A FUN Hare and Hounds event attracted a good field of riders to Elgin Endurance Club (EEC).
The event followed the usual format, utilising the woods at Birkenhill and the large adjacent field belonging to Linkwood Farms which was marked out as a fairly flat out, flowing motocross section.
The woods on the whole are fairly slow going as roots and hidden stumps are ever present and can easily transform a great ride into a trip to the medics.
Fortunately there were no notable injuries, just the usual bashes and bruises you would expect when close to 80 riders race through tight woodland trails on enduro and motocross bikes.
This is the second non-championship weekend that the club has held recently and follows on from a training practice event in October.
The fact that there were 17 complete newcomers on the course, alongside the usual faces, demonstrates that no pressure, fun events are a great way of getting new riders into the sport.
The re-introduction of day licences last year is now surely a proven success with the amount of these one-event licences well into double figures on Sunday.
The course was surprisingly dry and after the horrendously muddy 2012 season, competitors were thrilled to ride on a relatively dry course.
Frazer Norrie, from Turriff, dominated the expert class and was the only rider to finish on 14 laps. His average lap time was over a minute quicker than anyone else on the course.
Jamie George, from Lossiemouth, who usually rides motocross, finished a very impressive second in the experts on 13 laps with Drew Harvey, the 2012 Scottish H&H Champion, finishing third on 12 laps.
Derek Little was first in the over 40s on 13 laps, Gavin Johnstone of Inverness and James Harvey finished second and third, both on 12.
A double for the Norries with Duncan Norrie, also from Turriff, taking first place in the Clubman class on 12 laps. Ross Hamilton, from Dumfries, also on 12 laps, took second and Sean Henderson from Broxburn finished third on 11.
Barely 50 seconds separated the top three finishers in Clubman B. Bill Bruce got the top spot by 35 seconds from James Barrack, from Peterhead, in second. Lossiemouth rider Allan Milligan was third and he also received the Perpetual Club Trophy for being the highest points scoring EEC member contesting the 2012 Scottish Enduro Championship & the Scottish Hare & Hound Championship.
Local rider Gazza Stephen, from Elgin, rode a great race to finish first in Sportsman on 11 laps and his time was nine minutes quicker than the top clubman B time. Duncan Wright, who usually races supermoto, from Aboyne, was second on 10 laps and Ewan Findlay was third, also on 10 laps.
Club secretary Barry Hamilton said: “Thanks to all the riders for coming and making the event a success and great appreciation to both landowners Mr & Mrs Robertson of Linkwood Farms and Mr & Mrs Jackson of Birkenhill wood for allowing us once again to stage this Hare and Hounds event and other events using their land.”
He also paid tribute to all the officials and helpers.
The next major date in the club’s calendar is the first round of the 2013 British Enduro Championship which returns to Scotland after a three-year break on March 30 and 31 in Lossie Forest and Birkenhill Woods.