The Keyneton Motorcycle Club will host the Vine Inn Barossa 2023 Australian Trial Championships, powered by GASGAS at Eden Valley, South Australia this weekend, operating alongside the 2023 FIM Oceania Trial Championships.
As Keyneton MCC prepares to host an international motorcycle event for the second time in its 73-year history, Australia will fight to retain the 2018 FIM Oceania Trophy they won in New Zealand. However in 2017, in the Barossa Valley, New Zealand managed a 3-0 sweep to claim the prize, which will provide further motivation for Team Australia to retain the trophy on home soil.
The international component of the event will feature a five-rider battle with Team Australia featuring Luke Anderson (Trial 2), William Thornbury (Youth), Jack Salter (Open Junior Boys), Mitchell Teale (Junior 7-13 Boys) and Matt Hannaford (Twinshock).
The Australia v New Zealand battle will be intense again with the Kiwis represented by former Australian Open Solo Champion, Warren Laugesen (Trial 2), Cameron Judd (Youth), Finn Pearce (Open Junior Boys), Zack Furniss (7-U13 Boys) and Paul Jackson (Twinshock).
In the Australian championship, the premier class of Trial 1 (formally Open Solo) will be the category to watch as riders will not only challenge for an Australian championship but also for the mantle of Australia #1 for 2023. Connor Hogan will aim to improve from last year’s effort with second place in Western Australia behind eight-time Australia #1 and reigning champion Kyle Middleton.
Chris Bayles will also chase hard, however, Keyneton MCC’s own Haydon Barwick and Ben Walling (both of whom competed in selected rounds of the 2023 Trial3 World Championship) will be keen to impress in their first senior Australian Championship.
This year’s event marks the 50th occasion that sidecars have contested the championship. Seven-time winners Todd Kuerschner and Steve Sparkes have come out of retirement for another shot at victory in the class, but they will be presented with a big challenge from Keyneton MCC representatives and fellow seven-time champions Trevor Diener and Philip Holmes. Also entered are 2016 champions Steve Rees and Melissa Paunola, 2023 winners Glenn Ursino and Kevin Reynolds, and 15-time champions Justin Gough and Maurice Blanchard.
The Women’s class will be a battle between experience and youth with Lillie Yiatrou (who recently returned from a top 10 finish in the Trial2 Women’s World Cup and represented Australia at Trials des Nations) and Alisha Harry entered in Trial 3 and Youth respectively.
Multiple Australian champion, former World #7 and Australian trials legend, Michelle Coleman will return to compete against current Australian representatives Kaitlyn Cummins and Jenna Lupo, while local teenagers Hayley Stephen and Charlotte Cowan will also be among the action.
47 junior riders from across Australia, with the addition of two riders from New Zealand will provide an insight into the future talent coming through the ranks when they take on the course for the 2023 championship. South Australian fans will be hoping its spread of riders across the youth and five junior classes stand on the podium following the weekend with the likes of Ashley Barwick, Kody and Bailey Irrgang, Brett Schiller, Hayden Eardley, Isaac Schultz, Cadance Long, Harry Petersen, Lucy Cowan, Ashton and Cooper Harry all carrying the hopes for the local crowd.
The action will kick off at 9:30am on Saturday and 9:00am Sunday, with a seven-hour riding time scheduled for each day. Entry is free for spectators with catering options available all weekend.
The Vine Inn Barossa 2023 Australian Trial Championships, powered by GASGAS will be held on Saturday 30 September – Sunday 1 October 2023 at Eden Valley, South Australia.