The wettest Classic Harvest Tour, ever!!
From our base at the Comfort Inn Hotel the weekends activities started on Saturday afternoon when Terry gave some instruction on the basics of rally tuition, this proved very useful for those taking part in
For the Harvest Tour, Sunday started grey and cold, and soon the rain came down heavy making this our
A special mention goes to all of the marshals who braved the awful conditions to add that competitive
Once again we had professional photographer Tony Large with us,
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Classic Harvest Tour Entry list
|1||Michael Bird||Kevin Hancock||Triumph TR6||1974||XLH 988N|
|2||Matthew Ollman||Peter Gal||Sunbeam Alpine||1967||RLU 380E|
|3||Andy Simpson||Roz Simpson||Mini Clubman 1275GT||1980||YOU 840W|
|4||Jill White||Richard White||Volvo Amazon||1966||GAW 312D|
|5||Soames Divers||Hannah Regan||Did not show||Alfa Romeo GT 1600|
|6||Graham Hallett||Trent Clark||Ronat W152 V12||1974||GHH 202|
|7||John Barton||Janice Brown||Did not show||Sunbeam Rapier S111a||1961||YCJ 259|
|8||Sarah Blezard||Martin Carpenter||Triumph TR6||1974||GOA 939N|
|9||Mike Stratton||Hilary Stratton||Austin 1300GT||1972||TND 579K|
|10||Nick Barnes||Danielle Barnes||Austin Healey 100/6||1956||RSJ 526|
|11||Anne Bouet||Michael Bouet||Alfa Romeo GT 1750 GT||1971||GDA 3J|
|12||Dorothy Critchley||Paul Critchley||MGB GT||1973||MMK 120L|
|13||Ralph Page||Andy Page||TVR S3||1990||H125 POA|
|14||Joern Schaenzler||Andrew Barker||Porsche 911||1984||
|15||Steve Morris||Rob Thomas||Volvo Amazon 131||1967||LHA 360E|
|16||Luke Allies||Angie Oliver||Ford Escort Mexico||1973||OHK 716M|
|17||Dave Hansford||Jill Hansford||Austin Healey 3000 Mk2||1961||2290 VD|
|18||Brian Dwelly||Janette Dwelly||Morris Minor 1000||1959||226 ENY|
|19||Colin Woodage||Mark Church||Morris Mini Cooper||1968||MRD 222F|
|20||Neil Lott||Darryl Cleevely||Ford Escort Mexico Mk1||1970||XCV 683J|
|21||Mark Highfield||Julie Highfield||Morgan 4/4||1968||KWM 685G|
|22||Steven Edwards||TBA||Triumph Stag||1974||HIA 7917|
|23||Ken Edwards||Paul Richardson||Rover P6||1963||FLK 151|
|24||John Smith||Chris Campsall||Suzuki Cappuccino||1994||M510 RWG|
|25||Diane Hall||Dick Hall||MG Midget MkIII||1968||JDX 945F|
|26||Terry Powell||Janet Powell||MGB GT||1969||CGT 187H|
|27||Jeff Deung||Jack Deung||MGC Roadster||1968||60 GYF|
|28||Derek Peckett||Kath Peckett||MGB GT||1973||UGN 273M|
|29||Paul Rogers||Charlie Rogers||Mini Cooper S||1967||SRR 84F|
|30||Jeff Lawler||Tom Lawler||Austin Mini||1971||FYH 980J|
|31||David Firth||Thomas Firth||Daf Rallysport||1974||DAF 1|
|32||Lourdes Brackenridge||Glen Brackenridge||Sunbeam Harrington
|33||Ed Chambers||Mags Sizer||MGB GT||1981||RPV 69W|
|34||Paul Goulet||TBA||Fiat 126|
|35||Andy Weltch||Trevor Warner||Nissan Pao||1989||F425 AAB|
|36||Mike Rysiecki||Steve Jenkins||Fiat 124 Spider||1982||XYT 968|
|37||Don Grey||Steve Grey||Lotus Elan S4||1970||KRX 767H|
|38||Robert Madge-Miall||Lisa Moulder||Volvo Amazon||1967||OUC 1F|
|39||Leslaw Zieleznik||Jolanta Zieleznik||Porsche 924S||1987||D480 FYM|
|40||Nigel Green||Melanie Green||Land Rover S11a||1967||KVF 84E|
|41||Amanda Denny||James Denny||MG Midget||1972||VVU 225L|
|42||Paul Gerring||Jan Gerring||Triumph TR5||1968||SAO 440G|
|43||Fred Wakeling||Frances Wakwling||Porsche 911 Carrera||1984||B397 RLO|
|44||Colin Weekley||TBA||Austin Healey 3000||1960||3703 HX|
|45||Martin Packman||Richard Kirby||Triumph TR4||1964||BFL 218B|
|46||Colin Mitchell||Tina Davison||Triumph TR5||1968||VWT 850F|
|47||Nick Gurney-Sharpe||Duncan Mathewson||Mini Cooper S||1967||SMT 76F|
|48||Allen Houghton||Beverley Houghton||Mercedes 300SL||1988||F199 OYO|
|49||Richard Scott||Helen Scott||Mercedes 280SL||1969||BLF 48H|
|50||Peter Hickman||Joan Hickman||Did not show||Austin Healey 3000||1960||MPV 158|
|51||Richard Hornsby||Jane Hornsby||MGB||1975||HTC 395N|
|52||Martin Cooper||Sahana Cooper||Austin Healey||1960||6077 VW|
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23rd September 2012
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Wet wet wet; no not the 80’s pop group; this year’s weather.
