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Old 4th August 2015, 19:15   #1
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Default Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa

The 2014 Rain Forest Challenge India, set new benchmarks in the Indian Off-roading Scene. This year, RFC India, was aggressively advertised as BIGGER, BADDER & TOUGHER, and boy did it live up to its name!

We witnessed some of the toughest obstacles, amazing action, some super innovative recovery techniques, technically sound & amazingly prepped up vehicles, a whole new level of on-vehicle competition equipment, and most of all - true brotherhood, passion and teamwork among the Indian Off-roading Clubs!

The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge really did take the Indian Off-roading Scene to a whole new level.

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9578-copy.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_2395-copy.jpg

In India, till 2014, most of the off-roading events were mostly a gathering of off-roaders, who would be invited by the hosting club, then would climb up a hill or tackle some difficult terrain. And, just for the fun of it, have a competition. The Palar Challenge was probably the first proper competitive off-road event in India. However, come 2014, the off-road scene in India changed for good. The Rain Forest Challenge by Cougar Motorsports was a properly organised large scale international standard off-road competitive event.

This year was no different. The 2015 RFC India was a properly organised, international-standard motorsport event. Cougar Motorsports have done a great job in bringing in RFC to India, and conducting the event in India with such meticulousness and perfection. Every part of organizing the event was well thought out and taken care of with perfection.
  • The PR was super - Juhi and Murchana, whom I was in touch with, did an excellent job of handling the media. From comfortable rooms to good food, the Media had everything they wanted. Even answers to most of the questions about the technicalities of the event! .
  • David Metcalf - who set the track did an amazing job. The vehicles and teams were tried and tested thoroughly all through the event.
  • All the SS Marshals - stayed put in the extremes of climate, and did an amazing job.
  • The Logistics people - did great, everything was in place.
  • The rules and regulations were solidly laid down & the scoring was prompt.
  • The scrutiny team made sure the vehicles were prepped up to the 'T'.
  • On the whole, Ashish Gupta, Ashish Pai Dukle, SPS Garcha and team, did a great job in making sure the biggest off-roading event in India, was a grand success.

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th August 2015 at 13:11.
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Old 4th August 2015, 22:01   #2
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Default About the competition.

The Competition:

At a Rs. 75,000/- entry fee for the event, the Rain Forest Challenge is no joke. It is as serious as it gets. Apart from the monetary aspect, participating in the RFC needs solid preparation on your part in all aspects. As I see it, if 100% is what it takes to complete the competition, only 50% is with the driver and co-driver, in which driving is only 20%. Your co-driver plays a more important role than the driver. He controls the steering, brakes, and throttle from the outside. You need proper coordination here. 30% of the work is done by the co-driver. Out of the remaining 50%, vehicle preparation, equipment levels and technically sound spec will be 20%, and last but not the least 30% would be the team, which includes, mechanics, welders, electricians, cooks, friends, family, and everyone else! You can't win the RFC as a person. You can only win it as a TEAM.

The level of vehicle preparation & equipment needed to compete in this event is quite crazy when compared to the standards of the Indian Off-roading Scene. Some of the major modifications to your normal Jeep/Gypsy would be a dual battery system, a winch, a hi-lift jack, 6 point roll cage, 4 point full harness seatbelts, aggressive mud tyres, and some extensive recovery and safety equipment. This is of course apart from the unsaid requirements in performance modifications, which in most cases included bigger and more power engine/drive train, better suspension, off-road friendly steering, LED lighting and other modifications.

2015 RFC India, was spread across 6 days, 26 Special Stages (SS) and one Twilight SS. There were Prologue SS's 1-12, Predator SS's 13-18, Terminator SS 19-24, Twilight SS 25-26 and a final Twilight SS. Each Special Stage was worth 100 points. The vehicle which completed the SS fastest without any penalties got 100 points. The second fastest would get 95, third fastest would get 90 points. After which minus 3 points for each position till 12th, 2 points till 20th and one point after that. The twilight special stage was 100 points for those who completed it. Penalty points (eg: breaking the bunting tape, not following safety protocols, etc.) would be subtracted after completing the SS. There was a particular amount of time to complete each SS, after which teams would be given Did Not Finish (DNF). DNF was 10 points or 20 points depending on what you completed on the stage. You also had to report to the SS at an aforementioned time, or after a particular amount of time since the last SS, failing which you will get Did Not Start (DNS) which was 0 points.

The team which got maximum points at the end of the twilight stage won. There was Overall Rankings, up to 1600cc Petrol or Diesel category, 1601 - 2600 cc Diesel category, above 2600 cc Petrol or Diesel, and UTV Categories.

RFC has a very detailed handbook, which can be found here.

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th August 2015 at 11:54.
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Old 5th August 2015, 21:49   #3
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Default The Registration & Scrutiny.

The Registration & Vehicle Scrutiny

The center for the Rain Forest Challenge was at the International Center, Dona Paula, Goa. I reached there on the 23rd of July. The Registration & Vehicle Scrutiny were scheduled to happen on 24th. However, teams who came early could get their scrutiny done on the 23rd itself. So they had a chance to fix anything that the RFC Scrutiny team didn't agree with - making their vehicles RFC ready!

