The people of Fort William and the Lochaber area in the Scottish Highlands are eagerly anticipating the return of the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) between the 7th and the 12th of May 2012. This year there are also pre-event activities, including the now well-established Pre-65 two-day trial, being held in the region from 4th May. For many local businesses, the SSDT marks the start of the summer tourist season, with thrill-seeking motorcycle riders, supporters and spectators from around the world flocking to the area to enjoy this century-old sporting holiday, and at the same time providing a welcome boost to the local economy.
Motorcycle trialling is a competitive sport that tests the skill of the rider over a range of obstacles. The SSDT, or ‘The Scottish’ as it is more commonly known, is the longest-running international motorcycle trial event in the world and welcomes competitors from world championship status to amateur club level to take on the same challenging cross-country course. Competitors are scored on how successfully they complete a series of sections, including steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams and boulder-strewn gorges.
An independent economic impact survey commissioned by the event organiser and funded by EventScotland in 2011 showed that the Scottish Six Days Trial provided a direct economic impact of around £1,100,000 to Fort William last year.The SSDT is organised by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club. EventScotland is continuing to support the event this year as part of its National Funding Programme. This funding has specifically allowed the club to increase its marketing and promotional activity, enhance the new event hub programme and its live information services, plus develop the event website to facilitate the increased consumer demand and live tracking functionality. By including these new and additional activities the funding is being used directly to develop the event in order to appeal to a wider audience and increase domestic tourism in the area.
The SSDT is free for spectators to watch on all days - for a full nine-day motorcycle entertainment and music schedule please visit www.ssdt.org.