I stood with the marshal at the lunch break for 30 minutes and got completely soaked by the heavy horizontal rain. The marshal had to stand there for two hours in order to check all of the cars in, and then out again - such dedication! Where would British motorsport be without volunteer marshals?
Perversely, the weather on Saturday was glorious, more like normal Harvest Tour weather, and more than 30 people turned up for the complementary navigator training session. Unfortunately I was a bit optimistic in the amount that could be done in the two hours available and some of the exercises I had planned ended up as homework.
After dinner on Saturday I had organised a competitive scatter rally which 14 crews had entered. As in 2011, this event was won by the local expert, but it was interesting to see how much the less experienced crews have improved since last year’s attempt. Perhaps, if I run this event next year, I will reduce the amount of navigation and increase the time for driving so as to level the playing field a little.
Sunday started fine and all 50 starters were able to get through scrutineering without getting wet, but the rain started soon after we left the HQ hotel on the A4 near Reading.
The first section took in the lanes around Stratfield Saye, the estate given to the Duke of Wellington after his success at the battle of Waterloo, including a drive around the Wellington monument after permission was given by the estate manager. This section included a couple of tricky junctions with strategically placed controls that saw a number of crews being told they had a wrong approach. Also a modification of the route to the coffee stop, due to a bridge being closed, created a little confusion with some crews arriving at coffee having missed part of the route.
The coffee stop was hosted by the National Police Improvement Agency facility at Bramshill where crews were allowed to enter the 16th century mansion to take coffee and examine the many exhibits relating to the history of policing.
The second short section visited the lanes around Silchester, including a drive alongside the Roman walls of Calleva Atrebatum. The nearby ford was, as usual, no more than a splash despite the rain, and some of the puddles were beginning to present more of a challenge.
The lunch halt was at the Milestones; Basingstokes Museum of Living History. Here cars were parked on the picnic field where, in previous years, crews have enjoyed sitting on the grass to eat, or casually working around looking at the cars. This year crews sprinted across the field to the café and hid until it was their time to leave.
The longest section of the day was from lunch back to the HQ hotel, and the torrential rain was making the driving harder, with some lanes actually flooded. The route took in the views over the North Downs before skirting the Aldermarston facility and heading back to the finish.
Despite the weather everyone was in high spirits when they reached the finish and some said that the arduous conditions made the event even more exciting. So much so that over thirty crews immediately reserved places on next year’s event. I guess that means we are going to have to run one.
Finally I must mention the marshals again. Most of them managed three controls during the day in the most horrendous conditions and we never saw anything but smiles from any of them. I have nothing but admiration for them and the round of applause they received from the entrants at the finish was well deserved.
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A novice's view -Andy Weltch and Trevor Warner
I must say that before this event, I (Andy) hadn’t actually considered myself a novice. I’d done several scenic tours over the past couple of years – gently trundling around the countryside, with time to take in the views and stop for a picnic.
So I had no hesitation in inviting my old friend Trevor to join me for my first Classic Harvest Tour. “Tulip navigation is easy,” I told him. “Anyway there’s a free session on Saturday to explain it all.”
When we sat down for that Saturday session under tutor Terry Schraider, I began to suspect I had misjudged. Our beers on the table perhaps indicated we hadn’t been prepared for the informative tutorial that followed – much less the navigational exercises we had to complete.
“Honestly, Trevor – we won’t need all this tomorrow. It’ll be simple – this is just background for people who want to do more serious events.” I’m not sure he believed me. I wasn’t sure I believed it myself.
Out in the hotel car park afterwards, we inspected the arrivals for the evening’s scatter event, which we had taken care not to enter – saving our limited energy for the main event on Sunday. These were purposeful-looking cars – roll cages, full seat harnesses, trip counters, even holders for a set of highlighter pens.
Our equipment comprised a clipboard and a pen. We didn’t even have an odometer that read miles – our Japanese import Nissan Pao talks in kilometres and doesn’t have a trip counter.
Despite our lack of preparation, Sunday started well – we turned the right way out of the hotel car park (!) and managed to stick to the route for most of the first stage. Somehow, however, we missed some instructions and arrived at Bramshill for coffee ahead of schedule, along with one or two others. Never mind – more time to admire the amazing house and finish off the biscuits.
The next stage, with me still at the wheel, and Trevor getting more confident with the navigation, went even more smoothly. We may have missed the odd POP board (having somehow missed the note which explained what LWAT meant), but the “Easilarity” instructions really suited us – no mistakes and we got to the Milestones museum for lunch on time.
By now the weather was pretty grim, so a sit-down in the museum café and a browse of the gift shop gave us a welcome break.
We swapped seats for the afternoon, with me on navigation (oh dear) and Trevor at the wheel. Guessing at mileages isn’t the ideal way to navigate an event like this, but we only missed a few turns (I know this is like a waiter saying “I only dropped a few plates”) and actually reached the final checkpoint ahead of schedule. Oops – that was worse than being late!
Anyway, we made it back to the hotel for tea - and somehow we didn’t come last.
Many thanks to Terry and Helen for a superbly organised event, hats off to the marshals for their good cheer and efficiency in miserable conditions, and thanks to everyone else for making us – and our funny little car – so welcome.
Andy Weltch and Trevor Warner
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