4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Wellington Drive Round Weekend - 15th/16th Feb 20
Words and Pictures by James Trembath

Storm Dennis was on the horizon and the forecast was predicting plenty of rain and plenty of wind will be mad to go camping in the woods just for a bit of off-roading?

We had a couple of ‘sensible’ people who pulled out early on in the week leading up to the event. The rest of us who decided it couldn’t really be that bad in tents? Could it? We could give it a good go anyway, we could after all always come home...

Scott Copping was of particularly keen to give his challenge truck or run out before an upcoming competition at our Wellington site which would provide the ideal testing ground for the vehicle and codriver Kevin Luxton. Kevin was keen to join us in his newly acquired Td5 discovery although decided codriving for Scott would be a better option. Tony Headley came up for the Saturday, being sensible not to opt in on the camping. Tim James also joined us in his white Td5 590.

With an early arrival on Friday we had soon selected a sensible campsite, top part of the quarry against the foot of a 6' high earth bank, plenty of protection from the wind we hoped anyway!

Friday night turned out to be quite uneventful, just a little bit of rain Saturday morning before the deluge was upon us. With Scott leading the way he and Tony with Kevin headed off to check out some the tracks Scott being in his challenged prepared truck was quite keen to tackle some of the more demanding sections that we don't normally use. Then he could test the winches fully and prove that the truck to be capable and reliable. As the day progressed so they moved on up to the Island. The wind had brought down a fair bit of damage with several trees blocking some routes. Progress was hampered a little bit with route collect clearance but none the less the team kept on moving, their progress only hampered slightly by the wet ground under wheel.

Towards the latter end of the day they started to tackle slightly harder sections still, working to keep out of the woods as much as possible with some of the conifers not being at one with the wind, root bases are not that deep in these plantations!

Scott tackled a long deep mud run, well he was about to when there was a small cab electrical fire for the gear box cooler fan. A switch failure being the cause on the selectable sender side. The switch bypassed he then dropped in the mud run and gave it a superb effort, winching just the very end. Unfortunately the steering pump decided it had worked too hard at this point and promptly gave up! Time to call it a day for all, it was by now just starting to get dark!

Saturday night proved a good test of the various tents and sleeping compartments as Storm Dennis gave its all. Conclusion was the roof tents need a way of keeping the storm flaps over the zips secured down, the Oztents worked well but the sleeping in the Pinzguager provided the best protection, just a shame its soo slow going anywhere!

Sunday saw us working hard in the quarry section whilst being battered a little more by the weather. Some good routes down there with plenty of challenges, and hard work too. Sunday lunch had us back in camp and starting the strip down, lots of wet tentage to dry out now! At least next week for our Wales trip the Metropole hotel will being giving us better shelter!

The weather didn’t help the photography so please excuse the limited photos.

Some pictures from the weekend