Most of the teams got up the first winch wall without too much difficulty, but Rob Biddle and Rob Dempsey in the Black GQ Patrol really struggled and despite re-positioning several times and changing the winch arrangement, they took over twenty minutes to get to the top. They ran out of time just before crossing the SS9 finish point.
Rod and Russell Rathbone also got stuck in the rocky section and had to resort to the winch. The first of the winch walls was an easy climb and they were setting a great pace. The second wall was still dug out and they struggled for grip and winch power. After a quick change to a double line pull, they were up. The final winch wall was a gate and a simple climb to the finish.
Pete Bannister had broken a pan hard rod and damaged his suspension on Saturday afternoon, but he was back and wanting to show the crowd some action. His winch up all walls was quick and simple and despite an ordinary finish to the previous day, he was in for a much better Sunday.
Steve Howarth in another GQ Patrol also made quick work of the first winch wall. But the second wall was starting to get chewed out and he quickly became stuck in the big hole at the top. Some quick changes to the winch arrangement and he was soon up and completed the combined SS9 and SS10 within the allocated DNF time.
Another one to struggle in the rocks was the ‘Shake and Bake Racing’ team. Their trip through the massive boulders also needed winch assistance, but their climb up the first winch wall was very quick. The second wall wouldn’t be so easy and despite a lot of gardening, they eventually made it to the top.
Matt Holgate was last onto the SS9 and SS10 combo run and made light work of the first winch wall. The second wall also proved no match for the GU Nissan Patrol and they were up and over in no time. The final gate was just a formality and they were over the finish line taking 3rd position for SS9, SS10 and also third outright for the event.
Andrew Macfarlane and Mark Calder had already won a round of the Comeup Xtreme Winch Challenge, and they were hoping to make it two wins. Whilst they couldn’t win the series, a win here would be a satisfying end to a big year of winch truck comps. There winching was superb on all three of the walls and this would give them a win on SS10 and a second place in SS9. But it wouldn’t be enough and they would have to settle for 2nd outright.
So it would be Paul Semmens and Nathan Mills in the ‘Team Ranga’ GU Nissan Patrol who would take the outright win. And they did it in style, with a win on SS9 and second place in SS10. All in all, they managed three stage wins and three 2nd places. So the round win would be added to their series win. They are looking forward to the next years competition with navigator Mills suggesting that he might even have a drive in future events. Paul Semmens says he is now preparing for the 2018 season and hopes to repeat the winning streak. He also has aspirations of competing in and winning the eight day international event in 2018.