Le Jog December – December 2021

‘This was one of the toughest Le Jog editions I have been involved with for ten years,’ said Guy Woodcock, Clerk of the Course for Le Jog 2021. ‘Every kind of bad weather hit the event from high winds to hailstones, snow to black ice and flooded tracks!’

Crews were challenged from the early morning start at Land’s End all the way to John O’ Groats, and the toughness of the event was borne out by the lack of medals won, with just three gold, silver and two bronze awarded. ‘It’s been a long time since that has happened, so once again Le Jog lived up to its reputation as being the toughest [such event] in Europe,’ Woodcock went on to say.

Seventy cars with crews from ten countries assembled at the most westerly point of England, of which 54 made it to the finish some 1500 miles later. My son Paul and I couldn’t believe it had been 21 years since we competed in our snug little Saab 96!

Perranporth Raceway, overseen by Truro & District MC, played host to a couple of tests on the Saturday, cars ‘slalom-ing’ around the unforgiving tyre- bundles as the early morning sun pushed through the clouds to clear away the puddles. And yes, quite a few made elementary mistakes, in the process losing points early on. But HERO/ERA’s flagship event is a marathon not a sprint and all those who made it across the finish line were winners. Le Jog is a an old-style rally: regularities, special tests, hill-climbs – you name it. Remember the days?

A hat full of bling; pretty Alfa Guilietta poised at the start of the first test at Perranporth; and underway on the second; Bentley Mk 6 Special eats the tarmac

The brainchild of rally stalwart John Brown back in 1993, Le Jog continues to be a real test of driver, navigator and car. ‘Thrown into the whole mix – and maybe the crowning glory of Le Jog – is a half-night navigational road rally in darkest Wales,’ says John Kiff, event veteran. ‘But that’s after you’ve spent all day doing a rally up through the West Country,’ Others might attest that the

monster ‘Loch Ness Regularity’ is something special to behold. Whichever is to your taste however, a warming snifter of Singleton’s at John O’ Groats Hotel will always top off the occasion!

  • We were saddened to hear the news of the passing of Willy Cave, navigator extraordinaire. Willy competed on hundreds of rallies during his long lifetime, not least many Le Jogs. Paul and I were honoured to share a breakfast table with him for a ‘Full Scottish’ at  Lybster, Caithness, in 2000.
  • A recommended read is: ‘Putting Willy Cave on the Map’ by Pablo Raybould.

Richard Sumner

OMC Cornwall Correspondent