Walking through Paddington Station at 07h47 on a Monday morning can make you realise that you’ve had some tough racing over the weekend, especially going up the steps from the tube. Needs must in terms of work, but the ache from your muscles reminds you of the positives of a weekends racing.

With over 210 entries, how the Narberth Classic event has changed since the club went from 3 one-day meetings a year to the two-day format (2013 I think).

There were 70 odd entries then and since the format has changed to include the Stuart Davies memorial racing on Saturday and the Welsh Championship on the Sunday, with some age related races thrown in, the numbers have grown. It’s also a relatively cheap event to enter, with £55 covering two days racing and camping. [1]

This year’s saw the Cagiva Cup, a celebration of 40 years of the marque and attracting 20+ riders from across the UK and also some from Europe, which was also a great event and well managed and set up by Alan Woods.

The weather for 2018 didn’t match the sun and heat of the previous year, (2016 was wet) so racing on Saturday morning was slippy to start and improved significantly for the second block of racing in the afternoon. Sunday mornings persistent drizzle with the odd heavier shower had a real impact on the track, so much so that quite a few competitors didn’t go out at all and in the end the decision was taking to only run two blocks of racing. It had taken till 2.30 to get halfway through the programme, so a joint decision by the Clerk of Course and the Welsh Championship Coordinator to only run two blocks, as it was still raining. Racing then stopped at 3.30pm and though conditions did improve weather wise, running through to 6pm for a few riders wasn’t the best for marshals and other helpers.

The event has become well-known and liked and hopefully the atmosphere and organisation is something that people will enjoy and cherish going forward. The effort of the Narberth Club to run it is significant and whilst the racing this year wasn’t the best it would be a shame for this to spoil it going forward. The track was excellent and rode really well on Saturday, even after some significant rain.

With full line ups for racing on Saturday it was an action packed two full blocks of racing. The Stuart Davies Memorial races had some class in the field and it showed. John Cash picked up the Lee Robins trophy in the second over 50 classic race, ahead of last year’s winner Keith Rodin and Kevin Pettit in 3rd place after being 2nd last year.

Sunday’s racing was attritional and conditions deteriorated after practice and points in the Championship were awarded for survival and the Narberth club provided trophies for the class winners. Andy Carter took the pre60 and Derek Brice took the pre65, with Phil Edwards and Billy Carter-Millis getting caught in the mud in the woods at the back of the course in the first race.

Tom Owen looked at home as did Greg Speed and along with Derek Brice showed that a British weapon was very much at home in the mud. Dan Evans took the pre74 250cc race but lost out to Jonathan Randall in the over 250cc, whose comeback to racing was very welcome and he showed he’s lost none of his speed.

Daniel Griffiths took the honours in the Evos ahead of Rhys Edwards and Ben Weaver was in a class of his own in the Twinshocks. The latter class is seeing something of a resurgence with Andy Mills, Sam Weaver, Nigel Davies and David Clack, all very much in the hunt for places. Bryan Wilkins is the leading 250cc rider and also continues to show some excellent in a class that has definitely speeded up.

Mark Shaw led the pre78 cohort ahead of local rider Tom Wells. Sean Wilkins continues to lead the pre68 over 350cc class but was well beaten by Greg Speed on the Triumph Twin in race 1 and Tom Owen in race 2.

There’s no doubt that some riders eased off to get lapped so as to avoid another clutch straining effort of a 4th lap.

[1] Its worth noting that many events of a similar nature are a lot more expensive and you don’t get live music thrown in. Whilst entry for spectators is charged on the day, a lot of weekend campers don’t pay. For example at places like Red Marley and at all races in Belgium, everyone pays. The Belgium method is good, everyone pays to get in, including riders and the race entry is a bit cheaper. You get a wristband for £5, and your entry might then be £30 rather than £35 for racing.

malcra
malcolm.hungerstone@gmail.com

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