Sunday 2nd October 2022 had a tricky weather forecast that did little to prevent a pleasing variety of MGs and other marques from attending an event that took place in very welcome sunshine! Once again, the Inter-Register Club and the Ashford Motor Club joined us for this event.
The contestants met at The Black Horse PH in Stansted, just North of Wrotham in Kent from 10.0am for a bacon roll breakfast. Map references were handed out at 11.0am and our hosts kindly allowed us to make good use of their dining tables to plot our routes before we set off.
The area chosen for the event was navigationally challenging. On paper, the map references appeared confusing because both the “eastings” and the “northings” were very similar numbers. The local topography of narrow country lanes, steep hills and an area littered with unsigned cross-roads demanded a keen sense of direction and good driving skills for success.
None of the contestant lived locally and the furthest travelled car was a beautiful white 1935 Austin 12/6 Newbury open tourer from Walton-on-the-Naze! The age of the contestants also broke some records: The oldest Driver was 81, the youngest 19, the oldest Navigator was a very young 85 and the youngest was only 10!!
No two Naviscat questions are ever the same – the easy 1-point drive-by questions included finding a happy seat and a cat crossing and the more difficult 2 and 3-point questions meant searching for an angel and a crashed Hurricane etc.!
I have pleasure in telling you that every competitor was back at The Black Horse for their pre-ordered Sunday Dinner by 2.30pm. Once answer sheets were collected, photographic evidence of the correct answers was displayed for everyone to examine. Answer sheets were marked immediately and the results together with prizes were handed out before everyone said their farewells and left for home.
It proved to be a high-scoring event and I am very pleased to say that the results confounded my belief that map-reading skills are a dying art due to the scourge of the dreaded sat-nav. Novice contestants excelled themselves with the overall winners being aged 19 and 18! One of the oldest cars, a wonderful 1933 Riley Lynx open tourer came in second overall whilst the best MGCC result was provided by Committee Members Alex Lemon and Mike Chittenden in a 1974 MGBGT. Best MGCC Novices were father and son Martyn and Timothy Noak in their 1998 MGF Abingdon LE. The different MG classes were combined on this occasion according to the rules.
Do think about getting involved yourself next year before the younger members really take over! Naviscats take place on minor normal roads, normal car insurance usually applies and the MSUK Competition Licences are free! We are always happy to give some training beforehand and help is also available with map reading etc on the day of the event if needed.
Our 2023 dates are already planned. Please check the MGCCSE website for further information:
Sunday 26th March 2023 – The Spring Naviscat organised by Alex Lemon & Mike Chittenden.
Sunday 1st October 2023 – The Autumn Naviscat organised by Philip & Rosemary Bayne-Powell.
Chris Leigh – Event Secretary 20/11/22