Another year, another JAE, yes it was September, time to make the annual pilgrimage to the place responsible for many children’s park ride on’s, Wicksteed park lets go. The organisers had worked hard the OC stand looked great, many shinny cars parked up and tents erected. Friday night was no different to any year, a complete blowout beer, music, beer, laughs….er and a hell of a lot more beer.
Saturday dawned on the campers, the sun rose and bleary eyed fold rose to the smell of frying bacon with heaps of tommy K. Wiping the still sizzling fat off of my shirt, ok good to go this day is about one thing, it’s a knock out, a competition entered by many of the car clubs at JAE all eager to win and lift the coveted JAE IKO trophy.
First up was the Tug of War, more than pulling a rope, this is a sport of endurance, stamina and skill. A sport I have enjoyed for many years, after some needed training, tips and a good telling the open weight and light weight teams were ready, marching past the other clubs dressed in black OC shirts boots trapping on the ground, this is it a year of waiting to retain the trophy.
Thirteen signatures on the indemnity forms later we enter the arena….ok cordoned off field, the announcer spots us, here we go we are remembered from last year’s win, now known as the MR2 all blacks, well could be worse. As with anything the OC takes part in the supporters out numbers all the other teams. The open weight team only had one other team to pull against so went straight to the final, word must have got around about us? First up the lightweight team, first pull…..pull…. whistle, oops, the team hadn’t budged the organisers saw it fit to have a 2 foot pull distance or as known the men the slack in the rope. Second pull, gentlemen straight away lets go, push tight push tight, hahaha easy. Ok we know what we have to do now. The next three teams were fresh meat, no completion to the MR2OC all blacks, every end was ours. The lightweight team is through to the final, get in.
A break for lunch later….ok a burger and can of stella, it was the final, this was it, a lot of pressure the club expects, I didn’t tell anyone but had a quick prayer in my tent before leaving for the arena, please god don’t let me let the club down. Again the swagger to the arena, first up the open weight team, a call to the ref myself and the AVW captain, a quick chat later and its time. I win the coin toss the good end is ours, pick up the rope, take the strain, steady….PULL. Bang the boys have listened to the instruction, slam goes the heels, push tight push tight, yes one end down, don’t let it go to three I scream lets have this, the boys are ready so eager so full of fire. This is feeling good even before the start, again…PULL, smash if you had of blinked you would have missed it, the open weight team have just decimated the opposition. What a feeling, the crowed are applauding with happiness. Gents thank you so much, id rather have one volunteer than ten pressed men, I get ten volunteers with hearts of lions.
Next up the lightweight team against the FTO club, I saw these guys in the prelims they have seven people pulling against our six and can handle themselves. As usual the coin flip between captains, heads we win ill have the good ground please. Ok guys look in, this is it this is what we have beaten the others for let’s take this away. Everyone is fired up the guys on the rope are steely eyed ready for it, the crowed are fired up shouting ready for another win. Pick up the rope, take the strain, steady…PULL. Slam, stale mate, back and forth the rope slides, hold on we have the better ground, I can feel the burn on the thighs and the pain of the guys on the rope, the crowd is screaming, puuusshh tightttt, back the rope goes, the whistle blows, well that was quite an effort. That’s one end guys we won that, they are more tired than us lets not let this go three ends, come on. The guys are feeling it but know what has to be done…. Change ends shouts the line judge, a walk past the other team looking at our opposite numbers, I can beat you, your mine stand by runs through my head. Pull… the ground on this end was a nightmare even with my boots I couldn’t get a decent purchase, all to soon the whistle blows, oh no not good we have lost an end.
Jay is on the floor holding his leg, the team are hurting, damn. Massaging jays leg isn’t working he’s damaged himself, where down to five guys against seven. Change ends, the team and supporters treck to the other end of the rope, the better end. Steve your at the same weight as Jay please jump in, of course willingness unquestionable, the FTOoc are not happy and want a replacement of a female, no offence but WHAT? No, an injured man will be replaced with a man the same weight, after deliberation we agree Steve can pull but the FTOoc can have an extra girl. Do they pick the skinniest girl in there club….no, she’s well equipped. So here we go the last end of the last pull this is it all in, the winner wins the trophy. I scream at the tem to do this justice, nervous…no petrified more like. Visions of JAE 2008 run through my head, dear god let us pull together and win true.
The support is gathered en mass at the side lines the club is in support the team lines up at the rope, a couple more words, YES. Yes we can we have this for the club and your selves lets go.
