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18 May 2018

The next generation

I have to start with the wonderful news that my lovely daughter Claire and her husband Ryan, who most of you know, have had my first grandchild, born on the 14th May at 22:23, it all happened a bit quickly, some 5 weeks and only 90 mins from booking in until the results were final!!

Much earlier than planned and according to Ian Canavan about 80,000 minutes early penalties, but I have to say Nell Mai Pickering and mother are doing well and will be heading home in the next few days all things being equal and it will be a new chapter in our lives.

Anyway back to the rallying and we have, since I last wrote, completed a very successful Summer Trial with over 75 cars competing. Based at the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield, owned by Steve Perez who also let us rip up the grounds of his house with tests all weekend. We had doubts whether this town centre hotel would work but all competitors, bar none, seem to love the new format, Daniel Pidgeon had his first taste of Clerk of the Course and did a great job, as did the rest of the Events Team and Marshals.

Once again it was a close battle at the front with just 5 seconds separating the top 2 and both had female navigators , now should I mention this or is it being sexist to highlight that 4 of the top 7 finishers had female navigators which I think is great for the sport. Elise Whyte who is a rising young star as well as Rachel Wakefield who at long last has a result she was always capable of when the car held together, as well as Susan Dixon and Helen Tanswell who also had great results. Maybe it’s the multi-tasking thing which we men apparently can’t do!! We also saw the next Bloxham generation out with Beth Bloxham navigating for Nick and having a wonderful time.

For next year’s Summer Trial and Hero Challenge we will be introducing a new Masters Class in which the top competitors will compete against each other for the title of 1st overall Master but will not be eligible to win the event overall, the full details will be in the ASR’s when entries open.

That’s it for now, off to see my granddaughter, then finish off the preparation for the Classic Marathon which takes place in Greece next month with 60 plus cars competing over 2,600 kms of roads with 42 regularities and 9 tests with 134 timing points so current average is between 1 and 1.5 secs per point, this maybe a bit higher at 1.75 secs, so best estimate on the final winning total is just under 4 mins, so let’s see!!

Guy Woodcock

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