2009 West of England Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders


Can Mount Charles overcome the dreaded curse of the defending champion and become the first band in well over a decade to retain their West of England title?

TorquaySunday 15th March
Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice & Alan Fernie
The Forum
Test Piece: Salute to Youth – Gilbert Vinter

Draw: 1.30pm
Commences: 3.00pm

Melvin White
4BR Ranking: 182

Last 12 Years:
2008: 12th (M. White)
2007: 5th (C. King)
2006: 5th (S. Sykes)
2005: Winners of First Section (M. White) (prom)
2004: 4th (M. White)
2003: 7th (I. Holmes)
2002: 11th Championship (B. Grant) (rel)
2001: 7th (D. Williams)
2000: 5th
1999: 6th
1998: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1997: 4th

Aldbourne did well to make it to the contest last year after going through something of a lean patch during the 2007 season.

Since then they have been rebuilding quietly and they should hopefully be in better shape under Melvin White to make more of a mark this time around. They will need to as they could be drawn into a relegation battle if they don’t. 

BournemouthBournemouth Concert Brass
Jonathan Camps
4BR Ranking: 141 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 10th (P. Parkes)
2007: 6th (N. Taken)
2006: 6th (L. Vertommen)
2005: Winners (N. Taken)
2004: Winners First Section (N. Taken) (prom)
2003: 3rd (N. Taken)
2002: 5th in Championship (N. Taken) (rel)
2001: 10th (L. Adams)
2000: 7th
1999: 4th
1998: 6th
1997: 3rd
Another band needing to make more of a mark this year if they are to dispel any fears of potential relegation – and just a few years after they took the title here in dramatic fashion.

Jonathan Camps has plenty of experience, but he is the fourth MD to try his luck in four years. They will have to up their form from their performance at Yeovil earlier in the season where they were way off the pace in 12th place. 

CamborneCamborne Town
Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking: 49

Last 12 Years:
2008: 6th (F. Renton)
2007: 4th (F. Renton)
2006: 2nd (F. Renton)
2005: 5th (F. Renton)
2004: 2nd (F. Renton)
2003: Winners (F. Renton)
2002: 2nd (F. Renton)
2001: Winners (F. Renton)
2000: 6th
1999: 3rd
1998: 2nd
1997: 4th
Garry Cutt takes Camborne, and he comes here with a regional title already under his belt.

Camborne have had their moments at the contest in the past, but haven’t actually won the title since 2003. On their day they can mix it with the best, but they are also prone to not quite delivering too. 5th place at the Scottish Open late last year and then 5th at Yeovil were decent enough returns, but not exactly the form to have their rivals quaking with fear. Enter Mr Cutt.   

Dr Roy Newsome
4BR Ranking: 21

Last 12 Years:
2008: 3rd (P. Harper)
2007: Winners (P. Harper)
2006: 3rd (P. Harper)
2005: 3rd (P. Harper)
2004: 6th (P. Harper)
2003: 2nd (P. Harper)
2002: 3rd (P. Harper)
2001: 2nd (R. Evans)
2000: Winners
1999: 2nd
1998: 4th
1997: Winners
Now then. What Flowers will turn up at Torquay this year? The one that won in such fine style in 2007, or the one that failed to deliver as favourites in 2008 – a result that led to a fair bit of spleen venting on the internet and to the decline and fall of the Harper/PolySteel empire.

If it’s the fomer (and the one that won Yeovil earlier in the season) then a second title in three years will be on the cards. If it’s the latter, then not even Dr Roy Newsome’s experience will lead them back to London. 

HelstonHelston Town
John Hitchens
4BR Ranking: 132

Last 12 Years:
2008: Winners of First Section (J. Hitchins) (prom)
2007: 3rd (J. Hitchins)
2006: Winners (J. Hitchens)
2005: 11th (J. Hitchens)
2004: 3rd in Second Section (J. Hitchens) (prom)
2003: 5th (J. Hitchins)
2002: 3rd in Third Section (E. Ashton) (prom)
2001: 2nd (E. Ashton)
2000: 17th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 11th in First Section (rel)
1997: 12th

A huge step up in class for Helston, but one that given their form in 2008, they could well take comfortably in their stride.

Last year’s victory led to them coming 4th at Harrogate, but they found out just how hard life is in with the big boys, when they struggled to make any sort of impact at Yeovil and ended up in 10th place.  You sense they will be well prepared though by the MD for their debut – and they will need to be.   

Steve Sykes
4BR Ranking: 157

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th (T.Brevik)
2007: 9th (D. Williams)
2006: 2nd in First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
2005: 4th (S. Sykes)
2004: 6th (D. Williams)
2003: 8th (B. Hurdley)
2002: 10th (A. Culshaw)
2001: 10th (S. Lippeatt)
2000: 5th
1999: 9th
1998: 10th in Championship (rel)
1997: 7th
A tremendous result last year for Lydbrook as under the baton of Norwegian Tom Brevik they came a well deserved 5th.

No real threat of relegation then and the chance to impress on another test piece that may suit their strengths and the musical approach of the MD. They have had a bit of extra time to prepare too after dropping out of the Yeovil contest due to the bad weather, so will it have paid off?    

Mount CharlesMount Charles
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking: 24 

Last 12 Years:
2008: Winners (A. Duncan)
2007: 2nd (A. Duncan)
2006: Winners (N. Childs)
2005: 4th (R. Newsome)
2004: Winners (N. Childs)
2003: 5th (J. Hinckley)
2002: 4th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 5th (B. Hurdley)
2000: 4th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
If the curse strikes again then Mount Charles may well be thankful that they have a very good record in recent years to fall back on.

