As Dave Whittock put in his results email, “Gavin and Suze took the scenic route around Nempnett Thrubwell dropping them down the leader board” and I can’t sum it up much better than that.
The event was 45 miles of Somerset lanes, and we started ok dropping 3 minutes into the first control, as did most other crews. We picked up the secret check and all codeboards/manned marshal points and had dropped a few more minutes by the time we reached TC5, but were happy enough. We were doing the event for practise and the Scimitar had a “new” engine which hadn’t been used for 15 years, which Gavin had installed to make sure everything worked.
The next PC was our sticky point near Nempnett Thrubnell – the road forked, and I had the PC plotted on the right-hand fork but we could see the codeboard on the left hand fork. We got the codeboard, but it threw me and we spent a little time working out what had happened and exactly where we were as I’d started to think I was a junction out on the map (I wasn’t, as it happened, but there weren’t many features to help work it out). At the pub at the finish, I wasn’t the only one who had it on the right fork but I should have realised what had happened sooner and this dropped us time.
We carried on, picking up all the boards and manned marshal points and only stopped to plot in the last section (everything had been plot ‘n’ bash until then, me plotting whilst Gavin drove). The last section had some tricky staggered crossroads with clever loops in, and I can find it hard to plot map references accurately in a moving car on bumpy lanes! We needed to ensure we got the right route, so stopping to plot cost around three minutes, as well as the difficult nature of the lanes.
It was a bit of a night of “what ifs;” we finished 5th overall, six minutes behind 3rd and two minutes behind 4th. A sharper night on the maps would have been good but we got round, worked together to overcome various challenges, didn’t miss any secret checks/boards/marshal points and got the seat time we were after.