This year marks the 40th anniversary for the Southeastern Trials Riders Association and to celebrate we returned to the location of the original event held way back in 1973, well almost. The actual original location was Mt. Airy which is just up the road a few miles from Cornelia and we could not get clearance to use the land but one of the original participants Henry Simmons stepped up and volunteered Henry’s Hills as the substitute location. We have had events at Henry’s for the last fifteen or so seasons and so it served as a perfect substitute and with some quick organization by Charlie Roberts and a few other dedicated members the event was a great success.
Combined with the perfect weather was a great selection of easy to not so easy sections that were a lot of fun the section designers had every rider smiling by the end of each day. Charlie opened the event with some names and memories from that first event back in 73 and what those guys started that day so long ago has grown over the years into a great club with many great traditions that every member past and present can be proud of and for that I say thanks.
The Champs put on an awesome display of talent and on both days Alex Niederer of Florida rode his Beta to first place with his brother Andi in second and Aaron Thistle in third on Saturday. On Sunday it was Alex in first with Aaron in second and Andi close behind in third. Great riding by all three Champs. The Expert class was won by Gary Hoover riding a Gas Gas and second was Tim Cash from Tennessee and TTC local Austin Brown in third. On Sunday it was very close and Hoover was able to get first over Austin with both scoring 37 for the day but Gary had a few more cleans and that decided the outcome while Eric Matteson from Tennessee got third. The advanced class saw some close competition also with Florida’s Tim Cone taking first on Saturday over Gary Holbert from North Carolina. But on Sunday Gary came back with an awesome ride to take first aboard his Gas Gas with an amazing one point for the day while Tim fell to second with a four. Once again the dry conditions kept the scores low and consistency and concentration were the keys to victory.
In the Advanced Sportsman Paul Thistle was first on Saturday aboard his screaming 125 Sherco and I got second topping a close Darrell Davis in third by just two points. On Sunday Paul had mercy on us and moved up to ride Advanced and Frank Schoenbeck of Georgia rode the Scorpa to a well deserved first over myself and Darrell. Once again the Sportsman class was the largest of the weekend and Tennessee’s Sam McNair dominated both days with consistency and style topping Dexter Darnell on Saturday and son Michael on Sunday in this very competitive class. Intermediate was also won both days by Mike Dalmaso riding his beautiful new Beta topping Charlie Roberts on his Gasser on Saturday and a close Kevin Browning on his Montesa on Sunday with some very close scores both days. Novice was won both days by Dillon Darnell riding his Montesa who had clean loops each day and I am sure will be moving up through the ranks quickly under the watchful eye of his dad Dexter. We also had some great Vintage action all weekend with Steve Glinski riding his Geeves to victory on Saturday and Tracy Martin winning Sunday aboard his Yamaha after riding his Ossa on Saturday. Once again we would all like to thank those who make it all happen including Ashley and Dawn who handled signup and Catherine and Linda for the wonderful concessions which included some really good chili dogs that hit the spot after a long day in the woods. And we also say thank you to Henry Simmons for again letting us converge on his family property to have this great event and celebration. Happy 40th birthday STRA and until next time I will see you on the loop.