There are some detail that I am going to miss out on but suffice it to say that the trial report said it started very wet and became very much wetter. The earth beneath the grass squirted out like brown toothpaste and blathered everything.
This was before the event had even begun. Getting the tow vehicles into the site was difficult. I had difficulty which I don't normally, but when I saw two Defenders getting stuck I knew it was going to be a bad day.
The first two hills were just above the paddock area and we were already having to carefully choose a route to reach them.
My bloody clutch started playing up again, so I was leaping out of the car, laying in the mud and tapping the release lever with a hammer each time that happened.
By the second runs before lunch we found it impossible to get to the start of Hill 2 (our last Hill before lunch). We didn't feel so bad when we saw Ian Bell trying various routes to try and get there.
At the lunch break our scores were dire (I'd also got a couple of 12s for not getting to Hills before the second runs, due to the clutch problem).
We were cold, wet and dispirited. I also had a problem with my tow car.
We decided to pack up and clear off.
That's the first time I have done that in the almost 2 years I've been doing this.
Thinking about it I realised that since the December event we had only had either bitter cold winds, or deep mud, or both, at events.
This wasn't what I wanted to do. I don't enjoy being either frozen or wet or muddy or any combination of those.
The next event was a 2 day one in May. I feared that if I did that one and the weather was good I would fool myself that it was OK really and I was just being a pussy.
So I advertised the car wherever I could think of and after a couple of enquiries two guys from Bexhill-on-Sea paid me near-enough what I wanted and came the 300 odd miles to collect it.
To be honest I could have held out for a bit more, but was in "Get It Sold" mode and didn't bother arguing about the odd £100 or so.
They got a bloody good deal. The time I spent on the engine change and the power and torque it now has made it worth every penny.
I even fixed the clutch problem (as far as I know) by fitting a clutch return spring to the release arm. I think that the release bearing was just touching the clutch cover fingers and the jiggling as the cover revolved was encouraging the release arm to droop so that the release bearing was again jamming on the spigot shaft sleeve.
I got a Reliant Regal return spring which has a long extension at one end. This allowed me to fit it in the confined space so that it not only pulled the release bearing clear of the clutch fingers, but also slightly upward. Hopefully that will prevent the release bearing jamming again.
They have done their first event and apparently the car went well.
I sold the trailer with it (although they did have a bigger trailer already). I slightly regret that now as it is a good trailer.
This was them at it Darn Sarf
They are double-driving, which is a bit tough on cars, but I reckon it should stand up to that.
So that's it for the moment. I don't have any plans to get another car (at least until Global Warming finally gets here).
I've enjoyed it and the club members have been great. The events ran like clockwork and those that weren't a mud bath I really enjoyed. I didn't even mind the sub-zero events when the sun was out, but the murky wet and wind-swept ones were too much like self-flagellation for me......
(I also don't like getting up before 07.00 in winter. Yes. I am a wimp)