And, this is what you needed to get the vehicles RFC Ready:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_2293.jpg

It was raining heavily on the 23rd, but the International Center was full of life, witnessing some of the best builds in the country getting checked out! This year there was a huge improvement when compared to last year with regard to vehicle builds, since teams had got enough time to prepare. They had also gotten a very good idea about what kind of terrain they would need to tackle. This resulted in some amazing builds.

Some points I noticed.
  • Except for 4 vehicles, all the vehicles had coil spring set ups.
  • 90% of them had upgraded the engines and drivetrain.
  • ALL of them had high speed winches. An absolute necessity, I'd say, as important as the engine.
  • 90% of them ran Silverstone extreme mud pattern tyres. Force ran Maxxis Trepedor competition edition tyres.
  • All of them except one had 33"+ size tyres. One year back these were considered huge, now common!
  • Most of them had fully hydraulic tractor steerings.
  • Builds were professionally done, no jugaad.
  • Lots of imported stuff on vehicles. Meaning, a huge market is open.

The Gypsy from Bombay reached on the 23rd. Check out how RIGHT & LEFT was written on the windshield. This is to help the spotter say the correct direction for the driver to turn - which is the driver's right or left. It's an absolute necessity for teams to follow this. Also check out the coil spring set up on the regular gypsy axles:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bombay-gypsy.jpg

The Gerrari team also came on the 23rd.

Check out the simplest & humblest looking vehicle in the RFC, with absolutely no importance given to the cosmetics department - yet an extremely functional build. So functional, this vehicle came first out of its Indian counterparts. Kabir's SWB vehicle has a Scorpio engine, coil spring suspension on CKKP axles, 33" tyres, radiator at the back and a monster Come Up High speed winch:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9159.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_2291.jpg

The simple interiors:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9160.jpg

The monster Come-Up winch:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari2.jpg

The joints m-sealed from water:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9162.jpg

Then came "The Doctor" a superb build from Sarlobh Motors (Jaskirat). This vehicle was once upon a time a Maruti Gypsy. Right now, it retains only half of the body and half of the chassis. It sports a 3.1 liter Isuzu Trooper engine and gearbox, RCV high strength imported axles, custom long travel coil-overs, fully hydraulic tractor steering (with super turning radius), rear radiator, 35" tyres and a lot more:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-chaithanya-side-profile.jpg

The owner posing with the vehicle:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-chainthanya-owner-posing.jpg

Gadgety Interiors:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-chaitanya-interior.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-chaitanya.jpg

The 3.1 liter turbocharged engine:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-engine-bay.jpg

Imported high strength CV joint axles and fully hydraulic steering:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-rcv-axles-tractor-steerring.jpg

Imported long travel shocks:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-shocks.jpg

One more vehicle I saw getting the scrutiny done was the NIOC Jeep, with the father and son. They too had the Scorpio engine, and coil-spring set up, with tyres moved forward to increase the approach angle:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9177-copy.jpg

Towards the end of the day, I met David Metcalf - the main person behind RFC India's track setting. Had a nice chat with him. He was pretty impressed by the builds this year and said that participants had put in a lot of effort, and the track will surely be worth these builds:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-david.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th August 2015 at 15:38.
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Old 6th August 2015, 00:24   #4
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Default re: Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa

The next day (24th), saw a lot of vehicles pouring in, out of which the most important and impressive to watch were the Force Motors prepared Gurkhas. These vehicles were completely done up for RFC. Except for the chassis and front face, everything else was modified on these vehicles, and they were very, very different from the Gurkhas which we have access to.

Some of the details I could gather:
Engine: Force One engines, remapped.
Suspension: Solid Axle up front and back.
Axles: Imported RCV axles (CV Joint).
Shocks: Imported Profender long travel coil-overs.
Steering: Fully hydraulic tractor type.
Tyres: 37x12.5x16 Maxxis Trepedor aggressive competition pattern
Winch: High-speed Come Up 8000 lbs winch.
Lockers: IIRC, it's Air Lockers.
The three vehicles with the exact same specifications:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurkha-main-.jpg

The front of the Gurkhas:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurkha.jpg

Just to give an idea of how high the vehicles are. The man in the picture is a dear friend, Vishnu K S, who has helped greatly with this report:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-height-comparo.jpg

The 37x12.5x16 Maxxis Trepedor aggressive competition pattern tyres:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9244-copy.jpg

Imported RCV axles (CV Joint):
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-axles.jpg

The exhaust which surprisingly isn't big. It's just about 2 inches in diameter. But then, the exhaust is super short, right after the manifold; it just juts out right behind the front wheel-well:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-exhaust.jpg

The Imported Profender long travel coil-overs:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-coilovers.jpg

The engine bay:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-engine-bay-turbo.jpg
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-engine-bay.jpg

The interior with all the switches. Notice that the lockers are switch-operated, giving me the impression that they are Air Lockers. Also notice the free spool, and the high idle switches. Very very useful in competitive and extreme off-roading:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-interiror.jpg

The rear axle and suspension:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-rear.jpg

Behind the red metal shield is the fully hydraulic tractor type steering. The shield protects the steering end which is exposed to the elements:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-f-steering.jpg

The superfast monster Come-Up 8000 lbs winch:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-winch.jpg

After the Gurkhas, Polaris were the next attraction.

