Despite tricky icy conditions for SS1 at Brands Hatch yesterday, the whole event ran tremendously well thanks to the sterling efforts of the set up and change round teams lead by Mark Andrews - Mandrews, Mandy or even Manboobs to his friends !
Mark is the Assistant Clerk of the Course responsibe for stage layout & set up. He's OCD with his cone alignement but we love him.
I will hereby name check the whole set up team, and to see if you are reading this allow you to remind of the people I forget.
Set up begins with getting the equipment ready - a few trips to Gosfield , including members not even at the event ( thanks Geoff Lobb, Vince Hawtree & Chris Holiday ). Then at 08.00 Friday a team of 4 loaded the club trailer at Gosfield and despatched Chris Slack in his Defender over the gridlocked bridge whilst Richard Nel diverted to Brands via the Blackwall tunnel.
Mark Andrews and Dave Judd then went to Wethersfield to join the team of 11 to load up 5 vehicles. First to arrive were Richard Bonner, Sue Taylor & Lee Earthy to load Ade & George Wardmans Sprinter with concrete pots for the signage. John Davie's fabulous trailer took Melbas & Cones, George Hendry a small van with Melbas , Dave Judds Trailer more cones and finally Dave Shaggy Saint and myself a hired 7.5 Ton truck to take about 550 cones & all our red & white traffic separators.
About 1000 cones in total- they didn't all get back in one piece.
John Conboy was first to Brands to direct circuit staff putting out tyre stacks and MSV's traffic separators. Ben & Karen Scott, Martin & Christine Newson, Alistair Brown, Stuart Kingham ( a helper at pre event eqipment prep) Alan Barnard, Dan Pearson & Matt Endean then set to work as the vehicles arrrived. A bit chaotic at times , but as darkness approached it was all but done.
The Clerk of the Course Gary Nicholls had to to do Timing Set Up , Dep C of C Ken Nicholls & Barbara Judson radio set up , Andrew Bisping Media set up. The cars started arriving well before scrutineering & Marion Nicholls & Suze Endean coud then do signing on. Most of the scrutineer / noise team are regulars and I will leave someone else to name check them!
Luis ( forget the Gutierrez) Diaz the Chief Marshal arrived for the cider, and Tom & Karen Ward Competitor Liaison the beer, whilst Paul Barrett the event Secretary and Assistant to the CM Lucy Fryer arrived Saturday morning where work began at 06.00.
In my role as Paddock Safety Officer ( assisted by James an event newbie) I was able to watch a fair bit of action and I was highly impressed by the actions of the marshals to put back eqipment hit by the cars in the safest and fastest way, using lookouts & whistles and even helped by the commentator Andrew Coley in his birds nest.
From facebook and beyond the event was very well received, and ran to time despite some equipment hiccups. Mick Johnson of event sponsor MCJ Engineering gave out the awards in the Kentagon assisted by Mark, Marion Paul & myself. The championship organiser Darren Spann gave a thank you speech on behalf of the competitors as the runaway event winner Frank Bird had flown!
Well done to the club members that finished & won awards, and to the co-operation of the MSV staff and management who help us to put the event on.
Finally a further hats off to Gary Nicholls for winning a Volunteer of The Event Award from The MSN Rally Championship Organisation.