It is always hard for me to sit down and write a President’s Announcement during our winter break when there’s a lull in the competition action. But things are now revving up – behind the scenes anyway.
The year of 2019 begins with the official close of the 2018 Championship Series with the annual banquet on February 23rd at the Western Sizzlin’ in Jasper, TN. Championship awards will be distributed along with trophies for Most Improved Rider and Best Venue. We will also unveil the colored gate markers for the upcoming season and have some great raffle prizes donated by the likes of Beta, Gas Gas, and RYP.
The following day, February 24th, there is a fun trial at the Trials Training Center thanks to the generous donation of time and energy by Charlie Roberts and crew. See the posted announcement on the STRA Facebook page and in the schedule section of this site for more details.
A few of the behind-the-scene things happening right now include Ray Peters finalizing the design and printing colored markers rather than gate arrows to be used at all STRA events this year. The markers will coincide with the markers used at national events but be specific to our six classes. Ray has also been involved in a project with our Sporting Steward, Eric Mattson, to prepare guidelines for Promotors and Trialsmasters on STRA trial design. The goal is to standardize each trial of the 2019 STRA Championship, allowing each event to run smoothly from an operational stand point and equalize competition within a class from event to event. The set of guidelines will be provided to each promotor/trialsmaster along with the promotor’s pack of gate markers, tape and loop arrows.
The 2019 season will have more events we than have seen in a while. The season will be split, four venues in the spring and four in the fall, including two new venues. To foster maximum participation, we will again have our annual business meeting the weekend of the last event.
Many of you know that we lost Trackrock as a ride site but most don’t know why. It was due to land use issues and while it was a great site, Frank found another great location close to his property. Tony Paul and the Huntsville Trials Club are hosting the first trial in the second half of the season. I think this is their warm up to holding a National event on the same grounds in 2020.
For as long as I have been a STRA member, we have talked about getting our schedule published in the AMA magazine but financial considerations precluded it. This year we were able to pay the AMA in advance for all of our sanctioned event s and you should soon see the STRA 2019 events posted in the AMA magazine.
I look forward to writing and posting the next president’s message because it will be all about great events and skilled riders. ‘ Til then, keep the rubber down and your feet on the pegs!