The Icicle Navigation Run

15 Nov 2019

Our annual competition for the Icicle Tankard - a Navigation Run organised by Caroline and Gruff Parry.

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Many thanks to Caroline Parry for this report.

This event was the annual navigation run for the Icicle Tankard and there were two classes - Expert and Novice. The signing-on venue was the classroom at David Hughes Leisure Centre where crews were issued with the route instructions.

Full results are below.

The organisers were delighted that all crews successfully finished this challenging 30-mile, 3½ hour event, which took in Menai Bridge, Beaumaris, Llanddona, the chimney stack at Llandegfan, Llanfair PG and Y Felinheli. The usual alphabet letter clues were laid, but this time 95 were scattered unevenly throughout the route, ranging from one clue on a long stretch to 10 clues on a single short mile of road. Four triangles were included, although one triangle (which had multiple great hiding places for clues) had none placed there by the organisers.
Navigation was deliberately tricky for this event, with separate sets of clues for Novices and Experts. The Novices’ written instructions included: full information about the four triangles; advice to plot triangles first; a fuller set of grid-references; fuller approach and depart information for each Via; an easy-to-read font; all clues in the correct order; and no red herrings. Plenty of help with plotting was available and advice and reminders given as crews departed the start venue.
In contrast, the Experts’ written instructions included; fewer grid-references, spaced much further apart; missing approach and depart information for vias; missing information for triangle locations; 13 black spots to be plotted first - deliberately scattered across the entire map and 12 of which were red herrings; a deliberately hard-to-read font for all information; the white road used in the first mile was only hinted at in the Notes section; and finally all clues were given out of order, which took the Expert crews a little while to spot!! A further challenge was accidentally provided through the need for four amendments discovered during the plotting session by the crews themselves. The first crews to leave the start spent at least 30 minutes plotting their route; while all crews had plotted and departed after 45 minutes. We hope all crews enjoyed the navigational challenge and are proud of successfully completing the event.

At the finish venue, all gathered to discuss the route, ask questions and compare notes while the results were compiled. Will Hughes had found a W accidentally placed upside down and masquerading as an M, he was also one of the few competitors to successfully find a small road and it’s 3 clues in Beaumaris. A particularly impressive feat as he completed this event solo, driving and navigating by himself. Well done Will! It was great to find out that all crews managed the infamous, steep and narrow ‘chimney-stack’ road, however several crews were temporarily lost in the Llangoed area. Derwyn and Eluned swapped driving roles and this time around had no problems with getting stuck under the bridge in Y Felinheli. Well done Eluned! All crews were presented with a runner-up prize and a warm round of applause, particularly one crew who had not previously competed on any events of this type. Well done to David Craddock and Dylan Bargate for beating an Expert crew on your first Nav Run event. Kieron Chapman and Glyn Bargate also returned after 15 years away from Navigation Runs. The club warmly welcomes new and returning members.

Both crews who were placed first in their respective classes, Novice and Expert, were presented with festive flowers and chocolates. Congratulations to Dion Bee, Osian Jones and Morgan Owen for not only winning the Novice class but placing 2nd overall, beating two Expert crews!

Merfyn Williams and Duncan Littler completed a perfect run of 2019 Navigation Run events. They have consecutively won the St Dwynwen’s Navigation Run (January 2019), the March Hare Navigation Run (March 2019), the October Roamer Navigation Run (October 2019) and now the Icicle Tankard Navigation Run (November 2019). They will collect the overall winners’ prize - the Icicle Tankard trophy - at the annual club awards evening in the January (event details to be announced).

Congratulations to all crews for completing the Icicle Navigation Run 2019.
Thank you to Plas Menai for the finish venue and to David Hughes Leisure Centre for the start venue. Thank you to Gruff Parry for organising this event.

1st Overall, Expert, 71 points - Duncan Littler and Merfyn Williams + Cadi + Alwen Williams
2nd Overall and 1st in Class, Novice, 62 points (furthest cleanest) - Dion Bee and Osian Jones, Morgan Owen
3rd Overall and 2nd in Class, Expert, 62 points - Will Hughes
4th Overall and 2nd in Class, Novice, 61 points - David Craddock and Dylan Bargate
5th Overall and 3rd in Class, Expert, 60 points-Derwyn Roberts and Eluned Roberts + Ella + Mari
6th Overall and 3rd in Class, Novice, 54 points-Meirion Wyn Gadd and Ffion Parry
7th Overall and 4th in Class, Novice, 48 points-Kieron Chapman and Glyn Bargate
8th Overall and 5th in Class, Novice, 41 points-Catrin Jones and Rhian Owen Jones
9th Overall and 6th in Class, Novice, 30 points-Nigel Griffith and Sion Griffith


The event begins with signing on at 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Please report to the classroom in the David Hughes Leisure Centre, Menai Bridge, LL59 5SS - map reference 114 or 115/547 723. Ordnance Survey mao 114 (Anglesey) or 115 (Snowdonia) will be required. The finish will be at the Plas Menai bar at 10pm, with results announced within half an hour. Everyone is welcome to join us for a drink and natter while we compile results.

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