Winner “encouraged to see new faces”
Leslie Alleyne and Chris O'Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max) won Saturday’s (April 13) Chefette April Safari, the opening round of Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) 2019 MudDogs Safari Championship. In doing so, they claimed the Audley Croney Memorial Trophy for the second time, which was presented at last evening’s (Tuesday) Prizegiving by Audley’s son Jeremy.
 Alleyne and O’Neal had been the first recipients of the trophy in 2017, awarded in honour of a long-standing member of the BRC and an enthusiastic and skillful competitor in navigational events, with Ryan Corbin and Dustin Edwards last year’s winners. Saturday’s Safari marked a shift in the MudDogs Championship’s format, which will this year include more events running into the night, presenting crews with an even greater challenge.
 The winners incurred 670 penalties during the two routes, finishing 178 ahead of David Armstrong and Andrew Croney (Toyota Hilux), with Ben Norris and Kirk Watkins (Toyota Land Cruiser) third on 924pens. Chefette’s Advertising Manager Lisa Carter also presented trophies to the highest-placed crew in Class B, Jonathan Jones and Kyisha Bullen (Suzuki Samurai), along with the top Female Driver and Navigator awards, which were won by the seventh-placed crew of Vaughndeen Harper and Bridget Garity (Toyota Hilux).
 Yosuf, Abdullah and Bilal Patel were making their debut as route-setters, having been involved as MudDogs competitors for a couple of years; from the 2.00pm start at Chefette Lancaster, the first route headed across the island to the dinner halt at Chefette Six Roads, while the second route carried crews back towards the finish at the Country View Bar, Market Hill, St George shortly before midnight. There was a Driver Challenge counting towards the Shelbury Construction Trophy in each route, the first near Three Houses late afternoon and the second at around 9.00pm in Searles Quarry.
 Winner Alleyne had high praise for the team that put the event together: “It was a very enjoyable Safari; for the Patels’ first attempt at setting, it was a really good effort. The route was interesting and there were some nice tricks along the way. As always, you have to keep your head on in the night sections, because this is usually where going gets tougher with the absence of daylight!
 “And Brett Barber and his team did a marvellous job setting up the two challenges, which brought out many spectators. Three Houses was a stream crossing that less than half the field made it across without assistance; it was a deep muddy hole that was very deceiving! Searles Quarry had even more spectators; it was a mixture of a dexterity test and a rock hill climb, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all competitors, a good adrenaline charge!” The first challenge was won by Chris Armstrong and Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), the second by Kai Prescod and Kristina Pinto (Ford Ranger).
 The entry list included a number of names new to navigational rallying, the branch of the sport from which the BRC was founded more than 60 years ago. Five crews were entered in Class B, which was introduced at the beginning of last year in an effort to broaden participation in the branch of the sport, which Alleyne was very encouraged by the turnout: “It was very encouraging to see some new faces. From talking to them at the Prizegiving, they seem to have enjoyed the event and have all said that they will return. There was a definite change of atmosphere compared to recent events, which provided a good positive vibe. Hopefully we can now build on this.”
Chefette April Safari - April 13
Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship, round 1
1st Leslie Alleyne/Chris O'Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max), 670 penalties
2nd David Armstrong/Andrew Croney (Toyota Hilux), 848pens
3rd Ben Norris/Kirk Watkins (Toyota Land Cruiser), 924pens
4th Willie Hinds/Wayne Manning (Black Bess Group Suzuki Samurai), 1388pens
5th Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), 1472pens
6th Christopher King/Warrick Eastmond (Nissan Frontier), 1584pens
7th Vaughndeen Harper/Bridget Garity (Toyota Hilux), 2146pens
8th Jonathan Jones/Kyisha Bullen (Suzuki Samurai), 2294pens
9th Kai Prescod/Kristina Pinto (Ford Ranger), 2756pens
10th Richard Hinkson/Kevin-Jon Manning (Windforce Tyres Suzuki Samurai), 2914pens
Route 1: 1st Alleyne/O'Neal, 560pens; 2nd Hinds/W Manning, 568pens; 3rd D Armstrong/Croney, 622pens; 4th Norris/Watkins, 676pens; 5th King/Eastmond, 754pens; etc
Route 2: 1st Alleyne/O'Neal, 110pens; 2nd D Armstrong/Croney, 226pens; 3rd Norris/Watkins, 248pens; 4th C Armstrong/Clarke, 680pens; 5th Hinds/W Manning, 820pens; etc
Class B
1st Jones/Bullen, 2294pens
2nd Prescod/Pinto, 2756pens
3rd Hinkson/K-J Manning, 2914pens
4th Sam Ramsey/Mikki Franklin (Suzuki Samurai), 7790pens
Route 1: 1st Jones/Bullen, 1146pens; 2nd Prescod/Pinto, 1636pens; 3rd Hinkson/K-J Manning, 1664pens; 4th Ramsey/Franklin, 3590pens
Route 2: 1st Prescod/Pinto, 1120pens; 2nd Jones/Bullen, 1148pens; 3rd Hinkson/K-J Manning, 1250pens; 4th Ramsey/Franklin, 4200pens
Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship: Round 1 - April 13, Chefette April Safari; Round 2 - Jun 29/30, Sol June Safari; Round 3 - Sep 14, BRC MudDogs September Safari; Round 4 – Oct 20, Nassco October Safari. Non-championship: May 1 - MudFest