Pick up the rope, the hemp fibres like needles in our hands, pushing against the skin in our torn hands with the blood pulsating though, take the strain, take, take let it through the hands, steady…. I’m sure my heart skipped a beat, the tension was immense…. PULL, bang…. Static, hold, dig in, hold, this rope is going nowhere. Hang on dig in, happy place, feel the burn ride it out, pain. After what seemed like an eternity of no movement, my forearms are on fire, the crowed is screaming beyond possible human frequencies, the rope tightens in the grip of six pain stricken men of men cracking between our fingers, all we can hear is screaming of support. In 1987 Nigel Mansell said the crowds of support at Silverstone are worth half a second, he’s not wrong the camaraderie of the loyal OC spurred the team on, deafening but needed support was relentless, the burn of forearm and thighs hurt so badly, puuuush tiiight, here we go yesssss, squeeze… the whistle blows. The OC supporters go mad, the team take a knee to regain oxygen, we’ve done it, a double, I love this club, the support, the teams the camaraderie, we have it all. I regain my sences to have my hands shook and grabbed, the team are ecstatic, the OC supporters are screaming. We’ve done it, the double, the pain, the win. The MR2OC all blacks triumphant. A tear in my eye seeps down my cheek, emotion wow.
As of course the IKO with multiple events , the OC entered them all, the OC football team were devastatingly unlucky in the final, to loose out to a side with a player soon to be drafted to the Brazilian national team. Second was no mean feat in this shirt pulling premadona battle.
The bungee run, inflatable jousting were also entered with yet more points to the oc. The relay race, a new event to JAE was unknown, myself and Janey, my other half Louise and Sleep-o, raced against children. The results, well look on you tube, but more valuable points.
The kart race was next, Sarah and ????? took to the track, changing shirts with the quickest time, Carol and ????? were up pushing the limits. A very close race.
Finally the Japanese food eating contest, form the OC, Red and Steve, when entering the marquee smelled like a fish mongers at high noon and some, the plates were stacked with rancid Japanese food. The whistle blow, the boys began munching. Screaming crowds and a participant who didn’t finish a mouthful later, the smallest guy wins, its Red, come on OC.
The prize giving in the marquee later that night was well, domination. Every member of the OC present sat eagerly in the warm tent listening to the presentations. Then came the tug of war, both trophies presented to both teams with great support. Then the food eating, well-done Red. The IKO shield the big one, had we enough points? Fingers were crossed, it came, we haven’t enough room up here but this goes to MR2OC…. Wooooooow. No other OC rivals the MR2OC. Back at the OC ranch sitting down, opening a beer, reflecting I realise why I have stayed with this club though thick and thin, the people and support are second to none, these people are my extended family.
Next year let’s see, lets win….
Scotland - Highland Drive 2018
Thanks to Ann, Bob, and Peter for hosting yet another great event.
The Grampian Transport Musuem was excellent and I could happily have spent more time there.
I think the 'do-your-own-thing' day is a great idea as well.
Being pursued by a couple of demented Irishmen around the Scotsburging on the final day was good craic.
Thinking of joining ? are car clubs more than the cars?
So you’ve been googling around for information on cars or MR2s specifically and you have arrived at the MR2 Owners Club site.
Firstly welcome, stay for a while and have a look round,
Take yourself back to when you were 14.. The typical day involved rolling around in a field with your mates kicking a ball for a bit, maybe playing on the computer, it's not everyone that sits there thinking "I want an mr2" (with the exception of a few of course!!) this wasn't the case for young Gaz. Mind you anyone who sees a 10th Anniversary in Lucerine Grey at the tender of age of 14 is going to set it in their minds!
Its from this chance meeting that an obsession developed and 9 years later Gaz decided what he wanted, a black n/a rev3 tbar. Now we all can't all be too picky when it comes to buying a classic and there are always going to be things that aren't quite the way we want them or perhaps that we could do without. Learning this the hard way Gaz realised perhaps he needed to broaden his horizons and after 4 viewings he managed to get the black t bar!!! well done mate - you joined the club.
