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All content Bob Mullins

Wind, Rain and then Snow turned up!

James Wright Memorial
Bovington Ranges
Sunday 6th November 2022
Round 2 of the ACU Southern Winter series
Hosted by Dorset Enduro

Bovington army ranges is a unique venue in southern England, and it was put to good use in memory of Royal Marine James Wright who was killed on active service in Afghanistan 10 years ago aged 21. Over 200 riders gathered for the event which was marked by the parents of James, Mark and Sallie Wright leading a minute's silence before the start.

The organisers, Dorset Enduro had been forced to make a number of course changes due to military activity and a spell of extremely wet weather. They settled for a lap of six and half miles with five sections of forest connected by flowing open tank tracks with hidden pools of cool water waiting to refresh the riders. Many riders travelled a long way eager to ride Bovington again as this venue has not been used since pre-covid.

Special mention goes to Tyrone SPENCER for his outstanding sportsmanship during the event in not only stopping to help and protect an injured rider, but he then also stopped to assist another rider who'd run out of fuel. A fantastic example of the spirit of Enduro.

Considering the weather leading up to the race the Bovington course held together, and most riders finished. It wasn't easy with some tracks becoming liquid sand with rider fitness truly tested. The Championship class set the racing standard with only two riders managing to complete eleven laps. They were Alex SNOW and Ricky WIGGINS, they swapped the lead numerous times for most of the race, eventually Alex managed to create a small gap to take the win when Ricky stopped for fuel. Just behind them was Bradly KING adjusting to his new Blue Yamaha taking third place. The next five championship riders were all lapping on the same minute with any mistake resulting in a lost position, a great day's racing from the Championship field.

The large 30 rider Expert class also put on a great show of determined riding with young Jordan BRIGDEN setting a cracking pace all day clearly enjoying the track and conditions and taking the win. Not far behind was Tyson MATON-JONES who showed some of his old form to finish second and in third place was Harry NEAL on adjusted time after he also stopped for the injured rider.

The Expert Vets is an extremely competitive class with numerous former championship riders in their ranks. Two of the country's leading Veteran riders were present and were mixing it with the Championship and Expert class for most of the day. Gary MCCOY took the early lead which he held until mid-race when Stan WATTS showed his strength and determination to slide by into the lead which he held until the end. Gary didn't give up the fight and was still very close at the finish line, finishing on the same minute in third was Dan GROOM with Dan HALL in fourth all on 9 laps.

The Clubman A class saw Micheal HAYES miss out on an extra lap by less than a second having lost a little time on his last lap, but he still managed a convincing class win on eight laps. Cameron GAMES started well and actually lead the class on his second lap, but Hayes soon got by and pushed hard to build a lead by mid distance, on the last four laps though Games was closing the gap every lap but just couldn't recover from the lead Hayes had built up. Jack DEWDNEY rode well to take third place in this super competitive class where the rider who made the least number of mistakes took the spoils.

Clubman B is all about young 16-year-old Finlay TAYLOR, he set the pace last year in the Sportsman class and he looks on course to dominate the Clubman B class this series. He led from the start, set a consistent tempo, and rode smart to win the class on 8 laps the only Club B to achieve this. In second place was the slightly older Kirk GILES, who wasn't far off being on the same lap as Finlay. Third was Shaun ASH who clearly had something extra for breakfast because he followed Tristan DANIELS for six laps then passed him on lap seven to beat him by just five seconds.

Both the Sportsman classes seemed to contain a number of very quick riders who would do well in moving up to other classes at their next event. Well done to all that finished and get well soon to those that picked up injuries.

Results

On a weekend which saw many events cancelled, Dorset Enduro provided a great day's racing, the next ACU Southern series event is, again hosted by Dorset Enduro.
Next up is their Classic Forest event, this time in the wonderful Moreton forest on December 18th.

Report by T. Rowe
Photos Nick Guppy & Andy Coombes