Marvellous Malvern

It was originally planned that the June trials would be a joint event, hosted by MROC at Croft Farm, just to the West of Great Malvern, with CCROC setting up the RTV1. It was then decided that as the site is relatively small in terms of trialling areas it would be better to split over 2 separate weekends, CCROC hosting our popular RTV1 on Sunday 23rd.

Being a new site for CCROC we had no idea what to expect. I had spoken to the landowner the previous week and he had given me directions to find the entrance “Come down from Great Malvern and its an orange/red gate on the right”. I was expecting something fairly obvious so almost sailed straight past the narrow, slightly overgrown and very battered ‘gate’ (secured with obligatory baler-twine). The location and description were right though so I thought that must be it! Luckily it was.

Stuart Hook arrived a few minutes later and a very quick look at the first fields showed that we could easily find some challenging sections. The farmer had told me that his cattle were still grazing in the first area so suggested we might like to go to the far end of the farm to set up there. The whole site is on the side of a steep hill (very much like Bidfield) but luckily the ground was very dry and firm, even after all the heavy rain in the preceding weeks. As with Bidfield and the Wigmore site, it looked like it would be great in the dry but a very different prospect in the wet.

The banks and gullies in the first field (Cow Pat Corner) looked very inviting but we took the farmers advice and headed to the second field. This area hadn’t been grazed so in most places the grass was quite long and was still damp. This did make setting up some sections a little difficult, allowing for road pattern tyres etc, but we soon managed to get four laid out with varying levels of challenge to suit all.

The temptation of Cow Pat Corner was too much though so rather than set everything up in the second field we decided to plan a few more sections in Cow Pat but not set the canes until lunch on the Sunday, avoiding the chance of the cattle bulldozing them to oblivion overnight.

As Croft Farm is just a little outside of our usual area we expected that attendance might be a little bit down on usual but it was a pleasant surprise to find 15 drivers signing on with to play on the Sunday, including 3 from MROC. Vehicles ranged from Simon’s Series though to a very nice 55 plate Velar. Interestingly with the exception of Simon’s Series and Stuart’s and my 90, everything else was in lwb class.

Mike Pollock had volunteered to run and marshal the day so was kept busy getting everyone signed on and ready in time for a prompt 10am start. It really was quite impressive to see the convoy of vehicles set off across the fields to the first section.

Because we were such a large group and with one or two drivers struggling on the sections it became a very long morning, especially as it was becoming increasingly hot and humid. Whilst a leisurely lunch was taken by most Stuart and I quickly headed off to set up the final 3 sections in Cow Pat Corner.Two of these sections proved to be relatively straightforward to most drivers although the Velar owner wisely declined one section but only due to the low slung front spoiler. The third section was a good challenge for everyone, a gentle start but then a twisting climb up a bank to finish at the top tight turn in the middle. Most drivers were failing at the 3 gate but a handful judged it skilfully to make it to the finish. Most worthy of these was Tanya Hook who got through and cleared the section, bettering Stuart.By the time all drivers had finished the hot afternoon was getting on and we were experiencing a little light rain, luckily not enough to make things difficult. Everyone helped to clear up and then after results were given we started making our way home.Many thanks to Stuart for helping set up and to Mike for running the day so well. Thanks too to everyone who turned up and making it a fun and interesting day.Hopefully we can use the site again in future and get another good day. Only downside was, thanks to Cow Pat Corner, my truck smelled like a farmyard for several days afterwards!I think the level of interest we are getting in RTV1 shows that we are just about getting our set up spot-on in terms of making it challenging for the experienced drivers but still simple enough for newcomers and feedback is generally very positive. However, if you have any concerns or positive suggestions please speak to a committee member about them.Next RTV1 is at the Fun Weekend on Sunday 14th July at Indemnifying. Setting up will be usual time (ish) on Saturday. Please come along to help and take part in any of the other events going on (try the treasure hunt!).

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