report by Martyn your Paparazzi team are Martyn, Two cakes and Rebo using Martyn’s camera.
The biggest discussion point on the Fed forum before the Soiree took place was the weather, namely it was going to be a wet weekend. Well, it seemed strange when the event finished in bright sunshine and nobody seemed to realize that we had a certain amount of the wet stuff on Saturday afternoon.
Because of the forecast the extra marquee just automatically loaded itself in my sidecar as the trailer was already full, which was all very well, except with everything else that was required was crammed into the boot and strapped on the rack. We are luckily there are no bridges with weight limits between Ely and Hallaton. Lesley’s outfit resembled a Tesco home delivery van with all the food for the weekend and with room running out fast she got the tent on her rack.
Thursday is a sorting out day, but with several arriving on the Thursday sorting out has to be completed a little earlier than in previous years. The local council was running a childrens activity afternoon for the local children in the playground which was handy for Dave and Caroline, as upon arrival Katie, Rebecca and James suddenly became locals and sneaked in under the radar and joined in the fun, leaving Dave and Caroline to put up the tent in peace. It appears some believed I was obviously very ill, forgetting our own food I took Lesley out for an evening meal at the local pub. I have no doubt many can’t remember all the times they have taken their wives out for a slap up meal, and you suffer with the old “can you remember when you took me to XXXXX” and you can’t recall it and you then get the third degree. I don’t have that problem and remember all our outings as I can count them on one hand; the other hand is for the next 27years.
Friday; breakfast out of the way and it was up with the additional marquee, basically acting as a sun shade due to the now shining sun in the sky. With quizzes and a treasure hunt there was plenty to do for those who were already on site. Early evening and the field was filling up, with no one bothered about the forecast. The giant hotdogs went down a treat again this year, the evening social was in full flow with much drinking of various makes of whisky. Norrie and Chad being whisky connoisseurs, of course tested all just to make sure none had gone off. The thing is there is no bad whisky; it’s just that some are better than others, although those that taste like they have be strained through a peat bog really push that saying to its limit.
Saturday; morning and the weather was fine but it didn’t last and by the time of the run-out it had started to drizzle, but it didn’t put people off with most going on the run. Mick, our run-out organizer, guided everyone to Rockingham Classics, a Moto Guzzi and Enfield dealer, where he had arranged test rides on the latest Guzzis and Enfields.
Several took the opportunity to take a test ride. Back on site, organizing for the evening progamme was taking place. First up was the childrens “Grand Prix”, this was held under the marquee.
At the end of the qualifying rounds we saw Katie, Lizzie and James in the final. James reading the conditions better than his competitors, selected intermediate tyres instead of the full wet weather ones he had used in qualifying and won the final with ease.
Prize giving and the Raffle, somehow I don’t think our volunteer ticket folders put their tickets in the box as not one of them won anything. The Meet and Moan officer won the quiz, and the prize for the childrens quiz was shared by Petra and Rebecca, as for the treasure hunt this had to be settled with a tie-breaker question between team Karen / Mark and Jak / Harlan as both teams had answered every clue correctly.
Karen and Mark triumphed in the end. The fish and chip van arrived and served up excellent fish and chips as usual.
It was then time for the main event “the Hallaton Grand Prix”. With a heavy shower earlier on conditions proved difficult to assess, with past winners dropping by the way side. The final was contested between Maureen, Dave, Pat and Sue.
There was a stewards enquiry as Dave the winner had opted for slicks on the now drying track, taking advice from James winner of the children’s Grand Prix earlier, but after a consultation between the Race Marshall and Race Controller the result was upheld.
With Sunday arriving another Sidecar Soiree came to an end with everyone packing up in sunshine. I would like to thank all the workers, helpers and contributors over the weekend and the Wheels team would like to thank all who attended and hope you enjoyed yourselves.
More pictures from the Rally