last weekend for the first time in 15 months. Having been postponed since February, the atmosphere was one of anticipation and excitement for the day ahead (yes, that is possible at Cowm!) among all the riders, as well as their teams and families.
It was also the first race Fast Eddy has held this year and the team could not have been happier to be back building tracks and running races. Unfortunately, spectators just missed out on being able to come and watch by two days, with government regulations changing on Monday- however, this means that it is all systems go for the iconic Hawkstone weekend in two weeks’ time!
The day kept the normal structure of a separate AM and PM race, providing 4.5 hours of true extreme enduro action for those lucky enough to watch on! Cowm is known for its famous hill climbs and the team, led by Tom Sagar, didn’t disappoint this year with the track design, with a hill climb at every turn, giving the riders little time to rest during the lap.
Unlike normal where the Vets take the lead in the AM race, it was down to the younger generation to get out in front and show the old guys how to do it. Ashton Brightmore was out in front from the get-go and rode excellently for 10 laps, keeping his lead for the whole time, not only in his class but also the overall race. Bert Boam took the runner up spot on nine laps, with Cynan Jones taking the last spot on the podium in third.
Mark Houson in the Vets class proved that age and experience can be just as good as youth and enthusiasm, making it to second overall and easily claiming first in class, but he had competition along the way. Chris Salt was a lap behind in second spot while Darren Skillin completed the Vets top-three right behind Salt.
In the Sportsman class it was Kurtis Knowles who finished first, also claiming fifth overall in the race after an impressive ride. His nearest competitor, Tom Slater, was never far behind and eventually finished second in class 1 minute 40 seconds behind Crowder. Phil Hall was a lap down on the top two in third in class and eighth overall.
The championship race began at 1pm with a highly charged surge of riders battling their way through a bog into the tight first corner, then down the first of many steep hills; setting the chaotic tone for the rest of the race. It wasn’t until riders were clear of the start area that the racing really began.
Initially, it was a fierce two-way battle between Billy Bolt and Will Hoare, but Bolt came out on top and finished the first lap in the lead. Billy put in one of his best rides to keep a consistent pace and eventually build up a huge lead on second place. However, disaster struck Will Hoare in the last 30 minutes of the race when he got held up by a backmarker and broke his gear lever making him drop down to fourth, a disappointing result considering his performance throughout the race. In the end it was Joe Deakin who took second place, followed by Jono Richardson in third, both having put in great rides.
A significant group of Expert riders followed the Championship class home. Mitchell Brightmore came out on top, a lap ahead of the rest of his class. He was up against some fierce competition but still managed to get inside the top ten in ninth place, with second in class Lee Sampson finishing just outside in 11th place overall. Will Westgarth followed close behind in third.
The Clubman class saw only a minute and a half separate the top 3! Jack Winn beat Doug Lote to be top Clubman rider on the day with 8 laps under his belt. Max Diment took third in class, a lap down on the top two. As for the Elite Vets, Mark Jackson pulled it out of the bag to take the class win after an outstanding performance. Second place Grant Churchwood was close behind and Harold Crawford one lap behind in third.
A massive well-done to Fast Eddy and his dedicated team as always, who spent the week at Cowm preparing an excellent track which made for a great day of extreme enduro racing! — with Paul McKie.
Race Report and Images by Tilde Tighe