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Scottish Six Days Trial News

We’ll be entering four riders in the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) running from Monday May 6th to Saturday May 11th 2019 in Fort William. Our four riders will be Allan Adamson, Neil Dawson, Graeme Wilson and Duncan Wood. We’ll be profiling each of the riders and the team in future issues of the magazine.

Riding new bikes supplied by Scorpa the team will be taking on the toughest challenge on the Trial riding calender and will be the first of many groups that we support through the SSDT in the years to come.

The team was selected to pilot what will be an ongoing commitment to bring newer riders into the competition, riders that may otherwise have been unable to compete due to financial or other constraints.

In future years that selection process will be refined change but will focus on bringing newer riders up to this level.

So why are we doing it?

Our first visit to the SSDT came last year when we spent the week in Fort William following the event.

Anyone that has passed through the town and taken time to look at the SSDT can’t help but be impressed by the level of coordination and organisation that has gone into getting the SSDT together and maintain it as the world level success that it is.

We heard stories of riders of all ages and experience levels and couldn’t help but be in awe at this motorcycling spectacle.

We also heard from riders that were not competing, some due to financial concerns and others who seemed to need a bit of a nudge to get their names into the pot. With Motorcycle based sports facing a reduced number of young riders we felt a need to do what we could to make a difference. A look at many of the Club and some National level motorcycle series is enough to see that it is the ‘older and bolder’ crew that make up a lot of the start numbers with few new faces around the paddock.

That isn’t particularly sustainable and in order to develop less experienced and new riders they need the opportunity to compete at higher levels and see a path toward it.

This is our small part to try to move some of these riders up a level and compete alongside some of the best riders in the world as well as getting the message out there to others that might consider joining their local club.
We will be providing all the support and logistics the riders need during the SSDT so that they can focus on their riding. The two less experienced riders in the team will have experienced riders to help them get around the sections and guide them throughout the week.

Over the coming months we’ll be profiling the team letting you know more about them and their experience in addition to bringing you updates on the SSDT plans.

During the event you’ll also be getting a lot more news from us with daily media spots, video and news updates keeping you up to date with the team’s progress and the SSDT standings.

We couldn’t do this without the support of the SSDT Committee so have to give a massive thanks to them for their enthusiasm and encouragement in getting the project together.

Stayed tuned for more…

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Scottish Six Days Trial kicks off in Fort William

It’s been 109 years since the first Scottish motorcycle trial was held. Originally a a five-day event devised by Campbell McGregor of the Edinburgh Motor Cycle Club. Originally, the trial started in Edinburgh, going to John O’Groats before returning to Edinburgh.

The early history of the Scottish six Days Trial 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. Ever since those early days, the SSDT has attracted factory involvement from the major manufacturers as the sales benefits of winning the SSDT were, and still are, a major selling point for their machines.

1932 saw the introduction of individual award winners, and the first individual winner of the SSDT was Scotsman Bob MacGregor.  In 1938 Fort William was chosen as a new central point for the trial, although the start and finish of the week were still in Edinburgh. This didn’t take effect immediately as the trial was halted during the Second World War, but in 1947 the event resumed and grew from strength to strength.

By the 1970s the popularity of the SSDT had exceeded all expectations and entries had to be limited by ballot as it became impossible for all entrants to complete the daily route within daylight hours.  The next change came in 1977 when the link with Edinburgh was finally broken and the event started and finished in Fort William rather than having the traditional runs from and to Edinburgh at the open and close of the week.

In the 1980s the international flavour of the event came to the fore, with the first overseas rider winning the event, a theme that was to continue for nine consecutive years. The early 1990s tested the SSDT when the focus shifted to world trials – entries diminished and many predicted the demise of the event, but that didn’t last for long and by the time the mid-90s arrived the event was more popular than ever before.

The trial has grown steadily in stature and popularity ever since, and continues to grow today.

This week Fort William is again playing host to those hopeful of taking home the SSDT crown and denying Dougie Lampkin a 7th straight win. It’s also host to the many others competing who are simply there to compete and hope to finish the event. The town has opened its doors to the team and will begin with a par through the town centre today before the Trial starts in earnest tomorrow hitting the hills and moorlands around Fort William.

Who will win this year? Well there is little doubt that Lampkin will feature high on the list of potential winners as as you’ll see from the list below, he’s featured pretty well over the years!

