Vey many thanks to Lee Matthews for this report.
With snow and ice all around, organiser Sion Matthews was apprehensive of whether the event should go ahead, but had already put in place contingency plans, so it was a go. At four o clock in the afternoon the decision was made to alter the route, taking out the steeper hills and shortening the length slightly. Also, the start was moved to inside the warm Holland Arms Hotel, which would later double up as the finish venue.
Dafydd & Endaf did signing-on duties, and we were pleasantly surprised to receive a full entry yet again, twelve brave crews deciding to take on the challenge despite the awful road conditions.
After an initial blast down the A55 the symbols started at the Gwalchmai dump on the ice-covered back lanes. Symbols were deliberately placed as very easy to see by Sion this time, so crews did not have to brake on the black ice to record them as the slightest pressure on the middle pedal had the wheels locking up. The route looped back into the maze of Gwalchmai village itself, passing the pub twice from different directions, and a few of the crews had to retrace their steps to find the correct slots here.
South next, over the A55 to Engedi. Gabi got stuck on an icy climb here and slid back to the verge. They eventually got going again after a good run at the slope, but the time lost meant they had to cut route to get to the finish on time.
Section 2 started on a triangle near Bryn Du where I did a secret check, making sure Yvonne did not have the spot-lamps illuminated, her Micra the only car with auxiliary lamps fitted. I also got to check that all the crews had not plotted to go down a ‘white’ near Bethel, and those that had were corrected. Crews should not use ‘whites’ unless told to do so. CRO stands for Coloured Roads Only. A couple of minutes later each crew came back to visit me as this triangle was on a crossroads, and Sion had them downing a 360 loop around the grass triangle the second time, thus crews were to record the ‘3’ twice and the ‘H’ thrice! The route then headed through the dunes at Aberfraw, with the section ending at Hermon.
Section 3 started by the Bethel railway station and Jamie had a scary slippery moment at the slot back towards Bethel but got away with it. Bit of a blast up the B road, north to Capel Mawr where the road to Cerrigceinwen was extremely slippery with a number of crews getting very excited on an ice-covered 90 Left. The final small loop went through Llangristiolus, then a run down the A5 back to the finish.
Everyone arrived within the 3-hour time allowance, although half had to cut out at least a portion of the route to do so, including the last navigation run winners, Lee Threadgold and Sion Jones who found the RCZ was so low it was bellying-out against the frozen grass and snow down the centre of the lanes, thus reducing their pace.
With the route being straightforward, and symbols placed so easy to see, despite the road conditions we had a three-way tie for the win, Duncan/Iwan, Emyr/Aron and Dion/Cory recording all of the 99 symbols. Tomos/Dylan missed 2 symbols on a road in the maze of Gwalcmai in the beginning, and Yvonne/John missed 3 in different villages that were leaning against telegraph poles.
Crews swapped stories of a very enjoyable event at the finish, perhaps enhanced by the road conditions. Well done everyone. Thank you to Rachel at the Holland Arms Hotel. Great night. Sion and Winnie recovered the symbols straight after and two of the 101 symbols put out were missing!
=1. Duncan Littler / Iwan Evans; Skoda Octavia - 99 points.
=1. Emyr Owen / Aron Jones; Discovery – 99.points.
=1. Dion Rowlands / Cory Thomas; Ford Transit Custom - 99 points.
4. Tomos Parry / Dylan Parry; Ford Ranger – 97 pts.
5. Yvonne Matthews / John Evans; Nissan Micra K11 – 96 pts.
6. Gethin Williams/Carwyn Hughes/Paul Owen; Ford Focus – 94 pts.
7. Jill Clarke / Paul Clarke; Nissan Qashqai – 90 pts.
8. Rene Roberts / Cameron Jones; VW Polo – 89 pts.
9. Jamie Williams / Dominic Stephenson; Skoda Fabia – 88 pts.
10. Lee Threadgold / Sion Jones; Peugeot RCZ – 73 pts.
11. Gabi Tsantanis / Catherine Thomas; Suzuki Ignia – 42 pts.
12. Iwan Eddy / Cai Walters; Vauxhall Astra – 38 pts.
Maximum possible score was 99 points.
Sincere thanks to Sion Matthews and the team for organising the event. Thanks also to the Holland Arms Hotel for the use of their facilities and to Sion Matthews and Winnie Chen for the photos.
We will be checking that drivers and navigators comply with club membership and competition licence requirements - see below.
Applying for both is easy by following the links.
Navigation Runs are ideal for learning to plot a route and read a map, and provide good practice for anyone aspiring to compete in a road rally anytime soon.
This will be the fifth Navigation Run of the season, organised by Sion Matthews and team.
The start and finish venue is the Holland Arms Hotel, Pentre Berw, LL60 6HY - what3words location ///nerves.credit.received. Map reference 114/472 723½.
You will require OS map 114 (Anglesey/Ynys Môn), plus the usual navigation aids of poti, romer, pen/pencil, etc. Sign on at 19.00 hours.
Drivers and navigators need a valid club membership card. Join at Membership Application
Drivers and navigators also require a Motorsport UK Competition Licence of at least RS Clubman grade.
The RS Clubman licence is available free of charge via email at RS Clubman Licence Application