Well it probably won't be remembered as the wetest trial we've ever had but it might go close for the quickest. In the pub with drink in hand and a bowl of hot chips in front of me and it wasn't even 2 o'clock.
I had rung Glenn the day before and he had said he was too busy to come to the trial (which I later realised was code for, "I've seen the weather forecast") so I travelled alone and joined eight other hardy souls for a day in the mud. To be honest I had considered staying in bed but I decided I needed the practice in the wet for the upcoming Kaikoura Six Day. And practice I did. I practiced dismounting on the left, dismounting on the right and a bit of dismounting off the back. I almost had an occasion to practice dismounting over the front as well but anyone who was at Karl Clarks training day will know I've got that one mastered.
Alan and Ross had spent the day before in the constant heavy rain putting in the sections, so even though the rain had eased to just constant "not-so-heavy" rain and because there was only nine of us they decided we should only ride one lap. Music to my ears that was, untill I worked out that they still wanted us to ride each section four times. So off we went as a group and rode each section four times before moving onto the next one. This turned out to be an ideal format for a small number in the conditions and meant we all finished early and was able to warm up in front of the fire at the Governors Bay Pub.
The sections were pretty much what we've ridden before at this venue but the wet put a whole new perspective on things. After the long hot summer this was a bit of a wake up call for us all. Sections 1-3 were slippery hill climbs and a slippery gully and sections 4-10 were slippery hillclimbs and slippery rocks. I struggled all day with Davie making me feel like the old man that I am. I did have the last laugh however managing a clean on the last attempt at section 10 something he wasn't able to do. That made me feel a bit better but didn't erase the 70 point thrashing he gave me.
In the other grades Ross was too good for Alan in Intermediate, Jon was well ahead of Kendall in the twin shocks (nothing like the thrashing I had to endure), Jacob was our only Junior and Richard easily won the Clubman class after Tony was forced out by a leaky radiator (what do I keep telling you Tony "Ya Shoulda……..".
In the end even with the bad weather and my horrendous score, I still had a good time and was (like everyone else) was still smiling at the end. In fact I think the only one with a bigger smile was the farmer. He was loving the rain!
Thanks to Alan and Ross for going out in the rain and putting in the sections