Photos: Jimmy Young – Iain Lawrie – Kimages/Kim Ferguson
Two times a Scottish trials champion, 1974 & 1979, from Banavie, Fort William, Alastair Macgillivray is an electrician by trade and was brought up at ‘Muirshearlich’ near to where a group of sections for the Scottish Six Days were situated – ‘Trotter’s Burn’.
Known to all the locals as simply, ‘Allie-Magill’, the quiet spoken Lochaber-man was a force to be reckoned with in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Scottish Trials.
He is the cousin of Rodger Mount, himself a three-time Scottish Trials Champion (1971-1973).
Always a member of Lochaber & District MCC and at one time a secretary of the club, Alastair rode mainly Bultaco Sherpas from 1971 until 1982 when he moved on to ride Fantics in Scottish nationals and in the Scottish Six Days.
He acted as a ‘back-marker’ official at the SSDT for many years after he ceased riding regularly in trials.
Macgillivray won the Scottish championship in 1979 after coming very close to winning in 1978, but lost out at the penultimate round at the Glentanner Estate in Kincardineshire run by Bon Accord MCC, leaving the championship spoils open to eventual joint winners, John Winthrop and Robin Cownie.
Alastair is also an accomplished fly-fisherman, particularly trout fishing and has won many competitions, one of which the prize was the use of a Lexus car for a year being the Lexus Fly-Fishing Champion in 2012.
The Premier Trial Sport Website for photos, articles, news and the history of motorcycle trials
The online entries are now open for the 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial – Monday 1st to Saturday 6th May.
The organisers request that the entry notes republished below must be read before completing the online entry form for the annual “Sporting Holiday in the Highlands”.
The riders are allowed to nominate one riding companion ‘Riding Buddy’ whereas in previous years the Edinburgh club allowed up to three riders to compete in consecutive order. Entries close on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 and applications must be complete in every detail. The expected entry fee is £460.00 for the 2017 event, which is centred in and around Fort William and Lochaber and nets a cool £1.6 million to the local economy during the week of the trial.
Back at the helm for the 2017 trial is Clerk of Course, Jeff Horne and Event Secretary, Mieke De Vos, the trial is expected to be once again over-subscribed.
As a guide/information only, the online notes read as follows (taken as at 12/10/2016, the date entries opened), but please refer to the event official website mentioned above, as items may be varied from time to time by the trial organisers, prior to the event:
Note 1 – ENTRY FEES:
The entry fee for the 2017 SSDT has been set at £460. This includes your entry, your fuel for the week and your lunch for the week. Edinburgh & District Motor Club retain the right to apply a surcharge to this entry fee if the cost of fuel rises significantly before May 2017. Do NOT send your entry fee when you submit your online application.
Note 2 – LICENCE:
All entrants must be in possession of a valid licence. This must be one of:
A current SACU licence (Scottish riders); An ACU registration card (English and Welsh riders); An MCUI licence (Northern Irish riders); A full international licence (all other riders).
Note 3 – RIDING COMPANIONS:
You can elect to ride alongside one other rider. You can list only one name on the entry form. In order to be sure of riding together your nominated companion must also name you on their entry form. You will get a chance to change this once the ballot has been drawn in the event of your selected companion not being successful in the ballot.
Note 4 – ROAD TRAFFIC ACT INSURANCE:
All riders must ensure that their own insurance covers them for use of the machine in competition on the road for the duration of the trial – this is not provided as part of your SACU/ACU membership.
The Club will provide third-party RTA insurance for the duration of the trial and details of this will be sent out with your entry pack. If you opt for your own insurance cover rather than that provided by the club, it is a condition of the acceptance of your entry that you provide the name of your insurer and your policy reference where indicated on the entry form and it is your responsibility to ensure that your insurer covers this type of event.
Please note that most insurers have an exclusion clause if your machine is being used in competition or trials.
Note 5 – REPATRIATION INSURANCE:
Riders affiliated to the SACU/ACU have Personal Accident Insurance provided under their membership and riders with a full international license have Repatriation Insurance included as part of their license.
MCUI riders are required to obtain a Release Form from their FMN or alternatively provide evidence of FIM insurance cover, which must be sent to the Secretary before the trial. If you do not provide evidence of the necessary insurance then an additional charge may be made when you register your entry on Sunday 1st May.
