Reporting: Si Paton
Jac Jones was the landowner of Moelfre downhill track. Designed by the Athertons as a World Cup training course, it quickly became one of the essential venues on the British domestic circuit and would later host the British Championships for 4X, cross country and downhill. Following the tragic news of Jac's passing that broke at the start of this week, we reached out to some of Jac's closest friends to share their memories and experiences with him.
THE LEGENDARY FARMER JAC JONES.
Father, Husband, Farmer, Land Owner, Land Rover Driver and Pipe Smoker.
Written by Si Paton
You have to go back to 2003 and the last national of the UK National Downhill series for Jac's first involvement with mountain biking. The series was in desperate need of a venue at the last minute but the Athertons had been working their magic on the open hillside and Jac pulled out all the stops and let us go racing. 221 racers hit the start line that day including myself and over the following 15 years, there have been 34 races and over 7,000 riders going anytime after the beeps.
We can not underestimate the significance and gratitude we must hold for Framer Jac and the use of his land, and that of fellow landowners. Firstly trusting race organisers and local riders to go and carve up their hillside and woodland, swinging axes, chainsaws, mattocks and perhaps the final straw, plant machinery (JCB/Diggers). Now add in 300 plus unruly mountain bike racers and who knows how many spectators, the destruction of the camping field on a wet weekend and I certainly do not want to mention the litter that is discarded.
For Jac, nothing was ever a problem. He would drive over during race set up in one of his old Landys that was held together by orange bailing twine and his trusty old pipe hanging from the corner of his mouth. Anything that you ever asked of him, the answer was always a big fat "yes"!
Jac really cared about the races and the riders, I personally think this came about from a great tragedy that Jac and his family suffered with the loss of his son at an early age during a driving accident. Allowing us free reign on his land, seeing us all enjoying ourselves, this was his way of giving back and gave him a lot of enjoyment and hopefully some peace.
At the end of each BDS race at Moelfre, Jac would be there at presentation time handing out the medals and prizes and giving the deserved rider his handshake and a genuine, "Well done'". He would then always offer to say a few words before we got to the Elite podiums. What I will always remember him for was when he said, "That hill's getting no smaller but you boys and girls seem to be coming down it faster and faster each year".
We have a lot to thank you for Farmer Jac, you will be missed but never forgotten. Love and Peace.