4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
4x4 Adventures Winch Challenge
Wellington, 31st Mar 07
After a small problem with sites, due to the wet March we were back to Culmhead (the Wellington site) for the 4x4 Adventures Punch challenge. The site is blessed with some excellent natural features and covers a wide area, so much so that we were able to use two new areas. This left the traditional 'quarry' and other areas longer to recover before the June event.

A slightly smaller field of 13 competitors compared to normal although it was good see some new faces, the J33P contingent increasing and Rus and Lewis back in their "new to them" Suzuki. The competitors working between the two areas, punches 1-25 in area A, a wooded area on the side of a hill which sloped down to an innocent looking flat area covered in leaf mulch. About 10 years of leaf mulch in fact with a good bog underneath. This coupled with some testing banks and ditches proved a technically challenging area, certainly more so that competitors probably first thought on entering the site. Punches 26-40 in area B, the punches strewn down a small stream and across its banks, the stream forming the main axis leading down to what was to become known as Ian's bog!

Competitors were free to pick and chose the punches and areas they wished to work in, some going all out for punch numbers whilst others worked on the more technical punches hoping no one else would get them (so they carried more points!) There were unfortunately a few breakages early on Rus and Lewis broke a drag link and then a CV, Jase and Shaun had a few teething problems with their rear 8274 (Has anyone mentioned that they won the Muddy Truckers? (along with Paul and Ade)) and unfortunately Scott and Dan Williams also developed steering problems soon after loosing their rear locker.

Some fantastic driving skills were displayed across the sites and range of competitors, plus some not quite as good! Of the 40 punches all of them were achieved, but no one vehicle achieved all 40 punches. Each class had some very well deserved winners who demonstrated good team work and control throughout the day, whilst escaping breakages and with that little bit of luck that we are all ultimately after.

Overall results:

Std - 1 aid (eg 1 winch, or 1 locker)
1st Keith Knight and Ben 990
2nd Ian Gildersleeve 973 - Retired 15:00, out of Ian's' bog by 17:00, on the AA truck by 18:30!
3rd Recca and Dunstersteve 923
4th Rus and Lewis 390 - Retired early after 1 hour

Std + 1 (Slightly Modified) - two aids (eg 2 winches, 2 lockers or 1 winch and 1 locker)
1st Jay and Nige 3500
2nd Shaun and Ben 1100 - Retired at 15:00 with engine problems

1st Kris and Craig 2777
2nd Paul and Simon 1383
3rd Jase and Shaun 1167
4th Mike Cuff and Sam 970
5th Angela and Darren 737
6th Scott and Dan 567 - Retired very early due to steering problems

Thank you to Mark, Tim and David for marshalling, recovery and clearing the sites and Angela and Jase's crew for helping to recover Ian from his bog.

Some pictures from the event courtesy of Richard Watson,
4x4 Adventures and Sean Farrow