ALEX Salmond – First Minister of Scotland – was a welcomed visitor to the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) earlier today, as he toured the Parc Ferme as part of his current election campaign.
The charasmatic politician was in good spirits as he enjoyed the glorious sunshine that has beseiged Fort William in recent days.
The SNP leader took time out from his busy schedule to meet a number of competitors of the 276-strong field as they were about to set out on their first day of the event that celebarates its 100th anniversary in 2011.
SSDT clerk of the course, Mark Whitham, was on hand to meet the First Minister and to give him a brief history and overview of the event, which celebrates its centenary this year.
One hundred years on, the SSDT continues to attract competitors from all over the world and is constantly oversubscribed in terms of entries, thus confirming its ongoing popularity and importance within the global sport of trials.
Speaking about Mr Salmond’s visit, Whitham stated: “It is obviously a great honour for the Edinburgh and District Motor Club to welcome the First Minister to the Scottish Six Days Trial and especially with this being our one hundredth year.
“So far, we have been blessed with fabulous weather, which is a good start to what we hope will be a fantastic and historic week.”
During his visit to the West End car park, Mr Salmond said: “This is an event that has great history, and when you look at the surrounding landscape you can perhaps understand why it has been so popular for so many years.
“I am sure when the riders who have come from as far away as Australia experience this terrain, that they will want to come back over and over again.
“More recently, I have taken an interest in car rallying with the IRC series having come to Scotland in the last couple of years, and now I will also be following this event too as it looks absolutely great here today.”
Mr Salmond rounded off his visit by taking the opportunity to chat with SSDT regular, Rhoda Rathmell, wife of former SSDT winner, Malcolm Rathmell, and co-owner of Sherco UK, whose leading rider this year is Alexz Wigg – the 2010 SSDT victor.
Marking its centenary, the 2011 Scottish Six Days Trial will take place throughout Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, in the north west Highlands between Monday 2nd and Saturday 7th May – for more details please visit www.ssdt.org.
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
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 bike. They 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. There is also a set time within which each day’s route must be completed.
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.
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 30 boulder-strewn sections on each of the six days.
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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