4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
OEC International Winch Challenge
Bampton, 1st Sep 07
With the Bampton Site looming for the first time since early May there was a little anxiety displayed on some of the forums! Competitors knew the woods had been heavily thinned and the site had changed, was this going to make life even harder in what was a very dense, 80 acres pine forest with clay under foot?

As it turned out only a small section of the site was used. The area was bordered by two small streams with interlocking boggy ground and interspersed with trees making the going hard just to get to the punch areas! Suzuki's would have loved it for ease of manoeuvrability between the obstacles!

The teams were soon in and at it with Martin Gilpin putting in a formidable early start in his heavily customised tray-backed Discovery, unfortunately he was to be pained with both front and rear winch trouble that left him hung up from about lunch time, not to mention loosing a tyre off the rim which did not help issues. Meanwhile the firm favourites in modified class were going at it nice and steady, well they had to go steady with Jason codriving for a change and he needed to relearn the ropes. John Parkes (Modified) was making a good start as well, taking it nice and slow with the newly fitted auto to his Discovery tray-back. Meanwhile a first to the challenge scene David Hockley and Kevin Jackson were finding it interesting in their orange range rover classic with front and rear winches working overtime!

Mike Dunlop made a reappearance with Tony Cordell codriving for him. For a standard vehicle they could be seen taking on some of the trickier punches and giving it a good go as well, experience paying dividends in getting them through. Jay Clatworthy and Nigel Webber were back in Nigels cut down purple Range Rover, no wonder Nigel has so many stickers on it, that purple is bright! They too worked steadily through the day and were careful to pick and choose the applicable punches, the extra width of a Rangie causing some issues over that of a 90! (They hadn't felled enough trees!)

The punches were set aiming to have something for everyone, with several newcomers to the event there were some nice 'ease you into it' style punches, plus some harder ones for the more 'experienced' competitors. Even the illustrious Jason Farr and Paul Milsom didn't manage all of them. They did put in a great effort though winning the modified class with 33 punches, followed by a creditable John Parkes in his first year of competing with 19 punches. A special mention should go to Tony Cordell and Mike Dunlop in not only wining the Std class but also gaining more punches than the winners of Std +1. Shaun will need to pull his finger out to continue his previous high scores with the likes of Tony and Mike about.

Overall results:

Std - 1 aid (eg 1 winch, or 1 locker)
1st Mike Dunlop and Tony Cordell
2nd Nigel Webber and Jay Clatworthy
3rd Paul Radford and David Webber
4th David Tollboy and P Smith

Std + 1 (Slightly Modified) - two aids (eg 2 winches, 2 lockers or 1 winch and 1 locker)
1st Shaun Houghton and Ethan Dudley
2nd David Hockley and Kevin Jackson

1st Paul Milsom and Jason Farr
2nd John Parkes and K Wood
3rd Pete Mitchell and Adrian Pike
4th Martin Gilpin and Mark Gray
5th Graeme Mitchell and Rob Langley

As ever our thanks go not only to Paul and Anton from OEC International for sponsoring the event but also to Kevin Williams and David Lovejoy for their help in Marshalling and ensuring the smooth running of the day.

Some pictures from the event