Halford trials

I’m going to start this report with an appeal: Yet again setting up on the Saturday was left to the usual dependable crew of Paul, Joe, Gareth and me (Rob Mc and Dave Collins weren’t available). My appeal is for more members to start helping with the setting up. I appreciate that Saturday mornings are not always the most convenient with work for some or family commitments but surely, at least once a year, you can find time to come along. If we don’t build up a bigger pool of volunteers the time may well come when none of the usual team are available and there wont be a trial! Please do your best to help.

Anyway, on with the report.

After so many cancelled events due to snow/rain/waterlogged ground it was good to arrive at the site in bright, warm sunshine. The ground was mostly hard and dry but we did manage to find a few bits of mud and water to wallow in. While Paul, Joe and Gareth set about constructing some challenging RTV/CCV sections I found sufficient space to set up 5 TYRO sections around the ‘bowl’ area and also over in the swampy area.

True to form Gareth managed to get his ‘new’ Disco stuck. Not once, not twice but three times! I pulled him out once, he extricated himself using hi-lift jack the second time and Paul had to drag him out of “The Swamp” with the aid of a long rope. Great stuff Gareth! Managed to catch a few incriminating pics! They were still beavering away when I set out on the return home.

The morning of the trial started out warm but a little overcast. The sun soon broke through with the promise of it being a hot, dry day. Surprisingly, after such a long break without an event, entries were lower than usual, probably not helped by the distance to the venue. We had 5 TYRO, 9 RTV and 4 CCV.

I lead the TYRO off to the far end of the site, intending to use the section in the swampy area before the RTV and CCV groups. It was still quite soft and slippery in this section and nobody managed a clear. In the group was a Freelander driven by James Pollock, son of Mike. He managed a very creditable 4 before the mud stopped him. This section was then quickly reversed and proved to be even trickier with everyone getting even higher scores except for James, who managed another 4! Much use of tow ropes and winch were also needed to pull vehicles out!

From here it was back to the firm, dry ground of the bowl area. Even here it was very possible to make silly mistakes and bump up the scores. In fact there was only one section that every driver cleared. The only driver who seemed to be doing well was in that pesky Freelander! It again proved its worth when it was the only vehicle to clear a section where everyone else couldn’t.

By the time we had completed 6 sections we all agreed that we had done enough and went off to watch the big boys play in the RTV/CCV.

This group, being much larger, still had several sections to complete. (The TYROers also spend less time talking and get on with it.)

There was nothing dramatic about the sections, everyone getting cleanly through most of them. The best action was when their marshal (no names to protect innocent eh Paul?) tried to climb a steep bank to replace a cane and slipped, landing firmly on his rear cross-member. He then tried again, slipped and did a neat barrel roll before coming to rest! If only I’d got it on video for “You’ve been Framed”!

Once the RTV group had finished and cleared up it was back up to the top of the track for the results. It was a great day of sport in brilliant weather. Thank you to everyone who supported the day.

One thing that Mike Pollock and I agreed on is that something needs to be done about that Freelander!

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