Trophy Pironet held at Sporthall Weyninck Hoven, Hove Belgium 8/9 September 1979
Alan Barclay aka The Banker had attended this rally whilst serving in the army in Germany so I knew about this one five years before I actually got around to going. It's all a matter of timing and being in the right place at the right time. The continent used to be awash with events with several great rallys clashing. There were just not enough weekends in the year.
In 1979 I was working on a power station just outside of Hamm in North Rhine Westphalia so, at a loose end, I jumped onto the R100RT and got onto the E3 autobahn and it was about 300 miles with me arriving about mid-day at the sporthall.
I cannot for the life of me remember about the campsite, but I must have camped as on signing on I was given a map with points marked on it and informed that I must ride to as many, if not all, of them to get my piece of paper stamped. So like nearly all the other people present I got on the bike and rode another pointless 100 miles. On returning to the sporthall we were given a questionnaire to complete to be a type of tie breaker in the event several riders getting the same amount of points. All totally pointless.
What I do remember is this bloody great organ built into the inside of the sporthall, the type of thing that has female manikins bashing cymbals and great drums and organ pipes on it. Once you've seen one you've seen them all.
There's a fair chance that I met up with Stewart Paice there as we did get to several events together while he was working Brussels as a sous chef.
I did another Hove Rally the following year but missed the ride out.
Besides a badge there was also a 100mm square trophy to put on your mantle piece.
- Les Hobbs