OST 9 Panton Hill 26th August back
It seems we were never destined to compete at the gazetted St Andrews 3, as like last year, we had to do a last minute shift of venue to Panton Hill due to the original property being sold.
Good old Panton Hill was fairly wet with running water in the bottom gully so the forward pegging party lead by John Cox were able to chose from a variety of sections we don't normally use, which provided some extra variety for the day.
Section 1 at the top of the property resulted in an early break for Steve Mason who out manoeuvred us all for the first 10 of the day. We then gradually worked our way down the property through a variety of slippy sections which saw both Nigel Newman and Craig Hansen quickly wake up to the conditions and produce some sterling efforts to find themselves on equal top point scores with Steve by the lunch break.
Grant had a very uncharacteristic drive on section 3 where he parked fair and square between the one and two pegs for probably his lowest score of the year, causing him to most likely miss out on sharing lunchtime honours with the other three.
Lunchtime also saw "Crazy" Craig Hansen sharing his especially prepared birthday cake with his fellow friends and competitors. Standing around the fire singing Happy Birthday orchestrated by Chief delicious cake baker and Choirmistress Dot Moyle, reminds you just what great folk we have in this Club
The morning also produced a little light rain to make things interesting and by the time we started our afternoons competition in the bottom gully the water was very much in evidence underfoot and wheel.
First of the afternoons sections was a ford across the forming billabongs, back again and then along the side of a deeply rutted banking. Although nobody cleared this section, Geoff Taylor redeemed himself from an average morning drive to get the farthest to the nine peg. It was shortly after this section that Steve Mason suffered a steering failure, which unfortunately sidelined him for the rest of the day along with earlier retiree Rob Mc Bain (Steering). Rob's car has been a source of frustration to him all season but will be back in more reliable condition next year.
Craig Hansen also lost drive at the end of this section which was later put down to a broken clutch plate (ceramic). This would have been Craig's first mechanical failure of the season after enduring continuous driveline woes last year.
Further up the valley, Section 9 was the old favourite "Callums Dam" which is a heavily watered and deep hole that can be pegged a variety of ways but is still very difficult to get through.
Despite the degree of difficulty Grant managed to somehow coach his vehicle past the nine peg whilst others hung and sunk between 6 and 8. Keith Mitchell probably stuck the worst after making a determined run at the 7 peg, which left his front axle, parked at a very spectacular angle to the rest of the vehicle. Once extradited the front end aligned itself once again apparently no worse for the experience.
The next few sections centred around the blackberry bushes, water, mud and the slippy hillside. We also had the sun shining on our backs to complete the quadrella!
These sections were all about wheelspin so once the first few had gone through it was a matter of sticking the foot to the firewall and keeping in the ruts. Most strung out a series of 9 scores with a notable exception of Grant who produced a WD at the 1 peg giving him his first 0 score on a section for as long as anyone could remember. Despite the surrounding mirth, Grant took it on the chin and announced that if you were going to have disasters, you may as well get them all over in one day!
Graeme Moyle also revelled in these conditions putting together a string of fine drives to keep him at the top end of the pointscoring.
The final section of the day was back up the hillside and under the dam. It was earlier agreed that there was no need to finish in the dam, as the day had produced enough water on the lower sections. First into the section was Kevin Hossack who finished a pretty average day by his standards just beyond the three peg whilst most others managed to get past the 9.
After honorary scoresperson Dot had counted up the numbers, Nigel Newman had proved that consistency does pay off by being clear 12 points ahead of nearest rival Grant, closely followed by Graeme and Geoff.
The afternoon was finished in bright sunshine and topped off by a sausage sizzle under the big gum tree. How could you not enjoy this sport??.