National Rally

What a scorcher! A summer heatwave provided temperatures of 30°C through Saturday and it stayed dry. Importantly for our outdoor set-up, there was no wind to blow papers and parasol across the Donington Moto Services car park.

Ian Bower joined the team at County Hall conducting the special tests. Two controls were staffed by Leicester Phoenix MCC ex-members, friends and families. At Syston Karl Biddle's Black Pigs team included Debbie, Peter Juby, Jenny, Helen and Mick Ayriss. Kegworth operated four watches to keep weekend work hours within union negotiated guidelines.

Lark Watch10.00 am setup
12.00 midday open
4.30 pm
Peter Wright
Ben Crossley
Crow Watch4.00 pm

9.00 pm
Rob Winnett
Dave Parry
Owl Watch8.30 pm

1.30 am
Dave Smith
Phil Freestone
Bat Watch1.00 am
5.36 am close
6.00 am cleared
Richard Clark
Ben Crossley

 Lark Watch 

This year Lark Watch  arrived before the first riders after Ben Crossley made Peter Wright feed him breakfast at Cafe Oasis in Enderby. Eleven riders chose to start their route from Kegworth, some coming to us after completing their special tests at Leicestershire County Hall.

Although there were less bikes passing through than previous years we always seemed busy. Riders were relaxed about spending longer at our Control taking refreshments and rest breaks. In total Lark Watch  saw through 53 riders.

 Crow Watch 

Riders were making the most of ghostly quiet roads as Rob Winnett and Dave Parry took over with Crow Watch . England playing in the World Cup meant everyone not on the National Rally (and some who were) were glued to their TV sets.

After a smooth transition of the control Crow Watch  stamped the cards of 52 riders through late afternoon and evening.

 Owl Watch 

 Owl Watch  was staffed by Dave Smith and Phil Freestone who were taking a break from riding in the event. Dave marshalled at Syston in previous years so they knew the ropes. Temperatures stayed remarkably high as light faded and riders continued to arrive throughout the watch. Possibly the 11pm closing of many outer controls brought riders into the central area of the matrix.

 Owl Watch  processed 47 riders including one Moonlight Rally starter. Sure enough the moon began to rise into a clear sky as they handed over control.

Start of quotation Phil Freestone and I are probably going to be available to Marshal again next year. My eldest lad Dan is also possibly interested so perhaps we can keep Kegworth real and not let it slip into virtuality ... End of quotation

- Dave Smith

 Bat Watch 

Richard Clark, one of our cycling Embers, joined Ben Crossley to ensure that  Bat Watch  added up miles correctly. Riders continued to keep the watch busy through the wee hours, making good use of the Services toilets. By 3am it was cooling down and riders were unanimously glad of some respite from the heat of the day as they wound down to their chosen final controls.

 Bat Watch  finished up with 28 riders, all taking their time through the dawn light.


Column 1 is starters (+2 in the first 20 mins). Others are half hour totals. Move your pointer over a column to see who came through at about that time.

10 5


Outer circle shows the proportion of the most popular marques for the whole 2018 entry list. Inner circle and figures in brackets are the bikes coming through Kegworth.

Other motorcycles:


Thanks to Moto Services for permission the use their car park again. We moved to a more favourable position since Easy Rent cars have taken the edge of the car park.

Thanks to all the riders who called in and stayed to chat. Photos are on our Riders 2018 page.

Thanks go to our great team of marshals from the riders, the organising committee and especially from me because they make my job so easy. (I did stamp one card this year)

Now looking forward to July 2019!