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Catlow Triple T'

Catlow near Nelson was the venue for our first triple 'T' event. For

those of you who didn't go or didn't know what a triple T' is, it's a trial,
a timed team trial and just to make sure you don't go home unsatisfied,
a team recovery. The trial attracted about 30 entries, the timed event
9 teams of two and 7 teams in the team recovery. All the events were
devilishly devised and organised by the monomit maniac himself, Gareth
Almond.

The trial got off to a punctual start at 10.15 am and consisted of 6
long sections which contained a good variety of drops, climbs and turns
with a couple of mud-holes thrown in for good measure. 1 didn't see or
hear any spectacular mishaps or spontaneous tree felling, and the scores
ranged from one to forty odd points which is usually an indication of good
sections, all of which were cleared at least once.

Most competitors had finished by 11.30 and were hammering on the
pub door by 11.45 as the local Landlord timidly peered out of an upstairs
window and braced himself for the 12 o'clock stampede of muddy wellies.
'Nuff said about that. With everyone suitably refreshed and full of Dutch
Courage we were ready for the timed team trial, which was for two vehic-
les round a short safari course with two trials sections thrown in, with time
penalties for hitting sticks, one motor following the other in relay fashion.
Each motor did one lap on the first run and two on the second run, total
time to count for the result. The course contained a bumpy bit, a drop, a
fast bit, a climb and the two sections. It soon became obvious that Ted
Hartley and Carl Amos, and Dave Rae and Dave Baxter were trying, and
most people were giving it plenty. The double run soon turned into a low
flying contest, a neat little bump near the start/finish line providing the
lift off point with Carl Amos, Pete Baldwin, a purple Lightweight (Sorry
I can't remember your name) and myself all trying to get our Pennine
Pilot's Licences. Dave Rae's Rangey finally got the prize by my judgement
and I don't think an axle was bent (Rangeys have negative camber to start
with, I think).

That brought us on to the team recovery which consisted of two
sections, one of which was a rocky gully with trees and a turn, the second
was a straight climb out which was got into through a long gully. Both
sections were driven without assistance by the winning motors and they
both looked deceptively easy to drive and over-confidence provided many
entrants with all sorts of problems, and mud was soon flying and trees
falling. Dave Rae, who was drawn first, was soon suffering after attempting
to drive straight round and finished up trying a three point turn in a gully
as wide as half the length of a Range Rover. The Paul Bradbury/Duncan
Smith team who usually go round like clockwork ran into problems. Dave
Chiddy and myself ran into similar problems and I eventually finished up
hauling his Series II round a tree and giving it that 'slightly used' look.
That's the last recovery I'll do with him, he'll be out for revenge the next
time! Paul Dewhirst and Keith Schofield were the eventual winners with a
good clear run (3m 51s), second went to Carl Amos and Ted Hartley
(4m 55s) and third went to Pete Brown and Colin Birchall (7m 39s).

All the fun over and all that was left to do was the prize giving and
the long trek home (For some of us.) Prizegiving was conducted with all
the usual dignity and decorum afforded to an occasion conducted by
Mr. Millington. There was a shortage of pots for the team recovery, but I
won't say whose fault that was or else this article is not likely to make the
press.

All that's left to say is thanks to the land owner, Gareth and his hel-
pers, all Marshals, B.H. and his Mickey Mouse watch for the timekeeping
on the speed run, Dick Dastardly for the scrutineering and last but not
least the big 'G' for letting Lancashire's one day a year sunshine shine on
a Pennine Sunday.                                         Heath Smith.
 

WYCOLLER POINT TO POINT

A mad flurry of activity at the beginning of March saw several events
re-arranged (but not the dates you'll notice) and Keith Schofield's newly
acquired lump of Lancashire saved the day for us when Ding Quarry was
postponed. A brief 'one motor' inspection of the site proved that the land
was more than adequate for running several kinds of events but somebody
somewhere had mentioned a Point to Point and this is what we plumped
for. Barely a fortnight later I was trundling over the Haworth road through
a blinding hailstorm to meet Jim Burgess and Keith Schofield in order to
lay out the actual event. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a wind-
surfer tacking across the reservoir for all he was worth, head down into the
hailstones, and with a fine covering of hail on his board, I couldn't help but
spend the next couple of minutes pondering on the many different ways
human beings have of enjoying themselves, I mean it was obvious to me
that the guy was off his chump but there was nobody forcing him to do it
so presumably he enjoyed it, then I thought of what me, Jim and Keith
had to do that day .... presumably we enjoy it too .... don't we??

I digress, the land was divided neatly into 3 fairly equal fields and one
lump of steep, bog and rock infested hillside. The fields could only be
reached by narrow and usually tricky gateways in the drystone walls, while
the hillside could only be reached by riving up the hillside clinging to what-
ever tussock of grass might afford a touch of traction, and leaning on the
odd tree when traction had ceased! Five easy sections were laid in the
bottom fields and five easy sections, but hard to get to, were put on the
hillside .... so much for the theory! I remember us stalwart lads agreeing
to ourselves that if it rained on the Sunday we'd be in a bit of a mess. It
did and we were!

