By Mark Taylor
Not a bad night for this years Pathfinders except that some were engaged getting things ready for the Pirelli/Richard Burns Foundation Rally. Should have been no contest really! Still, a turnout of 6 crews isn’t too bad and I had been concerned that entries after 19:30 wouldn’t have the daylight to get round fairly.
As always I try to test the crews. This year it was a red herring on the Grid reference at the start, spotted by our first starters Trudy & Caroline. It’s a good job I included a description of the start or I would have had a quiet night. I had a quick check of the clues to make sure I got the grid square references the right way around at least. Panic over.
Trudy and Caroline aka “Thelma & Louise” got away first after a 10 minute plot. Shortly after, John queried the grid reference on the 2nd clue also spotted by Helen. I’d hurriedly written the reference down when compiling the route and clues. Unfortunately for Caroline I typed out 42,60 when it should have been 42,66. A quick correction for the other crews at various stages of plotting, I hoped, meant a simple re-route. By the time I’d done this and then phoned Caroline, our Southern Belles had sailed past this point.
Anyway, the route: From the lay-by north of Kirklinton we headed north to Sandysike turning right. A couple of clues here before a nice blast up to the A7 and then to Fergushill. There were a couple of options to bring you towards Hethersgill before taking the loop up to Prior Rigg and Bolton Fell End. A drop down to Hethersgill was followed by a blast along Leaps Rigg before dropping into Walton and doubling back up towards West Hall. A detour through Lees Hill brought you back down to West Hall and a small ford (optional) to take a wide loop around Walton Wood and down past Lanercost Priory.
Taking everyone further from home we went along St Mary’s Vale up to Low Row and back along the A69 and on to the Farlam road. After Kirkhouse we took in the big loop around Forest Head and back to Talkin. We picked up the B6413 halfway between Castle Carrock and Brampton, heading into Brampton where apparently there was a road closure through Craw Hall. This was easily routed around to pick up the original route along Front Street which some crews obviously completed; unfortunately the clue was a little too cryptic. The route was finished via a long run past the airport and a detour through Scaleby before arriving at Skitby for a well earned drink.
Congratulations to Christine and John Ross who won narrowly on mileage count back from Mike Lindsay and Geoff Harkness. Equally tight at the bottom where Trudy and Caroline pipped Phil and Viv Jobson by combination of fewer time penalties and a shorter route taken. The bottom placed crew have the privilege of setting next year’s event.
Pos. Crew Clues Time Penalties Mileage
1st Christine & John Ross 12 1 44 miles
2nd Mike Lindsay & Geoff Harkness 12 1 45 miles
3rd Kenton Pattison & Neil Thomlinson 11 1 47 miles
4th Nigel Harkness & Helen Gibbon 10 1 44 miles
5th Caroline Lodge & Trudy 8 1 43 miles
6th Phil & Viv Jobson 11 4 48 miles