Monday, 14 November 2011

Sunday 13th November - The South Coast Rally

With little preparation time after the Nachtrit rally the weekend before, it was lucky that Gertie needed nothing doing for this rally. A quick check of oil, water, brake & clutch fluids and a general check over on Saturday (including putting a wire back on the horn that had come off) revealed that all was well and we were ready for Sunday.
The signing on time of 9am near Lewes in Sussex meant a departure time of 7am and we made the cold foggy run down the A127, M25, A21 and down through Tunbridge Wells and onto what should have been the start location at Firle in Sussex. It was a pity therefore that Dave entered the finish location of Ringmer in the sat nav and we ended up there instead! With the route re-entered we continued our journey to the start and met up with some other Club Triumph peoples for breakfast.

Before long the official start time of 10am was on us and we were given our clues and started our plotting. We did quite well for the first half of the rally. We made both of the passage controls within the time limits and collected four out of the five code boards. We also came across a pheasant that no longer wanted to live and adamantly refused to get out of the way of the car. It was too late for me to avoid him and with a loud thud he hit the spotlight on the driver side and pushed it back into the front pane denting it! Stupid bloody thing!
After tea and biscuits at the halfway stage, we were given our next clues which turned out to be a lot harder. On our travels we also managed to get stuck behind a tractor that was trimming a hedge and couldn't get past him for about five minutes. This was bad enough but we then came up to a passage control, went to get our time sheet signed only to be told, 'sorry the PC closed three minutes ago'! Arse!
Never mind, we carried on regardless and by the end of the second and final stage we had collected another four code boards. (If you aren't on the right roads or tracks you wont see these and they will be counted as fails)
At the end of the route, we made our way to the finish location, (where we had already been that morning!) handed in our time sheets and awaited the results. I went out to inspect the car and found that over one of the bumpy sections I had caught the tyre on the wing and bent the wing lip down, which caused the paint to crack as well. Bummer! two lots of damage to repair now!
Back in the pub, the results were announced and we had finished 1st in class and 3rd overall. We were very pleased with that as we didn't think we'd done that well.
 Once again Gertie had performed faultlessly and the drive from Sussex back to Essex was also made with no further issues. Unless anything else comes up suddenly, this was my last rally for 2011, so I can now concentrate of prepping Gertie's new 2.5 engine for next year. What a shame the fun has to stop and the work has to begin! :-(
(Gertie before all the accident damage!)

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