Round one of the Ilkley and District Motor Club’s Skipton trophy navigational championship took place started at the Sun Inn Norwood.

Fourteen competitors took on the challenge of what is essentially orienteering in cars using Ordnance Survey maps covering around 60 miles. The entry was made up of ten novices and four expert crews who tried to visit as many of the plots set out by the organisers as possible within the time allowed.

The crews went as far north as Pateley Bridge, across to the east to Harrogate and Knaresborough and as far west as Keighley, gathering points as they went. Last year’s champions, father and son team Nick and Andrew Pullan, were in two different cars this year with Andy navigating for novice David Blaney who came out on top with 307 points, followed in by Nick Pullan navigating for Tim tenant with 177 points. This result gave Nick the Over 45 award.

Third place was the novice team of Jason Metcalfe and Joe Mallinson with 135 points and in fourth place, taking the ladies award, was Claire Raven with husband Neil on 130 points. The Under 45 award went to another husband and wife crew with Leon Humphries listening well to wife Karen, who was navigating. The Under 23 award went to another lady, Nicole Moon while fifth place was enough to secure the Over 65 award for Stephen Owens out in his wonderful Porsche 911, with Ian Mitchell navigating.

The Ilkley and District headquarters at Otley RUFC was the start point for round two of the Skipton Trophy. The finish point was the Dog and Gun pub at Oxenhope so the crews had to choose the best route, gathering as many points as possible. David Blaney and Andy Pullan were out to try and repeat their performance from the previous round.

With the different start and finishing points the area available to the organisers to place the plots was extensive and took the crews in to Lancashire, and some tackled the winding steep roads around Coldwell Upper and Lower reservoirs then on to Widdop reservoir. The roads were challenging but great fun to drive, even in the dark.

David and Andy returned on time and with 235 points, followed on by brothers Peter and Graham Hepworth - returning to the navigator’s seat after a few years off and rewarded for his work on the maps with the Over 45 award. The first novice crew in were Richard Bastow and Richard Suggs in third place and Claire Hargreaves secured the ladies award in fourth, guiding husband Neil through the dark lanes. The novice crew of Luke Tunney and Nicole Moon’s fifth place was enough to secure the Novice award and Joe Mallinson’s sixth position gave him the Over 45 award. The crews now get a break over Christmas, returning in January for round 3.

Ilkley and District Motor Club members Simon Green and Andrew Thorpe, meanwhile, were recently out competing on the Malton Stages Forest Rally based around Dalby Forest in the KT Green Motorsport Subaru Impreza. The rally consisted of six stages, four of which were very quick and required commitment to set a good time. Due to heavy rainfall before the event there was a lot of standing water and the stages were very slippery.

They found a good pace and set consistent times throughout, the only downside being that after the final stage a severe brake judder developed. Otherwise the car ran faultlessly and we had a clean run to finish 11th overall out of 72 entries - a fantastic result.

Clitheroe and District Motor Club’s Hall Trophy stage rally at Blyton Park Driving Centre saw Ilkley and District Motor Club members, Mick Pickles and Bev Warren in their nimble Peugeot 205 Gti, take on the 65 strong field to secure 1st in class and 9th overall.

The victory wasn’t without its dramas with Pickles limping round on two cylinders on stage 4 after two spark plugs worked loose.

And torrential rain added to the fun.

Despite a time penalty for completing an extra lap of the final stage the crew came home one and a half minutes ahead of John Stevens and Don Bramfoot in their Mk2 Ford Escort.

Neil Raven, Ilkley and District Motor Club.