There was a big surprise for Jim Clark Reivers Rally organisers at Scottish rallying’s end of season gala awards night in Glasgow last week.
For the Berwickshire-based event was awarded the Chairman’s Cup for the best event of the national 2013 Scottish Rally Championship.
And, in front of champions past and present, and almost 500 guests, the team behind the local event had their efforts officially recognised and rewarded.
Stepping up to receive the trophy, which was presented by Britain’s first ever World Rally Champion, Louise Aitken-Walker, was a very surprised Colin Smith from Lauder, clerk of the course for the Reivers event.
“I was gobsmacked, absolutely gobsmacked,” said a delighted Smith.
“Never in a month of Sundays did I dream of this. I knew we had a run a near-perfect event, but there are so many great events and excellent organising teams in the Scottish Championship, that it’s always difficult to pick a winner.”
Clerk of the course for the past six years, Smith added: “It’s a team effort. Over the past few years we have introduced new ideas and new faces in the organising team, so this recognition is a culmination of all their efforts.”
Commenting on the presentation of this award, Scottish Rally Championship chairman, Dave Robson, said: “While all event organisers are under continuous pressure in their volunteer roles, the additional restrictions of a Road Closure Order means that when a closed road rally runs as well as the 2013 Reivers did, and is enjoyed by all competitors as a high speed test of bravery and skill, it deserves recognition.”
Managing an event such as the Reivers Rally, supported by Scottish Borders Council, is a huge task each year for the amateur team. On this year’s one-day event there were eight special stages totalling 58 timed-to-the-second miles of competition incorporated into a 110-mile road route around the highways and byways of Berwickshire. Not only that, the organising team comprised some 300 organisers, officials, marshals and other helpers, and the whole event ran like clockwork.
When asked when they start planning next year’s event in 2014, Smith commented: “We started planning two weeks after the last one.” And already the team has something new up their sleeves: “We do have one new ‘thing’ planned for next year’s event which will make it different again,” hinted Smith.
As for what that ‘thing’ is, we’ll have to wait till Sunday, June 1, 2014.