Past Events > 2004 > Weardale Challenge

Weardale Challenge

13th June 2004

Once again the Weardale Off Road Centre was the setting for a great weekends off roading.

Saturday's driving day was well attended as members took the opportunity to put themselves and their vehicles through their paces on the site's varying terrain. The mix of severe and easy routes around the site allowed everyone to find a suitable level.Both novices and experts alike took the opportunity to practice their trials driving skills on some of the trials sections scattered around the site.

Sunday was the competition day with an off road challenge event run under the MSA's Off Road Challenge event permit comprising orienteering, trials and gymkhana. This gave us a much broader range of options for the event and gave this year's event more of the elements of challenge events that have been run for years by a number of organisations and companies. Unlike most challenge events (and in keeping with the club's philosophy) the Weardale challenge event is kept at an accessible level with limited equipment allowing everyone to compete on level terms. No winches or GPS units were allowed so the navigators had to navigate using the supplied maps.

This year's event comprised of a prologue, 6 groups of 3 punches and 4 challenges.

For the prologue the team mates were parked facing each other with one vehicle at the top of a hill and the other at the bottom "all" they had to do was communicate a 12 letter word from the bottom of the hill to the top using any form of silent communication they wanted. As an aid, the teams were supplied with copies of the morse code which most elected to use. After about 30 minutes of headlight flashing most of the teams had succeeded and, having drawn their first punch group from the hat, had disappeared into the site. 2 teams failed to complete the prologue at all (one due to mechanical problems meaning they failed to make it to the start in time) and were held for a further period of time before being sent on their way. To spare blushes, the names of those involved in the team that failed to transmit a 12 letter word over 50 yards in 30 minutes, will be kept a closely guarded secret - at least until club night :-) The first team to finish the prologue were team 4 (Paul, Wayne and Tim) who completed the task in around 6 minutes.

The old hands at the event (those that competed in the previous 2 years events) soon got into their stride and it was no real surprise to see last years winning team 4 (Paul, Wayne and Tim) arriving first at the control point to request their first challenge. It was clear fairly early on that team 1 (Mark, Amanda, Bob and Alix) were challenging for the lead with a close fought battle putting the two teams neck and neck. Team 8 with Brendan (winner of the first event and 3rd last year), Gill and Steve looked to have made a tactical error by choosing the "physical challenge" as their first challenge. Having spent the best part of an hour and a half running around the hillsides with a compass they were forced to concede defeat... in their defence though, the distances they were given were "somewhat innaccurate" and the fact they stuck at it for so long was impressive !

The second team to attempt the physical challenge was team 4 and in order to check Brendan's report of "dodgy distances" Matthew shadowed them around the course with his GPS. After realising that Brendan was correct, Matthew recalculated the distances and so the 3rd team to attempt the challenge (team 1) were the first team to try it with the correct distances. As these were the only teams to attempt the challenge it was decided that each team be given maximum points for their efforts (especially as it made no difference to the final scores).

As none of the teams actually knew what the challenges were until after they had selected it, Brendan and team assumed that all the challenges would be as tough so elected to get two punch groups without a challenge after lunch - as most of the challenges actually only took a few minutes to complete, this assumption possibly cost them the win. As it was, their performance in the challenges they did do saw them take more points from those 3 challenges and team 1 did from 4 challenges, clinching second place.

Overall there were a lot of creditable performances and it seemed that, as the afternoon wore on, more and more of the teams were starting to get a feel for the event and the scores were starting to ramp up. At the event control we had an idea which teams were in the running but we also knew that no one team looked to have a real edge over the others. One wrong move could easily see a team stranded, particularly around the punches below our control point where time and again some teams were getting into major problems while others drove in to the punch and back out again with seeming ease. 3 of the teams received penalties during the afternoon for receiving official recovery. In the first year's event Tim and Paul had lost their win due to returning late after getting stuck in a bog, as had Brendan the following year.

As the 4pm deadline approached, from our high vantage point, we could see teams scurrying around all over the place as they tried to get those last valuable punches. It was nice to see the team 1 and 4 cooperating as they both arrived at a punch together, seemingly deciding to alternate team vehicles while Wayne (team 4) punched the card for all 4 vehicles. This led to Paul being recovered by Mark at one point as Paul got the 110 stuck in a hole next to the punch.

By 4pm all the teams had declared and the final results compiled. For the second year running Paul and Tim had managed to win the event with second and third being taken by Mark, Bob and Brendan although they had swapped positions this year.

Now all we have to do is think of some new challenges for next year !

Pictures from the driving Day can be seen here.

Nick has sent me a couple of AVI movies from the driving day,
one of his 90
and one of Robin's Series II (about 3MB each)

Pictures from the orienteering event can be seen here.

Results

Challenges:
VA = Dead Vehicle Trial
VB = Blindfold Trial
M = Mental Challenge
P = Physical Challenge
   
Team Competitors Vehicles
Punch Groups
Challenges
Penalty
Total
Position


 

1
2
3
4
5
6
VA
VB M P


4
Paul Everett, Wayne Lowther
Tim Frankland
110
110
150
150
150
150
100
-
200
250 250 300  
1750
1
8

Brendan Brew, Gill Philburn
Steve Preston

90
Range Rover
150
150
100
150
150
-
250
- 300 300  
1550
2
1
Bob Christmas, Alix Craven
Mark Robson, Amanda Taylor
90
90
150
150
150
150
100
-
100
260 125 300  
1485
3
6
Dave Leach, Tom Perrin
Nick Buckham, Dave Thompson
Ibex
90
150
150
150
-
50
-
275
280 75 -  
1230
4
7
Steve Wise, Nick Adams
Simon Sprott, Robin Ward
90
90
150
-
150
-
50
150
225
280 150 - 25
1130
5
2
Lee Arnott, John Arnott
Tom Benson, Neil Benson
90
90
-
-
150
150
150
150
175
240 100 -  
1115
6
9

Nick Clayton,Sara Clayton
Hadyn

90
110
-
-
150
-
150
150
150
230 275 - 25
1080
7
5
James Poulton, Alex Poulton
Ray Poulton
88" Hybrid
Range Rover
-
-
50
150
50
150
300
- 175 -  
875
8
3
Robin Sermon, David Sermon
Nigel Harness, Simon Mildenhall
Series 2
Lightweight
150
150
-
-
-
-
100
225 - -  
625
9
10
Sarah Hampton, Andy Summers
Clive Raistrick
Tom Zimmerman, Emile Roulangé
90
90
110
150
150
-
-
-
-
125
- 200 - 25
600
10














 


Pictures of the event can be seen here
 
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