Lost in Kent (my 150th event)

I’ve never competed on a 20/20 and when Matt asked if I fancied it, I said yes. It would mean going from Southampton (after football) to Kent but it was all doable. Then they moved the football match from 3pm on Saturday to 5.30pm and I had to decide between the two… eventually I went for the 20/20 and on the night, Matt drove to Kent as I watched the match on my phone.

After dinner at the M20 services, scrutineering and signing on, it was time to wait until our start time. Novices were given navigation in advance, but it still wasn’t enough time to plot everything. When we do navigational events it tends to be me in the left hand seat, so it was a nice change for once!

The beginning of the event went well, we weren’t dropping time, we were passing code boards so knew we were on the right route, and we were getting to the controls. Then we got to a wooded section… As we drove up, another car on the event went past going the other way. Then we took a turn that we thought was correct. It wasn’t. Then ensued a very long time of driving around the same village in a loop unable to find the correct way. We weren’t the only ones, with four or five other crews also doing the same.

We knew we were going to have to “cut route” to stay within the allowed time, but the road we thought we’d use (a yellow) was gated. It turns out you can go through there, but we didn’t know that and so turned around upon finding the gate. We made it to some later controls, but missed a number of controls and code boards. By the end of the night, we were not last but not our finest result, on what was my 150th competitive event. We got home at 0545 so it was a rather late one for us!


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