The second round of the 2016 Comeup Xtreme Winch Challenge series was held on the last weekend of June in what turned out to be a very muddy and cold three-day event. The winching competition was held at Mt Borah, 18km north west of the small township of Manilla in central New South Wales.
With temperatures lucky to reach double digits and snow falling in the surrounding localities, seven teams lined up to start the event. Some treacherous winch walls took its toll on several competitors with a number of retirements in the stages. The final winner would be decided from the four remaining teams still going on Sunday afternoon.
Rod and Russell Rathbone in the Wyong Automatics FJ40 were having diff lock issues and rebuilt the front diff on Saturday night to allow them to continue. They managed to fix it and were doing well until an electrical meltdown put them out of the event just before the final two stages.
Matt Holgate in the GU Patrol had a substitute navigator after regular navigator Peter Ford injured himself on Friday nights stages and Howard “Jumbo” Crossley stepped in to take over navigator duties for Saturday and Sunday.
Kevin Gorrick and newly conscripted navigator Justin Bailey in the 60 series Toyota Cruiser were having battery and winch issues and struggled to climb the walls all weekend, despite changing batteries and spending a lot of time trouble-shooting the problem.
Paul Semmens and navigator Nathan Mills from Team Ranga burnt out both of their winch motors, but were luckily able to replace them with some Comeup winch spares that organiser David Metcalfe happened to have with him.
The Ford Maverick of Peter Bannister and Josh Flynn were having a trouble free weekend and looked like securing a good place on the podium.
Jason and Ryan in the only Jeep competing were having troubles and were out of the competition and sitting on the sidelines as spectators watching early Saturday with a broken CV and a significantly degraded driveline.
Steve Howarth and Glenn Rodgers in their first outing at an XWC event managed to roll their GQ Nissan Patrol three times, twice in one stage! But they somehow stayed in contention until the end of the event.
After three tough days of winching, team Ranga made up of Paul Semmens and navigator Nathan Mills were the eventual winners in the appropriately coloured orange GU Nissan Patrol. Peter Bannister in the Ford Maverick was second with Matt Holgate third in another GU Nissan Patrol.