It’s all about the journey...not the destination

Published on: 28 Feb 2016

car park

IT was a bit of a change to be meeting in Sainsbury’s car park in Emersons Green.  Normally, NavScatters start in a poorly lit lay-by in the countryside where you’re never quite sure if the others in the lay-by are there because they like cars or because they like other nocturnal activities!  Andy Laurence braved the long drive from Downend to compete with his navigator, Scott Boulton. Also catching a lift to meet with his driver was Phil Oliver, writes Andy Laurence.
Twelve cars with a driver and navigator signed on to compete in the event where the challenge is to find a number of locations spread across the countryside from near the South Glos Show showground at Windmill Fisheries to Tormarton, Marshfield and Bitton.  Navigational skills are what make for a good result here, rather than the ability to drive quickly. At 19:30, a sheet of increasingly cryptic clues to the destinations were handed out and the teams retreated to their cars to plot the route.
After 30 minutes of plotting, the team of Dave Greenslade and Phil Oliver left the car park with Andy Laurence and Scott Boulton close behind. They’d clearly plotted different routes though as Dave’s MPV headed into Lyde Green and Andy turned left towards Westerleigh.  After two hours winding their way through the country lanes and with just one U-turn after a missed turning, Andy and Scott arrived at the finishing pub in Doynton a little early.  Things hadn’t gone well as they couldn’t find a few of the answers when at the plotted location - the dark night doesn’t help.
Dave and Phil arrived a few minutes later and a rather animated debrief (over a pint) followed.  As time marched on, the other crews rolled in to hand in their papers with some arriving after the finish time and being either docked points or excluded as appropriate.  Everyone had a story to tell from their encounters and lots of laughs ensued. It didn’t seem to matter much when the results were read out and half the people were not listening; the evening is about the journey, not the destination. Still, this wouldn’t be a report if you didn’t read that Scott navigated Andy into third place and Phil did the job for Dave finishing a credible 4th.
Next time out, the stakes are much higher as the first round of the Vincenzo & Son Bristol MX5 Challenge kicks off with the Chepstow AutoSolo in March. Phil Oliver and James Hurford of Downend will be joined by Sandy Smith of Mangotsfield. The second round of the championship is on March 19 at Castle Combe Circuit and it’s free to spectate. The MX5s will run alongside the British Sprint Championship, which comprises the fastest cars in the country powered by V8 F1 engines sending sparks flying up Avon Rise at 180mph.
If you like cars, then you’ll probably find you like Bristol Motor Club too. They run a variety of events for spectators, officials and competitors from small NavScatters to rounds of the British Sprint Championship. They meet every month at Colston’s School or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Bing or whatever search engine you like best.

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