4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Wellington Drive Round Day – 7th Mar 09
Words and Pictures by Lanes & Tracks – Jim Hancock

Glorious sunshine bathed us as we arrived at the Newcott Chef for what is now a tradition – big breakfast before a day offroad.

James was waiting for us to arrive and Tim joined us a few minutes later. The crew from Lanes Tracks and Trails were all new, with the exception of Simon, to the Wellington site and full of anticipation.

The site was very wet and the normal route was amended to compensate for this and the fact that none of the guest vehicles were equipped with a winch.

There was a good mix of vehicles all of which were shod with M/T’s. Maff in his lifted Jeep Cherokee, Bish in a Disco, Lee in the SWB Shogun, Nezzy in a Mk I SWB Pajero, OOG in a Suzuki Vitara Softop and Simon in a Mk II SWB Pajero.

As usual there was a very short road drive to the first test, a sharp twist and turn around some trees with a blind turn to the right where the ground is not visible to the driver, requiring a spotter to guide the vehicle around. This section claimed it’s first victim when Bish in the Disco started to slide down the bank and had to be strapped to the trees. Nezzy attempted a tow out but the vehicle was slipping further down the bank so Tim stepped forward with his winch to pull the car safely back onto level ground.

We then drove further down the woods through a very wet section which saw Simon needing a tug from Maff. Everyone else gave it enough throttle to get through to the other side.

Next was the dip into and out of the stream which could be done either way around – this time Nezzy needed hauling out by Bish.

Just along the valley was the next water crossing which gave the participants a choice of routes. Maff lead by taking the most challenging way to get from A to B and did admirably well in clearing the climb out, although all of the 4 litres of power was used me thinks!

The others all tried varied routes with varying degrees of success except Lee who strolled through effortlessly in the Shogun. Nezzy got bogged down and OOG was what could be described as being out of his depth. Maff was tow truck again!

Lunch was taken in the woods followed by a drive through the trees, which caught a number of the drivers out, including a couple of the SWB vehicles!! Waffle boards and scratching heads were in use to extract Nezzy after Bish had a good time shunting forth and back and sideways to get the Disco through.

From here it was down to the man made water splash which was sitting at about 0.5m so enough to make it interesting if you got it wrong! Luckily all made it through no problems and we headed off across some open moorland type ground – very tufty and wet. Once across this we took on a slippery gentle climb up through a woods before heading back towards the water section but taking a side slope around the water - Simon then had trouble again at the water, (he first struggled with this section back in early 08 when he was new to the site) it seems that he can slide in sideways without trying!!

We drove back up to the top site for the drops and axle twisters which saw Bish beached without a towel early on and then the tree stumps claimed several victims! The tiredness showed near the end when team spirit seemed to evaporate when Tim was left on his own to winch Simon off a stump whilst everyone else seemed to have a chat or a fag at the bottom of the slope!!

James then led the convoy around some wooded routes which saw a couple of weary trucks start to show signs of overheating so we gracefully withdrew to the start point and discuss yet another great 4x4 Adventures event. The feedback from everyone has been amazingly positive – Thanks James & Tim.

Some pictures from the day