WITH The 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial now rapidly approaching (Monday, May 1 to Friday, May 6) the lucky 280 entrants have been notified, paid their entry fee and now everyone concerned is looking forward to the week in the trials Mecca that is Fort William.

But while the entry list is now settled – apart from the inevitable late withdrawals for whatever reason which allows someone from the reserve list to celebrate – thoughts turn to the competitve week ahead on the road and what routes will be on offer.

So with this in mind we got hold of clerk of the course Jeff Horne and asked him to PLEASE give us a quick briefing.

And being a really good guy, Jeff has given us some tasty info without completely blowing the gaff.

Being clerk of the course for the Scottish is not just a one-day job – Jeff is effectively on duty 365 days a year, checking out maps, sourcing land-owners, tenants, agents, farmers, game-keepers etc, in the constant search for new daily routes or new groups of sections, or variations on existing ones. 

With the homework done, Jeff and team members will then visit the area to turn the theory into practice.

So here, straight from the horse’s mouth is just a hint of what’s in store for the greatest trial in the world come the first week in May.

MONDAY: Leannachen for a start and finishing as per normal at Lagnaha. The usual in between bits will be slightly modified.

TUESDAY: Heavily revised last year and similar to 2016 but has more road work first thing in the morning and, following some ‘complaints’ from last year (spectating wasn’t easy)  no fewer than THREE extra accessible spectator groups in the morning. So that’s sorted.

WEDNESDAY: Will take a similar route to last year and will include the Clachaig group early on. Glen Etive is still very much an area of non spectator use but we are looking at a possible new group in Appin for spectators.

THURSDAY: No Rannoch Moor? However there may be swings and roundabouts to navigate. (Jeff playing his cards close to his chest here so definitely a route to look out for when the official programme is released!)

FRIDAY: The traditional road-based route round the peninsula is close to last year’s route with minor changes including a moor crossing to start with balanced against one removed later in the day.

SATURDAY: Well, it’s Saturday and the sting in the tail is gone. What I am giving away here is that there will be NO Nevis Forest sections. We will be on The Ben more this time which should be good both for riders and spectators.

So, for regular Scottish goers there’s plenty to think about there as Jeff rings the changes.

He concludes: “I would like to get over to the competitors that the overall behaviour and compliance with the speed restrictions and constraints are to benefit the event greatly and make for a bright future in respect of extra routes and sections.

“And I would like to thank them for this. Please keep up the efforts as it is ultimately you, the competitors, that benefit most from this.

“Thanks to all who have entered this year, I hope the weather is kind to you and you achieve your goals.

 “I would also like to thank, on behalf of the Edinburgh and District Motor Club, all the volunteers, new and old, who help make the week – the greatest ‘Holiday in the Highlands’ – such a success.”