Welcome to the eighth running of the Pheasant Plucker navigational rally. For 2005 the Pheasant Plucker will be breaking new ground. Instead of using the same old roads in Hampshire and Sussex, Guildford Motor Club have teamed up with Chelmsford Motor Club to run the rally in East Anglia. While some of the southern crews may consider this to be a bit of a trek, we believe that those who do make the journey will find the result well worth the effort. We also hope to attract some new crews from East Anglia and the Midlands. The event is open to member clubs of the ASEMC, ASCMC, LCAMC, AEMC and EMAMC.
Starting and finishing near Chelmsford, the route will be 192 miles of the best lanes in Essex and southern Suffolk. The route will contain about 8½ miles of white roads, including the odd airfield. In keeping with other CMC events, this rally will support the Essex Air Ambulance charity so we hope competitors will add their financial support as this has no doubt proven to help pave the way to use some of the roads that may otherwise have become PR issues. As this is not the Preston (you can enter that in a couple of months time) the whites are not rough, in fact many are concrete. However, like the Preston, timing will be via Liege clocks. To cater for those with thirsty vehicles (or small tanks) there will be two petrol halts.
To encourage beginners to try their hand at navigational rallying we are again running a Clubman's permit rally in parallel with the National B rally. This will run immediately after the main event and will use the same route and controls. This will allow anyone who competes on 12-car events to experience a full National B route without having to worry about plotting navigation on the move. Clubman competitors do not need a competition licence and will receive identical navigation to novices. Any genuine beginners who wish to compete may, at the discretion of the organisers, be given marked-maps to enable them to complete the route, although this will preclude them from being classified in the results. The Clubman event is open to all members of Guildford and Chelmsford Motor Clubs. Others are welcome to compete but must pay £4 for GMC 3-monthly membership.
As we believe the route to be long enough and tough enough to separate the crews there is no need for us to resort to tricky navigation. Experts and semis will receive straightforward plot and bash handouts, with the odd pre-plot section thrown in. Our aim is to slow competitors rather than to trick them and the intention is that both driver and navigator have an enjoyable night rather than ending up with a headache. If you are worried about the navigation (or even if you are not) please visit the web-site and have a look at last year's.
Novice and Clubman entries will have pre-plot navigation for the route to first petrol (using simplified versions of the expert/semi-expert navigation, including all control locations) and will be given marked maps for the remainder. Whilst we don't want anyone cleaning the event we don't want crews going OTL either, so we have included adequate opportunities for lateness recovery at various points along the route. As competitors ourselves we do not like standard sections that include 30m.p.h. villages or long sections of fast main roads, so you should find the minimum of these on the route. Where they cannot be avoided we will use neutral sections.
The start will be at the Regiment Way Golf Centre and we will be returning there for the finish and a traditional cooked breakfast. Bar meals, snacks and drinks of all types will be available before the start and competitors and marshals are encouraged to make use of this opportunity. The bar will, of course, be open but it may be better to stay on the soft drinks. Included in the entry fee for both the National B and Clubman rallies will be the cost of two breakfasts.
For competitors in the Chelmsford winter 12 car series, the event will be a double scoring round.
No road rally can run without a large number of marshals. We do not believe that it is fair to insist that competing crews all supply a marshal but we do ask that they make the event known to their club and encourage their friends and fellow club members to come out on the night. Any marshals that are able to stay out for the whole night will receive free breakfasts at the finish. All marshals' names will be entered in the prize draw.