By Paul Allen
Crews met up at Westlinton layby on the A7 for the March 12 car organised by Barry Lindsay. It was a cold, windy night with the threat of showers but the roads were mostly dry. The first expert clue looked like a list of 3 directions, but it was actually 9 craftily grouped together and they were giving us the direction that we were to depart grid squares. The route took us up around the 1542 battle ground, across the A7 and to 1 mile east of Longtown. TC2 to TC3 was a 4 min section using clock directions which did in fact take 4 mins due to the narrow and twisty lanes used.
TC4 was way down in Low Harker but first we visited a P Schatx checkpoint where he inspected our timecard. The clue was letters on the road that we passed through and we noticed the pet supplies shop at Westlinton crossroads. A herring bone then took us back north east up to Barry’s second control near Smithfield. The next clue was simple crossing of grid lines but the numbers were decoded into phone texting buttons. This took a lot of working out because the clue of (F=3) unintentionally led us to think it was a regular alpha-numeric code……..
It was a short section using Kirklinton church NAM and we dropped 10 mins, other crews either guessed the route or short cut, but Jerry H was heard to be doing some muttering….. TC6 was onto map 86 and here we were presented with a fancy new way of crossing Horizontal and Vertical grid lines, being told how many meters into the grid square we were. It looked confusing but once Tom worked it out, it was pretty easy to plot. So back onto 85, through Easton and to TC7 near Moat. The next section took us up into the very top corner of map 86, the route info had told us to pass near to spot heights, just set back off the road. This is cunning because you get used to looking for highlighted spot heights on the road itself. After briefly using 85 again for half a mile, we headed up to find TC8 and Paul Schatz again at the south tip of Kershope forest.
The final set of tulips brought us via 2 NAMs all the way down to the Robin Hood at Smithfield where the Mensa test was finally over. It had been a tricky event, but very rewarding to partake in and one that certainly served Jerry up with some of his own medicine. The route in general was very compact allowing marshals to do more than one control each. Very well planned and designed from an organiser’s point of view. So many thanks to Barry for his meticulous efforts and the marshals for making it such a success. Barry had provided us all with panic envelopes to find the control if we were lost and this may explain the unusually high number of fails. A good event, well executed.
12 Car Results
1st 1st Exp Tom Wilcox & Paul Allen 0 F 10 min
2nd 1st Nov Nigel Harkness & Helen Gibbon 1 F 34 min
3rd 2nd Exp Keith Taylor & Caroline Lodge 6 F 18 min
4th 2nd Nov Chris Thornton & Chris Ware 6 F 18 min
5th 3rd Exp Barrie Thomson & Jerry Hettrick 9 F 21 min
6th 4th Exp Tony Harrison & Neil Thomlinson 10F 44 min
Rtd Phil Jobson & John Ross Engine