Last event of 2020?

With the country heading back into a nationwide lockdown, a 12 Car being run the night before lockdown felt a good opportunity to get out and do something.

For this event, classes were based on number of events finished and not experience, which put me into the Experts class as a navigator. The hardest thing I found with this was not being given the end control location to plot; I was always taught if you can’t make the navigation work “going forwards” (i.e. from the beginning), plot it backwards.

Unfortunately, this caught me out early on where I had a slight mis-plot and we approached a control from the wrong direction (if we’d been given the control location, normally the arrival or departure location is given as well so this would not have happened).

We knew then that we would be given a penalty. We managed the rest of the event ok, and got all the code boards and correct route etc. Unfortunately, although we’d visited all controls and code boards and others hadn’t, the penalty for a wrong approach was significant (much greater than a missed codeboard) and left us languishing in the results.


Driving at Down Ampney

After ten months of not driving on a stage rally (clearly, lockdown had a lot to do with that!) I was pleased to be back out driving at Down Ampney. Down Ampney normally has three stage rallies between April and May and is on a working farm. With the event being held later in the year, and no rallies having been held as well as seeing some set up photos, I was expecting it to be extremely slippery.

The day started off dry, and I felt I settled into a rhythm fairly quickly with some reasonable stage times. It was close in class, but it was going ok. The stages were slippery but were cleaning up as the event went on and all felt good, until…part way through the day the heavens opened. We were on stage at the time, and it was somewhat surreal – I could see it out of the corner of my eye coming across the field and then it was with us!

It was slightly odd during the day to hear the news and know we were going back into lockdown. We were servicing with friends, we had friends marshalling and competing and being able to see people was so welcome. But, at the same time, it made me grateful for being able to see friends and compete even if things feel rather different at the moment.

We finished the day 7th in class, only nine seconds off 4th which was a little disappointing, but there were other things to be grateful for.

Thank you to the provider of the on stage photo – unfortunately I can’t find a record of who this was.