Note 6 – FUEL:
The fuel supplied to you during the event will be the type of fuel selected in the Bike Details section of the Entry Form. Should your fuel requirements change between the completion of entry submission and the trial itself, you must inform the Secretary immediately.
The online entry form should only be completed after reading the notes and any subsequent amendments thereto as they appear on the event website.
An addiction in life usually needs a fix, something to make your life feel good. Motorcycle trials becomes an addiction for many people, be it young or old. They may need a new machine, maybe some new riding kit, who knows? In many cases the older you become the more the addiction takes hold as more time becomes available in your life. Many years ago a Spanish motorcycle trials rider by the name of Carlos Casas came to ride in the Scottish Six Days Trial. A foreign adventure to the ‘Highland’ trial. The pleasure and enjoyment of riding in this location became so strong that over thirty years on, this enthusiastic man returns every year to the ‘Scottish’ for his fix to feed his addiction for motorcycle trials.
John Moffat of Trials Guru was the SSDT secretary in 2002 and that year at the Highland Council reception in Fort William, Moffat introduced Carlos Casas to guests and councillors as “the Ambassador for Spain for the Scottish Six Days.
Words: John Hulme with Carlos Casas
Photos: Carlos Casas Collection – Trials Media – Eric Kitchen – Kim Ferguson/Kimages
Why the Scottish Six Days Trial?
Carlos: “For many reasons, it’s the biggest trial in the world, I love Scotland, the scenery, I love trials, good sections, friendly people as riders, observers, public, organisers and friends from all around the world…and all of this I can meet in the SSDT. This is my favourite event by far and my best holiday every year”.
How well do you remember your first trip to the ‘Scottish’?
Carlos: “My first trip to ride the SSDT was in 1979. I was the winner of a challenge/competition for the best private rider at the Santigosa Three Days and Cingles Three Days trial in Spain. We travelled with the Montesa factory riders who were Jaume Subira, Miquel Cirera, Pere Olle and Josep Jo. I remember that we travelled by car and van and it was a long trip from Spain”.
Was the week’s competition a tough one?
Carlos: “I rode a Montesa Cota 348 and the weather was horrible as each day the route was very long and it was extremely cold with rain and snow. At the end of the week I was happy about the experience and finished in the top fifty with a Special First Class award”.
When you returned home did many people ask you about the event?
Carlos: “Yes, all the trials riders and many people asked me about the SSDT – I was a minor celebrity – Carlos laughs at this! This event is very popular in Spain and for many trials riders it is like a dream. It’s incredibly expensive to travel and compete from Spain but at every event we are always talking about the ‘Scottish’. It’s an event that you’ll love or hate. I always say that every trials rider must ride this event at least once. The problem could be that if you then enjoy it, you’ll repeat the experience every year and that’s when the addiction begins or as I always say, an incredible experience”.
Did Montesa support you in the early days?
Carlos: “I have always had good support from Montesa. I have never been a good enough rider to make a wage from the sport but I won the Spanish Veterans class over twenty eight years ago, a championship I have won fourteen times. I have also had some other good results and based on this and my loyalty to the brand, they are always happy to loan me a machine. I think of Montesa as family”.
How good did it feel to win the Best Foreign rider award?
Carlos: “I can remember it like it was yesterday, the first time I won the Best Foreign rider award. I have won this award four times and my highlights from the event are two thirteenth place finishes. The last time I achieved this result I had tears of joy in my eyes on the last sections on Ben Nevis I was so happy”.
You continued to support the event even when it went back to full ‘No-Stop’ in the nineties.
Carlos: “Yes, I like the ‘No Stop’ rules at this event and I believe it was the correct decision”.
Carlos: “The last years of the event when they were using the ‘Stop’ rules the sections became tighter, difficult, dangerous and boring because of delays at the sections. Each year less competitors entered and I think the SSDT committee made a good job and the decision to go back to ‘No Stop’ was correct for the future of the event. Since then the SSDT is oversubscribed every year and it needs a ballot. One year I suggested to the committee that there should be two SSDT trials, one in May and one in October – Carlos laughs again as he explains he just loves the event!”
How important in Spain and to Montesa was the win of Amos Bilbao in 2002?
Carlos: “It was very important for Montesa/Honda to win the SSDT as it’s a very prestigious event, classed by many as nearly as important as the World Trials Championship. Montesa won the SSDT in 1979 (Rathmell), 1980 (Vesterinen), 1983 (Toni Gorgot) but for both Amos and Montesa/Honda the victory in 2002 was more important because it was a Montesa Honda machine and Dougie was contesting the World Trials Championship”.
