By Dick Law.
Forty-six riders found an ideal way to get rid of the Christmas holiday excesses by taking part in the annual Boxing Day Wild and woolly charityNorthampton club scramble at the muddy Arm Farm just outside Blisworth in Northamptonshire. The event, which has been running since the 1930s at various venues in Northamptonshire, is on a field with a ditch running through it which the riders cross four time. And if there isn’t enough water, the club build a dam or two, just to make it more interesting.
A massive crowd of people lined the track at the 11am start of the one-hour event as former British enduro champion Ady Smith got the holeshot from former winners Jack Lee and Ryan Griffiths, tailed Michael McClurg – the four riders who dominated the event.
Smith hit trouble on the second lap as the silencer fell off his two-stroke 300 KTM, robbing his machine of power but making it easy for the spectators to know where he was on the track by the noise it was making.
Even with his machine suffering, veteran Smith was still in the lead as they started the last lap but by the time the leaders came back in to view, local lad Lee had snatched the lead for the win and pushing a disappointed Smith back to second place again, for the third year running.
“I had been a couple of bike lengths behind Ady (Smith) for most of the race,” said winner Lee, “I had made a small mistake with a couple of laps to go but was closing in on him and though as we started the last lap I had to just go for it. Out in the field part of the track I was hanging off the back of the bike, flat out in fourth so that when we reached the ditches I was on his tail again. At the last water hole, I saw Ady roll in to it and I held back a bit but then just pinned it and jumped the ditch but we both bottomed out and got stuck in a deep rut. I managed to get going first and that got me the win. This is my fifth time winning and this has been one of the driest as it’s usually a bog fest here.”
Smith was disappointed with second place once again. He said: “I am absolutely gutted. I lost my silencer on the second lap and as a result the bike had no power for the rest of the race. It was full throttle or nothing which made it very hard to ride. To lose it on the last lap was very disappointing but I must say the Jack (Lee) rode a great race and kept the pressure on me all race long, so fair play to him. Jack did a really brave move jumping that ditch on the last lap but I am 53 now and perhaps if I was a bit younger I would have done the same. But I have to go to work in the morning so I ride well within my limits these days.”
The top four riders of Lee, Smith, Griffiths and McClurg where on such a pace that they completed two laps more than fifth place man Alan Vissian and with that laps being just under three minutes the gap from the winner to Vissian was almost six minutes and that’s some going.
1 Jack Lee (300 Beta) 20 laps
2 Ady Smith (300 KTM)
3 Ryan Griffiths (450 Honda)
4 Michael McClurg (250 Honda)
5 Alan Vissian (300 Beta) 18 laps
6 Callum Sedgwick (125 Yamaha)
7 Jonathan Lee (300 Sherco) 17 laps
8 Charley Lee (300 Sherco)
9 James Plant (125 Suzuki)
10 John Abbott (250 KTM)
11 James Flannigan (250 KTM) 16 laps
12 Fred Saunders (250 TM)
13 Tom Kruger (250 KTM)
14 Trevor Jeeves (300 KTM)
15 Dean Devereux (300 Beta) 15 laps
16 Graham Howe (250 KTM)
17 Joe Gubbins (250 Beta)
18 Tom King (250 Suzuki)
19 Stephen Marlow (250 KTM)
20 Lewis Huckerby (125 Yamaha)