Post lunch a course was set out on the lower section of the site and a longer session of ‘get to know your Syncro’ started. Controlled driving on a defined circular course allowed people to really get to grips with how a T3 handles off the beaten track and the growth in confidence was enormously rewarding for the support staff to watch.
The Saturday social was superb, with a big campfire to huddle round and several barbeques crackling away. The weather behaved itself, with only short showers that failed to dampen the spirits of people glowing from a super first day’s driving.
The Sunday driving started a little later than that on Saturday due to the festivities the night before. Another trip up to the top of the hill was greeted with blazing sunshine as the weather overcame its reservations about the event and smiled on everyone. With confidence buoyed by the previous days activities a more ambitious course was taken around the bogs and ditches, eventually resulting in two very well mired Syncros and a Land Rover. After another extended ‘team building exercise’ all of the drivers arrived at what was to be the finale of the event – a deep gully run.
The challenge was to see how far the Syncros could drive up a steep and very deeply rutted area of field. A demonstration run by one of the support Land Rovers was very impressive, but did result in the vehicle being recovered (again !).
One by one the assembled Syncros attacked the gully run, each with their individual style. Individuals’ attempts were staked out as they tried, with fierce competition to see who would get the furthest. All of the skills from the previous day were put to the test and Syncro after Syncro got as far as they could before losing traction and reversing carefully out with their dignity intact. The final attempt was from the exceptionally tatty double cab fielded by Thomas Cowley, one of the more experienced off roaders of the Syncro drivers. With 15″ wheels and mud terrain type tyres with reduced pressure to help traction the Doka tore up the gully, surpassing all of the other Syncros attempts and finally stopped just 3′ short of the Land Rover’s attempt. More significantly this vehicle didn’t have to be recovered and drove out under its own power, albeit shrouded in diesel smoke!
The final analysis of the event was completed at the campsite, as camp was broken – awards were handed out having been voted for by all attendees: Mark Williams got a deserved Syncro of the Year for his immaculate Tristar, Jake receiving Most Extreme Syncronaut for his enthusiastic driving and Thomas Cowley gaining Syncronaut of the Year for his ability to put his Doka in ridiculous places and making it all look so easy.
The discussion threads back at the 80-90 forum have been buzzing about the event since people returned from it, with everyone agreeing that it had been the best Club event they had attended this year. The only thing left to decide was when will the next one be? Surfing on the wave of enthusiasm the 80-90 Syncronauts will be holding their next event on the Isle of Wight, during the August bank holiday. Any Syncros and the Syncro-curious will be most welcome to attend!