Winners list

2017 Dougie Lampkin on a 300 Vertigo

2016 Dougie Lampkin on a 300 Vertigo

2015 Dougie Lampkin on a 300 Vertigo

2014 Dougie Lampkin on a 300 DL12 Special

2013 Dougie Lampkin on a 300 Gas Gas

2012 Dougie Lampkin on a 300 Gas Gas

2011 James Dabill on a 290 Beta

2010 Alexz Wigg on a 290 Beta

2009 Dougie Lampkin on a 290 Beta

2008 Dougie Lampkin on a 270 Beta

2007 James Dabill on a 300 Montesa

2006 Graham Jarvis on a 290 Sherco

2005 Sam Connor on a 290 Sherco

2004 Graham Jarvis on a 290 Sherco

2003 Joan Pons on a 290 Sherco

2002 Amos Bilbao on a 250 Montesa

2001 No trial (Foot & Mouth Disease Outbreak)

2000 Steve Colley on a 280 Gas Gas

1999 Graham Jarvis on a 290 Bultaco

1998 Graham Jarvis on a 250 Scorpa

1997 Steve Colley on a 270 Gas Gas

1996 Dougie Lampkin on a 250 Beta

1995 Dougie Lampkin on a 250 Beta

1994 Dougie Lampkin on a 250 Beta

1993 Steve Colley on a 260 Beta

1992 Steve Colley on a 260 Beta

1991 Steve Saunders on a 260 Beta

1990 Steve Saunders on a 260 Beta

1989 Steve Saunders on a 305 Fantic

1988 Steve Saunders on a 303 Fantic

1987 Jordi Tarres on a 260 Beta

1986 Thierry Michaud on a 301 Fantic

1985 Thierry Michaud on a 301 Fantic

1984 Thierry Michaud on a 300 Fantic

1983 Toni Gorgot on a 330 Montesa

1982 Bernie Schreiber on a 280 SWM

1981 Giles Burgat on a 280 SWM

1980 Yrjo Vesterinen on a 349 Montesa

1979 Malcolm Rathmell on a 310 Montesa

1978 Martin Lampkin on a 350 Bultaco

1977 Martin Lampkin on a 350 Bultaco

1976 Martin Lampkin on a 325 Bultaco

1975 Mick Andrews on a 250 Yamaha

1974 Mick Andrews on a 250 Yamaha

1973 Malcolm Rathmell on a 250 Bultaco

1972 Mick Andrews on a 250 Ossa

1971 Mick Andrews on a 250 Ossa

1970 Mick Andrews on a 250 Ossa

1969 Bill Wilkinson on a 250 Greeves

1968 Sammy Miller on a 252 Bultaco

1967 Sammy Miller on a 252 Bultaco

1966 Alan Lampkin on a 250 BSA

1965 Sammy Miller on a 250 Bultaco

1964 Sammy Miller on a 500 Ariel

1963 Arthur Lampkin on a 250 BSA

1962 Sammy Miller on a 500 Ariel

1961 Gordon Jackson on a 350 AJS

1960 Gordon Jackson on a 350 AJS

1959 Roy Peplow on a 199 Triumph

1958 Gordon Jackson on a 350 AJS

1957 Johnny Brittain on a 350 Royal Enfield

1956 Gordon Jackson on a 350 AJS

1955 Jeff Smith on a 500 BSA

1954 Artie Ratcliffe on a 350 Matchless

1953 Hugh Viney on a 350 AJS

1952 Johnny Brittain on a 350 Royal Enfield

1951 John Draper on a 350 BSA

1950 Artie Ratcliffe on a 350 Matchless

1949 Hugh Viney on a 347 AJS

1948 Hugh Viney on a 347 AJS

1947 Hugh Viney on a 347 AJS

1940-46 No trial (World War II)

1939 Allan Jeffries on a 349 Triumph

1938 Fred Povey on a 348 Ariel

1937 Jack Williams on a 348 Norton

1936 Billy Tiffen on a 343 Velocette

1935 Bob McGregor on a 499 Rudge

1934 Jack Williams on a 348 Norton

1933 Len Heath on a 497 Ariel

1932 Bob McGregor on a 499 Rudge

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Fort William Set To Welcome 2018 SSDT

The 2018 edition of this historic competition, which will take place from its now established base in Fort William, starting Monday 7th May through to Saturday 12th May inclusive, will include a total of two hundred and eighty-two riders representing eighteen different nations.

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Tizard will have the honour of waving away the riders on their almost week-long challenge in the Scottish Highlands, with his presence marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Army providing the vital refuelling service, without which the event simply could not run. SSDT organisers, the Edinburgh and District Motor Club will again welcome riders from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica and the USA alongside competitors from Holland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Germany plus a strong contingent from the home nations. View the full entry list here.

World renowned Trials photographer, Eric Kitchen will be the club’s guest of honour at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening, 12th May and will be bestowed with the special task of presenting the awards to all the finishers and the eventual winner of the 2018 SSDT. With already eleven victories to his name, which is six more than previous record holders Sammy Miller and Mick Andrews, Dougie Lampkin will start the week as the favourite to lift the famous trophy once again, but he will be only too aware that it will be no easy feat to repeat his previous successes in what remains the ultimate test of man and machine.

Lining up beside Lampkin and the other potential front runners, for the first time ever in the long history of the SSDT will be two relay teams – riding with numbers 100 and 200 respectively. Taking it in turns to share the burden of six of the toughest days of motorcycle competition – the three and two member teams will each raise a minimum of one thousand pounds – with the resulting proceeds being shared between a charity of the team’s choice plus two local charities – those being Lochaber mountain rescue and Glencoe mountain rescue. This relay scheme will be evaluated post event for potential inclusion in future events.

Amazing scenery, unequalled terrain, the opportunity to share six days of incredible riding with friends and rivals, and the chance for amateur riders to compete over the exact same course as their professional counterparts all adds up to continue to make the SSDT the single most important event in the international Trials calendar more than a century after it was first run.

Taking place on the days just prior to the main 2018 Scottish Six Days Trial, the hugely popular Pre-65 Scottish Trial will open proceedings as it follows its now traditional format in and around Kinlochleven on Friday 4th / Saturday 5th May, before the focus switches to Fort William town centre for the opening parade on Sunday 6th May at 3pm.

Daily spectator routes / maps and a full rider entry list can be found in the official SSDT Programme – now on sale at these outlets in the Fort William area. (SSDT)

Photo: Trials Central