Arrived Friday teatime – only a handful of other vans there. Friday evening’s gentle drinking and chatting was a generally quiet affair, though plenty more had arrived by then ……… with fish’n chips collected from Stourport by Jenny and Clive …….. this becoming a Friday night ritual!
There was an almost sultry warmth for this time of year, sitting on dry grass at midnight, some way from a lovely campfire, which Andy McClements had orchestrated with a band of helpers, no shortage of collectable deadwood when a Syncro Doka available. A few 2WD Club80-90’ers had booked: Julia and Leigh arriving in their new camper, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the campfire atmosphere. ‘Hey, what’s the story with Sir Ian McGilvary of Syncro-Nutz’ was heard to ring out, so a quick call to his mobile soon answered that – on his way and about 100 miles out with Hacksaw Bob’s syncro on trailer behind – great, but we won’t wait up!
So the day must have started with McGill’s arrival, noisy enough to wake some as the trailer was backed, forwarded, adjusted until his cargo was finally decanted. To Bob’s relief he now had his van back, looking and purring away just lovely.
9-30 sharp saw Thomas striding about purposefully – scrutineering – fortunately we all had a better idea of what was expected this time, so most battery straps etc were found to be in place, and anything loose had been removed from the vans. New boy Keith was failed on a rubber steering coupling; Clive having been warned about his before and escaping by the skin of his teeth again, just happened to have one in his door pocket (!), so with a drill having a 15 second battery life, spanner and neckwork by Pete Morrill, they got Keith back ‘off-the-road’ in no time.
Everyone was then given the option to either ‘have a drive round’ or take part in trials set up the evening before by Thomas, Matt and Cate. Jake took the ‘drive around’ group, Aidan sat in as marshal. This was loosely aimed at a ‘gentle discovery’ – the site, their syncros and skills, working from easy terrain to more challenging stuff. Thomas led the trials, and as I was a marshal for the weekend, off we went to Trial 1, this area having been used at CF1 last April.
This was a very compact set up with tight turns and rough ground. Amongst the nettles and shrubbery was the remains of a building, so there were hidden bricks and lumps of concrete to negotiate, as well as the tight gates.
Most got round without incident, although the very last part went uphill, over the track and up another bank, resulting in many hitting their exhausts as they landed. Matt also managed to partially demolish a portion of remaining fencing on the first tight turn.