Better weather could not have been asked for when the sun rose on Sunday October 26th. A tropical wave was affecting the island, and blessed Barbados with heavy downpours throughout the day, making for very muddy conditions at the Sol October Mudfest, held at Three Houses, St Philip. With 16 entries for the event, 12 in the Small Tyre Class and 4 in the Large Tyre Class, the scene was set for a great day of competition and fun.
With four challenging events slated to take place between the 10am start time and 5pm, when the mud would settle, the day was filled with non-stop action. The first to send mud flying was Nicholas Pinto in his Power King/Carter’s Pit-stop, Jeep Grand Cherokee, when he set a time to beat of 16.18 seconds in the Tyre Pit, a Challenge made from assorted sized tyres partially buried in the mud, designed to test a vehicles suspension articulation. This time was quickly eclipsed by fellow Small Tyre Class entrants, Richard Hinkson (Suzuki Samurai) with 8.13secs, Fabian Cumberbatch (Suzuki Samurai) with 7.56secs, and Class Winner, Brian ‘Banker’ Collymore (Williams Tools/ Owlies Trucking Suzuki Samurai) with a blistering time of 6.49secs. In the Large Tyre Class, Edson Arthur took top spot in his Michael St Hill and Sons Funeral Home Suzuki Samurai, with 7.92secs, ahead of Julian Kirton in the Kirts Connection, Jeep Wrangler (14.11secs) and Dave Lowe in his Off Road Junkies Suzuki Vitara (17.02secs).
The tight and twisty Obstacle Course was the next event facing the competitors. Comprising of water trenches and muddy mounds, it proved difficult for most challengers in both the Small and Large Tyre Classes, and resulted in a slow motion roll by “Trippa” in his Small Tyre, Suzuki Samurai, when he failed to negotiate a mound, and slewed sideways off the edge.  Adrian Sinkler (Suzuki Samurai) and Damien Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai) tied for first with flawless runs, while Collymore finished third in class with 98 out of a possible 100pts, after striking one of the course markers, resulting in a two-point penalty. In the Large Tyre Class, Arthur once again emerged top dog, garnering 106 out of a possible 120pts, due to striking seven course markers while traversing the course, leaving Dave Lowe to claim second with 102pts, while Nicholas Lorde experienced difficulties in the course when he had to have his Comfeet/NL Engineering/Sam Lordes Enterprises Land Rover Discovery towed to safety after failing to climb over one of the steeper mounds, with Kirton failing to start due to mechanical difficulties.
With rain continuously falling throughout the day, when the time came for the much-anticipated Mud Drag Race to start, the drag pits were veritable swamps, making it near impossible for any machine to complete. Of the 12 Small Tyre Class machines, only Chris Armstrong (Suzuki Samurai) was able to complete the distance, while in the Large Tyre Class, of the four entries, only Arthur completed the distance, leaving the pink suited Lowe and his Vitara stuck in the pit. As a result of the difficulty of the Drag Pit, organisers made the decision not to include results from the Challenge in the overall results.
The final Challenge of the day was the Mud Pit, where man and machine tried their best to go the furthest through the thick mud, testing vehicle power and traction and driver’s ability to keep any momentum going with use of throttle and steering.  In the Small Tyre Class, Armstrong and Johnson completed the length of the pit, while Sinkler (92% complete), Shon Brathwaite in a Suzuki Samurai (83% complete), and Akeem Harewood also in a Suzuki Samurai (75% complete) had to be towed from the pit. In the Large Tyre Class, only two of the four entrants were able to contest the challenge. Arthur once again used his Samurai with great skill and completed the length of the pit, while Lorde made a gallant attempt, but only managed to power his way through 58% of the distance.
October 26th 2014
Sol October Mudfest Results
Small Tyre Class (Tyres 31” – 34” tall)
1st Adrian Sinkler
2nd Damien Johnson
3rd Brian Collymore
4th Chris Armstrong
5th Richard Hinkson
Large Tyre Class (Tyres 35” – 44”)
1st Edson Arthur
2nd Dave Lowe
3rd Nicolas Lorde
4th Julian Kirton
For media information only. No regulatory value.