The RZR 1000, which costs over 20 lacs in India:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-polaris-1000.jpg

The RZR 800 which was driven by Raj and co-driver Guhan Shetty:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-p-800.jpg

It was good to meet Team-BHP Moderator Khan_Sultan , who was also an official and track marshal at the RFC:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-khan.jpg

The FC which won the unique 4x4 award from last year. It had an MDi Turbo engine and Ironman suspension:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-fz.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-fz1.jpg

The Goan Jeep with coil-spring suspension and MDi non-turbo engine:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-goa-jeep.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-goa-jeep-1.jpg

By Noon, it was time for the press conference. From Left to Right is: Mr Luis J.A. Wee (Founder & Creator, The Rainforest Challenge), Mr Ashish Gupta (Founder & Director, Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd.), Prasan Firodia (Managing Director, Force Motors Ltd.), Mr SPS Garcha (Competition Manager for the Force Gurkha RFC India 2014 and also the Director (Northern Region) of FMSCI), Mr Mohd Sidik bin Ali Mohd (Race / Competition committee):
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-press-conference.jpg

Apart from the usual press release, Ashish Gupta thanked all the sponsors and Goa Government (who were said to be very supportive):
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ashis.jpg

Luis, the founder and creator of the RFC spoke about how India is the 8th out of 17 RFC chapters all over the world. He also spoke about how the stages must be good, but then the overall packaging must also be good for the Rain Forest Challenge to be a success, and that India is better than many other countries. He also mentioned about starting smaller chapters of RFC across the country; which is great news for aspiring off-road enthusiasts:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-luis.jpg

Towards the evening came Prabhu from New Mars, who won the most unique 4x4 award this year. Even I was pretty impressed by the front portal axles he had fabricated for himself. The ratio he was running was 1:1 and used the axles only for clearance. The other notable things in the vehicle was a Cummins 4BT engine, rancho shocks, and inverted leaf-springs.

The Jonga, which was modified into this monster:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prabhu.jpg

The tractor type hydraulic steering, which was again becoming pretty common in RFC:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-psteering.jpg

The shocks and inverted leaf-springs:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-p-rancho-leaf.jpg

The portal axles, which probably won him the unique 4x4 award. to the workmanship:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prabhu-portal-axles.jpg

The radiator and equipment at the rear:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prabhu-radiator.jpg

After the remaining vehicles were done with scrutiny, the day ended with a drivers briefing followed by an opening-night party at Bay 15:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-drivers-briefing.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th August 2015 at 13:36.
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Default Day 1 - Prologue SS

Day 1 - Prologue SS

This day, the action starts! The Prologue SS was conducted very close to the International Center, in an open ground. This was mainly intended for the spectators, and boy, it did give the spectators some solid action!

The day started off with a flag-off of all the vehicles and a group photo.

The flag-off of Kabir Warich of Gerrari Offroaders:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-flag-off.jpg

A photo to file:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-group-photo.jpg

There were a total of 6 Special Stages in the Prologue SS Day 1.

Special Stage 1:

This was Moderator Khan_Sultan's SS.

Explaining how the SS works:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-khan.jpg

The start of the SS didn't have buntings and was slightly confusing. The route map had to be properly etched into the minds of the participants before starting. You had to zig-zag along and then come into the main obstacles, which was a couple of climbs on the rocks, and then take a U-Turn to climb up the real obstacle, a big mound of mud. People were having problems here, not because of the height of the mound, but because of the weird approach angle to it.

The first Gurkha, winner of last years RFC trying it:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ghurkha-1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ghurkha-2.jpg

Got stuck on the mound. They tried to winch themselves out, but time was up, and had to take a DNF:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9347-copy.jpg

The 2nd Gurkha, the 1st runner up of last year, started off in style. However, he lost his prop shaft in the first 10 seconds due to too much power and a weird drive angle. He had to back off and take a DNF:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurkha-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prop.jpg

And then came Kabir, who was first amongst the Indians last year. He did it in style. Raced to the mound, but then took a wrong approach angle, and toppled - in style:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-kabir.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-kabir-tyopple.jpg



Most of the vehicles who tried the same approach angle Kabir tried, failed.

Now, the Bombay Gypsy tried going out to the road and coming up. However, even they failed, because they didn't get a proper anchor point to winch themselves up:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bg.jpg

Trying a different approach angle:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bg-road-.jpg

The angle was right, however, they couldn't pass through because they couldn't find a proper anchor point. The co-driver tried with all his might to hold the anchor, in vain. He was just being dragged up instead of the vehicle coming up:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bombay-gypsy.jpg

Towards the afternoon, the first Jeep that made it through this obstacle successfully was BODA's white 550. However, very unfortunate that he got a DNF, as he was just out of time:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-boda.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-boda-1.jpg

After Prashant's Jeep made it through this obstacle, many vehicles passed through. The mud from the top had fallen into the ditch on the road, making it easier.

