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Old 24th May 2012, 12:27   #46
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Default Re: R&T Great Mountain Challenge 2012

Thanks Viji & Vivek for the pictures. How about some story telling also? Atleast how the track was and different obstacles etc?
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Old 29th May 2012, 12:37   #47
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Jaggu, Will do, although I am not good at narration leg,but, will definitely try to recollect the sequence of events and get into a rhetorical mode at the earliest.
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Old 31st May 2012, 22:11   #48
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It all started with the R&T Mountain Challenge 2012, thread started by Robinson. I saw this by January 30th and immediately confirmed my participation. My excitement had no bounds, and to ratify my mind-state to my fellow team-BHPians, I am a newcomer to the forum and I was just coming out of my hangover from the Bangalore Annual OTR- 2012, which happens to be my first professional off-road event.


As detailed by Robinson, the event initially was supposed to be very tough with the onset of rains, with slushy patches and water bodies, but , since the rain God had other plans the event was restructured to make it more exciting to all participants and as Robinson guaranteed , the event did have its stock of surprises.


Meanwhile, I got busy searching for a 5.38 differential setup to replace my existing diff and I was lucky to get hold of the same, just 9 days before the event. I badly wanted to check this setup on my 89’er-MM540, from the time that I heard about the advantage on such setup from the one and only Suresh Stephen during the Bangalore annual OTR. The setup was done with all checks/service done by March 1st and that was when I noticed white smoke from the exhaust and less power (rev flattening out in my own layman’s term), while moving on to 3rd and 4th gear. Mechanic suspects a fuel pump issue and since good technicians were not available nearby, decided to take the route through Kannur to get this resolved on my way towards Kuttikanam, Kerala where the event was being conducted. So I start off from Madikeri on 7th March, 2012 and reach Kannur in 4 hours time for the planned half day fuel pump service at Bosch service centre. This turns out to be a full day work and was forced to take a break at kannur on 7th night; with plans to start-off early by 4am since the destination was still 400 kms away with the Ghats section towards the end and also the 8:30 pm deadline for early bird registration for the event on 7th. I start off on 8th morning as planned and reach Thodupuzha where I spend a good 3 hours changing my worn out Maxxis Creepy to a more sedate AT tyres from MRF as no other option was available. This was the last pending to-do item, in my list for kitting up for a four wheel drive event. Thanks to the info I collected from the posts on the same by more experienced and expert members in the forum in the likes of Sultan Khan (see http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...4x4-india.html (Places to buy stuff for Off-Roading/4x4 in India)).

Enough of me, me and my MM540!!! – back to more details on the event as such. I reached the Misty Mountain Resort for registration at around 8pm after a long days’ drive and found myself waiting till 8:30 pm with one of the organizers(Benjy) telling me that I am not registered and cannot take part for the event as he sees no payment on my account in his list. I was liaising with Nikhil, a well behaved guy among the organizers all this time from February, and a quick and detailed recheck on events’ bank account, after Nikhil’s guarantee to Benjy that my payment has come through confirmed the same and phew!!! I am in to the event after all of what I had gone through in the last couple of days.

I should say that the 8th evening registration formalities were not professionally handled or organised as there was bit of confusion among some of the organisers and the mess-up on attending to fine details like taking care of outstation candidates’ accommodation/registration. I was very unhappy to see the Bangalore team, with M.P.Sreenivasan sir on the lead, being asked to wait for registration and allotment of rooms for accommodation till the 8th evening briefing on the event is over(soon after there long 500 kms journey from Bangalore) . I stepped in to tell Nikhil that Sreenivas sir is a known senior respected person from the Bangalore off-road fraternity and that he was one of the main people behind the Bangalore annual off-road event to Nikhil and he in turn did help the Bangalore team by arranging temporary makeshift arrangements and finally the Bangalore team was asked to drive 5kms to a nearby lodging. People should start feeling that I am going on a negative note, but no, I assure you that I enjoyed the whole event in its totality except some hiccups which were minor and others which were major like the one explained above.

We end up the evening with a mixed bag feeling, with the detailed explanation on the event by Robinson, Kurien brothers, and none other than Benjy (whom, I felt, was one of the main reasons for the event to go well organised ) and some crappy dinner for which we were asked to shell out extra Rs200/head onsite.


Day 2 – The flag off.


More on the write-up,pictures/video coverage on the 4 stages on day one, if you can still put up with my style of writing!!!?
Some pictures ti then and a video on Stage 4, where I was taken to along with my fellow team members, towards the start of the event.



Can anyone identify the lead Marshall on this stage on the loud speaker in this video ? First person to identify this guru will get to have a coffee with me at Bangalore
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Last edited by jmvivek : 31st May 2012 at 22:26.
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Old 1st June 2012, 18:24   #49
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Just to correct myself , the video posted earlier was on stage3 and not stage 4.

Day 2 – The flag off.


There were around 50 plus jeeps/gypsys for the event and were split into four groups. Each group had a Marshall guiding us to the assigned SS out of the four Special Stages for the day to start with. Each special stage was to be completed by a team of two jeeps as stipulated within the given time to earn 200 points. I was lucky to get Kuku & his friend from Kanjirapally who happens to do frequent casual off-road trips in his estate as my partner . Best part was that we both along with our navigators came in to enjoy the event and feel the adrenaline rush and was not at all bothered about winning.


