That the UK Rhino Charge held on 23rd September was the 13th such event, a fact that may have been to blame for the month’s rain that fell on Pippingford Park in East Sussex on the day of the event That said, Clerk of the Course, Brian Hartley and the marshals managed to keep the event rolling superbly and the competitors found the tricky conditions challenging but exciting. There was an interesting variety of vehicles present ranging from out and out off-roaders to standard but able ones, proving once again that the event’s weird and wonderful mixture of varied types of trials sections, punch hunts, special tasks and navigation can be a great leveller. This fun-focused formula can allow a good team to do well regardless of the vehicle they are driving.
Kit Kaberry, now a veteran entrant in both the UK and Kenyan Rhino Charges, concentrated hard all day long in his well-equipped Land Rover Defender 90 TD5. He was rewarded with his first victory by the narrow margin of only twelve points over another regular, Ian Purcell, in his slightly battered but basically standard Daihatsu Fourtrak. Third place went to yet another seasoned Charger, Mark Morford, in a previously untried Suzuki SJ410. Sachin Patel retired to his private beer tent to escape the torrential rain, with the excuse that his Range Rover pick-up totally lacked working wipers so he could not safely find his way through the dripping wet woods! Nevertheless, his superb fundraising efforts and pre-retirement score won him the title of Highest Fundraiser and the Victor Ludorum once again, giving him a place in next year’s Rhino Charge in Kenya. The final spectator Tiger Line competition went to Chris Smart in his Range Rover Buggy, closely followed by Ian Purcell and the ever-enthusiastic Dash Patel in his Bush Crawler Range Rover bobtail.
At the time of writing a total of just over £5000 had been raised with more to come. In spite of the biblical weather, the competitors and spectators all shared a great time. That said, we need more of both to make this event worth all the effort that goes into it and to raise even more funds and awareness for Rhino Ark. Please tell your friends and family that this event can be enjoyed by anyone with a 4x4. The UK Rhino Charge requires no more specialist equipment than a sense of adventure, a tow rope and the will to get out there and have a go for a great cause.
The date for the UK Rhino Charge 2013 will be confirmed shortly so please watch www.rhinoark.org where you can learn all about this efficient, direct action charity, follow us on Twitter on @ukrhinocharge and register your interest with us now on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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