See how Pradeep from BODA does it with ease:


Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 16:07.
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Old 6th August 2015, 15:30   #6
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Default re: Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa

SS (Special Stage) 2:

SS2 was also a part of SS8 the next day. It was pretty easy compared to SS1. It had two jump-up mud mounds to go through, take a turn, come back, climb a small wall like incline (which some vehicles just came through while some used a ladder), and then towards the end was this tricky obstacle which again some vehicles just passed through, but some needed a ladder.

Gurmeet from Gerrari off-roaders didn't have to use any recovery equipment, hence had a very good time to finish the stage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurmeet.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurmertr.jpg

Gurmeet doing it easily:


Siddhu from BODA, who came with 31" tyres and the least modified vehicle of all, doing the stage. He performed brilliantly. The cordination between Jamio and Siddhu was excellent:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-sidu1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-sidu-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-sidu-3.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-sid4.jpg

SS (Special Stage) 3: This was pretty simple to drive, however, the trick in this SS was to build a bridge with logs. After crossing it, the teams then had to dismantle the bridge they built.

This is the SS where the Malasiyans showed their expertise in building the bridge and handling the logs. They were quick working with the logs. However, in a hurry, they used too few logs for such a huge vehicle, and the result was them slipping off the bridge. They had to winch themselves out, but managed to complete in good time.

Also saw some ground anchoring techniques from them. While other teams searched for a solid ground anchor point, the Malaysians didn't waste time for that. The co-driver just ploughed the anchor in one place, weighed himself on it and started winching. While other teams would stop winching if anchor didn't hold, they just kept on winching as long as vehicle was coming forward. So, both, anchor moving forward and vehicle coming forward saved a lot of time.


This shows the log handling expertise, which none of the teams practiced till then:


Pradeep and Prithvi from BODA also did a good job. Unfortunately, the ATV team didn't do well due to some lapse in communication between the driver & co-driver.

You had to come straight:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss3-pradeep1.jpg

Build the bridge:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss3-building-bridge.jpg

Pass through it:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss3pp.jpg

Remove the logs and shoot to the finish garage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss3p.jpg

However, if you slip badly, you are DNF, like the Bombay guys who had to be towed out:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9538.jpg


SS (Special Stage) 4:

This was a technical stage. You had to park your vehicle in about 6 inches of water, use your hi-lift jack to jack up and remove one of the wheels, take it around the vehicle and fix it back. The team who did this in the minimum amount of time scored best. The trick here was not to lose your wheel nuts in the rush:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-noic-ss4.jpg

SS (Special Stage) 5:

This was a pretty fancy SS for the spectators. There were no difficult obstacles as such. A sprint run, take a U-Turn, come back again. Only catch was the narrow exit where you shouldn't touch the cone.

This video of the Pune team doing it, pretty much demonstrates what the SS is:


SS (Special Stage) 6:

Now, this is one stage after SS 1, which I watched for a long time. Different teams tried out different techniques. This SS included a ~1.5 meter vertical climb, and then you go turn and come down to make another ~1.5 meter vertical climb, but this time it's not straight - it's to the left. After successfully making the climb, you turn around and come down the 1.5 meter vertical obstacle, and then race to the finish garage.

Here's the Malaysians making the straight vertical climb and the leftie climb:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-malasiya.jpg

Here's Kabir making the same thing coolly!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-kabir-warich.jpg

Well, this vehicle is called "The Doctor" & there is thread dedicated to this vehicle here on Team-BHP. Somebody asked in that thread, if it can scale walls. Well, here are two videos which can answer that:



The Gurkhas doing the obstacles:


When getting winched out, notice how the high-speed winch works. One thing I noticed about it is that, if you don't have free spool, and you are power spooling the rope out, because of the high speed, the rope tends to get tangled. This causes the winch to pull in rope even if it's tangled. Also, one more disadvantage is that, after winching, when you need to spool the remaining rope in, you don't get enough time to correctly align and spool it in, it gets tangled.

With high speed winches, you definitely need a free spool. It saves a considerable amount of time and effort.


Now, this was something Merwin the Malasiyan driver did in style. No other vehicle did this. They just jumped off, shaving some precious time by avoiding setting up the ladders. You needed the right amount of speed and direction to do this. Pretty impressive:


Here's how Kabir tackled stuff:



So, that's with the Stages and obstacles, now for some moments for the day.

Here's the ever enthusiastic off-road couple Viji and Prabha. The level of support and coordination this man brings into the BODA team is just amazing, and watching the results - it was so fruitful!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-viji-prabha.jpg

Here's Luis, the founder and creator of the RFC watching the proceedings:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-luis-watching.jpg

This white Jeep from AP, had an Isuzu engine, and was the only Jeep with leaf springs other than the Bangalore boys. But the perch got damaged, and the welder had to set it right on the track:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ap-vehicle-isuzu-enginerepairs.jpg

Abhinav Reddy too had some problems with his arm bending. It was set right in a jiffy:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abinav.jpg

Team-BHPians Tejas (Tejas@perioimpl) and Ashish (whitemm550) watching the proceedings. Ashish is also one of the core organizers of RFC India:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-tejas-ashish.jpg

The young Gerrari boys giving me enthusiastic smiles:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerr.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 16:06.
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Old 6th August 2015, 20:28   #7
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Default Day 2 - Prologue SS

Day 2 - Prologue SS 7-12:

Today, the heat is turned on. As surprisingly, the Gerrari Team is leading the scorecard - ahead of the Malaysian drivers (last times RFC India winners).

