2017 SSDT Draws To A Close
Often referred to as the ultimate holiday in the Highlands, the 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) certainly lived up to its billing, with six days of non-stop sunshine helping many of the happy finishers to declare it as one of the best editions ever in the hundred plus year history of what remains an iconic event in the international sporting calendar.
The lure, of what for the majority of the oversubscribed entry is a testing six-day adventure in the Scottish Highlands and the chance for amateur riders to compete not only over some of the best trials terrain on the planet, but alongside and following the exact same course and sections as some of the best riders in the World remains as strong as ever.
This was confirmed by this year's two-hundred and eighty strong entry, with riders from nineteen different nations from as far afield as Australia and Costa Rica, once again gathering in the West End car park in Fort William to take part in the 2017 SSDT over the last week. This immense and continued support for the event is great testament to the Edinburgh and District Motor Club who prides itself on sourcing new sections and routes each year to keep things fresh and challenging for the wide-ranging ability of riders, many of whom return year after year.
Whilst the actual running of the event over the six-day period is huge the vast amount of the work is done in the planning stages with the club spending many months liaising and negotiating with local land owners and authorities to secure land and permissions required to keep the SSDT as the greatest single trial in the World. With the influx of many visitors, many from overseas into the Lochaber area at the start of the holiday season continues to bring important income to the region and World-wide exposure to the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
Although it is the riders who make it to the finish who receive most of the glory, and deservedly so, equal appreciation should also go to the many volunteers and officials who make the trip to the Highlands each year to deliver this amazing and unique competition. From the observers, who have had to endure a week of continuous sunshine out on the remote hills to the backroom staff who have not seen the light of day all week, without each and every one of these people the event simply would not happen.
Less than twenty-four hours after Dougie Lampkin stepped up on stage to collect the famous North British Rubber Company trophy for an unbelievable eleventh time, much has already been written and shared on social media around the World about his incredible achievement in matching Gordon Jackson's 1961 single dab winning ride. Despite now having six more SSDT titles than any other rider, Dougie looks set to return next May in search of win number twelve and a totally clean week.
The Edinburgh and District Motor Club would like to congratulate Dougie on his 2017 victory and would like to extend a warm and open invitation to him and to trials riders from all corners of the planet to be in the ballot for the 2018 SSDT when the entries open later this year.
Finally, the club would like to sign off by offering their special thanks to all the riders, their support teams, the many spectators, the local authorities, their loyal sponsors, the numerous landowners, the teams of volunteers / observers and all the officials who made this year's SSDT so great and enjoyable for all involved.
See you all again next year when the 2018 SSDT will take place from the 7th - 13th May.