Special Stage 4

This is a unique SS which will have a run in the forward direction and then in reverse drive, 200 points for each vehicle completing this stage without downing the flag posts put in at some of the tight corners. I was thinking that this would be difficult, especially doing the same in reverse, but my 540 did this with ease with the MRF AT tyres.Ony issue was that I found it tough to negotiate tight corners with my 540’s length and the manual power steering. My partners CJ340 also completed this stage with ease and both of us earned 200 points each(-20 seconds each) on this special stage to be carried over to a speed run for the next day(speed run did I say !!!?).



other friends on stage 4




Just to addin, was expecting the Chennai team/brigade for this event and did miss the excitement that they would have added on to this event.
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Last edited by jmvivek : 1st June 2012 at 18:49.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 09:10   #50
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Special Stage 3

We were taken to SS3 after this .This was a slushy patch. We were allowed to do recovery on this SS. The participants could do self recovery with the help of partner vehicle or use the standby vehicle. Total time given for this stage was 15 minutes. Out of the 25 odd teams, only two teams who went into this track towards the beginning could cross over the last slush pit. Rest got stuck including us, and by the time our turn came up the pit was almost 4 feet deep. Our plan was to collect the 200 points without breaking the vehicle and drove each others vehicle in such a way that one vehicle was always available to do the recovery anytime and this really did workout for us.

One of the teams in our group doing the stage3.



Last edited by jmvivek : 2nd June 2012 at 09:11.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 09:26   #51
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Special Stage 2
It was a curvy, rocky incline which require 100% spotting. Both the team vehicles were to complete this SS within the stipulated time of 10 minutes. The entry and exit are at the same spot. This was a challenging SS that I thoroughly enjoyed. The drivers were advised to be very careful on throttle input, as excess throttle input could result in toppling of the vehicle/axle breakage. And yikes, I was scared going into this challenge as this was my first proper rock climb with my 540 and had no previous experience as how the vehicle would behave except the 2 minutes crash course on the Avalaconda trail in Bangalore Annual event 2012. We were asked to keep atleast one tyre across the yellow line trackers to stay of from negative points. We completed this stage also without any issues.





One of the teams from the BODA stable
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Old 2nd June 2012, 09:59   #52
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Special Stage 1 – the last one for the day to take us through to the speed event slated for the next day

It was a tight curvy incline with separate entry and exit. Both the team vehicles were to complete this SS within 10 minutes. This was difficult only due to the tight corners and also one or two steep inclines on curves. My 540 length and manual steering did pose a bit of difficulty . This special stage got even more trickier with the Marshal telling us that we would get negative points even if we touch the tapes/flag posts around the track. We completed this stage with full points taking us to a total of 800 points each or minus 80 seconds to start with, for the speed event the next day.






one of the other teams


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Old 9th June 2012, 13:33   #53
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Was away at my farm for last couple of days and had limited access to the net. Back in Bangalore and here we go again with the day2 evening and also to wrap up with Day3 start and end.

Yes, Day 2 evening saw tired jeepers and gypzies' joining in for a music filled evening, with the KTM team opening up on their hospitality bit with free flowing beverages(although people were well stocked up ) and yet again with some limited food(and the worst was being reminded about the same, time and again).

Anywayz, the 'O' team with Roby,Nikhil,Benjy was moving around i full swing to make us guests comfortable , and hats off to the same.

Day2eveninginparts through my eyes



And this was how Day3 started. Out of the 50 odd jeeps , only around 20 made it on time to start off at 8:30 am for a quick drive upto a scenic spot near Thangalpara. The weather was chill and the jeeps were warmed up for the speed event to follow.

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Old 9th June 2012, 16:16   #54
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Day 3 had a speed drive as the finale, wherein the 2 member team who has collected their 0 to -80 seconds, start off for their final drive for the finish. The track was a mixed drive with some tricky corners filled with differential/axle busting 4wheel drive sections and some deceptive slush patches. One of the two jeeps start-off at flag-off and the second jeeps follows into the track after a minute's interval. The final eam timing is derived in the following manner.

(End time of the second jeep into the track - the start time of the first jeep) netted off with the 0to-80seconds gained from the previous day.

For example, if the day3 speed event was completed by the team in 4 minutes and the previous day the team colleccted -60 seconds, the finaltiming would be 4minutes-60sconds = 3 minutes.

If I remember correctly, a team from Eranakulam came first, followed by one of the teams from the BODA stable and 3rd,I do remember the guys(one of them worsened a previous hand injury needing medical intervention during the event), but not sure where from. PLeae do correct me if I am wrong guyzzz and do detail this part , if possible.

Overall the event was excellent, was totally a competition event, wherein, the participants should be prepared for eventualities with their vehicles including busting their radiators, differentials, and damage to body and skin, if absolute concentration and care is not taken. People who came in with some vintage restored jeeps were not that happy leaving the event, because of the same. But a competition event has to be in this manner, but I guess the offroad driving bit could have been more challenging. My gut feel was that a short chassis jeep with a raised and spruced up gypsy would be the best combo for this event . Another option would be a short chassis jeep with THAR crdi , and sounds deadly.

So here I end up with what little , I could collect as memorabilia from the final day.



and here is a collection of some wonderful moments on the final day , captured through the experienced eyes and lenses of Pradeep Eapen , a new found friend from this event. Was wonderful meeting this guy from Thrissur.



Njoy!!!
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Old 9th June 2012, 23:13   #55
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Default Re: R&T Great Mountain Challenge 2012

Thanks Vivek, for us who couldn't make it, this report with pics and video's are truly a blessing
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