Serendipity has always played a part in my life, that is not to say there is no planning involved; I am fairly careful to adhere to plans laid down, so avoiding disrupting those of others, but I was only scheduled to visit Goodwood on the Friday originally but I met a group in the Sponsors’ enclosure who due to the misfortune of their engine not being ready had been unable to complete in the Rally area, Martin had two spare tickets for the Saturday, and very kindly offered them to me on learning I would not be visiting on the remaining days.
At the end of the afternoon, Claire, his wife gave me her number so we could meet back at their campervan, so Peter was destined to remain in his vehicle charging his battery whilst I rendezvoused with my benefactors to collect the tickets, the deal struck was that I photograph their car in the Rally section at next year’s event, which I will be thrilled to honour!
My journey home on Friday was doubly enjoyable as Peter invited me into his cousins’ house where he and Diana had been staying and I had a very relaxing chat and something to eat in their Hindhead home with their excitable Labradors, before setting off and getting in touch with Lizzy and Tim to decide how best to use the gift of tickets, and much as Lizzy would love to have come, Tim was thrilled to join me. We set off slightly later than planned, but we miraculously managed to sail through the traffic, but just parked slightly further away than Peter and I had managed the day before.
Duly doused with a liberal coating of sun-block cream, we gathered our camera kit and headed in as we came to the installation in front of the house, this day it was bathed in sunshine, rather than a backdrop of clouds as it had been on the previous day. The early part of the day was spent in the enclosure where we had an excellent view of the exit of the first corner, which meant we soon found ourselves amongst other like-minded souls, and I was able to help a couple of them as to how to set up their cameras to get the best out of the opportunities to pan their cameras. They were excited and keen ‘students’ and it was rewarding to see their pleasure from their improved results. Although both had very different cameras, there was considerable rivalry, and they planned a competition and envisaged a return journey of considerable argument as to who had the best shots of the day!
It was good to see the Vulcan again, but clashing with the Supercars certainly made it harder to get the best of both photographed, but the challenge was good!
Tim and I visited the commercial area where I showed him the surfing display on the Peugeot stand, and he captured interesting angles and details of cars we found on display whilst using my EOS 5D and the 72-200mm lens – he had lent his own camera to his mother prior to the weekend! There was one slight hiatus in my day when after visiting the Lotus stand I began getting the precursor blindspots to migraine, and so had to lie down in welcome shade whilst Tim went off for water so I could down two Paracetamols; fortunately I caught it in time, so was soon back on my feet and we headed for Molecomb to watch the reinstated Soapbox event.
We had bypassed the Supercars earlier in the day, so we spent some time watching the bikes setting off from the start, before visiting the cars in that area and seeing Steve Ryder talking to camera about a portrait of James Hunt; although the likeness was excellent I was less impressed than with the excellent Peter Hearsey artwork to be found within the Stables Yard.
My two days at a Festival of Speed were exhausting in the heat, but wonderfully enjoyable amidst an impressively friendly atmosphere, also due to Tim’s excellent observation of a way of avoiding the crush to exit our car park by the way we entered, we left by a different gate, and made excellent time on the return journey and one last memory: an ambulance came up behind us blue lights blazing, and we managed to immediately find a small gap on the left to pull in and let it by without losing our place in the queue, and then ahead to watch two others do precisely the same, such that we provided no hindrance to its passage with minimal fuss, sadly after passing through a village slowly we saw she had made less progress with others beyond us three.
Now the task of culling, editing and making sense of all the photos taken over the two days…