Posted by admin on July - 6 - 2009 Comments Off on ESSEX STAGES 2009

Rallies don’t come around too often in these here parts, so I thought that it would be rude not to check this little event out, besides the weather was good and I liked the sound of a day beside the sea side.

Organised by the Wickford Auto Club, the event is just a short blast from the M25 down the A127 and then try and not to get lost down the many country roads. The event uses stages in the rural Essex country side in an area known as “The Dengie Marsh”. A Google search came up with the description ”The Hell Of The East”, but fear not it’s actually quite a nice area on the East Anglia coast, well front what I see of it.

Utilising a varied mixture of surfaces from ruff farm tracks covered in cow pat, gravel roads, the odd bit of dirty tarmac and even some grass! An event like this, I would have thought would be fairly unique and a break from the norm in rallying. Held in aid of the Essex Air Ambulance and couple this good course with the events websites warm words of welcome & encouragement, there was no surprise that it had attracted a fifty odd entry list, which let’s face it, is pretty darn good for an event of this scale.

I managed to navigate my way to Howe Stage (SS3&6) in ready for the 10am start, the main group of spectators were all round the area of a farm, but due to a long delay and subsequent cancellation of SS1 (Radio traffic was something along the lines of “is the stage commander aware that we have two cars in a ditch on top of each other!”) I managed to get some good solid walking in and headed further out along a farm track to the sea front, finding a nice spot where ruff gravel transferred via a small bit of tarmac onto grass. Two runs through the Howe stage in the morning and it was off up to Bradwell Airfield for a couple of stages on the disused runway in the afternoon. The air field stages started nearly one hour late due to some numpty spectators getting into silly position. The one and only spectator sheep pen left a lot to be desired but the crowd that had gathered there were kept entertained on this 180 turn. A good number of the competitors either got it sideways or simply just got it wrong. It would have been nice to get some more viewing point in on the airfield and being stuck at one point for the afternoon got a bit samey.

This was my first time at this event and I was pleasantly surprised, would I attend next year?…. yes I think I would actually.

Categories: RALLY

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