Tasman Ihatove Trial

In February next year the Olliver Boys will be running the first Tasman Ihatove trial.

This promises to be an exciting and fun event.

Following is a couple of articles giving us an idea of what the trial is about.

The first is an insite into the Japanese event and the second is some information on next years Nelson event.

The Idemitsu Ihatove Trial – Fun, Friendship and Challenge (Ihatove is interpreted as “DREAMLAND”)  

•    It all began at the SSDT… Back in 1973 and 1974, Japanese riders Yasuo Manzawa and Shozo Narita rode Honda TL125s in the Scottish Six Day Trial. Having faced all the challenges of that event and experienced Scotland’s spectacular scenery, they decided to hold a trial in Japan to give local riders a taste of Scottish-style riding.   Since the densely-populated Tokyo area offered no suitable venues for such an event, they headed to Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan, where they came across terrain that reminded them of Scotland and Wales. In mid-1977 the first 2-day Ihatove trial was held in Iwate, with just 27 entrants. The riders received a warm welcome from local residents and made a good impression on them. The second trial in 1978 attracted 60 riders, and 120 riders participated in 1979.  

•    Fun for everyoneNowadays the event attracts around 500 entrants each year, ranging from first-time novices to All-Japan trials champions. The Ihatove Trial is not a championship event and no license is required to participate.  Many people who attempt the sport of trials are quickly put off if they ride difficult sections that do not match their skill level, since they run the risk of accident and injury. The founders of the Ihatove trial aimed to create an event that anyone could ride safely and enjoy. The trial has several classes to accommodate all levels of rider, ranging from the 120km Neli course for novices to the 350km Classic course.   

•    Non-stop rule for non-stop enjoymentThe Ihatove trial has a unique scoring system, which differs from the system used in regular championship trials. Riders are not allowed to stop in a section, even if they don’t put their feet down. Stopping incurs a five-point penalty, which keeps riders flowing smoothly and quickly through the sections and averts the need for big obstacles – just tree roots on a camber or tight turns on a moderate climb are enough to judge a rider’s skill level. Even if riders fail in a section, they will not seriously injure themselves or damage their machines. The idea behind this is to make trials a life-long sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Another feature of the scoring system is the four-point penalty for putting a foot on the ground four times or more (so the possible scores for a section are 0,1,2,3,4, or 5, rather than the conventional 0,1,2,3,5). This system reduces the likelihood of tied scores, especially for beginners. Not all sections are observed, and riders score each other on unobserved sections.  

•    Corporate and Community Support The Ihatove Trial is run by a group of energetic and enthusiastic volunteers. The local television station, TV Iwate, provides administrative services such as gathering entry fees, producing posters and pamphlets, and hosting the event website (http://www.sukaheru.net/~ihatove/). TV Iwate also produces and broadcasts a one-hour programme on the trial and a DVD each year.  Idemitsu, a major Japanese oil company (the equivalent of Shell or BP in New Zealand), has sponsored the event for 20 years, and Yamaha also provides support in the form of staff and motorcycles. The Ihatove trial has excellent relationships with landowners and local government, and residents turn out on the route to wave to the riders and hand them drinks and fruit. These strong local bonds are highly valued by Idemitsu, which is proud to foster links with the local communities in which it operates.  The organizers of the trial, place a great deal of importance on running an environmentally responsible, low-impact event, and this attitude has played a big role in building positive community relations. Each year the event attracts hundreds of participants and their families to Iwate Prefecture and provides an opportunity to showcase the region’s scenery and attractions to visitors from around Japan and overseas.   

•    Ihatove goes internationalAt the request of the Idemitsu Ihatove Trial management team the inaugural Tasman Ihatove Trial, will be held on 20-21 February 2010, a new page in the history of the Ihatove Trial. Through their close ties with NonStop Adventure NZ and the Oliver family many of the event’s organizers have visited the Tasman district, and they are convinced that it provides an ideal setting for the first-ever Ihatove event to be held outside Japan. Key riders from Japan including Ihatove Trial Chairman Yasuo Manzawa and top Japanese rider and coach Takumi Narita have already confirmed their attendance at the event. The Tasman Ihatove Trial will embody the Ihatove Spirit of fun, friendship and challenge and build even stronger links between trials communities in New Zealand and Japan.  

