THE SCOTTISH SIX DAYS TRIAL, the world's oldest motorbike trial event and the ultimate test of man and machine, returns to Fort William.
Just a year away from celebrating its centenary, the World famous Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) is set to return to the Highland town of Fort William from the 3 to 8 May 2010. 275 motorcycle trial riders from across the UK and around the globe will descend on Fort William and Lochaber – the Outdoor Capital of the UK – for what is arguably the oldest and the greatest motorcycle trial competition in the world. Riders from as far afield as Canada and Australia will make the pilgrimage for the chance to tackle the unique and challenging Scottish terrain alongside local riders who relish the opportunity to take on the world's best on their home turf.
What's involved in motorbike trials?
The sport of motorcycle trials is a test of riding skill over observed sections. When competitors ride the sections their feet must remain on the footrests of the motorcycle. They must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams or 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.
What makes the Scottish Six Days Trial so special?
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. Each daily route is designed by the Clerk of the Course to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider. To ride 100 miles and negotiate 30 sections each day for six consecutive days requires strength, expertise and exceptional reliability from both rider and machine. For trial riders the Scottish Six Days Trial has the same status as the Isle of Man TT has to road racers.
Who are the stars of the sport to look out for?
Over the last century many thousands of riders have made the famous pilgrimage to the enthralling and unmatched landscape that surrounds Fort William, but only the select few have the honour of having had their name etched on the famous winners' trophy. Of those few all eyes will be on current holder and twelve times FIM Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin. Dougie will return to defend his SSDT title having narrowly defeated Alexz Wigg by just a single point in last year's competition. Dougie is a five times winner of this event but knows Wigg will come back stronger than ever this year, as will 2007 winner James Dabill. Another world championship contender Albert Cabestany from Spain also intends to make his mark on Scottish soil ahead of the FIM SPEA Trial World Championship at Nevis Range in June.
How about the classic bikes we know and love?
The early history of SSDT runs alongside the history of the motorcycle in general. In the early 1900s early bikes such as Triumph, Matchless, Ariel and Douglas were primitive, and the original SSDT was mainly a test of reliability. Some of these bikes can still be seen in action in the Pre-'65. The Pre-'65 is a two-day trial event for machines manufactured before 1965 taking place on the Friday and Saturday immediately before the SSDT (1 – 2 May). It is centred around Kinlochleven and includes many sections which were used in the SSDT during the 1960's. The event has proved to be the most important Pre'65 trial in the UK, and as with the SSDT, entries for the trial are massively oversubscribed each year. The trial is hugely popular with spectators and competitors alike, and for many enthusiasts it is the highlight of their year.
Where can I find out more?
Check out www.ssdt.org for event updates and details of where best to watch the Trials.
2010 is also the year that the Nevis Range, Fort William, will stage the UK leg of the 2010 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship, the thirty-sixth edition of the biggest, the most important and the best motorcycle trial competition series on the international calendar. As a major focus for both country and rider sixty of the World's best riders from fifteen countries around the globe will descend on the Scottish Highlands (26 and 27 June) for two days of awesome and hotly contested competition for valuable points towards the 2010 World Pro (male only at Fort William), World Junior (male and female) and World Youth (male and female) titles.
Paddy Cuthbert – Podge Publicity – M: 07968 699636 / E: Paddy@podge.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
The Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) is mainly focused on the Lochaber area, centred in Fort William. Each day of the trial starts and finishes at the West End Car Park on the waterfront, providing a major attraction for the town.
The trial is limited by daylight hours to around 270 competitors, but entries are regularly in excess of 400, such is the popularity of the event. The majority of riders look forward to the only trial that allows them to compete on equal terms with professional and world-class riders. The trial has a reputation for being the toughest in the world, and it is the most prestigious event that a trials rider can win.
Competing in the Scottish Six Days Trial is the dream of every young trials rider, and long may that continue.
The SSDT is managed by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club, and in association with the SSDT the Club runs a Pre-'65 two-day trial for machines manufactured before 1965. This takes place immediately before the SSDT every year, starting and finishing in Kinlochleven. The Pre-'65 trial celebrated it's Silver Jubilee in 2009 and has proved to be the most important Pre-'65 trial in the UK, with entries for the trial massively over-subscribed each year. The Scottish Six Days Trial attracts over 270 riders who together with their followers, spectators and the 150 Pre-'65 riders, provide a major boost to the economy of Fort William and the surrounding areas.
Sponsors and Supporters
Birkett Motosport are long-standing supporters of the Scottish Six Days Trial that need no introduction to trials enthusiasts. They are the sole UK importers for Scorpa Motorcycles, Rainers trials boots and Ritrattosport trials clothing, and are based in Cumbria.
Highland Leisure Sport is Scotland's leading trials dealer, supplying Beta, Montesa, Gas Gas, Sherco and Scorpa motorcycles along with a comprehensive range of motocross and enduro supplies. They are based in the Scottish Highlands, and you can always be sure of a warm welcome when you pop in to see them.
John Lee Motorcycles is a family-run business based in Northamptonshire. They stock a wide variety of bikes and equipment, and the SSDT are delighted to welcome the aboard as our newest sponsor.
Lift Control is our second new sponsor for 2010. They're an independent lift company who supply, install and services lifts all across Scotland. They have a number of employees who are involved with the SSDT in some capacity. It's great to see other industries taking an interest in the sport and we're delighted to have their support.
Putoline Oils is once again supporting the SSDT and supplying all the oil and chain lube needed to get everyone through week. Putoline are an international company who provide solely for the motorcycle industry, and their ongoing involvement with the SSDT is great.
Talon Engineering have an ongoing association with the SSDT, having been event sponsors for many years. They provide wheels, sprockets, brakes, footrests, and anything else you might need for your trials bike, and have done since 1973. They're based down in Somerset.
Thistle Access are a Fort William company that provide rope access and NDT services to the oil and construction industries. They've supported the SSDT for the past few years in many different shapes and forms, and SSDT regulars might spot a familiar face or two on their website!