RAM 12 Car Report

Second round of the Club Night and the On Road Championships, the ‘Richard Archer Memorial Rally’, organised by Brian & Bob, starting from the Anvil Public House in Congham, on the menu sixty-ish miles of very slippery roads on 132.
Nice easy start with a simple herringbone out of the pub car park, circuit of Roydon to TC2 in Fowlers Plantation, always good to have a straight forward start although it was soon obvious that minutes would be precious as even with a large amount of fast yellow we were still a minute down. Grid line crossings to TC3 north of Flitcham and another minute gone on another straight forward section. Grid line avoids to TC4 west of Houghton, minor excitement on this section as Hugh managed a straight on at T as he ‘rolled up’ to the first junction while I was plotting, fortunately saved by the white, and then a missed the slot right to the east of Anmer, three minutes dropped at TC4 with the wrong slot accounting for one of them.
Coded junction instructions to TC5 in Harpley Dams, navigation sorted reasonably quickly but time for another classic driver own goal, turning left onto the A149 got the OK from Hugh that he knew where we were and knew exactly where the as map triangle back towards Harpley was, so left him to it while I tried to make sense of a TR in the middle of Harpley when I was expecting a TL, well we were on the outskirts of East Rudham when I realised all was not well, back on the correct route we were caught by Robert and Jonathan just before being submerged in a deep and icy puddle of pig sh*t, my preference is to let cars pass but decided not to as I had a feeling every second was going to be needed and we were almost in the control, two minutes dropped on this one, all down to the wrong slot. More grid lines to the pre-plotted TC6 at West Rudham, easy section having let Robert & Jonathan past opted to let them show us the way.
Coded grid of clock face junction instructions to TC7 east of East Rudham. Not one for the optically challenged navigators, failed to spot the sneaky ‘Bb’ in the third instruction resulting in a missed triangle and a ten minute bonus. In my defence I did see the Δ in the middle of the grid and while having a second hunt through the instructions missed the slot left in GS8229 and another minute gone! Grid square departs to TC8 south of Shereford and the end of time card 1. Another two minutes dropped here, but all down to the geriatric in the left hand seat. Seven sections gone and ten minutes of lateness gone, things were looking OK-ish.
Via three cross roads to TC9 west of West Raynham and the wheels began to wobble. Sat for ages at the first junction looking for a board on the double triangle, then looked for the trick, then opted to follow Paul & Matthew. No need for mensa navigation, all you need is a triangle with no board and I’m done for. So far we’d sort of been going generally in the correct direction, not any more, followed Paul & Matthew into West Raynham then decided to try a different route, why? Came across John & David doing some plotting for the next section so turned round and back to the original route and six minutes gone, just like that! Quite cleverly coded grid squares to TC10 east of Whissonsett and the wheels were now very loose. Navigation was fine, just a senior moment towards the end of the section and a serious wrong slot as we met Robert & Jonathan travelling in the correct direction, another six minutes and things were no longer looking OK-ish with only eight minutes of lateness left and another two envelopes and four sections to go.
Coded spot heights to TC11 to the west of Tittleshall and finally a clean section. One envelope left and the puff left my sails, grid references to TC13 to the east of Great Massingham via TC12, I hate grid references. Got them down reasonably rapidly, for me, with most of them plotted correctly but another six minutes gone, not helped by a bit of reversing to pick up the triangle in GS8620 that I had forgotten to call. Nightmare in Weasenham All Saints as a mis-plot had us in danger of disappearing up our own exhaust, we were very fortunate to make it to TC13 on our last minute. All that was left was a run back to the pub. Expectations were not high, although I felt we had brightened up the evening for the crews that had come across us travelling in opposite directions, I was fairly confident if there was an award for most miles covered then we would be in with a shout.
Pleasantly surprised when our names were last out of the hat and Hugh was very happy to receive the rather spectacular trophy presented by Dave. Thanks to Brian, Bob, all the marshals and everyone who made it an evening to remember.