HRCR Vale of Clwyd Historic Rally – 2nd to 4th September 2017

It was decided to give the Vale of Clwyd a go. It is a notoriously difficult regularity rally, cunningly devised by Guy Woodcock, to test both driver and navigator skills to the full.

Suzanne Barker very kindly said she would give it a go….she has navigated for some successful drivers in the past and is also a very fine competition driver. We had met up near Retford a month earlier and agreed we would compete together. Suzanne may also do the Rally of the Tests with Puff and me.

We agreed to meet at Signing On in Llanferres on Friday afternoon prior to the noise test, scrutineering and calibration, and then get to the Holiday Inn for a good night’s sleep.

With a sleepless night due to the traffic noise from the M65, we arrived for the Drivers Briefing at 8am. The first test was just 1 mile away…a tight test on a car park. Puff was going well, but steering was so hard to turn at lower speeds. May have been one of the slowest. Oops, not a good start.

From then on it was non-stop. Really difficult navigation and we made one or two bad calls. We were getting used to each other, and Suzanne knows her stuff. What a sweetie!

By lunch, we were getting more settled. The tests were tough, and on one we found a tractor barring the way with a resentful local glaring at us. He moved the tractor after 4 mins or so…oh well, cannot please everyone.

We made it to the finish, Puff still running strongly. We improved on our seeding by 2 places and actually ‘zeroed’ 3 controls, as well as being as high as 3rd on one test. Onwards and upwards. After another sleepless night, was driving Puff back to a Breakfast Meet at Project Shop. Thought it a good idea to stop and put in some ‘premium’ fuel which was sorely missed in North Wales.

5 miles down the road, 22 miles short of base, Puff stopped. Dreadful noise – Sim came out with trailer and got us back to base. What was wrong – poor Puff – I had only filled her with Ultimo DIESEL! What a dippy old woman! Will not live that down… ever!

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