The band has developed a productive partnership with Andrew Duncan – although not always with startling contest results at the majors, and they will be keen to get back to London to rid themselves of the ghost of coming last in the last two years. On their day they could win here with something to spare, but they are prone to nasty off days too – such as at Yeovil earlier this season where they came 9th.   

St DennisSt. Dennis
Brian Minear
4BR Ranking: 122

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th in First Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2007: 4th (B. Minear)
2006: Winners of Second Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2005: 4th (B. Minear)
2004: Winners of Third Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2003: 2nd (B. Minear)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2001: 2nd (B. Minear)
2000: 11th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Has promotion come at the wrong time for St Dennis – a band with a proud history at this contest over many years?

The last two years has seen the band make solid progress, but promotion comes on the back of 5th place in the First Section 12 months ago. The band did come runner up at Pontins in the First Section late last year, but they had a baptism of fire at Yeovil earlier this season where they ended up in a lowly 11th place.  

St KeverneSt. Keverne
John Maines
4BR Ranking: 163

Last 12 Years:
2008: 4th (S. Chappell)
2007: 5th in First Section (S. Chappell) (prom)
2006: 3rd (D. Greenwood)
2005: Winners of Second Section (D. Greenwood) (prom)
2004: 12th in First Section (D. Greenwood) (rel)
2003: DNC
2002: 8th (D. Greenwood)
2001: 3rd (D. Greenwood)
2000: DNC
1999: 6th
1998: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1997: Winners of Third Section (prom)
The same thing could have been said of St Keverne last year, but they showed that they were more than capable of making the step up in class by posting a highly impressive 4th place.

It is a huge ask of a young band to do that again, but with the experienced John Maines at the helm they may well fancy their chances of posting another strong challenge. They will have to up their form a great deal from the 6th place at last year’s Torquay contest and 14th at Yeovil though.  

woodfallsSWT Woodfalls
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 63    

Last 12 Years:
2008: 2nd (N. Childs)
2007: 3rd (N. Childs)
2006: 4th (G. Cutt)
2005: 6th (D. Barringer)
2004: 4th (S. Bastable)
2003: 4th (S. Bastable)
2002: Winners (G. Cutt)
2001: 3rd (P. Parkes)
2000: 3rd
1999: 5th
1998: Winners
1997: 6th

Seven years now since Woodfalls last tasted success here – and another title is well overdue.  It must be frustrating, as they are a band with a great amount of talent in the ranks and can mix it in high class company on their day.

The partnership with Nicholas Childs continues, but has yet to post a major victory – although they came close last year, a result which led to them coming 16th at London.   The 2009 season has been disappointing so far – 8th at Butlins and 6th at Yeovil, so Dr Childs needs to sort out a winning prescription if they are not to be left empty handed again.  

YeovilYeovil Town
Dave Barringer
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 12 Years:
2008: 8th (D. Barringer)
2007: 7th (D. Barringer)
2006: 7th (D. Barringer)
2005: 10th (I. McElligott)
2004: 3rd (I. McElligott)
2003: 3rd (I. McElligott)
2002: 6th (P. Bailey)
2001: 4th (P. Bailey)
2000: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1999: 10th
1998: Winners
1997: Winners of Second Section (prom)

Not quite the force they once were here, Yeovil has still maintained decent enough form to hover around the top six come the results.

Another return like last year’s 8th place may well see them survive any potential problems with relegation, but as was shown in them coming a disappointing 7th at the Torquay contest late last year, that type of form won’t really send a shiver down the spines of their rivals.   

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Mount Charles, SWT Woodfalls
2007: PolySteel, Mount Charles
2006: Mount Charles, Camborne
2005: Bournemouth Concert Brass, St. Austell Town
2004: Mount Charles, Camborne
2003: Camborne Town, Flowers
2002: SWT Woodfalls, Camborne Town
2001: Camborne Town, Flowers
2000: Flowers, Bodmin
1999: Bodmin, Flowers
1998: SWT Woodfalls, Camborne
1997: Flowers, Bodmin
1996: Sun Life, SWT Woodfalls
1995: Sun Life, Flowers
1994: Flowers, Camborne, Sun Life*
1993: Sun Life, Camborne
1992: Sun Life, Bodmin
1991: Flowers Gloucester, Sun Life
1990: Camborne Town, Bodmin
1989: Sun Life, Camborne
*Pre Qualified 

How West of England bands did in London: 

2008: 16th, 20th
2007: 11th, 20th
2006:  9th, 13th
2005: 13th, 19th
2004: 7th, 9th
2003: 11th, 16th
2002: 18th, 19th
2001: 9th, 19th
2000: 15th, 16th
1999: 14th, 16th
1998: 9th, 16th
1997: 10th, 12th
1996: 9th, 15th
1995: 11th, 14th
1994: 4th, 11th, 17th
1993: 3rd, 18th
1992: 6th, 7th
1991: 11th, 13th
1990: 8th, 22nd
1989: 12th, 13th    

4BR Prediction: 

This is a notoriously difficult contest to predict – so many of these bands could end up winners, as in the past no one band has really taken the contest by the scruff of the neck. 

On form it would appear to be a fight for the two qualification places between Mount Charles, Flowers, SWT Woodfalls and Camborne, with St Dennis and St Keverne making up the top six and a dark horse of Helston. That though is if they all play to form – a big ask.

It’s time Woodfalls won again though, and we think this may be their best chance this year, followed by Flowers. Camborne and Mount Charles could just miss out and there may be a bit of a gap to the rest of the top six of St Dennis, St Keverne and Helston. Who knows though?

1. SWT Woodfalls
2. Flowers
3. Camborne
4. Mount Charles
5. St Dennis
6. St Keverne

Dark Horse: Helston


2016   2015   2014   2013   2012
2011   2010   2009   2008   2007
2006   2005   2004 (1)   2004 (2)   2003
2002   2001