Just to set the scene . . .
August started hot, dry and sunny and despite our ravings on the 80-90 forum of fantastic weather booked for the weekend, Mother Nature had other ideas. For a week or so leading up to the weekend the heavens would intermittently open and drench the parched Isle of Wight earth with copious amounts of wet stuff. This however, did hold some benefits for the syncronauts….. more mud, of the very slippery kind.
The nearby trial course was made in a field that has several inches of soil overlying several feet of clay and so the rain made the pits and humps of the trial field more of a challenge for the drivers and more exciting for onlookers. The pits dug into the clay started off with small watery puddles in them and ended up with several inches of liquid sludge.
The ‘weekend’ started off quite early, Tuesday actually, with the arrival of Mocki and Martin, Thomas met them from the ferry and took them to a local sleepy spot for the night. The next day they found the site, complained at the length of the grass and made Thomas go and get his tractor to cut it to an acceptable height, daresay he missed a bit though!
Andy arrived the next day and by Friday night we had a goodly crew of 80-90ers, SyncroAndy/Andy, Syncroand101/Jake and Claire, Flibbertygibbet/Julie and Harvey, HarryMann and JennyTyger/Clive and Jenny. The alternative Spragmans was up courtesy of Rob4x4 who arrived in a very large army lorry, if you think T25s have long gear shifts you ought to try driving this.
Thomas attacked a dead elm with his chainsaw, Mocki providing the muscle to pull it over and then SyncroAndy attacked the tree with an axe that, rather worryingly, he just happened to have in his van! Clive reminding us about this time that it was to be a full moon this weekend! Very soon a pile of wood lay ready with some logs in the fire pit (expertly dug by Andy).
Friday evening threatened rain but cleared in time for the lighting of the fire and barbecue barrel. Chairs, blankets, beers and beef burgers quickly came out and soon the laughter started echoing through the otherwise peaceful night. Sitting in the smoke of the fire is not always a popular pastime but it did help to deter the huge gnats that tried to eat us, we had help in the form of several large bats flitting around us chomping up many of those gnats.
It was well past midnight when the last person went to bed.
Saturday brought in a beautiful sunny morning, several peeps went off to view the delights of the Island and its car boots sales, so it was afternoon when the playing with ‘toys’ began. The MSA covers the event for insurance purposes and HSE rules had to be abided by.
Rob brought out his trials bike and with much ummming and ahhhing and jumping on the starter pedal it roared into life, many peeps had a go riding this round the field and after some instructions from Rob and Andy Cate had a go too, she even got it into 2nd gear! There was a slight hiccup when leaking petrol washed over the hot engine and unaware of this Mocki, much to our horror, rode it back to camp trailing blue smoke in his wake, this was rapidly and safely dealt with and the problem sorted. The poor bike eventually gave up mechanically to the abuse it received and despite the great technical abilities of the fellas it was put aside.
During the afternoon Thomas led the syncronauts to the trial field, Andy trundled along behind in the mod-trialer and although Jill appealed to him to wear a different shirt as the one he had on was clean he was soon dipping and diving around the field finding all the ruts and mud. Needless to say the shirt was well covered in mud splatters within minutes. Terry had troubles even getting into the field at all , the van preferring to try to go through the gateway sideways, road tyres and a heavy camper are not ideal for this sort of work but Thomas pulled him out with the doka. He did find time to have a picnic though and, yes, the fridge did work at that angle!
Jake, SyncoAndy and Thomas all took their syncros round the course, carefully at first and as their confidence grew their smiles became wider, the big slippery pit caused a few problems for some but recovery was swift with Thomas’ doka and the mod being used to pull out the unfortunate. Terry was brave enough to let several people drive his camper round the field carefully avoiding the pits!
Most had a go with the mod, when Cate’s turn came she was derided for being daft enough to wear a white t-shirt, Andy kindly lent her his somewhat muddy shirt and after being harnessed in and getting to grips with the on or off clutch she thoroughly enjoyed myself driving round the field, not being experienced or brave enough at that point she didn’t do the pits and humps, maybe next time.