2017's inaugural running of the Area 4 Challenge, the Breakfast TT, highlighted a couple of things to change for 2018: more social interaction during the day and less reliance on mileage. Both were incorporated into the 2018 event with seemingly popular acclaim.
Nice to see new and old Aston playing together (photo Gillian Fawkes).
The event starts with breakfast at Hartley's (a popular venue with Area 4 members) and ends with tea at the Mount Somerset Hotel... hence 'Breakfast To Tea'. A stop at the Fleet Air Arm Museum for a dastardly quiz helped (or hindered) participants to gather more points to decide this year's winner of the, now named, Thorburn Trophy after Ned and Bev (Ned won it last year - see here).
Amalia & Allen Richardson had to leave early, but not before a lovely breakfast! Others plan their strategy for the day. (Photo Andrew Fawkes)
After breakfast the teams pair-up and plan their route to find 5 places that begin with the 5 letters drawn at random.
The planning continues in the car park; including the hat and tonneau strategy of Martin Beattie (right) and Andy Webber (left) who'd kindly driven from South Wales to support the event. (Photo Gillian Fawkes)
Photographic proof of places visited was required to gain points. There were bonus points available for a creative approach. Some were so creative, we daren't publish them here!
Nice of Somerton Village to put out the bunting for competitors Bob Carter & Catherine King (DB4) and Mo Sweet (Vanquish). Photo by Melvyn Freeman (Vanquish)
The photographic creativity extended to Mike & Judy French who, despite their DB9 being unavailable, carried on regardless in their Volvo and ensured that mascot, Mort, was in every shot. Sadly for them, their creativity didn't deliver enough points to win.
Mort welcomes the French's Volvo to Ash Village (photo Mike & Judy French).
And so to tea and the award ceremony. Timed arrival slots made parking much easier!
7 of the 11 Astons parked outside the Mount Somerset Hotel, including T15 NED, the Thorburn's V12 Vantage S. (Photo Gillian Fawkes)
The creative photograph award and an AMOC teddy went to Area 4 member, Barbara King. We have chosen not to show her amusing photo, but it is available on request!
Barbara with, as yet unnamed Teddy, and Area 4 Rep, Andrew Fawkes. (Photo Gillian Fawkes)
And so to the overall winner. It was a tight contest that came down to a single point. Triumphant was Area 4 member, Rick Cullen and sister Liz as his navigator. They take home the Thorburn Trophy and a bottle of Club sponsor Champagne Taittinger. Well done both. Rick keeps the trophy for 12 months and the bubbly forever!
L-R: Mo Sweet applauds as James Thorburn presents Liz and Rick Cullen with the Thorburn Trophy. Andrew Fawkes and Barbara King enjoy the moment. (Photo Gillian Fawkes)
Thank you to all who made this event happen, especially the competitors:
- Rick & Liz Cullen - V8 Vantage
- Martin Beattie & Andy Webber - DB7 Vantage Volante
- Anthony & Barbara King - DB9
- Paul & Jan Gerring - Vantage GT8 Supercharged
- Bob Carter & Catherine King - DB4
- Melvyn Freeman & Mo Sweet - Vanquish
- Matthew Maneely - V8 Vantage Roadster
- Matthew & Laura Parham - AMR V8 Vantage Roadster (and for their support as representatives of Aston Martin Bristol)
- Mike & Judy French - Volvo DB9!
- Gillian Fawkes, Paul Hartley & team, Jonathon & Mike at the Fleet Air Arm Museum and Jo, Peter and all the team at the Mount Somerset Hotel
Anthony King has already suggested a tweak for next year's rules to make it even more interesting. More suggestions are welcome!