Slab Common Driving Day
Slab Common Bordon 26th November 2000
Well the Club finally got another driving day organized. We haven't had a driving day since July so we were eager to get involved. Thanks has to go to Ashley Pocock in his role as 'Special Events Organizer' for handling the negotiations with the Army.

Unfortunately we could not make 'setting out' on Saturday, but with a baby sitter organized for Sunday we put our names down to marshal. We were first to arrive on site Jim Taylor (Chief Marshal) arrived shortly after. As we were early he explained about the difficulties experienced with setting out. The ground at Slab is mostly sand, you can be driving one minute and the next up to the chassis in quicksand. What with driving rain, a large site to lay out and a majority of vehicles getting stuck a lot was achieved in a very short time.

With the Gazebo in place and marshals assembled, a quick briefing was given by Nick Woodage 'CoC'. With the formalities out of the way we were off to find a section. We teamed up with the Skinners and found a nice section comprising of two water filled holes, a technical section through the trees and a mud run. With all this packed into a small area it was easy for us to manage the section.

10.30 saw the first punters arrive. The first wave of vehicles had no problems with our section, but as the day progressed soft areas appeared to catch out some vehicles. One thing we noticed about this event was the sheer speed that the water sections were driven. On many occasions we had to stress that 5 Mph was the maximum speed for this event. I don't think it was worth explaining about bow waves, the main technique used was to try and evacuate the holes of all water and soak the marshals in the process. Loud cheers could be heard as our first client a Range Rover owned by Gary Wigley died in the water run. Steve gets ready to recover the stricken motor, but with the power of the mighty WD40 Gary gets the V8 running. Although it wouldn't be long before Steve is employed full time in pulling vehicles out of the increasingly churned mud run. One of the days highlights was when our resident green lane supremo Jimmy Salmon got this tricked up 110 stuck in water. We marveled at his agility in clambering over the roll cage to attach a rope. After watching him struggle for a bit John Jennings strolls into the water and attaches the rope with ease. Oh we're so mean!.

With such a large amount of vehicles taking advantage of the drive round it was inevitable that delays would be experienced. We were lucky to have a section that could be closed if vehicles became stuck reducing jams and bottlenecks to some extent. One of the best ways to combat jams would be to have more people on the ground. With a site as vast as Slab we may have to taylor the size of the course to match the amount of people willing to marshal the event.

We never managed to leave our section all day, as did many others, so the photos are only from our section. If you have photos that you would like to contribute feel free to mail them to hbro_online@hotmail.com.

Thanks to everyone that helped run the event. We should get T-shirts printed with 'I marshaled Slab Common Driving Day and survived'

Ian Parker

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