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to any of the clubs or organisers of the events featured. Words and Pictures
by Michael unless attributed otherwise. Michael is a proud member of the MCC,
ACTC, Dellow Register and Falcon amongst others, but does not represent their
views nor the views of any other organisers or clubs.
Cold and Dry Conditions but delays for
the later numbers
Despite Easter being early this year the
Lands End was run in pleasant conditions. This meant some of the sections
were very dry and dusty, even Crackington which wasn't the same section
without the usual doctoring.
pictures Greg Warren on a very unfamiliar un-doctoredCrackington.
The restart was in its usual
place and the holes were quite deep. There was a lot of grip, perhaps too
much for some, and this seemingly innocuous section claimed 38 scalps this
year. These included both Steve Potter and John Wilton in their Trojans
and the equally experienced Dennis Greenslade (MX5) and Bill Bennett (MG
The section and the rough exit
track were too much for Marc Shafer and Tomas Pordzik, who had come across
from Bonn in Germany in BMW 318 and Peugeot 305 respectively, and they
Problems on Beggars
The Crook Horn Special Test was
on tarmac with a flying finish. Eventual Best in Class Six Dean Vowden was
penalised for over running a line in his Notchback but otherwise this
substitute for the nearby section was uneventful for most. It was getting
cold now and there was still snow under the hedges on the twisty minor
roads leading back to the A39 and a long chilly wait at the Barbrook
Beggars Roost has not been very
competitive since the restart was dropped, until this year. The big
problem was getting away from the start line on some very loose stones.
This caused a lot of fails, including Lester Keat and Greg Warren in their
class three machines.
With no Rodneys Revenge the
inclusion of the real lane at Hangmans Hill was very welcome. New to the
Lands End this long section had a restart for all classes. There was more
than enough grip in the bone dry conditions so there was little impact on
the results. This could have been very different had it been wet. There
was more than an hours wait for the later numbers but the queue was in a
sunken lane so there was plenty of time to look at the primrose growing in
the grassy banks.
Cutliffe Lane and Sutcombe
were very Dry
Neither of these well
established hills had real teeth list year although Cutliffe Lane took its
toll of the less experienced who weren't going flat out through the gate
at the bottom.
Changes on Darracott and
"Where's all the mud I heard about?"
Kevin and Samuel Lindsay were tail end Charlie on their first MCC
event. (Picture by Dave Cook)
At the other end of the entry it was dark when Field Trophy winners
Simon and Debbie Eddy made their climb (Picture by Dave Cook)
Both of these famous old hills
had their teeth drawn this year. Darracott had the section ends before
starting the famous hairpins, which were sporting recent concrete repairs.
Although competitors still had the enjoyment of the hairpins it wasn't the
same with them being on the exit track.
After the control on the sands
at Widemouth Bay Crackington addded to the disappointment Easing off the
line down by the ford competitors built their speed to assault the deep
ruts in the fresh mud dumped in trailer loads towards the summit. Only
this year there was no mud and without this doctoring the hill had no
impact on the results. Lets hope the muck returns next year.
The rest halt at the Wilsey
Down cattle market was very welcome. Many competitors taking the
opportunity to repair the many punctures incurred on the sharp rocks.
Later numbers had a long wait
in the sunshine for their attempt at this rocky section. With no restart
the lower classes had a relatively trouble free run. Not so for the
yellows and reds who had a tricky restart. This took its toll on medal
aspirations, particularly in Class six where Harry Butcher was the last to
loose his clean sheet and a gold medal.
Entering the woods from the top
it was along way down to the first section, Lady Vale, the only section
shared with Class 0. This is a very artificial affair, all about a tight
restart, marked out with tape. It always seems a shame that something a
bit more natural can't be found in this complex.
Following the track along the
river came Hoskin. Long and steep with different restarts for the lower
and higher classes. Most found the necessary grip but the section is a
power sapper and many of the cars with a low power to weight ratio failed.
This was a particular issue in Class 2 where the gradient proved to much
for the Trojans of Steve Potter and John Wilton and Nigel Hilling's 1171
Later runners slipped further
behind schedule in a long queue on the A30 which was closed near Bodmin.
Arriving at the woods the special test came first. Not too much of a
problem unless you were Greg Warren who was penalised for over running the
The following section is all
about the restarts where it crossed the main track. The higher classes had
to stop in their usual place, on cobbles, after the cross track. The Blues
and Whites had theirs lower down on a loose surface, leading up to the
cross track. Positioning was everything and it was essential to stop low
down to stand any chance. Many didn't and paid the price, Alan Selwood,
Michael Leete, Paul Allaway and Sam Thompson all loosing their chances of
a Gold Medal here. Both of the Trojans failed and one just avoided
overturning into the trees.
Bradley Jones receiving a tug to get his Suzuki X90 back onto the
road on BH1 (Picture by Dave Cook)
Steve Potter in his wonderful Trojan tackles the very localised mud
on BH1 (Picture by Dave Cook)
You can see the new wall on BH2 behind Nicola Butcher on her
way to a Gold and hopefully a Triple
Eric Wall's Dellow Mk1 paws the air on the lower reaches of Blue
Hills 2 (Picture by Graham Whiting)
Unlike Crackington Blue Hills 1
hadn't escaped the doctor and there was a veritable lake round the
horse-shoe to wet the tyres before the cobbled exit back onto the road.
The higher classes had to restart here and this cost Brain Partridge / Lee
Peck their Gold Medal in Brians familiar Cannon.
Bluehills 2 may be the MCC's
showcase section but the modifications for this year weren't universally
popular. A vertical stone wall now lines the deviation. This has the
benefit of removing the banking, which could act as a launching ramp for
spectacular acrobatics However, it has made the track very tight and
narrow and a lot of cars scrapped against it, blinded by the setting sun.
Finish and Reflections
There was just a 20 mile run to
the finish remaining. Time to reflect on another Lands End. It was
surprisingly dry, considering the wet winter. This had made some of the
sections easier than usual, compensated by a tricky Beggars and some
difficult restarts. The finish at a Brewers Fayre, mixing with families
out for lunch, was a questionable finale to an otherwise excellent event.
The Lands End isn't for everyone. Its a trial bigger than the sections and
is above all an adventure. A battle of emotional highs and lows,
tiredness, fatigue and a feeling of achievement just reaching the finish.
Long may it continue.