The expected snow and bad weather never materialised and although the race started in wet weather, the day cleared and although the course remained wet and muddy in the opening British extreme championship at Tong. There was no heavy rain and even some sunny conditions.
From the start Extreme Enduro specialist Graham Jarvis took the lead and was never headed. The expected challenge from multi World Champion and multi time’s winner of this event, David Knight never materialised after Knighter crashed heavily on Lap 1 and was forced to retire with injury. Ex Trials star Billy Bolt now concentrating on Extreme challenged Jarvis in the early stages, but as Graham fond his normal smooth style he started pulling ahead. Paul Bolton returning from a long period of forced time off due to injury was making a welcome return and was closing on Bolt.
Jarvis had never won this event and was determined to do so, and finally took a well-deserved victory, commenting that in this very tough event the important thing was to not to crash or make mistakes. After 240 riders had circulated in the morning and afternoon, the course became challenging to say the least.
Bolt retained second place with Bolter finishing third. Keelan Hancock was a consistent and well earned third with World Enduro star Danny McCanney getting in some pre EWC training and finishing 5th not even looking tired!
Another UK trials star on the World and European stage, Iwan Roberts dipped his toe into the Enduro scene for first time and finished an excellent fourth.
It was good to see the Romanian riders Nicusor Botoaca and Dumitrescu rewarded for their long trip by gaining European points with 12th and 15th places respectively.
Mathew Jones won the Expert Class with Sam Ludgate taking runner up.
Fred Adams took the Clubman honours followed home by Brad Lilburn
In the slightly shorter morning event Mick Boam stayed ahead of Mark Houson and Keiran Hankin to win the Vets class.
In the Youth competition Dawson Marriot took the win ahead of two youngsters with well known surnames with Harry Edmondson finishing second and Tom Knight, taking third podium place.
There was very strong Sportsman class won by Les Mudie finishing just ahead of Chloe Richardson. Report by John Collins, image by Tilde Tighe.