THE Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT), the oldest surviving motorbike trial competition in the World, celebrates its centenary year in 2011 when it returns to the Highland town of Fort William from Monday 2 May to Saturday 7 May.
For six very special days 270 riders, both professional and amateur, from around the UK and across the globe will do battle in the purest test of man and machine. T
he fight to be ‘King of the Highlands’ in May is guaranteed to be a fierce affair as, irrespective of past or current status, every rider competing will be fully aware of the incredible prestige and exposure that winning the 100th edition of the SSDT will bring.
The sport of motorcycle trials is a test of riding skill over observed sections where the winner is determined by skill alone. When competitors ride each of the 30 testing sections every day their feet must remain on the footrests of the motorcycle. T
hey must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams and boulder-strewn gorges. Sections vary in length and severity, and riders are penalised if they put their feet down to help them ride the section, and more so if they fail to negotiate the section in its entirety.
The Scottish Six Days Trial has the additional test of reliability over long distances, with riders completing up to 100 miles each day over a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads; designed to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider and the reliability of the bike.
Over the last century thousands of riders have made this special journey to the enthralling and unmatched landscape of Lochaber – the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, for a chance to tackle the unique and challenging Scottish Highland terrain alongside local riders who relish the opportunity to take on the World’s best on their home turf.
However, only the select few have the honour of having had their name etched on the famous winners’ trophy.
In the early years the likes of Bob McGregor, Hugh Viney, Artie Radcliffe, Allan Jefferies, Jeff Smith, Gordon Jackson, Alan Lampkin, Sammy Miller, Mick Andrews, Arthur Lampkin, Malcolm Rathmell and Martin Lampkin maintained a home domination before the arrival of the foreign challengers.
McGregor remains the only Scottish rider to ever win the SSDT, in 1932, despite Lochaber rider, Gary MacDonald’s huge modern efforts.
In 1980 Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen became the first ever-overseas winner and in doing so began a new era of champions that would include Giles Burgat, Bernie Schreiber, Toni Gorgot, Thierry Michaud and Jordi Tarres, with only Britain’s Steve Saunders interrupting this prolonged foreign invasion.
In more recent times, the famous elegant trophy has remained predominantly in home hands thanks to the victories of multiple wins by Steve Colley, Dougie Lampkin, Graham Jarvis and individual successes by Sam Connor and 2010 winner Alexz Wigg.
The only exceptions to this recent run of British victors came in 2002 and 2003 when popular Spanish riders Amos Bilbao and Juan Pons took top honours respectively.
The Edinburgh and District Motor Club will once again be at the helm of this fantastic competition and will be responsible for upholding an event where club riders and the World’s best compete together over the same course that will include thirty boulder-strewn sections on each of the six days.
Check out http://www.ssdt.org for event updates and details of the best places to watch the Trials action.
Paddy Cuthbert – Podge Publicity – M: 07968 699636 / E: Paddy@podge.co.uk
Notes to editors:
Funders, sponsors and supporters
Event Scotland – www.eventscotland.org
Highland Council – www.highland.gov.uk
Putoline Oil – www.putoline.com
Lift Control – www.liftcontrol.co.uk
Birkett MotoSport Ltd – www.birkettmotosportukltd.co.uk
John Lee Motorcycles – www.lee-motorcycles.co.uk
Off Road Moto – www.offroadmoto.co.uk
Thistle Access – www.thistleaccess.co.uk
Highland Leisure Sport – www.highlandleisuresport.co.uk
Talon Engineering – www.talon-eng.co.uk
Oximoto – www.oximoto.com
100 YEARS OF THE SCOTTISH SIX DAYS TRIAL
The event actually originated as a five-day reliability trial back in July 1909, before being extended to a six-day competition a year later. However, the start of the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) proper as organised by the then newly-formed Edinburgh and District Motor Club began in 1911. In those early years, the trial started and finished in Edinburgh with the route taking the riders to John O’Groats and back over the course of the week. Fort William was introduced as the hub for the event in 1938, although the start and finish remained in Edinburgh, which continued to be the case until all links with the Scottish city were cut in 1977. Today, the SSDT consists of six different daily routes that total approximately 500 miles, which begin and end in Fort William each day.
For more Information on The Scottish Six Days Trial, go to: http://www.g2fgroup.com/html/ssdt/docs/SSDT100.pdf
Previous winners of the Scottish Six Days – 1972-2010
2010 – Alexz Wigg – Beta 2009 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 2008 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 2007 – James Dabill – Montesa 2006 – Graham Jarvis – Sherco 2005 – Sam Connor – Sherco 2004 – Graham Jarvis – Sherco 2003 – Joan Pons – Sherco 2002 – Amos Bilbao- Montesa 2001- Cancelled – Foot + Mouth 2000 – Steve Colley – Gas Gas 1999 – Graham Jarvis – Bultaco 1998 – Graham Jarvis – Scorpa 1997 – Steve Colley – Gas Gas 1996 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 1995 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 1994 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 1993 – Steve Colley – Beta 1992 – Steve Colley – Beta 1991 – Steve Saunders – Beta 1990 – Steve Saunders – Beta 1989 – Steve Saunders – Fantic 1988 – Steve Saunders – Fantic 1987 – Jordi Tarres – Beta 1986 – Thierry Michaud – Fantic 1985 – Thierry Michaud – Fantic 1984 – Thierry Michaud – Fantic 1983 – Toni Gorgot – Montesa 1982 – Bernie Schreiber – SWM 1981 – Gilles Burgat – SWM 1980 – Yrjo Vesterinen – Montesa 1979 – Malcolm Rathmell – Montesa 1978 – Martin Lampkin – Bultaco 1977 – Martin Lampkin – Bultac 1976 – Martin Lampkin – Bultac 1975 – Mick Andrews – Yamaha 1974 – Mick Andrews – Yamah 1973 – Malcolm Rathmell – Bultac 1972 – Mick Andrews – Ossa
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