Acting as Clerk of Course

The Clerk of Course has the overall responsibility for setting out one of our off road trials (that means deciding and marking out the ground that the drivers will have to traverse) and for the supervision and operation of the trial on the day. All of the marshals and competitors at the competition have to submit to his/her control.

(This is really good job for a megalomaniac!)

The appointed Clerk of Course sets up and operates each trial following the rules laid down by the Association of Land Rover Clubs (ALRC). The ground we drive over may look, to the outsider, a little scary or even dangerous, but this is not the case and it’s the Clerk of Course whose job it is to interpret the rules to deliver a safe, but challenging event for all the entrants.

You need some experience of trialling before you can take up the role as Clerk of Course and so we run special training days to provide this experience under the supervision of the club’s older hands and our Competition Secretaries. You could then pair up with a more experienced member of the club to jointly set up a trial. You will gain valuable experience, he will be glad of the help and the club will be able to offer a great trial!

Once you have the necessary skill level, either by being a marshal or by competing and by attending the training days we provide, taking the reins and going solo as Clerk of Course is very exciting and rewarding.

For a start you get determine the course and once you get to know a few of the competitors you really do get a buzz from designing sections and gates that can prove just that little too demanding for some.

For example, setting up gates to force competitors to drive across existing wheelruts can easily catch out the unwary. Placing a gate on an angle to the approach of a hill on a tight turn can make the rear near-side of their vehicle tap the gate flag, all adding up to a great days fun – it isn’t called a trial for nothing!

There is no need to continually reinvent the wheel, and all our trials have been run on many of the same sites for some years and so we have a established schedule to follow which includes; liaising with the regular landowner, signing on competitors, provision of the trial equipment, supervision of marshals, on site parking, briefings, first aid and recovery.

If you have never acted as Clerk of Course then please give it some consideration – you will certainly become more popular with the competing members of the club, and you may get a round of applause and a vote of thanks at the end of the day – IF you haven`t been too devious in setting up your sections.

There is a great satisfaction that comes from a job well done and always an appreciation from the competitors who realise the time and effort it all has taken, even from those who didn’t finish every section!