Check out the previous day's results, and what teams will be battling on today:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-1st-day-standings.jpg

Vehicles lined up for the day. The Gerrari Team & the Force Team ready for action:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-vehicles-lined-ui.jpg

David Metcalf and his merry men, bunting & marking the tricky, demanding track. The 7th to 12th stages of the Prologue SS were considerably tougher than Day 1. Obstacles which looked simple, turned out to be tricky. Marshals briefing and stationing:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-david-mmm.jpg


Special Stage (SS) 7:

This SS had a tricky start. Right from the starting point you had to climb a meter high vertical obstacle. The tricky part was that, there was a traffic cone just behind you. You could not come back an inch, or it was a penalty. All the teams used their ladders to climb.

After the climb, the 2nd tricky part was a right handed climb, which if made without the winch would lead to the vehicle toppling. Most of the teams from the morning just cut across the bunting tape, making their path easier. This was little saddening to see none of the top teams tried to approach the obstacle the right way, out of a DNF fear.

After this, you had to climb down. If not done at the correct angle, you would topple. And then it was the race to the finish garage.

Watch Gurmeet, the topper of the previous day, do the entire stage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurmeet.jpg



Here's Mervin from Malaysia doing the stage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-merwin-malasiysa.jpg



The AP registered Jeep with the Isuzu engine did everything right, until the end. But alas, at the end they toppled because of a wrong approach angle while coming down. Sad part is that they were one of the few vehicles to get down and winch themselves up, rather than just breaking the bunting and proceeding, like many others did…
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ap-ss7.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 16:06.
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Old 6th August 2015, 21:22   #8
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SS (Special Stage) 8:

This was one of the toughest SS's for the day. This one had parts of SS1 & SS2 from the previous day. You had to go up the mud mounds, and then take a left-ish climb. This climb looked innocent, but if done wrong - you would topple. After that, there was a series of extreme articulation humps which you needed to pass through with the exact right angle, or you'd get stuck and would have to be winched out. And then, if you got this far, you'd have to return back the same way but instead take a right without going into the pit, and then tackle a couple of twisties before racing to the finish garage.

Abhinav from Hyderabad who took a wrong approach turtled on the first incline. If it wasn't for Abhinav, other participants wouldn't have known the severity of the obstacle; which looks completely innocent from the outside:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss8.jpg

The third Force team, consisting of Indian drivers tried this obstacle. Things didn't seem to be going smoothly for them, and they took some effort to cross the first hurdle. After that, they got stuck at the second articulation obstacle and couldn't get winched out in time, resulting in a DNF:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-rfc-indian-ss8.jpg

Pradeep from BODA did a good job, till the articulation obstacle. There he got stuck seriously and spent a lot of time winching the vehicle out. They got a DNF:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-pradeep-boda.jpg



Now Kabir, the dude who does it in style, came in style, crossed the first incline, jumped and got stuck in the second incline, but recovered with lot of time left to finish. However, on the way back, lack of patience kicked in, and he lost the way. Very very unfortunate that after all this good work, he got a DNF:



SS (Special Stage) 9:

Now, this was a spectator oriented SS, with a quick sprint run through a puddle of water. Take a couple of turns, climb a small vertical incline, and then shoot back to the finish garage.

See the video of Kabir doing this stage to get an idea:


SS (Special Stage) 10:

This was the technical SS for the day. Teams had to drive 50 meters to and fro and stop at a small hump. They had to winch themselves for about a meter, I guess. However, you had to use your hi-lift jack for winching. Now, this required some serious physical effort. Saw teams not just sweating, but almost getting a heart attack out there.

This video of the Bombay team will give you an exact idea of how physically demanding it was:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bombay-hilift.jpg



Here's Kabir's team sweating it out:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-kabir-hi-lift.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 16:07.
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SS (Special Stage) 11:

This stage was again one of the toughest three stages of the day. It had two definite winching points; and those were the major obstacles. You had to come in, cross a small water pit, and climb up. For this climb, all the vehicles had to get winched up. After that, go around, and come into the second incline, which is a sharp right turn. There is absolutely no possibility of driving up this curve; you had to winch yourself up once again. However, even winching up was tricky as you had to get your vehicle in the exact right position, else you'd topple.

