After forecasts promised us plenty of sleet and snow across the Borders this weekend, what lay ahead for the gaggle of competitors who turned out for this year’s event was much worse… there was no snow, no sleet – just a damp, cold (very cold) wind. With that in mind, the briefing was simple, read the instructions, follow the tulip diagrams and answer the questions along the way – some of which might have to be found by getting out of the car.
Unfortunately, the first to feel sheepish was Dave Ellis, who upon arriving at the car park, started to dismantle pieces of his vehicle using the height barrier and when he was set off, turned up a minute later from the same direction claiming to have gone in a circle!
As the route progressed, there was hints that the further up the hills we went, there might be a chance of snow, however it was not to be, and upon Soutra, the most we ever came across was some slush… most of it was brown slush due to the high volume of farm traffic.
Traveling through places such as Stow, Lauder, Boon, Gordon & Smailholm, the questions ranged from the most obvious such as ‘what colour is the bull that is stationary’ to the more devious such as ‘how many gates to be kept closed’ – there were 10 gates, but only 3 of them specifically said ‘keep gate closed’.
At the 3/4 marker, we were treated to a real treat (or would have been if there hadn’t been so much cloud cover), of Scott’s View, overlooking Horseshoe Bend on the Tweed, before heading back down the hill towards Gattonside, Galashiels, Fountainhall and finishing at Heriot where a log fire awaited with a choice of soups, tea and coffee.
The forecasters did get it right in the end, but only after everyone had headed home, as we stayed behind to tidy up, the snow was starting to fall rather heavily… here’s to Borders Blizzard ’18, hopefully with more snow.
1st – Jim Williams / Nadine Williams joint with Gavin Marshall / Janice Marshall (39pts)
2nd – Christine Judd / Tanya Keane (38pts) (much better combination this year)
3rd – Raymond Hope / Kev Fairfield joint with Peter Anderson / Michael Anderson (36pts)
4th – Jules Spicer / Claire Spicer (35pts)
5th – Andy Prentice / Tom Beglin (34pts)
6th – Alan Hope / Alan Black (32pts)
7th – Jim Pert (24pts) (no co-driver, late due to over-heating issues)
8th – Simon Elliott (10pts) (no co-driver, called away due to work, returned at finish)
9th – Dave Ellis (-14pts) (it all went wrong from the beginning)!!!