4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
J33P Winch Challenge
Wellington, 22nd/23rd Sep 07
A first for 4x4 Adventures, combing with J33P to put together a two day 'fun' event for J33P at the Wellington Site. Booked well over eight months ago when we were first approached by Mike Cuff there was to be a great deal of planning and forethought for the event. The aim was to produce a 2 day event that would cater for the standard vehicle but would also enable the modified guys and girls to be tested. The course should be challenging but non damaging and non vehicle specific, plus there needed to be an overall winner, rather than class winners.
The format of the weekend took on:
1. A 40 Punch Challenge, 15 of them driveable with the remaining 25 requiring at least one winch and some planning
2. Special Stage 1 - Wheel move challenge
3. Night Navigation stage

4. Special Stage 2 - Blindfold drive
5. 40 Punch Challenge

The 40 punch challenge was conducted in the normal 4x4 Adventures way with 200 points available for each punch. These points decreased in value as more vehicles in the same class achieved that punch, i.e. 1 vehicle punch = 200 points, 2 vehicles punch = 100 points etc. To even out the punch scores the Standard class were given the points for all their punches on Saturday whilst the modifieds were not given their Saturdays score unless they punched the same punch on the other side of the vehicle on Sunday. They would then score 400 points, 200 for each side. Standards could collect any punches on Sunday just needing to punch the other vehicle side.
The special stages needed to be non-damaging and appropriate to all vehicles regardless of vehicle capability (or driver) and the course needed to remain the same regardless of start time. Therefore a tyre move special stage was designed for Saturday. This consisted of a boxed off area with two smaller boxes within it. A tyre was located in one box and had to be moved to the other smaller box without stepping inside the big box! Needless to say this did involve the use of a winch and was particularly amusing for the marshalls running the event!
The night navigation stage again needed to be non damaging and the route needed to be driveable by all makes and types of vehicles present without the use of a winch. Some tulip diagrams were produced and the course was set. It was deemed to have a 20min winning time but the emphasis was on the punches. There were 5 punches located on the course which weren't marked on the tulip diagrams, plus the competitors did not know how many punches were out there. They were also not allowed to retrace their steps should they miss a punch or go wrong! Night Navigation is a slight expansion of the truth as in the end to avoid the risk of some trees being hit and both tree and vehicle damage we set them off a dusk. There were some quick times, Steve Gittins coming in in 10mins although he didn't get all the punches, proving that taking your time and decent map reading is the way forward with Chris McCullum winning the stage at 28mins but achieving all the punches.
Special Stage 2 was again designed to be a non-damaging speed event with an expected 5 minute stage time. Once the crew had decided who was going to drive the driver was given a blindfold and they were set off on the pre-marked route. Finish Times varied from 18mins down to the winning time (Chris again) of just over 6 minutes. A great way of developing trust in your co-driver, especially for Rich Sims with Jason Farr having only jumped in the co-drivers seat on Sunday morning in Richs 18 month old G Wagon!
To combine all the scores from the weekend each stage was given a percentage of the overall score. This breakdown was:
40 Punch Challenge Sat and Sun - 60%
Special Stage 1 -10%
Night Navigation - 20%
Special Stage 2 - 10%
And talking of breakdowns it was nice for once not to have too many mechanical issues for the weekend, but then I suppose that's the advantage of running jeeps instead of Landrovers. The only real breakdown being Craig Hope with rear diff problems in yes you guessed it - a Landrover.
The success of the event really comes down to the time put in by the organisers and marshalls and a big thank you must go to Mike Cuff and Chris McCullum for organising the J33P side of things, including a fantastic BBQ for Saturday evening, plus the Marshalls for the day Jason Farr, Tim Jones, Mark Booth and Charles Bishop. Cheers guys, I know it's a thankless task at times, your help is very much appreciated.
Overall Scores
SS 1
SS 2

Competitors Class Position Score Position Score Position Score Position Score Position Score
Rich Sims Std 6 29 7 7 3 8 12= 7 8 51
Mike Cuff Mod 13 0 5 8 DNS 0 9= 9 13 17
Steve Gittins Mod 11 16 14 5 12 3 2 16 11 40
Paul Hooper Mod 13 0 5 8 DNS 0 DNS 0 14 8
Craig Hope Std 9 21 3 9 10 5 6 12 9 47
Kris Murphy Mod 8 25 10 7 2 9 7 11 7 53
Chris Mccollum Std 7 28 12 6 1 10 1 20 4 64
John Piper Mod 3 35 1 10 9 6 9= 9 5 60
Paul Radford Std 1 60 10 7 11 4 8 10 1 81
Simon Redmond Mod 13 0 12 6 DNS 0 DNS 0 15 6
Andy Smith Mod 5 33 3 9 6 7 11 8 6 57
Cez Taylor Std 10 18 7 7 7 6 4 14 10 46
Kevin Williams Std 12 11 7 7 8 6 12= 7 12 32
Gary Andrews Mod 2 45 14 5 5 8 5 13 2 70
Paul Skinner Mod 4 34 1 10 4 8 3 15 3 68
  1st SS1: John Piper/Paul Skinner Overall Winner: Paul Radford
  1st SS2: Chris Mccollum 2nd place: Gary Andrew
  1st Navigation: Chris Mccollum 3rd place: Paul Skinner

Some pictures from the event