IN THE final challenge of the Isle of Wight Motorcycle Club’s 2021 Winter Championship trials biking season, riders had to be at their very best in the trickiest of conditions on Boxing Day. 

After torrential rain lashed the Sweetwater Brook course in Calbourne, riders with a focus on their respective class titles, had to battle skilful opponents as well as contend with very slippery chalk. 

The Boxing Day Expert Cup went to local ace Rob Howard, who made a winning return — snatching victory from Tom Richards.

However, second place was enough for Richards to win the Experts Championship and be crowned the 2021 Island champion. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Winter Series champion Tom Richards.Winter Series champion Tom Richards.

In the intermediates, the top three riders, with more than a century of riding experience between them, all finished on single figure scores — showing how competitive the class was, especially in the wet conditions.

Ross Haydon, took the win with a loss of only two marks. In doing so, he scooped the intermediate title. 

Adam Morgan has consistently been his main challenger this season, finishing runner up in the championship and winning the tie break on most clean rounds over veteran rider, Alan Stay.

In the over 50s, section, John Coombes triumphed over Andy Scott-Jackson.

Isle of Wight County Press: Alfie Haydon.Alfie Haydon.

However, the runner up berth was enough for Scott-Jackson to take a comfortable win in the championship.

But with Coombes having the recent momentum going into 2022, next year is shaping up to be an interesting battle with Scott-Jackson. 

The Boxing Day Novice Cup went to Paul Baldwin, who crossed The Solent especially for the event, with Paul Kent not far behind on his electric bike.

In the youth experts class, Alfie Haydon took the spoils — and the championship — from Alfie Gaskin, who finished a strong second in both. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Paul Baldwin.Paul Baldwin.

The two riders have consistently posted scores comparable to the top adult riders on the course’s ‘B’ route. 

Youth novices were led up by championship winner, Harrison Crickmore, who snatched the win and championship from rival, Ollie Elford — both of which improved a great deal last year. 

The event’s youngest rider, Riley Baker, did not let the bad weather effect his enthusiasm for the sport, as he smiled all the way round to win the Youth Beginner Championship. 

The Boxing Day trial hosted the traditional Father and Son Trophy, with seven father and son pairings in action — an event that demonstrates how the skills of trials riding has been handed down effectively through the generations. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Harrison Crickmore.Harrison Crickmore.

Ross and Alfie Haydon won the event having dropped just 14 marks, beating Calvin and Jos Wright, who finished on 39.

“Sometimes the father will be the stronger rider, but as the years go on, the youngsters will lead the show,” one of the event’s organisers.

“The main ingredients for success is teamwork, with the lowest combined score winning. 
“It was great to see so many new lads and dads in their first year of trials, taking part in the Father and Son. 

“They all finished strongly despite terrible conditions at times.”