The convoy departs in high anticipation of the challenges lying ahead, not sure exactly what to expect. Every vehicle has a score card for the games the occupants have to take part in along the route. Driving expertise was not taken into account as the route was laid out in such a way that the elderly vehicles (and their owners) would be able to complete the route without endangering the classic vehicles or their occupants.
A beautiful route was laid out along the many tracks in the bush, including a river bed loaded withg some challenges and obstacles. It’s Land Rover country – up and down the river banks, sharp turns in the bush (the old ladies take their time), across washouts and dongas and up and down steep inclines. Every now and then a LROC marshal jumps out to stop the vehicle and challenge the occupants to a game – sometimes the driver and sometimes the navigator, or both.
These include shooting at animal targets using catapults; navigators sucking and holding ping-pong balls to the end of a pipe and transferring it to the driver; using a stick to pick up wheelnuts and stacking them; playing “giffie”; throwing motorcycle tyres over steel pins, picking up cans and moving them around using a piece of spaghetti...
The radio cracks. It’s Johan Kriek who announces a late arrival – a light blue Series 3. Corlius Jooste first finished his roof carrier, hence his late arrival. In typical Land Rover fashion Corlius took the shortest route – cutting through the forest – to join the convoy.
At the last obstacle the Landies have to exit the riverbed. It’s slippery and the guys from SuperWinch are eagerly standing by to help if necessary. The onlookers encourage the participants and one by one the old Landies manage to exit – without any help from SuperWinch.
Then the unthinkable happens! LROC chairman Jakob Jordaan followed the convoy in his Discovery to act as sweep, leanding a helping hand to anyoine that gets stuck. Where the old ladies managed in style, the Disco lost a drive shaft, but no problem – with more than enough “bush mechanics” on hand the broken part is quickly disconnected, downgrading the the Discovery to a two-wheel drive with a red-faced Jakob completing the route. However, getting out of the river bed with only two wheels doing the work, became an impossible feat and the Disco ended up as the only vehicle that had to be recovered by the Superwinch team...
Well done to each of the Series Land Rovers! It was great fun!
The hot sun burnt off every bit of cloud and the guys worked up a thirst – time to head back to camp for lunch.
The food stalls served up jafflels, pannekoek, tjips, drinks and a variety of meals and drinks. The morning activities took its toll on man, but not machine.
Soon after the lunch break the next activities were announced – the LandyFest Radio Control challenge. As they say – boys never grow up; their toys get more expensive, and in the evcent of the radio-controlled miniature Land Rovers this was definitely the case. Some of the ladies also took the controls, although for some of the competitors it was not as easy – RC cars are notoriously difficult to manouvre.
Rocco took to the PA system – time for the last activity of the day. Everyone was called to the arena for the “Crank a Landy and tyre change” challenge. Rocco shows his mettle turning the crank lever – that is the lever pushed into the engine form the front bumper to turn the crank, hence the saying “turning the crank” to start the engine. After the 1920s this was unique to the Series series – to crank the engine to start her up. The challenge included the spare to be removed from the bonnet, the engine to be cranked, the spare replaced with the engine idling, and then then engine swithed off using the kley – all with the stopwatch running. Some of the younger guys had the advantage of upper body strength and some even broke a lever or two, but no problem – we brought 10!
As the sun sets, André serves up “pap en sous” for everyone at a bring and braai at the centre camp fire and no less than five braais. The day’s activities were discussed long into the night, and as the last pieces of wood started burning high, Johan called out the winners of a host of sponsored prizes and a lucky draw for a Superwinch. The winner was a woman all the way from the Far East.
Leimers also offered discount vouchers to some special winners:
* Wim Odendaal – the one and only Forward Control at the event
* Sean Slattery – all the way from Richards Bay in his Series 3 to collect his badge
* Thomas Erasmus – the oldest Landy, a 1954 Series 1
* Richard Huchzermeyer – a beautiful 1963 Series 2A 88
* Darin Boyce – arriving with a spluttering Series 3 and receiving the Spirit award
Thank you everyone for making the 2019 LandyFest a major success. See you next year.