What is it? Well, essentially, it’s a Navigational Scatter Rally, which means an event in which competitors need to find their way, via a route of their choosing, to a number of manned and unmanned control points, after plotting the location of these on a map from provided grid references.
The name of the event is derived from the fact that it’s held during the early hours of darkness and involves seeking to discover, at each control point, a board bearing the name of a bird. In order to locate the board, at Manned Control points only, a task or challenge has to be performed, on foot, by competitors. This involves following instructions – some simple and straightforward, based on compass bearings and distances - some more cryptic in nature – which should lead them to the actual position of the board.
The event, (staged in accordance with MSA Rules), is generally held on the third Saturday in November though this may vary slightly to avoid clashes with other events. 2017, will mark the 42nd time the event has been staged; the date is Saturday 18th November.
The ‘Nightjar’, this year, will be centred on the Old Basing Village Hall, RG24 8AR, Hampshire, from which point competitors will be sent off, in the late afternoon/early evening, at short intervals, into the Hampshire, Surrey and/or Berkshire countryside to seek out the bird signs
Although intended primarily for historic vehicles, (i.e.pre-war), which are entered in Class One, it’s also open to post-war classics and moderns, entered in Class Two. There are further sub-divisions to allow for varying degrees of experience and expertise, namely Beginner, Novice and Expert.
Pre-war vehicles are allowed 4.5 hours to complete the rally and post-war classics/moderns 4.25 hours. All competing crews then return to the start location where an (optional) hot meal may be consumed whilst results are calcuated and a number of prizes and awards presented.
This event caters for and appeals to all; the serious Inter Register Club competitor, the not quite so dedicated but nevertheless keen rallyist and the family entering in their beloved historic or workaday modern!, just for fun. ‘Regulars’ often remark that it’s infinitely better than spending a night in watching some mediocre reality show or suchlike on TV. If you’re looking for an evening’s fun – with a difference - give the ‘Nightjar a go! Supplementary Instructions and
Entry Forms will be available on the North Hampshire Austin Enthusiasts’ Group website, from mid-September onwards (www.nhaeg.org.uk), or by contacting the Event Secretary, Trevor Edwards, on 01344 775012..