4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
4x4 Adventures Winch Challenge
Wellington, 24th Oct 07
A very cold start to the day with ice on some of the water sections had all the makings of things being interesting! Exactly as Jason Farr from Team OEC found out, as despite being a driver he was drenched from shoulder to toe by 10:30! Some of the water was a little deeper than expected!

For the least event of the season we went for a slightly different layout this time around. The course was split over three main areas and competitors were given an information sheet at Scrutineering showing the punch areas on a map with guidance and directions to the locations. This in itself proved testing enough for some with map reading skills being a thing of the past!

With 16 cars turning out for the day we had a good spread of competitors and experience in each of the three classes with some new to us competitors as well. Kevin Saunders and Ben Wild joined us from Bristol and West Off Road Club in standard class along with David White in his well-prepared white V8 90. Despite not having a winch Ben put in a sterling effort and achieved 7 punches putting him 12th overall and 6th in class - not bad at all! Jonathon Mortimor and Dominic Rower also joined us with their traybacked 110 for the first time up from Dorset 4x4 in Std+1 class, despite having some rope issues early on they continued throughout the day putting in a great effort. Ian Moulsdale and Simon Parsons also came along from the day, again in standard class they both put in sterling efforts achieving some difficult technical punches whilst finding their feet for the style of event.

Competition regulars Steve Gittins and Mark Morgan (Team Gigglepin) returned sporting a Gigglepin twin motor top housing for their front 8274 and having seen it working in Ian's bog I don't think anyone could fail to be impressed, its smooth and very fast, ideal for competition use, if only they were running one on the rear as well! Steve and Mark were keen to give Team OEC (Jason Farr and Paul Milsom) a good run for their money these two teams were likely contenders for the first modified place. Both are running traybacked 90s with the usual assortment of Challenge additions; Boggers or Simex, ARBs, Ashcrofts shafts and CVs, and cages. Whilst well prepared to get the vehicle through the terrain and protect the occupants I think a little more prep on waterproofing, or even fitting some door seals would have helped them stay dryer in the day!!!

Dan Need and Ian Stokes returned after missing some of the summer events to give Paul Radford a run for his money in Std class, unfortunately Paul had to retire early although David White soon filled the mantle to fight it through to the end. Dan and Ian achieved 20 punches on the day, and excellent result for a std car although David was close behind with 17.

With more taped off sections and some new areas to contend with even the Wellington regulars found more than enough to keep themselves amused. Tim Jones with new codriver Charles Bishop had some interesting predicaments throughout the day, with Tim's new to him (Nick Walkers orange traybacked) Rangie nearly going over very early on punch 6. Tim had a few issues later in the day with two flats and two broken shafts although still managed a very creditable 3rd in class.

With great camaraderie, team work and fairness displayed amongst the competitors there was a fantastic atmosphere and our thanks goes to all those who have supported us throughout the year.

Our sincere thanks goes to the marshals; Shaun Houghton (who was also kind enough to supply hi-viz vests and stay on station all day), Mark Booth, Ian Gildersleeve, Kevin Williams, Simon Elvins and Keith Knight. Without their help, fairness and assistance in clearing the site, days such as this would'nt happen.

Our thanks also goes to Anton from OEC International for supplying a stock of well priced spares pack to keep the competitors in the game should they have trouble on the day.

Next year will see the launch of a joint OEC International and X-Engineering (X-Eng) sponsored Challenge series; registration will be available through our website from January 2008.

Overall results:

Std - 1 aid (eg 1 winch, or 1 locker)
1st - 1745 - Dan Need and Ian Stokes
2nd - 1145 - Dave White and Steve Knight
3rd - 995 - Simon Parsons and Chris Solway
4th - Ian Moulsdale and Ryan Price
5th - Kevin Saunder and D Nuun
6th - Ben Wild and Alex Hardie
7th - Paul Radford and Josh Jacobs

Std + 1 (Slightly Modified) - two aids (eg 2 winches, 2 lockers or 1 winch and 1 locker)
1st - 3067 - David Webber and Adrian Pope
2nd - 1667 - Jon Mortimor and Dominic Rowe
3rd - Bob and Dawn Smith

1st - 3437 - Team Gigglepin (Steve Gittins and Mark Morgan)
2nd - 2987 - Team OEC (Jase Farr and Paul Milsom)
3rd - Tim Jones and Charles Bishop
4th - Pete Mitchel and Adrian Pike
5th - Bert Smith and Dan Smith
6th - Graeme Mitchell and Rob Langley

Some quotes from LR4X4.com

QUOTE (Jason Farr @ Nov 24 2007, 08:47 PM)
James, you have excelled yourself, that was one of the best events yet, its good to see so many there enjoying the day and getting on with it. Some nice technical long sections, really well laid out punches.

We had an early bath, chest high sub zero water, and that was in the drivers seat. I thought the co-drivers were the ones who got wet.

Thanks to all the marshals who did a sterling job, a cracking event and still the camaraderie was mighty.

I love these events, roll on next season.

QUOTE (Dan Need @ Nov 25 2007, 07:09 PM)
Yep excellent event and worth all the rushing around to get the MOT sorted 2 days before! Thanks for the beep on the motorway by the you lot in the transit van to keep me awake as my co-driver was asleep before we got past the Taunton services (1 mile from the Wellington junction!).

Cheers again James and all the Marshal's for a great event. Wouldn't happen without all of you. Hope you enjoyed your drive around day today.

See you around.

QUOTE (Mark Morgan @ Nov 25 2007, 09:29 PM)
Finally back home and allowed on the computer. Many, many thanks to James and the marshals for what must surely be one of the toughest one day challenges for man and machine we've done in a long while. The amount of heavy clinging boggy mud on some of those punches has to be experienced to be believed.

So once again thanks to James and his loyal band of helpers and to all the other competitors who we have had the pleasure of meeting, competing against, and sharing some great memories over the past year. Long may this continue.

James, on behalf on the Welsh boys a great big thumbs up for a job well done. See you all next year I hope.

QUOTE (Steve Gittins @ Nov 25 2007, 10:51 PM)
Another excellent event. Many thanks to James and the marshals...

Many thanks to Jim (Gigglepin 4x4) for all the support and help getting the winch on there in time...

I think I speak on behalf of all the Welsh lads (Kris, Craig, Mark and myself) when I say many thanks to James for a year of some of the most enjoyable events we've been too with an friendly, atmosphere that's second to none. It's a shame I couldn't make it to a few more but I'm already planning time off to be sure to get to every one in 2008. It's a great credit to James that he has used this site a few times this year but every single time has found a way to change things enough and use new areas in ways to keep it fresh and different for each event.

QUOTE (Ian Mouslade @ Nov 26 2007, 05:44 PM)
My first event down south, very well organised and laid out. Got to say a BIG thanks to Bob Smith for all his help and advice over the weekend and for keeping me on 4 wheels when needed! Going to make a few changes for next year, looking forward to it!

Some pictures from the event