27 competitors fought their way on
the seven sections which included Normans Hump, Clinton, and do not laugh
Hilary and Monica. It was not the first two lustrous names that took their
toll, but some of the minor sections. With fine weather, hills were very
dry. Two circuits in the morning and afternoon there was time to do four
more hills, which gave a total of 25 climbs and one special test.
The last hill of the day was Clinton. Normally on the
Exeter Trial where the section ends, it’s a sharp right onto a flat track
to exit the wood. Bovey Trail event tacked on an extra piece to make
Clinton even longer. This higher part, which is a steep twisty rocky
track, all day we used this track to drive down to get to the bottom of
other hills, which of course with 27 cars descending all day, with
hand/foot brake/ anchor and grappling hooks to slow us up, it loosened a
few rocks. We joined the rest of the platoon who punctured during the day.
This was trivia compared to Eric Smith yellow Marlin,
diff or gear box broke on the very first hill of the day. Steve Vincent’s
Austin Special drive shaft went ping, but managed to re pair and completed
the days trailing. Andrew Shepperd Bugrat retired. The headache of the day
literally was Tim Whellock (brain child of the Bovey Trial) and his
passenger hit a tree stump, both head butted and shattered the UVA
Fugitive windscreen, ouch!
This was on a section which should be named “Hairy
Scary”. It takes you off track into a narrow taped chicane around fir
trees, trying to miss stumps on the off side. Back onto the track for a
restart, then just for a joke immediately left back into another fir tree
chicane with stumps now on the near side.
Other winners were: Class 1 Paul Allaway Vauxhall Astra
GTE with 53 points Class 3 Nick Farmer BMW 318 nil points Class 4
Youngster Emma Robilliard VW Beetle nil points Class 7 Peter Hart Marlin 8
points, which he collected on the very last hill. I believe he stopped in
the wrong place for the restart Class 8 with zero points is the other
youngster Ryan Tonkin VW Buggy, had heartbreaking bad luck at being just
one second slower than the overall winner off the Busted Diff Trophy to be
king of the mountain.
As an event still in its infancy it was well organised,
well marshalled with superb catering. Simon Groves with his Ford Escort
and Andrew Martin with his Dutton Melos would have been kids in a sweet
shop at this event, as would many others. Do try and get next year to this
event. I wanted to see Bovey Down sections in the daylight, as I only go
hurtling up Norman & Clinton at night in the Exeter Trial.
We made it a mini holiday travelling 200 miles and
stayed Sat/Sunday night at the excellent Yeoman’s Acre Hotel, 3 miles down
the road in Colyford. It was lovely to finish the day with a short drive
back to the Yeoman’s Hotel to lie on the bed drinking a nice cup of char,
watching the Ebdon and Dot snooker final and seeing Leicester Tigers
beating Sale. Yes, it was a perfect weekend.