2012 sees the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) enter its second century, with nine days of motorcycling entertainment being held in Fort William and the surrounding Lochaber region of the Scottish Highlands from 4th – 12th May. The main trial takes place from 7th – 12th May and SSDT organisers, the Edinburgh and District Motor Club, are pleased to confirm the following details.
Kicking off the entertainment in the village of Kinlochleven this Friday and Saturday will be the nostalgic Pre’65 Trial, a must for anybody with an interest in older bikes. On Sunday the SSDT takes over and visitors can enjoy the spectacular sight of all 275 SSDT entrants taking part in the opening cavalcade through Fort William’s town centre.
Each day of the trial sees competitors take on the might of the hard Scottish terrain interspersed with the challenges presented by 30 different observed sections. On Monday 7th May, crowds will amass at 7.30am in the West End Car Park to watch the first riders leave on the start of their six-day adventure.
The first group on Monday and of the week will be Leanachan with four sections located behind the Nevis Ski Range, where the first rider is expected to arrive at around 7.45am. Monday’s 66-mile course will also take in Garbh Bheinn, Cnoc a Linnhe and Cameron Hill at Loch Leven en route to Lagnaha. With seven challenging sections Lagnaha is one of the week’s most popular locations for spectators.
On Tuesday 8th May, riders will complete a 103-mile route, the second longest of the week. Creag Lundie, located up on the hillside over Loch Cluanie, will be amongst the busiest groups of the day with five testing sections to watch in close succession. The first rider is due to arrive there at 11.40am. The last stop of the day will be Witches Burn where riders are due to take on the final section of the day from around 2.40pm onwards.
On Wednesday, spectators are recommended to go for an early start and head to Loch Eli and Trotters Burn, where the first riders are scheduled to begin passing through at 7.45am and 8.50am respectively. The day’s 81-mile course will also visit Annat and Fersit, both excellent groups of sections, but be prepared for a long walk if visiting these spots. Grey Mares Tail at Kinlochleven is also worth a visit from 2pm onwards.
Thursday will provide another grueling route where riders will cover 126 miles, the longest day of the week. The best spectating option for the day is to start at Chairlift at around 8.15am then head over to find a space at Fersit to watch the riders end their day with seven tough sections from 2pm onwards. As an alternative to those who do not mind an early start and would prefer to avoid the crowds, there is a lovely day to be spent in Glen Lyon out at Lochs Wood and Coire Nam Miseach.
Friday follows the traditional route around the Moidart peninsula with all but one or two sections easily accessible from the roadside. Anyone watching the event is asked to travel in the same direction as the trial to ease congestion, as most of the roads around the peninsula are single-track. Riders will cover 91 miles that day, with the roadside loop for spectators being around 80 miles in length.
Saturday, the final day of the trial, provides the shortest route of the week (58 miles), and includes the historic Town Hall Brae where the competitors ride the famous final section in the middle of the town before finishing on the podium in the town centre. The three groups of sections in Glen Nevis are likely to be the highlight of the day, with Pipeline and Lower Mamore at Kinlochleven also proving very popular.
The SSDT finale takes place on Saturday night when spectators are invited to take advantage of free entry to the fully-licensed closing presentation of awards in Fort William’s An Aird centre. The presentation starts at 9pm and is a great opportunity to wind down and relax with riders and supporters alike.
In addition to the main SSDT trial action, there will be various après-trial events being held throughout the nine days in the licensed marquee, known as The SSDT Hub, situated in the West End Car Park in Fort William. By day The SSDT Hub will provide a place to sit down and take in the atmosphere of the event. By night it will host a range of different events.
On Saturday 5th May everyone is warmly invited to kickstart their week at the SSDT Welcome Ceilidh, with renowned Scottish band ‘On The Wagon’. Sunday 6th May sees the SSDT play host to some of Scotland’s best up-and-coming bands, including Washington Irving and Kitty The Lion. There will be a general knowledge pub quiz on Wednesday 9th May and finally ex-British Champion Steve Saunders will be talking to us on Friday 11th May. You can find out more about each of these events on the Spectators tab of the SSDT website, www.ssdt.org.
The SSDT is free for spectators to watch on all days. The official event programme, containing details of riders, routes and spectating opportunities, is available to purchase in the Fort William area and also via www.ssdt.org. Route maps for each day of the main trial can also be viewed on the website.
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Notes to editors
Motorcycle trials – the sport
Motorcycle trials is a competitive sport that tests riding skill over a course of observed sections (or hazards/obstacles). Competitors must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams or boulder-strewn gorges, and are penalised if they put their feet down to help them to ride the section or if they fail to complete the section in its entirety.
Motorcycle trials are unique in the world of motorsport, with it being the only discipline where the winner is decided on skill alone and not speed.
The Scottish Six Days Trial
The annual Scottish Six Days Trial is managed by the Edinburgh and District Motor Club. It is a particularly challenging motorcycle trials event as it tests competitors’ stamina, endurance, strength and consistency over long distances, with 275 riders completing more than 100 miles and 30 sections on some days of the six-day event. The routes cover a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads.
The SSDT started in 1909 and, with breaks during the two World Wars, celebrated its 100th anniversary in May 2011, making it the oldest and also one of the most prestigious motorcycle trials events in the world.
The SSDT is based in the Lochaber region of the Scottish Highlands and is traditionally held in May every year. Each day of the trial starts and finishes in Fort William, providing a major tourist attraction for the town.
Admission to watch the SSDT is free on all days. Full event details, including the best spectating points throughout the week, can be found in the official event programme, which will be available to purchase in April 2012.
An independent economic impact survey commissioned by the event organiser and funded by Event Scotland in 2011 showed that the Scottish Six Days Trial provided a direct economic impact of around £1,100,000 to Fort William last year.
Event overview and history: http://www.g2fgroup.com/html/ssdt/html/SSDT12-addinfo.html
The Scottish Six Days Trial is supported by EventScotland.
EventScotland is the national events agency.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org.
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