Chaithanya's "The Doctor" vehicle tackling the SS. He did well, however, lack of winching expertise led to a delay. Also, for the final incline, they decided to cut through the bunting tape. But then, the rule is at least one tyre needs to remain within the boundaries of the track. If all four tyres are out of the track then you get a DNF. In this case, even though it was in the track, because they cut it short, they got a DNF:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-doctor-stage-11.jpg





Siddu's was the first vehicle which took the last incline without incurring a penalty. He however caught a penalty earlier. Jamio, his co-driver's superb recovery expertise led to a good timing:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-siddhu-ss11.jpg









The Bombay team also did well in this SS. They got their vehicle in a good line to winch themselves out of the two inclines:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bombay-ss11-stage.jpg








SS (Special Stage) 12:
This was the last, but most tricky SS for the day. Basically, what you had to do was drop down vertically and leftwards into a ~60 inch wide rut, drive a few meters and turn left to climb vertically up, out of the rut. The first comers found it really difficult. However, towards the end of the day, the mud collapsed and made the obstacle a little easier. Easier in the sense, there was a proper track formed. You had to follow it, which again wasn't easy, but doable than the morning time.

The NIOC father and son turtled in the morning. And boy, it took a long time to recover them, as they had broken their front axles:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-noic-ss12.jpg

Towards the end of the day, Prashant from BODA did the stage beautifully. He got the exact right angles for getting down and coming up. Also, while coming up notice how beautifully he adjusts the angle of the climb:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prashant-ss12-combo.jpg

These videos illustrate how beautifully Prashant completed the stage:






So, that's with the stages and obstacles for the day. Now for some moments.

The Bangalore team tent. Always a welcoming place.
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bangalore-tent.jpg

The Bombay co-driver after the hi-lift stage. Imagine the level of physical endurance required:
Name:  Hi Lift .jpg
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Met and had a chat with Luis, the founder and creator of RFC. He was like a curious spectator; clicking photographs & chatting away. He was curious to know my take about the obstacles. He said it wasn't tough enough as they also wanted it to be a spectator sport, and hence included the few sprint runs. He also wanted to know how the participants felt about the whole event and wanted detailed feedback. I helped as much as I could:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-luis.jpg

Marshals pose for a smile. They have a truly demanding job. Need to stay put at one stage, one place for the whole day!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-marshal-smile.jpg

Caught up with some old friends after a long time:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-padam.jpg

Juhi, the host, finally having some lunch after serving us all!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-juhi.jpg

So, that's all for Prologue Day 2.

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th August 2015 at 15:38.
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The Predator Stage (SS 13-18):

The Predator stage was set in Quepem (Cavorem), South Goa. It was a beautiful & scenic location. Photography enthusiasts would've gone bonkers with the amount of scenery there. The land was supposed to be owned by a hotel group, friends of Ashish Dukle (whitemm550). David & his MMM team must have also found it a paradise, with so much beautiful terrain to set the track for the Predator Stage on.

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-predator-1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-predator-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-predator-3.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-predator-4.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-pan.jpg

Even though the terrain was set in a very peaceful location, the off-road competition was FULL ON. After the Prologue Day 2, Kabir's team had lost their lead, but Gurmeet & Kirpal were still on top, giving the Malaysians a very hard time with their excellent team work.

Here's the score card after the Prologue Day 2:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-2nd-day.jpg

SS (Special Stage) 13:

This SS was just along the side of the main road leading to the property, giving the public an amazing view of the stage.

There were mainly 4 obstacles in this SS. At the start, you come down, and the first obstacle was to climb vertical rock steps. It wasn't easy doing it on your own, and you had to use your equipment (winch/ladder). After that, come down, and then the next obstacle is a short but steep incline. Many vehicles climbed this, but some had to use the winch. After that, turn around and you come to an articulating incline, and then go around again, to turn back to the exit. However, on the way back was the last tricky decline, which when you take the right track is perfectly easy, but taking the wrong track will make the vehicle topple. Looks simple, but it's deadly. After this, race to the finish line.

Here are the Gurkhas trying to climb up the vertical rock steps:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ghurka-ss13.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gurkhass13.jpg

Here's Abhinav ready to start:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss13-start-.jpg

Tackling the 2nd steep incline. Couldn't do it after a couple of tries, so used the winch:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss13-2nd-obstacle.jpg

Tackling the articulating incline and turning around to exit:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss13-3rd-obstacle.jpg

However, because of lack of spotting he took a wrong line and turtled. Had to take a DNF:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss13-4th-obstacle.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss13-4th-obstacle-top.jpg

Here are some videos of Abhinav on the stage:






Pradeep did this stage towards the end of the day and completed it without any hurry. I believe even though this is a timed event, if you hurry up, you always fail to make last minute corrections, and end up making a mistake that gives you a DNF.

Tackling the steps:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-pradeep-ss13-1st-obst.jpg

At the finish garage, after successfully completing the stage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-pradeep-ss13-finish.jpg

Check out Pradeep and Prithvi doing it:







SS (Special Stage) 14:

Now, this was one of the easy SS's for the day. Here, right at the start there was a tricky and deceiving dip, which you needed to approach correctly, or the vehicle would topple. After that, you climb an incline, take a left and proceed towards the end of the stage, where you take a u-turn and come back. While coming back, you had to tackle a 30 degree slope for about 25 meters, take a right turn, go through some articulating humps and mounds and throttle up an incline towards the finish garage.

