Setting up was done on the Saturday morning in warm and dry conditions. The ground was really hard and bone dry, even the usual waterholes were much lower than we have seen in past. Paul and Joe set out 6 sections for the RTV and I found suitable space for 6 sections for the TYRO. Lack of traction wasn’t going to be a problem this weekend!
How wrong can you be? Returning to the site on Sunday morning we found that heavy overnight rain had turned the surface to a sticky, slippery goo. The sort of goo that is not only difficult to walk on but leaves great clods of mud stuck to your boots. A quick rethink needed and slight adjustment to a couple of the sections, as I was putting on cane tops, and we were ready to go.
Come start time there were 5 of us signed on for the TYRO, my 90, 2 Discos and a 110 being double driven by a father and daughter. The dad, Pete, had driven offroad with CCROC many years ago but his daughter, Selina, was a complete novice. The day was to be a fast learning curve for them!
The first 2 sections were up on the grassy gentle slope above the quarry. Starting here would give the remaining sections time, hopefully, to dry a little before we got to them. Although there was no problem with grip we all got caught out at some point, usually by failing to read the terrain properly. I was kicking myself as, going first on the first section, I misjudged a climb out of a rut and the back of my landie kicked sideways, sending me straight into the 5 cane. Don’t want many more silly errors like that!
Moving to the next 2 sections the ground was drying quite quickly so, again, traction wasn’t a problem but points were again scored because of simple mistakes.
After a brief lunch stop we moved onto the last 2 sections, which were both still a little muddy and slippery, with some standing water too. By now the less experiences drivers were beginning to get the hang of it and were making their way quite confidently round the sections. Not always completely successfully though!
Our final section started with a couple of muddy puddles, both only about tyre deep, and then some axle twisters to give the suspensions a workout before finishing across another muddy stretch. The longer 110 and Discos struggled a little on the axle twisters but everyone managed to push through to the muddy end.
Time was getting on by now so it was decided that we would conclude there and go and watch the RTV drivers finish their last couple of sections. I think everyone had an enjoyable and educational day and hope we will see our newcomers returning for more fun at future events.