The Rover's Return

It was a long time coming but was clearly welcome.

Yes, We’re back in trialling action following the gradual lifting of lockdown. Naturally things were a little different in some aspects but it was clear that everyone was itching to get out again.

The scene of our magnificent return was to be Indemnifying Farm, on what should have been our annual Fun Weekend. Demand was such that it was decided to run all three disciplines, RTV1, RTV2 and CCVT as separate groups.

Rob McCausland and his minion, Dave Collins, had set out 6 fantastic sections around the site, including using a few new variations of the old favourite parts. It was good to see wider gates and fewer tight turns (although there were still a few where appropriate), making the sections a challenge but still fun to drive. Later in the day Rob and Dave cunningly ‘reversed’ a couple of sections, giving us 8 for the day. Rob must have connections in high places too as he managed to get the weather spot on too, warm and sunny with just a hint of breeze, What a difference from the ‘mildly moist’ conditions of the last event in March!

Such was the demand that we had 12 drivers signed on for RTV1, yet again well outnumbering the RTV2 group.

As I mentioned, there were some new procedures we had to get used to in order to get things restarted, following good guidance from MsUK. The most important change was that all participants and marshals had to sign-on in advance of the day by completing and submitting individual forms. Just turning up on the day is not currently permitted. All participants were also expected to maintain social distancing and have, ready if needed, appropriate PPE. The event was also ‘closed’ meaning that no spectators were allowed on site.

This system (for the first attempt) seemed to work very well, only a handful of entrants having difficulty in completing the forms easily. It also made arrivals going much more smoothly as there was no queue to sign on, just being checked against the list, handing over the correct amount (no change given) and parking up. Scrutineering was also very different as it was ‘contactless’, the scrutineer just giving vehicles a once-over from safe distance. Running as smoothly as it did also had the bonus of meaning that we were on the starting blocks quite promptly too, getting going by about 10.05am!

This system will certainly be in place for the foreseeable future so it is very likely that it will be adopted as standard practice for future events.

Just to keep us on our toes we had an ‘offishul’ visit from the Commercial Director of MsUK. He had done us a courtesy of telling us a couple of days before hand of his intention to visit and seemed impressed that Paul had requested he submit an “Officials” signing-on form (also now known as a SODOFF form, competitors forms are SOD.) The stated purpose of his visit was to see how the covid-19 changes were working and manageable as well as how we were implementing them on the ground. He stayed on site for a few hours, chatting to members, watching some of the action and taking a lot of

photographs. His feedback was really positive about how things were running. He went even further by saying that it all looked like great fun and wants to come again, even giving it a go!

We are doing something right!

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