Have you ridden all your Scottish Six Days on Montesa/Honda machines?
Carlos: “I have ridden the Montesa Cota 348, Cota 314, Cota 315 and Cota 4RT, twenty four times in total. I rode a Gas Gas one year because there was no support from Montesa. My good friend Manel Jane loaned me his Gas Gas. It’s very important for foreign competitors to know that the manufacturers, through the importers, have full facilities available”.
When did you first ride the Pre-65 Scottish?
Carlos: “My first year was 2004 and since then every year after”.
What machines have you ridden in the Pre-65 Scottish?
Carlos: “I have always ridden a Triumph Tiger Cub usually loaned from my good friend Walter Dalton, but one year I used a ‘Cub’ loaned from Peter Remington. I love all the machines and one year I’d like to ride in the event on a rigid”.
Many people think you can win the Pre-65 Scottish – Is this your dream?
Carlos: “Around twenty riders could win the Pre-65 Scottish. It’s one of my dreams to win it but the most important thing for me is to be there and enjoy every section and every minute of this fabulous event – you would not believe the smile on his face when we talk about the Pre-65 Scottish”.
We know you are very good friends with the Vertigo brand owner Manel Jane. How do the Spanish trials riders feel about Vertigo?
Carlos: “People in Spain waiting patiently for the Vertigo to arrive because they understand that it would be well made, good quality, lighter and perform well. They were not disappointed. Manel is a real trials enthusiast and his dream was to build his own machine and build a good strong team”.
Why the loyalty to Montesa?
Carlos: “Because the motorcycles produced are always superb quality, very reliable and nice to ride. The people from the Montesa factory are always very good, friendly and professional”.
How much longer will you come to Scotland and compete in the Six Days and Pre-65 events?
Carlos: “As long as my body allows me to! I love both events and every year the memories are with me forever. I am getting old but the addiction just gets stronger”.
Before we finish; the question that gets asked so many times – Stop or No-Stop?
Carlos: “For me as a rider, No-Stop, it is without doubt correct. But sections whatever the rules must be well thought out to make them challenging and interesting, you must try to always make the rider think about the challenge”.
This article was generated for Trial Magazine issue 50 in April/May 2015 and we at Trials Guru thank John Hulme for the use of his article on this website.
Why not subscribe to Trial Magazine or Classic Trial Magazine, contact: www.trialmaguk.com
Montesa’s former world-wide ambassador, Rob Edwards recently sent Trials Guru a tranche of his personal photographs, taken over a number of years for his section on this website.
Among them was a photo taken high up on a hill of his friend, Barry Overy who died recently at the age of seventy.
Rob: “Barry Overy, from Stockton was a stalwart of our local club, the Middlesbrough and he was also a supporter of the East Yorks Centre, ACU of which he became President in November 2015, a position in which he took great pride. Barry was a good friend and a tireless worker in our sport of trials. I have known Baz a long time and will miss him.”
Rob: “I have also enclosed another photo from my personal collection, it shows me in real trouble on day one of the 1970 Scottish when I lose five marks as I am clearly past the dabbing stage! The reason for sending you this photo is that it shows the late Stephanie Wood in the background, that is her standing on the left of photographer, Brian ‘Nick’ Nicholls. I am reliably informed that the observer writing ‘five’ in the book is Dunfermline man, Willie Dewar who worked at Angus Campbell’s motorcycle shop”.
For Rob Edwards story of trials on Trials Guru, follow this link HERE
News has been posted on social media direct from the Scottish Six Days Trial organising committee that the feedback received from competitors after this year’s event was that the 2016 trial was a ‘bit hard’ for many.
In a spirit of open-ness, the committee invited riders to feedback their assessment of the annual Highland classic event which has been running for well over 100 years.
In a statement issued on 26th May, following from their usual debriefing meeting, the following statement was issued:
“The 2016 SSDT is now officially over after the committee had there ‘greeting meeting’ on Tuesday night. We had some great feedback from the riders and while they all enjoyed it we did get the message that the sections were a bit hard this year. We want to spread the message that we will be addressing this next year to ensure a good mix of sections. For the SSDT to prosper we have to listen to the competitors and ensure they have an enjoyable week while maintaining the challenge of the event. So we will be easing off on some of the sections next year. We welcome feedback so if you want to let us know your thoughts please post them here or through our website http://www.ssdt.org”.