SS14 from the start point. (You start towards the right side and come back from the left):
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss14.jpg

The young blood from Gerrari doing it with just perfect speed and steering inputs:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-ss14.jpg



Abhinav doing it, and as always, he gives the spectators something to watch!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhiban-ss141-.jpg



Prabhu from New Mars lost his 4WD, and finished this stage in 2WD with winch support:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prabhu-ss14-1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-prabhu-ss14.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 16:35.
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SS (Special Stage) 15:

This was manned by Gurkie Maan & Sukbhans Maan. Again, an ever enthusiastic couple. And if I'm not mistaken, the only lady official to man an SS. Pretty demanding task, if you consider they can't move right from morning until the last vehicle is done with the SS.

This was a very short SS, but one with two huge inclines. Probably the longest inclines till today, in RFC15, and that's exactly why this SS was super fun. You go down, put pedal to metal & climb one incline, turn round, come down once more to climb the other. The second incline however was too huge and I guess all vehicles had to get winched out.

Here you can see the whole SS, which was a visual treat. Towards the right you see the first incline, you climb that up, turn around and come down. Towards the left is the second incline:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss15.jpg

This is the 2nd incline. (Photo Credit: BHPian Tejas@perioimpl):
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-11705216_875927402488405_4369178455468349531_n.jpg

Polaris ready to start the SS:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-polaris-start-ss15.jpg

Coming up the 2nd Incline:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-polaris-start-ss15-2nd-incline-.jpg

Here's a video of the same:


SS (Special Stage) 16:

SS16 was basically a sprint through the stream and back. However, the place where you take the u-turn was super tricky. You had to get down vertically into the stream with about 40" of water, turn right & climb up a rock of the same height, take a right again through huge boulders, and sprint back through the stream to the finish line.

The stream through which you had to take a sprint run:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss16-stream.jpg

The end of the stream, where you have to take a u-turn to come back:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss16-end-turn.jpg

This is the tricky part:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss16-end-turn1-.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss16-end-turn2.jpg

"The Doctor" broke his steering end in this stage. Got winched from behind to recover from the water hole:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-img_9676-copy.jpg



SS (Special Stage) 17:

This was the easiest SS for the day. However, this was also the most attractive for photographers, as it included a sprint run through the river, slashing water, taking a u-turn and coming back through the same stream. The end was to climb a hill at full throttle. The way Gypsys did it was worth the effort.

The stream:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss17.jpg

Abhinav coming in:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss171.jpg

Taking a u-turn:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss172.jpg

Going back:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-abhinav-ss173.jpg



The Bombay Team Showing it off:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bombay-gypsy-ss17.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-bombay-gypsy-ss17-back.jpg



The end of this SS. You had to race up this hill to finish off:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss17-end.jpg

Gerrari boys doing it:



SS (Special Stage) 18:

The last SS of the day was moderately difficult. For this SS you had to come down a hill, cross a stream and then climb up another hill (which was filled with big boulders). After reaching the top, you had to take a turn to come back. This turn, however was very tricky and most vehicles found it difficult here. The vehicle would slide off to the edge of the cliff when trying to take this turn. If you manage to take this turn, you need to come back the same way you drove up.

A very good view of the whole SS:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18.jpg

The father & son combination from NIOC slipped on this curve and had to get winched out. They also broke their front axle again:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-noic-father-son-ss18.jpg



The Pune team doing SS 18. They came up beautifully, but it took some tries to get the angle correct for their vehicle on the tricky turn of the SS:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-pune-ss18.jpg

Watch the videos to see how they do it:






Now, that's all with the Special Stages - on to some moments of the day.

Here's Ashish welcoming me for the day. A friendly soul, who took me around in his Gypsy to show me all the stages:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ashish.jpg

Now, remember SS7 & SS11 of previous day? Teams were breaking the bunting intentionally to make their path easier. Till Prologue, breaking a bunting meant a 10 point penalty. However, from this day (the Predator stage), the organizers decided to up the ante. Any peg at a critical turn or location would be tied with three tapes and that meant a 30 point penalty. This was meant to stop the teams from taking the easy way out, and force them to drive through the track instead:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-information-bullet.jpg

BODA & Gerrari guys watching the proceedings and having a light moment:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-pradeep-prithvi.jpg

Abhinav Reddy's (from HYD) engine bay. Properly insulated and protected against water. Even after so many topples, the vehicle still runs beautifully!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-properly-insulated.jpg

Some repairs being done at the campsite:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-some-repairs.jpg

Organisers having a chat while waiting for the next vehicle at the SS15 start point:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss15-maan.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th August 2015 at 15:38.
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The Terminator Stage (SS 19-24):

The Terminator stages were happening further South of the Predator stages; in Sanguem (Costi), South Goa. Last year, this was the last stage, as Twilight was not doable, and a glance at the scoreboard showed clear winners. However, this year, the competition was pretty tight. The Malaysians who were extremely high up on the scoreboard last year, weren't that far ahead this year. The Gerrari Team did a wonderful job keeping on their tail. The Bangalore team too, was showing some solid fight to stay close to the Gerrari Team. And then Cedrik, the Goan Gypsy was the next contender in the game.

