2012 Howard Wallace Masters Shield Report
The Masters class originated within the Trials Club of Canberra, and now every year the club hosts the Howard Wallace Masters Shield, in memory of Howard Wallace who was instrumental in creating the class.
This years event attracted a strong entry of gun riders, see how they fared, and who came out on top.
Perfect mid-November spring weather greeted riders for this years running of the Howard Wallace Masters Shield, held at Roads End near Gunning. Eight dry sections were laid out with a mix of loose shale escarpments, grassy hillsides with large rock outcrops, rock strewn gullies and creek banks.
Masters saw a strong entry of riders Over 35, including 4 previous winners of the event, keen to put their names on the perpetual shield. Masters compete over the B grade line, following the yellow markers, so their scores are directly comparable to the next generation of up and coming riders who populated the B grade at this event.
Canberra resident Kerrin Phillips (Sherco) took the early lead over the opening 3 laps, showing the skills that took him to A grade in the 1990’s, while assisting son Isaac who was riding in the under 200c class.
Sydney sider Martin O’Connor (Sherco) was right on the pace, taking the lead on the fourth lap as he consistently improved his scores after the first lap. O’Connor was also showing his children the way, with daughters Emma and Molly battling with Isaac Phillips and the others young riders in the same under 200cc class.
Former champion John Rees (Ossa) was chasing close behind, the tricky loose conditions settling down after the opening 2 laps, with Rees cutting the best laps in the mid part of the trial to be right up with the leaders.
Modelling the new Trials Club of Canberra riding gear Glenn Crafter was another to improve as the day continued, keeping ahead of local Don Murray (Ossa) as he aided son Jackson Murray through the under 200c class.
Consistent top class rides saw Martin O’Connor hold his lead over the 5th and final lap, to take the overall win in the 2012 Howard Wallace Masters Shield with 34 marks lost. Kerrin Phillips held on for the runner up place, a great result coming after a nasty injury earlier in the year at the Sherco Womens Cup, showing he is fully recovered and on the pace. John Rees was third on the day, and sure to back next year for another chance at the Masters Shield.
The top three in Masters would have also finished as the top three B grade riders on the day, showing the gun riders of recent years still have some skills to show the next generation. B grade went to Ben Riley, following by Kristie McKinnon and Jarrod Boniface.
In this event the Experts were the support class to the Masters, riding the green spitters in the sections, with all the competitors also riding the sections in order from section 1. Colin Zarczynski (Sherco) gave the new Cabestany 300 Replica Sherco a great showing, leading from the opening lap, and later putting in the only clean lap, showing he is now almost fully recovered from injuries that keep him off the bike in 2011 and earlier this year. Colin loss for the day was only 5 single dabs.
Chasing his younger brother was Kevin Zarczynski (Sherco), but a fast second lap trying to keep up the pace and ride without breaks saw too many mistakes, and final laps of 2 and 2 put no pressure on Colin for the win. Jake Walker (Ossa) took third on the day, putting in a 4 point loss on his final lap to show he was mastering the conditions by the end of the day.
Veterans had plenty of entries, with Gary Boniface 40-49, Steve Hutchinson 50-59 and John Waterworth 60-69 taking the top placings on the day.
Unders 200cc was the battle of the kids, with Bailey Boniface showing great skills to take the win ahead of Emma and Molly O’Connor.