4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Wellington Drive Round Day – 22nd June 14
Words by James Trembath, Pictures Tony Dunstone

Our first Wellington outing of the season started with everyone on time and glorious weather! What more could we ask for? Matt Mills from MGM Services had come down to give his trayback a run out and test for overheating and running in water – it still didn’t like either much! Keith Dare in his very capable black hardtop Puma 90, Mike Joslin in his newly ratioed Transfer box Jimmney, and Tony Dunstone in his well prepared 90 pickup.

We started up on the island to help everyone warm back into the world off roading and give the vehicle a little shack down. Wellington is a little tighter between the trees so you have to keep your wits about you all the time, starting with some technically easy tracks allows everyone to get into the swing of things gently. Having said that some of the climbs proved a challenge! The Beast Climb in particular with a root step two thirds of the way up saw most people out with the winch with the lead vehicle being the only one to clear it. Granted Matt had already parked up by now to let the motor cool down. The lead vehicle was not to be so lucky later in the day on Tight Corner where roles were reversed and it was the only one to winch out of it, everyone else drove out. Some with bigger B******ks than others!

Mikes and Chris had fantastic fun with the little susuki, the only issue being, as always, ground clearance, once grounded the two options open were then winch out or get Matt to lift the vehicle out, they are great these light off roaders! So deep ruts and cross axles were now a thing of the past for them it was on to find greater challenges!

Windy wood was great for entertainment, with some optional loops and some climbs to contend with the more aggressive vehicles could be pushed to the limit whilst the remainder of us continued with the main route, some still requiring the odd winch pull here and there (Deep ruts and No Matt at the time!) Thank you Keith for your assistance.

The Moor, post lunch provided some great tracks to work with. After the winters wind and rain the routes now take in some technically challenging sections through deep bog runs as they twist through the upturned root bases. Plenty of obstacles to keep your eyes open for and concentration levels high. Sams pond was surprisingly deep with a nice layer of sludge too! However this was nothing like Puggers Hole which as Matt and Tony found out was a great deal harder to drive than what they first imagined. Despite having been driven several times within the last ten days the silt had settled again (firm). This making it hard work for the first vehicle to ford it ways through. It became easier after that, but by no means made it an easy! Tony and Matt were the only two permitted to give it a blast, we deemed it a little too much for the other vehicles, although the choice was left with them if they wished to give it a go.

To finish the day we took on the technical descents on the far side of ‘Bumps & Dips’. Some long twisting drops with plenty of stumps and roots to keep you on your toes! The Bumps & Dips themselves proved a technical challenge to finish on. Matt managed to cover everyone on mud and still didn’t make it (nicely). Tony and Mike both enjoyed the challenge of their first time through, and Keith – well he made it look easy! Experience is a great advantage!

Some pictures from the day