•    Tasman Ihatove TrialSpecial permission was given in 2008 by the nephew of the Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa, who created the word Ihatove (denoting ‘dreamland’), for naming rights to allow NonStop Adventure to use Ihatove in the title of their event. As the event is supported by the Tasman District Council and held in the Tasman region, the mayor has invited riders from Japan to attend and presented gifts to organizers at their 2008 event, which was attended by NonStop Adventure riders. The council has also given permission to use their logo in the design of the Tasman Ihatove Trial logo. NonStop Adventure is working closely with the Tasman District Council to introduce this new sports tourism venture to the region with Mayor Richard Kempthorne personally meeting with Takumi Narita during his visit in 2009. 

•    NonStop Adventure NZNonStop Adventure NZ has a proven history participating in the organisation and running of professional events in NZ including the NZ National Trials Championship in 2006 and the highly successful Oceania Competition in 2009 with Japanese guest rider (Japan’s National Trials coach and podium World Outdoor rider) Takumi Narita attending as we work toward this event becoming a tri-nation competition. Nelson is also the home of the NonStop Adventure Trials Park and training academy and has successfully promoted the region in top bike magazines Kiwirider, Dirt Rider Downunder and many overseas magazines and websites. Its own website www.nonstopadventure.co.nz has a large number of hits, and visitors from Scotland, Wales, England, Australia, Thailand & Japan have all been drawn to the spectacular scenery and friendly team. 

NonStop Adventure have worked with Nelson-based firm Goldpine for many years and support the Goldpine team at Mystery Creek with their professional trials display riding, helping to give Goldpine an edge in attracting crowds to their stand. This partnership helped to secure first place for the Best Large Outdoor site award this year at Mystery Creek Field Days and we are pleased to announce that Goldpine have confirmed their major sponsorship of this event for 2010 with the intention of continuing the long association with NonStop Adventure which began in 2004.


 Tasman Ihatove Trial20-21 February, 2010

Day One: Punawai Farm, 88 Valley Road, Wakefield, Nelson

ClassesThe Tasman Ihatove Trial will consist of three classes, providing challenge and fun for riders of all levels.

RecreationThis grade is aimed at social / clubman / twin-shock and classic riders.

SportAimed at more experienced riders, the sections in this class will have an easy, flowing portion followed by a series of more challenging obstacles. This grade is suitable for president/ clubman A/ intermediate riders.

EliteThis grade will be for experienced intermediate and A-grade riders.

ScoringScoring will be in accordance with the Ihatove scoring system using the NonStop rule (i.e. 5-point penalty for stopping in a section) and possible scores of 0,1, 2,3,4,5 (i.e. 4-point penalty for four or more dabs). Since the NonStop rule will apply, the key challenge will be not so much the size of the obstacles as the need to ride them all in a smooth, flowing style without halting. The 1/2/3/4/5 scoring system reduces the number of tied scores at the end of the day.

Format Riders will leave in groups of three at intervals. This ensures a constant flow of riders through the sections and minimizes queuing.There will be three large loops, taking up to a maximum of two hours each. Riders will not be timed on the trail portion of each loop, but there will be sections along the route where you will record each other’s scores. In the last part of each loop, riders will return to the control area and ride a series of observed sections.  Refreshments will be available at the control area.The intention (yet to be confirmed) is that Recreational grade riders will complete two loops with a third more challenging loop for Sport and Elite riders only.As this event is going to have high media exposure there will be spectators at the control area so to make sure spectators are sufficiently entertained and impressed there will be a couple of fun optional activities in this area at the completion of your loops.  

This will include an individual time trial; two-person Goldpine obstacle races and a demonstration of display riding by two or three high profile riders.



Tasman Ihatove Trial
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