Sunday was a bit of a red letter day mainly because I was the first to
turn up! But secondly because Russell Robinson, a nice quiet cautious sort
of a lad, was second to roll up and on being asked to return to the parking
area and start organising the arrivals he attempted to do so, but somehow
his nice pristine Lightweight ended up laid on its side in the mud. This was
at ten past nine and the sun was still making a feeble attempt at showing
through ... is this an omen I asked myself? Is this a bad day asked Russell?
Another shock was in store when we assembled (on time again I might add)
for the start, there were only 5 teams of two, which is the lowest entry
Pennine have had at an event since beer was 2/6d a pint, to make up how-
ever there were two marshals for every competitor and ten spectators for
every marshal, there's a moral there somewhere folks! The weather was still
holding fair and what our entries lacked in quantity they certainly had in
quality, and even ten motors setting off side by side is a nice spectacle, an
even bigger spectacle was 20 seconds later when Dave Baxter's Range Rover
came slithering back down the hill a damn sight faster than he went up and
stopped only inches away from making another gateway in a dry stone wall.
During the rest of the event that particular vehicle was to be seen slithering
here, there and everywhere, propped on or in walls and generally proving
to be a handful! Whatever else could be said about the event only clever
drivers could find their way to the top of the hillside and that could only
be achieved by a combination of thought and skilled 4 wheel driving. Only
one of the sections cut up badly (Sods law decreeing that it should be one
of the EASY ones) and 40 and 50 feet of tow rope was not at all uncommon
as teams slowly extricated themselves from the mire. Heath Smith lost a
windscreen at this juncture and seemed to be grateful that he didn't have a
one piece one to replace!

A lot of thought was put in by some of the drivers and this resulted
in finding the easier (all things are relative!) way round the sections on the
hillside which were all separated by rock infested bogs, in which me and
Keith Schofield had devilishly laid false tracks the day before in order to
lure the more impatient types to their doom ... it worked in a couple of
cases too, but those damned Eighties managed to go where angels fear to
tread and managed to cross what we thought was an impossible marsh at
least once.

By lunchtime, at the end of the maximum two hours, all 5 teams were
back safe and reasonably sound, Duncan Smith and Paul Bradbury (those
damned Eighties'.) being well in front with 19 sections completed. The
whole character of the event was now to change however, as sustenance was
being taken we removed 4 of the worst sections to leave just 6 for the
hours driving in the afternoon, so far so good then the rain, which had been
threatening all morning, came persisting down and by the time the 10
motors were lined up again at 2-0 pm the ground had gone decidedly soggy
and yet again the easy sections were the first to succumb to the slime and
become impassable .... ALMOST!

One particularly prehistoric puddle had at one point got 5 of the ten
vehicles trapped within its muddy clutches, Bob Romanczuk's motor got
very overheated over the whole affair and the cooling system literally ex-
ploded with a muffled 'crump' and clouds of steam, exit one team. Phil
Day and Steve Ogden also had to retire suffering from an unknown malady
and the same bog caught both Duncan Smith and Paul Bradbury at the
same time leaving them with no option but to accept outside recovery and
forfeit the afternoons points, they had such an impressive lead from the
morning however that they still tied for second place and were only rele-
gated to third by virtue of the fact that Gareth Almond and Pete Baldwin
tied for points but finished in the afternoon without assistance. The final
winners being Carl Amos and Dave Baxter, the latter celebrating by spinn-
ing several times while sliding out of control down the same hill as before!

You would have been forgiven for thinking that that was that. Not a
chance, the real fun was yet to begin as 30 or 40 motors, mostly Land
Rovers it must be stated, attempted to get out of the parking area. It
served most of them right for going on the low side of the field in the first
place, in this club even the spectators get practical off road driving tips . . .
(Always try and keep gravity on your side), all those of you who parked
at the low side of the track will no doubt not make that mistake again,
will you?? It took over an hour of pulling, pushing and a fair bit of cursing
to get all the motors out on to the safety of the road, looking back I
suppose it was quite fun really! Thanks to all those who remained with
Keith, Jim and myself in order to extract the masses despite the pouring
rain, heroes you are ...... sign here for a 5 year enlistment!

Despite the small entry the driving was of a very high calibre and the
venue itself has proved to be usable for virtually any kind of event, apart
from the car park! Keith Schofield, who found the land for us, was a bit
miffed as all he got as a reward was a ruined tyre and not even the chance
of the big fondles he was promised in last BB!

 

 
MSA and ARC club members are welcome to come along and join our events. Phone Mark on 07866 506521 / 01282 703718

 

 

Pennine Land Rover Club, Pennine LRC