The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is sponsoring the Isle of Man Four Wheel Drive Club Trial Championship for 2014.
The trials, which have been held annually since 1989, take place on private or Government property, such as quarries, and are tests of skill and manoeuvring, with competitors negotiating a series of 10 gates, which become progressively more difficult due to placement and terrain.
There will be four trials during the year, with the first round held last weekend at Dhoon Quarry and won by Bernard Moore (short wheel base), Bob Boyde (medium wheel base) and John Kerr (long wheel base).
The Steam Packet Company is providing prizes for the class winners of each round, and prizes for the overall championship winners.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘I went along to watch at the first event at Dhoon Quarry and found it fascinating to see the skill level of the drivers as they tackled each of the tests. We are hoping that our sponsorship will help to develop this type of sport in the Island, and by working with the club we hope to attract visiting drivers over for events in the future.’
Chairman of the club Alan Morgan-Moodie explained: ‘The club was formed in late 1989 by a group of like-minded individuals to ensure that four wheel drive as a sport is promoted in the best light. As a club we take the issue of conservation seriously and forbid the unauthorised use of any hill land, weight restricted Green Lanes or similar, and we also discourage the use of any Green Lanes in extreme conditions.
‘The club is working closely with conservation groups as well as Government Departments. We recognise the need to treat the countryside with respect and care, in order to ensure the continued availability to all and the right to utilise this natural asset that we share with walkers, motorcyclists, horse riders, mountain bikers, as well as the landowners and tenants.
‘We are very grateful to the Steam Packet Company for its support this year and look forward to developing the relationship in the future.’