2011 Saw an introduction of a weight restriction so held open weight and light weight categories. The team weighted in at 618Kg out of a 620Kg limit. Known as the MR2 all blacks to the event organisers because of our new black team shirts and from last year’s win. The light weight completion had many entries, the first pull was a surprise as the pull limit was set short and we lost the first end because of the stretch in the rope. After that hick up, the first four teams facing us were fresh meat, no completion to the MR2OC all blacks, every end was ours, and the lightweight team was through to the final after lunch. The lightweight team were against the FTO club in the final, a team with six men and a woman facing our six man team. The first end was tough, very static, the OC supporters screaming support helped us inch the rope backwards. The second end we found it hard to dig in and where pulled forward, Jay injured his knee badly and was replaced with Steve. This was a bone of contention to the other team so an agreement found, the FTO club can have an extra girl. Do they pick the skinniest girl in there club….no, she’s well equipped, so six of us against eight. The support is gathered en mass at the side lines the club is in support the team lines up at the rope, for the third and final end. After what seemed like an eternity of no movement, our forearms are on fire, the crowed is screaming, the rope tightens in the grip of six pain stricken men of men cracking between our fingers, the camaraderie of the loyal OC spurred the team on the whistle blew. The OC supporters go mad, the team take a knee to regain oxygen, and we’ve done it, a double.
2011 JAE MR2OC Tug of War team;
2011 Saw an introduction of a weight restriction so held open weight and light weight categories. The open weight category only had two teams enter AVW and ourselves, so our team went straight to the final after lunch. We win the coin toss the good end is ours, as soon as the command pull was uttered by the line judge the team is into full swing shooting backwards. The second end was the same but even faster, if you had of blinked you would have missed it, the open weight team decimated the opposition.
2011 JAE MR2OC Tug of War Open weight Tug of War team;
The It’s a Knock Out competition works by all the events entered by clubs awarded points for their results then calculated giving an overall winning club. Due to the performances of all the contenders, Tug of War, food eating, football, endurance, go karting and a crazy relay race the club easily beat off any other competition. The prize giving in the marquee was a great feeling, when it was announced that the club had won It’s a Knockout all club members stood up to take centre stage, which was half of the marquee. MR2OC took the silverware home.
The endurance event now a highly contested event of JAE was going to be a tough challenge as this year the competitors had two 18 inch alloy wheels to hold out to the side at arm’s length. Justin Smitty and Jez entered, unfortunetly for Justin already carrying a bicep injury had to pull out. That left our Jez, the 7 foot personal trainer. The man to beat in this competition is NPOC’s bear, a goliath of a man who set a stunning time that no one could get close to, until Jez stepped up. Jez was very close, only short from the bear by 3 seconds. A strong man and a strong contender.
There are eating contests and there is the JAE Japanese eating contest. Every year the organisers go all out to find the most putrid food the Japanese produce, in order to feed it to a marquee of crazy car enthusiasts, simple rules, whoever eats all their food first wins. Protock (Red) and Steve (Steve-M-UK) entered representing the club, and on entering the marquee were greeted with the most foul smell of rotting fish. Sat at the table happily grinning to each other wearing the JAE head band, they began to eat the plate of squid, compressed fish and ginger, a load of unrecognisable sticking fish parts all coated in hot wasabi source. Now Red isn’t the biggest of people but he can sure eat, carefully eating in order to have best effect. Red stands up shouts MR2OC and wins beating much larger blokes. Top work, very impressive, please go and brush your teeth.
The world record attempt is for the longest parade of MR2’s in convoy. The main organisation was taken on by Topgun (Mick) who put the day together with organisation on the day from HowlingMad (Kireon) and Chris. Convoys from all over the country converged onto Silverstone to drive around the circuit in a huge convoy. It was an early start to meet up with other members at meeting points then into Silverstone with a car park all to ourselves, after signing on and having a briefing from the officials the cars were organised into colour order by Kireon and Gaz. Three laps of the circuit later and we had completed what we had set out to do. The world record attempt can’t just be attributed to MR2OC, all the MR2 clubs were involved to make this record breaking day happen.
The best club stand at JAE is what every car club aspires to, 2008 at Mersea Island was the perfect JAE. The club stand was next to the beach, the sun was beaming all weekend and we had a lovely marquee with every luxury. But what really made it was the people, we have the friendliest club with warm welcoming people. The JAE officials send people around to all the club stands to judge them, however they aren’t wearing the JAE organisers shirts so nobody knows who they are. Our club easily came top.
The It’s a Knock Out competition was new to 2008, it works by all the events entered by clubs awarded points for their results then calculated giving an overall winning club. Due to mainly Justin Smitty’s faultless performance, as well as the football team, DannyH taking part in the food eating competition and not the greatest year for the Tug of War team, MR2OC took the silverware home.