The 750MC held this years Alan Gisby at Steep Marsh near Petersfield in Hampshire. This site was originally to be used for the Spring Trial but weather conditions forced the abandonment of the previous trial and it was hoped that the weather gods would smile favourably on us this time.
Six hills were laid out on the Saturday morning and whilst it was extremely slippery underfoot it was hoped that the forecast overnight showers wouldn’t cause too many problems. This was not entirely successful as it turned out to be a little challenging for anyone without 4 wheel drive to get too far into the parking area, however with the aid of Nelly Danel and a certain amount of muscle everyone made it on site.
6 hills had been laid out along the side of the hanger and for the first round of the day these proved to be a serious challenge even with the tyres set at 3psi.
Hill 1 at the top of the valley was a fairly easy opener with the challenge being in the last 3 gates and all contenders took a 3 or less. However the fairly strong wind dried the ground around the finish unusually quickly so after seeing the first four competitors in the second round get the front end a little too high for comfort it was quickly modified. The first 4 were asked to redo that section which they were quite happy to do and the section caused no further worries
Hill 2 proved very challenging with the ground out of the start gate being very slippery and not allowing anyone to get beyond the 9. This was significantly modified for the subsequent rounds and as the wind up the side of the hanger dried the ground so scores tumbled.
Hill 3 was a more progressive section with score slowly dropping throughout the day, but as with a lot of the ground in the Sussex/Hants area, one false move or hesitation and it was game over.
Hill 4 was thought to be a fairly simple hill but once the first 4 competitors had gone over it and removed the top leaf litter the 11 gate became extremely challenging and so was subsequently altered to enable the competitors to get at the lower numbers.
Hill 5 was based over a series of rises to the top of the hanger and whilst fairly simple needed concentration when taking the turns at the top of the rises, otherwise forward motion ceased and you were going no further.
Hill 6 was a run up the side of the hill to a platform area, a short run along the platform and then a sharp right to continue further up the hill. Unfortunately the sharp right initially caught a number of people out but once they had figured it out then it was a case of careful driving to the top without the use of excessive power.
The 4 main contenders for the lead, Phil Haines, Mark Howse, Stuart Beare and Neil Cromey all played a canny game with each losing odd scores here and there but (with the exception of hill 2 in the first round) keeping the losses low so that after 4 rounds in very slippery conditions there were only 6 marks covering the first 3 positions.
Some of the novices struggled in the first round but once the ground had dried a little they soon found their feet and started reeling in the scores.
The winner was Phil Haines in his ex Dave Oliver Fack, which obviously still is a very competitive vehicle as it has beaten quite a lot of more modern machinery despite being the best part of 40 years old.
The next 750 round is at West Harting Down, Nr South Harting on Sunday May 10th and then the ‘end of term wind down trial’ is on Saturday 4th June. The last trial is free to enter for 750 members and is used to help promote Sporting Trials in Southern England, so if you know anyone who wants to come along and see what ST is all about in a friendly relaxed event then send them along. Competitors and marshals are also provided with a free picnic lunch!