Low Wood Bay was privileged to host the initial leg of the 11th Flying Scotsman Vintage Motor Rally. The exciting and challenging route started from the hotel early on 5th April, before travelling through the Northern Pennines, the Scottish borders and finishing in Gleneagles.
One of the competitors, and seasoned rally driver, Bill Cleyndert took a moment to tell us why he loves endurance rallying, and how he first met Betsy, his 1928 Ford.
Bill and Betsy at Low Wood Bay
I got involved in rallying about 10 years ago encouraged by Philip Young (the founder of The Endurance Rally Association, and rightly credited with the success of the rally scene as it is today). Since entering my first rally it has rather taken over my life and opened up a world that I feel privileged to belong to. We have travelled the world and met the most amazing people whilst enjoying our cars to the full.
For this year’s Flying Scotsman (our 8th) I will be driving my favourite car, Betsy, a 1928 Ford Model A. Betsy and I go back a long way and we have had some amazing experiences together, including past Flying Scotsmans, the Peking to Paris rally in 2013, the Sahara Rally (which we won outright) and numerous other events.
I came across Betsy in Holland whilst negotiating on another car back in 2006. I couldn’t get the deal that I wanted on the car that I had gone to see, but this bright, shiny whimsical car caught my eye sitting in the back of the showroom. To cut a long story short, I came away with two cars that day – hence, unexpectedly, I became the custodian of Betsy not realising just how much fun lay ahead of us!
This will be my 8th Flying Scotsman. I hadn’t a clue about rallying when I first started, the 2011 Flying Scotsman being my first vintage rally. Since then I’ve learned a lot, experienced a huge amount and have had pretty good success. My best result on the Scotsman was coming 2nd overall in 2015.
Life is one big adventure when rallying. I have met the most amazing people, seen the world and had my most amazing experiences whilst rallying. It has been, and continues to be a privilege that I hope I can enjoy for some time to come.
As always, this year’s Flying Scotsman is expected to be tough. Leigh Powley has kindly offered to sit next to me as navigator. I’ve known Leigh for a number of years and he is a very experienced navigator although this will be our first event together. We have a good chance of success but as always luck will have a bit part to play, luck and Betsy behaving herself!
Congratulations and thanks to Bill who, we are delighted to report, did indeed, take first place in the 11th Flying Scotsman Rally. It was great to meet you, and we wish you and Betsy many more years of happy motoring