• 2016 Winter Cuttings

  • So ends another successful season’s racing.
    The END OF YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION and PARTY is being held on 19th November at the Loxwood North Hall. Providing you read this before midnight Wednesday 16th, then there is still time to BUY YOUR TICKETS if you haven’t done so already. Going on last year’s party, it promises to be a great evening.
    Since the last CUTTINGS there have been 2 race events. The first, the weekend of 15/16th October, was the NWLMRA  6 hour in Retford, Notts, and a week later we held an extra meeting at The Reservoir Dip. Reports below.
    Although the season has now finished for the year, the committee is still working hard. As well as the usual committee meetings on Saturday the 5thNovember, Les Pantry and I, drove up to Banbury for the annual Mower UK meeting. This is where 2 representatives from each club under the Mower UK umbrella meet and have discussions on issues common to all. One of the benefits coming from these discussions is that there is now a standard safety code common across the 5 clubs. This gives each member the opportunity to race their mower in any of the other clubs knowing that their mowers will all comply on safety grounds.
    On the Saturday 26th November, the committee will be meeting to pore over the handbook and make any additions/alterations to the rules deemed necessary for next year. Affectionately referred to as the Rules and Regs meeting.
    NW 6 Hour: (Personal report). This was the second time I had been up to the 6 hour. That was several years ago and I had been enticed up by the previous year’s track being very smooth. This time it was because Sam fancied doing it, possibly as a prelude to doing the 12 hour again. I thought I could go up incognito by giving our team the name “Hedge fund Ed”. Didn’t work. Out of the 48 teams entered, 18 teams were from the BLMRA including Mark Jaffe’s team Team Phoenix .( He really has got the bug again since organising and sponsoring this year’s 12 hour). Because the northerners allow all members belonging to Mower UK to enter and race for the tourist trophy, there were teams from all 5 clubs and it was a chance to see how the various machines compared.
    Saturday was a lovely sunny day and the 2 practice sessions went without a hitch. The evening was spent in the marquee drinking from the bar and eating excellent fare from Jimmy Chew food wagon while the raffle was drawn.
    The threatened rain started 9am on Sunday morning making qualifying interesting. The mud soon surfaced and visibility became severely reduced. Apart from a couple of minor incidents when the lights went out at the start of the race, most mowers got away safely. The rain persisted and it wasn’t until 1pm that it started to clear up. By the end of the race it was bright again.
    Because of the nature of the ground, stones soon surfaced on the corners and holes appeared in the worst areas. It was a harsh track; many mowers broke down and had to make use of the very efficient recovery system they operate. We did, 4 times !!! Thanks guys.
    Congratulations to NORTHERNERS KICK grASS for taking first prize and to the BLMRA teams MWA, Les Racing, Daniel(Godden) and Battle Mow-morial Flight for getting on the podium.

    Reservoir Dip Progressive Endurance or The weekend Newbie Helen Ross beats Karl Selby.
     Organiser: Ian Ratcliff. C of C: Simon Campbell and Mark Thurston.
    Although there were very few entries for this meeting, a total of 15 entered and only 12 turned up, it was a chance to try out something new. We had decided to have an endurance meeting of some sort and came up with a progressive endurance. Starting with a 5 minute race the idea is that the length of each successive race is doubled until reaching a total of 80 minutes each day with a short break between each one.
    However, by the time the 40 minute race had been run, the thought of an 80 minute race was too much for some, (the officials were getting bored and cold by this time), so it was decided to reverse the timings till it took it back to 5 minutes. Total race time being 1 hour 50 mins each day.
    Saturday proved to be a day of attrition, as one by one mowers broke down, not helped by the pounding they had got the week before at the 6 hour. The first to retire was Karl Selby with a split UJ joint, then Rob Rowlands with engine failure followed by Dan Godden with broken T drive mounts. Reg Funnell and Dave Jackman had their own problems and in the last race of the day, it was only Les Pantry and the 3 group 2s still circulating.
    Sunday was a repeat of Saturday‘s format and we were joined by Dan Owen on his group 3 and 2 new members from Essex, Helen Ross and Connor Victory sharing on their group 4 mower Buzz. Actually, they were all there before the rest of us, very keen and were busy fettling their mowers when we arrived. Buzz kept on shedding belts until someone in the know came to the rescue and mentioned that this particular mower uses 2 belts.   
    Race direction was reversed and the races again took their toll on man and machine. Reg had to retire as his hands were numb from vibration, Dan’s engine failed and Dave’s mower kept losing bits or things broke, only to be repaired each time. Helen and Connor both kept going – a great initiation to the sport for them …. and Helen went home with a trophy. Well done you!!
    On the last race only Les and myself started the race, but with my mower starting to make odd noises on the first lap, I parked up just before the timing loop, waiting for the 5 minutes to elapse before crossing the finishing line. A  rear roller bearing had disintegrated.
    By the end of the 14 races only Les Pantry managed to start and finish all the races without incident. Well done Les.
    Special thanks to Colin Clegg for lap scoring and Laura for allowing him to. They gave up a weekend away for our benefit.
    Also, thanks to Dan Jones and Richard Davies, both who turned up to help and everyone else who enabled this weekend to go ahead.

    Weekend Results:                           
    Group 2:                                                        
    1st Ian Ratcliff                           2nd Dave Jackman                             3rd Reg Funnell
    Group 3:
    1st Les Pantry                             2nd Andy Heather                               3rd Mat Ferrari
    Group 4:
    1st Dan Godden                         2nd Helen Ross                                      3rd Karl Selby
    I was very tempted to retrospectively call it the Individual Endurance World Championships, but that would be construed as an abuse of my position. My one chance of getting in the hall of fame gone. Damn!