Generally this year's scatter rally kept to its tried and tested format with just a sprinkling of changes to make it challenging for the riders for whom this is their umpteenth rally.
There were quite a few new controls and some of the existing ones moved their location. Sometimes they just changed their location description.
It's some years since the rally had an outer rim of controls that needed to be visited early in the event. Effectively this was revived this year with about a third of the perimeter controls shutting down at 10pm on Saturday night. That should have pushed riders inwards overnight but they didn't reach Kegworth!
For the first time for many years there were no Virtual Controls (and precious few virtuous ones). In their place were five unmanned controls after 10pm. It all sounds rather painful but they aren't marshalled by eunuchs. After 10pm visiting riders needed to write down a six digit number from the direction board.
The links between controls is no longer referred to as miles because they became a fiction of friction. The total difference between Points and route Miles is only 10%, a figure that smooths out the 250 links that may be more or less. It is only critical for riders who let their fuel run too low in the early hours.
A bit of data mining shows that the centre of the controls has moved just six miles south since last year. For nerds, the centre is now located on the B4027 just west of Brinklow in Warwickshire. I bet you really wanted to know that. The area covered by the rally is about 10% smaller than last year.
All these minor tweaks keep the event interesting for the riders and have an effect on their passage through Kegworth Control.
Two controls were staffed by Leicester Phoenix MCC past members, friends and families. At Syston Mick Ayriss' team included Helen Ayriss, Peter Juby, Rod Woodford and Ian Bower after he finished the Daytime Rally. Kegworth operated their four watches to keep assorted villains off the streets.
|Lark Watch||10.00 am setup|
12.00 midday open
|Crow Watch||4.00 pm|
|Owl Watch||8.30 pm|
|Bat Watch||1.00 am|
5.36 am close
6.00 am cleared
Lark Watch arrived very early in case there was a lot of Superbike traffic. The roads were clear, we arrived before 11am but were still beaten there by some riders. Fifteen started their route from Kegworth this year and all were champing at the bit well before the noon starter's pistol.
For the first couple of hours there was intermittent rain but that wasn't damping the spirits of the riders. In total Lark Watch saw 45 through.
Rob Winnett and Dave Parry took over their familiar duties on Crow Watch with a smooth hand-over. Although there wasn't any pushing and shoving to get cards stamped, there was always a few bikes parked up while riders took refreshments, chatted or went for a comfort break.
Crow Watch faultlessly stamped cards of 51 riders through late afternoon and evening.
Owl Watch consisted Dave Smith and Phil Freestone who are always ready to pass on their hard won advice to riders struggling to keep to schedule. They were kept busy when lots of riders arrived to finish their Daytime rally.
Owl Watch processed 38 riders before handing over control.
Richard Clark kept Ben Crossley awake (and fed) through Bat Watch . Riders shared their experiences of the event as they made their way to one of the final controls. Special invective was reserved for the road and grass to the Uttoxeter control that provided lots of fun in the darkness.
Bat Watch saw 19 riders passing through although they also tried to rope in a few early birds on their way to Donington races.
Column 1 is starters. Others are half hour totals. Move your pointer over a column to see who came through at about that time.
Should the Police inquire, we will corroborate your alibi.
Outer circle shows the proportion of the most popular marques for the whole 2019 entry list. Inner circle and figures in brackets are the bikes coming through Kegworth.
Thanks to Moto Services for permission the use their car park again. We managed to persuade WHSmiths staff that we could register marshals vehicles without charge.
Thanks to the riders who called in whether it was a flying visit to keep to schedule or a leisurely stop with time for a chat. Photos are on our Riders 2019 page.
Thanks go to our great team of marshals from riders, organising committee and especially from me because they make my job a pleasure.
(I didn't stamp one card this year)
We are ready for July 2020!