Rob Edwards – Part Twelve – Down Under!

Hi Everybody,

As usual I would like to thank you all first for reading my story also for your comments and memories. Thanks to ‘Guru John’ for the work he is doing behind the scenes.
After a long break it is now 1975 and following a letter from Modesto Sole I am now off to do schools or as the Spanish say ‘cursillos’ in Sydney Australia.
The trials scene here was developed to a standard that was maybe equal to America. This was due to a combination of things.
The enthusiasm of the Montesa importers Lylle and Gary O’Brian Peter Plaice, Australian Champion and our own Chris Leighfield who had emigrated there from England.
Between them I was kept busy and my fortnight flew by.
Rob tries Noel Shipp's Ex-Mick Andrews 350 AJS for size in Australia.
Rob tries Noel Shipp’s Ex-Mick Andrews 350 AJS for size in Australia.
When you are with a factory with the enthusiasm of Montesa you never know what will happen next.
I was due to go to Central America but at the last minute I had a telephone call from Modesto asking me to please go to South Africa before Central America.
My ticket was for Johannesburg.
I couldn’t believe when I got off the plane who was there to meet me but ex-clerk of the course for the Scott Trial 40 years ago now resident in South Africa Eddie Bentley.
There was more to come, I heard somebody shout in the broadest Yorkshire accent “Robbie!” the next second I was in a head lock on the ground. It was none other than Mick Wilkinson.
Eddie had been in touch with our factories, Ossa and Montesa and organised this get together. Mick is a character like no other.
He started trialing about two years after me and on two or three occasions our numbers in the SSDT were close enough to be able to team up for the week and a good time was had by all.
Back to South Africa during our schools I acted as interpreter as nobody could understand Mick. We had a fallen tree that we were back and forth over. One rider asked Mick what technique do you use to cross the tree?
Mick looked at him as if to say what are you asking me for? – still looking puzzled, he imparted his knowledge
“Ar just give tord Ossa a gurt hand full and flick ‘t r send over”. Thank you Mick for those pearls of wisdom!
By the time I was due to leave, South Africa was starting to adjust to Mick.Believe me its well worth the effort he is a one and only!
Off again this time to Venezuela.
My main job here was to be clerk of the course for the forthcoming Venezuela Trials Championship.
On my days off, the lads would take me Trial bike Trail rides!
Where the rain water had run down through the jungle it cut deep gullies which made fantastic sections called ‘pikas’.
These were a kilometer or more in length not only did they make good sections they were great for keeping you fit.
On the day of the trial the premier went to Amando Diaz as expected.
My next schools were in El Salvador and Honduras. Trials here were very much in infancy.
My time here was spent going back to the beginning, machine preparation section making and of course balance and throttle control.
Several of my friends from Guatemala had turned up in Honduras. This made my job a lot easier it meant I didn’t have to do all the demonstration so I had more time to talk to people and answer questions.
My next stop was Guatemala my home from home.
It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited everywhere you look there are active volcanoes.
As well as this the people are great. The day before I was due to fly back home we all went on a trail ride to the top of one of the volcanoes.
We were able to ride most of the way but to reach the top we had to abandon the bikes and precede on foot. In the soft sand you took one step forward and two steps back.
It was incredible standing on the rim at the top watching the lava bubbling away below.
If the wind changed direction you had to quickly cover your mouth because the sulpher fumes were overpowering. It was so remote here that we stopped for a coke at a village store.
One very kind native came up with a bucket of water and asked if my horse would like a drink?
I thanked him but decided not to explain that Montesas don’t drink water.
Time to go back to England now. So it’s “goodbye to Guatemala” and thank you very much. Hope to see you all again someday. – Rob
Scott 1974 - Montesa
1974 Scott action! Rob on his way to win the Scott, snapped here on Tottergill by ace photographer, Eric Kitchen.
To be continued…
SSDT 1976 - Day 4 - Ben Nevis - 17th Pos 106 marks
On the 348 Montesa, 1976 Scottish on Ben Nevis sections on the Thursday. Finished in seventeeth position on 106 marks.
Rob Edwards in his final SSDT in 1981 on Muirshearlich, near Banavie. The section is know known as Trotters' Burn. Photo copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.
Rob Edwards (Montesa 349) in his final SSDT in 1981 on Muirshearlich, near Banavie. Rob finished in 28th position. The section is know known as Trotters’ Burn. Photo copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.

Read the full ‘Rob Edwards Story’ … click Here

© – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, All Rights Reserved.

© – Photo: Eric Kitchen, All Rights Reserved.

© – Rob Edwards & Trials Guru/Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2014 (All Rights reserved)

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