Yeomans wins Gerald Simpson Memorial Trial

Hard course winner Sam Yeomans. Photo: Charlotte Brown.

Sunday marked one of Coverdale’s most prestigious motorcycle events in honour of the late Gerald Simpson organised by Richmond Motor Club as part of the highly popular S3 Parts Championship Series.

The event was a gigantic organisational task consisting of 40 sections plotted through the breathtaking scenery of Coverdale in North Yorkshire. Very popular amongst local riders and spectators, a handful of Coverdale’s own helped mark out the course including Scott Lambert, Josh Dent and Jamie Dent under watchful eyes of the Clerk of Course, Sam Lambert and his right-hand man Christian Russell.

The Hard Course had a prosperous entry of 23 riders, some of which were fresh from the Scottish Six Days Trial, whilst the Clubman Course had a total of 110 riders.

The trial was based at Town Foot Farm at Carlton and passed over the land of several farming landowners. Catt Gill was the first test for the riders with Section 4 proving to be difficult with only 4 cleans on the Hard Course and 15 on the Clubman Course. From here, the trial headed down past the Foresters Arms pub and into Simmy’s Gill which Christian Russell and his team cleared out to make new sections for last year’s event. Barry Watson’s Section 12 proved to be the most daunting for the riders, however those with confidence behind the bars made easy work of the limestone waterfall. Petrol Stop 1 was a short ride up the dale to the tranquil village of West Scrafton where local sidecar hero Ronnie Suttill was on hand to manage the re-fuelling. From there it was onto Hindlethwaite Gill, a new part within the course with 3 new subs for the riders.

Section 20 was  a narrow gorge surrounded by 12ft limestone walls either side with only 1 means of exit – straight up! Proving to be most difficult for the riders with only 4 cleans on the Hard Course and 9 cleans out of 110 riders on the Clubman Course. Equally, the following section nestled under a vertical 30ft stone cragface gave away all but one clean to the Hard Course and 5 to the Clubman Course. After navigating through what seemed like a dense jungle of thick foliage and vegetation under the blazing heat, the riders were blessed to see sunlight on their faces and taste fresh air as they left Hindlethwaite Gill and made their way down to cross the River Cover once more.

Heading further up Coverdale, riders found themselves entering Braidley’s Derry Gill where 5 traditional straight forward beck sections awaited. The toughest was the Section 29-30 double sub, taking riders up what seemed like an eternal stairway of loose rocks and boulders where all riders on the Hard Course incurred penalties. By this time, the heat from the sun was belting down and it would be no surprise that riders were feeling sluggish and off the mark. Speaking of marks, Section 34 took plenty, however none being cleans for the Hard Course riders with a double limestone step proving too technical for its competitors. The Clubmen riders faired a little better with what seemed like a leap of faith as bikes launched from a conveniently formed boulder, and up a slippery limestone slab. Petrol Stop 2, managed by local landowner Geoff Lambert, was the final fuel stop before the riders tackled sections 35-37 at the end of Braidley Bense before embarking over Coverdale’s moors to the last groups of sections.

The Hard Course was comfortably won by Sam Yeomans (Vertigo) on 11 marks lost, taking the win from local star Richard Sadler (Vertigo) on 17 marks lost, who may be taunted by his 5 on Section 13 for years to come! Cameron Brice (Beta) lost 29 marks and came in at a respectable 3rd Place followed closely by Dan Thorpe (GASGAS) on 30 marks lost. The battle for the next top positions was highly contested by local riders, finishing with Jack Stones (Vertigo) in 5th Place, losing 33 marks, Elliot Laws (Scorpa) in 6th Place on 35 marks, and Ryan Brown (Beta) in 7th Place, losing 36 marks.

The Clubman Course was won with a very respectable ride from Over 40s rider Richard Gaskell (Beta) on an impressive 4 marks lost, followed by Ben Butterworth (Beta) on 9 marks, and Thomas Fraser (Vertigo) on 10 marks lost.

A huge thank you to all the landowners and observers, Secretary, Clerk of Course and helpers and everybody involved in the running of the trial. Coverdale’s prestigious landscape will be rested for 7 days until the Blue Bar Two Day Trial returns 25-26th May, entries are still open – so there is no excuse not to get those Pre 65s and Twinshocks dusted off!


Hard Course: 1. Sam Yeomans (Vertigo) 11, 2. Richard Sadler (Vertigo) 17, 3. Cameron Brice (Beta) 29

Clubman Course: 1. Richard Gaskell (Beta) 4, 2. Ben Butterworth (Beta) 9, 3. Thomas Fraser (Vertigo) 10

Full results can be found here: