he had considered riding somewhere different today, he replied: “I couldn’t, this is Lenny’s Trial, I wouldn’t miss this!”
Clerk of Course: Mark Watmore; and setting out: Yourself, Nigel Brimecombe and Ollie Brimecombe.
Secretary: Mandy Frearson; and on the day support: Nicki Brimecombe and Holley Arnold.
Observers: Gloria and Eric Moss, Mike Barton, Patricia Puttock, Bev Hutty, Phil Embury, Bob Brown, Lucy Pritchard, Gerald Budgen, Adam Birchmore, Steve Snelling, Neville Lewis, Neil Sinclair, Bob and Sandra Collins, Douglas Johnson and daughter Laura, Chrissie Rowdan, Jamie Rowdan, Maggie Dagger, Jane Bledyn, Tony Wiggins.
Special Test: Barry Bannister, Dave Mayle.
Marshals: George Pritchard, Andy Bush, Jamie Mitchell.