When the Hardy Teams set off from Land's End in glorious sunshine for HERO's LE JOG on 6 December, they had no idea of the tough conditions in store. A ford in Bury, south Wales was the first car killing challenge on the three-day enduro to John O'Groats, with a restart required after the crossing.
Deeper into Wales, temperatures dropped well below zero and the dark,icy roads resulted in many late arrivals at controls. After wheel bearing problems hit their VW Beetle, Robert and Edward Kiff thought their event was over but they went on to take a Gold Award.
Snow added to the trial as cars arrivedinYorkshireand, combined with sheet ice, led to stages being abandoned. Front-runners Sue Shoosmith and Catherine Woodhambattledonintheir openvintage Bentley, with even a scary slide failingto deter this spirited duo.
After a welcome night’s rest in Carlisle, the survivors pushed on through freezing rain into Scotland. A reminder of this regularity’s camaraderie came when crews stopped to help Robert McClean’s Rover P4 after a spin that blocked the road in the Forest of Ae. The weather continued to deteriorate before the much-anticipated Rest and Be Thankful hillclimb, and a blizzard had set in by the supper stop in Fort William.
Eventually,the conditions forced the cancellation ofthe lasttests and the remaining crews headed straight to the finish. The MGB pairing of Mark Godfrey and Geoff Awde had the lowest score and took a well-deserved Gold.
*The Shires host Round Two as the Challenge Increases