John Moffat at Trials Guru commented: “I am very happy that the SSDT organisers have taken the task on board to listen and make constructive comment upon what the competitors say. After all, the riders are this event’s customers, they pay to ride and without them, there would be no trial. I was assisting at the end of the event this year at the finish podium by interviewing the finishers and it was evident that many did feel that the severity of the trial was on the hard side of challenging. OK, one must accept that this may not represent all competitors, but certainly it did reflect the opinion of the majority as far as I could detect at the finish podium. I must applaud the committee for being open and transparent with their findings, this can only be good for the event and the sport of trials”.
The Scottish has a reputation as being the ultimate challenge for a trials competitor to undertake, but the majority of those taking part are clubmen and the over-forty age bracket, which included the winner, Dougie Lampkin. However, there is a fine balance between setting out a challenging course and a destructive one and it would appear that the SSDT committee are keen to set their stall out early to attract riders for the 2017 event.
Scottish Six Days Trial 2016 – Michelin – Trial Magazine
Once again in association with Michelin and Trial Magazine the Nevis radio station was live in the Parc Ferme every morning bringing you news and views with David Ogg and John Moffat the master of ceremonies.
David Ogg – Nevis Radio: “We have just got the viewer figures in for the 2016 SSDT live stream and for the six days we had in total 227,223 viewers, that’s individual imp addresses. Not bad for a wee station on the West Coast of Scotland and it doesn’t include the number of folk that didn’t view but listened on the net or on FM. We had a fantastic six days and I would like to thank the Trials Guru, John Moffat for his in-depth knowledge on the sport and support to Nevis Radio once again and also to Michelin and Trial Magazine”.
John Hulme – Trial Magazine: “This is fantastic news and spreads the word of trials and in particular the Scottish Six Days Trial to a much wider audience showing our continued commitment to the event. We have enjoyed a very good six days and would like to thank everyone who made us so welcome”.
Dougie Lampkin added a tenth Scottish Six Days victory to his tally of wins of the annual Highland classic on Saturday 7th May 2016.
Showing signs of emotion at the awards ceremony due to the recency of the passing of his World Champion father, Martin, Dougie was a popular winner and both the third place-man, James Dabill and runner-up, Michael Brown voiced their respect for the twelve times World Champion.
Vertigo owner, Manel Jane who was on hand to present the prizes was delighted to witness Lampkin’s victory on the Works 300 bike.
Trials Guru’s John Moffat acted as master of ceremonies and stated publicly that the memory of H. Martin Lampkin would be forever associated with the Scottish Six Days Trial. He also pointed out that the best performance by a rider of a machine up to 250cc was James Lampkin, son of Alan R.C. Lampkin who won the SSDT 50 years previously in 1966 on a 250cc BSA.
The SSDT routes for 2016 will NOT be published pre-event as previous years on-line. A decision was taken by the organising committee as they wish to sell as many programmes as possible to ensure that as much charitable money is raised.
The official SSDT programme, priced at £3.00 is now available at The BP filling station, Esso filling station and John Steele’s ‘Hyperhut’.
Proceeds go to the Leanne Fund as in previous years. The programme will be on sale at the West End Car Park (Parc Ferme) and at the trial HQ – Ben Nevis Hotel and Leisure Club.
Message from SSDT Secretary, Mieke de Vos: “I will send programmes out to people who cannot make it to the trial. They can contact me through the website or on firstname.lastname@example.org “
Gas Gas UK has received their first consignment of new machines following the recent purchase by Torrot, the Spanish electric motorcycle manufacturer of the Salt, Gerona made motorcycle brand.
GGUK’s Kevin ‘Factory Kev’ Hipwell is seen here ‘unloading’ the first batch of crated machines at their Derbyshire headquarters.
GGUK has continued trading successfully as UK distributors of spare parts for the Spanish marque which has a very strong brand loyalty.
The return to market is welcome news for the UK trials buying public.
Torrot became the main and eventual successful bidder for the stricken Gas Gas concern after several bids collapsed early in 2016.
The arrival of machines also co-incides with the announcement that Gas Gas UK will again be represented at the annual Scottish Six Days Trial (Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th May 2016) at Fort William where the usual support will be available to private Gas Gas owners as in previous years.
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