Chairmans Ramblings – February 2018

I was surprised that January club night was well attended as being on the 2nd Jan I had thought that most people would still be recovering from Christmas and New Year celebrations and thus would not come – however over 30 attended and we had a short but interesting discussion re marshalling with Paul Wiltshire who is area co-ordinator of The British Motorsport Marshals Club.

The following Sunday was our annual Autotest this time held at Yatesbury Field. It was a cold, windy but basically dry morning and competition was fierce with Paul Freeth beating Chris Foxley by just 1 mark – a very close thing. If Chris had had the roof down on the first test then he would have been able to see better going backwards and might have won.

The following Friday was Paul Freeth & Chris Head’s 12 car starting and finishing in Crudwell. All on Map 163 it was a different area to normal. Only 5 starters (and 4 finishers) it was won by Ollie Keats & Gavin Bull starting the year as they mean to go on. We need to use the standard set of regs that are available and having modified with start,finish and map numbers get them circulated to the other local clubs in the hope of getting more entries. Janet and I did a control & 2 code boards near to Duntisbourne Abbots and then 1 code before another control near Minety. Timing was just right for us – got to the 1st control with 10 mins to spare and the 2nd with 20 mins to spare. However I did have a bit of a problem as my edition of 163 was produced in 1981 and not only have they now made most of the A419 dual carriage way which meant you couldn’t turn on to or off of it they have added ‘B’ roads by South Cerney which didn’t help in finding my way. Although not actually raining the roads were wet and muddy which meant driving was tricky. Most crews seemed to have had a good evening.

Janet, Chris Foxley, David Iles and myself went to a MSA Officials & Safeguarding Seminar on Sunday a fortnight later at Newport. We had to be there at 9;30 so yet again it was an early start. The journey down was mist/drizzle/rain all the way and you couldn’t even see The Severn when crossing it but knew you had by the bridge and the toll. I still can’t work out why you have to pay to get into Wales but could understand if you had to pay to get into England although I have heard that the toll is going to be abolished fairly soon as they have made enough money to pay for the bridge and it’s upkeep. We were split up onto different tables and I don’t think any of us knew anybody else there. The morning session I found pretty boring and didn’t learn anything new. In the afternoon Janet & David went off to the safeguarding bit but Chris & I stayed where we were. I did learn things in the afternoon and it was good to network with other organizers from different disciplines of Motorsport. The journey back was in very heavy rain and the M4 was quite busy.

Next up was our awards dinner at The Crown. About forty people came which was a good turn out. Food and service was good but there was still some background noise despite the fact that we had the restaurant to ourselves and this did detract from both the raffle ( which raised £110.00 for Air Ambulance ) and the awards presentation. It was Chris Foxley’s last time in this job and all the awards were nicely polished and shining – Andrew Purnell has something to live up to! I was honoured, flattered and also miffed to get the Jan Baillie Award jointly with Janet – honoured and flattered to know that the club appreciates or efforts but miffed because the committee conned both of us by letting us think it was going to be given to somebody else when we had all decided who was going to be the recipient. Ollie & Gavin won most of the awards but Martin Satchell was overall champion. For those of you who don’t know Devizes and District Motor Club have also won an award – that of Best ASWMC Road Rally for The Devil’s Tour – well done to all the organisers for putting the event on even if we didn’t think it went down well – just shows how wrong you can be!

That is it this month apart from a reminder that the autosolo at Kemble is on Ferbruary 25th and your help in any way is welcome.

by Keith Edwards