The Night Navigation Season got back under way with the non championship Monaghan Motor Club’s event. The COC Shane Maguire put together a tricky and testing route for the 40 crews who took the start in Bellanode. 5 crews represented the Cavan Motor Club in this event with Ciaran Mc Elroy and Damian Mc Cabe running in the semi expert class for this year ahead of Darren O’Brien and Thomas Wedlock in the Novice class. Justin Smyth was drafted in to drive for Connor Maguire in the Expert class. And Ruaidhri Nash was Navigating to Donal Mc Ardle in the Beginners class along with Mickey Conlon driving for Paul Mullholland also in the Beginners class.
The route showed it’s teeth early on with many crews dropping penalties as early as TP5. Time point 11 and 12 were located in the same place, which caused difficulties further down the field as most semi and novice crews dropped time or missed them completely. Time points 18 to 22 were once again located in the Bragan Mountain’s with fast flowing gravel lanes and the odd tight farmyard ensuring there was no let up as the plot and bash sections were very well laid out and tricky. A quick petrol halt in the Killylough area just north of Tydavnet was a welcomed break for all competitors as more of the same lay ahead through the second half. Timepoints 26-30 were also plot and bash and once again their locations were set out in such a way that any small navigator error resulted in missing time points or worse still, double visits. Nineteen of the 37 crews still in the hunt missed time points 28 and 29 altogether as they failed to negotiate a tulip diagram correctly, leading them straight to time point 30. The last 5 timepoints led crews back to the Bellanode/Tydavnet areas as the overall result was ultimately decided on the last lane of the night with all crews dropping time.
After a tough night back in the seat Ciaran Mc Elroy and Damian Mc Cabe finished up 4th in semi expert on 116 points. Darren O’Brien and Thomas Wedlock finished the night on 146 points and one of the top novice crews. Justin Smyth and Connor Maguire came in 9th overall on 50 points. Mickey Conlon and Paul Mullholland finished the night 2nd Beginners on an impressive 108 marks. Donal Mc Ardle and Ruaidhri Nash had been running clear with no penalties through the first 18 time points but unfortunatley all came to an end when they slid into a ditch on Bragan Mountain and got stuck failing to finish the event.