Here are the standings after the predator stage. Now, the teams need to fight it out!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-rfc-standings.jpg

SS (Special Stage) 19:

This was Khan_Sultan's SS. As always, his SS's were quite tricky and this too was a very well thought out one. In fact this might have been the longest SS of the day, and the most 'Rain Foresty'. It was also a part of last years SS's. This SS happened along a rocky stream into the vegetation, where there was a nice curvy incline, come back and climb up an incline filled with boulders, take a u-turn from there, come down, cross the stream and a big mound, and then articulate your way through the rocks to the exit.

This was my favorite SS out of the whole RFC'15:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss19-entry.jpg

After a pretty tricky way (need absolute right approach, or you'd topple) to cross the stream and enter the thick vegetation, the Gerrari youngsters made a sweet climb. This is the first climb:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-climb-1.jpg



Now, after going up and crossing a cone, they had to come back. The Gerraris chose to come down in reverse.

After this, they had to go to the end of the stage, and make a pretty tough climb filled with huge boulders. They couldn't do it on their own, and decided to use the winch:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-climb-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-after-climb-2-.jpg





After the climb, they had to turn and come back and cross the stream. Towards the end, only few vehicles could complete this as it was pretty badly dug up:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-climb-3.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-climb-3-finish.jpg





Finally, they had to gather all their equipment and race their way to the finish line, through a series of articulating rock obstacles:
[Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-gerrari-going-back.jpg

Here's how Pradeep from BODA did the stage. Unfortunately though, towards the end, Pradeep broke his steering tie-rod:










SS (Special Stage) 20:

This was the easiest SS of the day, being just a sprint through the fields and back. However, one thing about these easy SS's is that most of the vehicles will complete it, with the difference between positions being only a matter of seconds. So, a few seconds could cost the competing teams precious points.

"The Doctors" Sprint run:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss20-doc-entry.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss20-doc-start.jpg





The Bombay Team at the finish line:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss20-bombay-team-end.jpg

The founder of RFC, again seen as an excited spectator!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss20-luis.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 17:18.
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SS (Special Stage) 21:

Now, I can safely call this SS the most dramatic SS of all. Dramatic meaning - it was SS21, and the competition was nearing an end. All the teams were very close on the points table, and nobody was willing to risk doing it wrong and lose precious points.

But why only for this SS? Well, Pradeep from BODA was the first person who attempted this SS. He got stuck, and that exposed how bad and tricky this SS was. Nobody wanted to do it until someone else successfully completed it.

One more thing I noticed in this SS was - usually there is a DNS for each SS. Meaning, after you complete the last SS, there is a limited amount of time in which you needed to report to the next SS, failing to which you get a DNS (Did Not Start) which is ZERO points. However, strangely, this didn't seem to be enforced here...

Anyhow, after a lot of pushing and pulling, Siddhu from BODA showed some cojones and stepped up. And, boy! Did he show them how it's done!

As for the SS, it was a cleverly designed one. You had to enter the trail, pushing all the vegetation away, take a right turn, and then a left turn+dip to cross two large cement pipes. After crossing the pipes you had to take a sharp right and come down to cross the slushy pond, and then climb up and race back to the finish garage.

Pradeep from BODA starting the SS:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-start-1.jpg

Pushing off all the vegetation, clearing the trail:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-3.jpg

Approaching the pipes:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-4.jpg

Ladder is set:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-5.jpg

But, got stuck - royally! The muck and soft sand near the pipe was an eye opener for all the other teams, and put the element of fear into them:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-6.jpg

They gave me a good smile, while waiting for recovery (JCB) to come. As the tractor couldn't pull the vehicle out:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-pradeep-7.jpg

Now, watch Siddhu from BODA doing it. Notice how crowded it is around the SS. All the teams, even the Indian Force team who were supposed to be near their vehicle, came to see how this is done.

Siddhu approached the whole obstacle in reverse. Good thinking!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-3.jpg







Got across the pipes! Everyone's heaving a sigh of relief. Now, after all this fiasco, Siddhu had some solid ground support too
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-4.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-5.jpg

Winched himself up from the rear:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-6.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-7.jpg





After successfully coming up through the pipes, Siddhu got stuck in the slushy pond. But, Jamio, his co-driver wouldn't give up. He jumped out, ran and tried frantically to anchor the winch, which was not easy because most of the shrubs there were small:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-8.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-9.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss18-sid-10.jpg




The winching however, gave him a wrong angle to exit. Time was also running out, and he didn't have time for one more winching attempt. So, he reversed into the slush once again and tried a couple of more times. With hardly one minute remaining, he came out of the slush pit successfully, and the whole crowd was cheering!!

He raced to the finish line, and was the first vehicle to successfully complete this stage. But, ALAS, he forgot to pick up his co-driver Jamio, so got a DNF. According to rules the driver and co-driver have to be in the vehicle when you reach the finish garage.

Very Unfortunate!



After Siddhu finished this successfully, many other teams finished this too.

Watch Cedrick from Goa, who had a very good run, doing it better:



Last edited by GTO : 14th August 2015 at 10:13.
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SS (Special Stage) 22:

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss22.jpg

This was a comparatively easy SS. This was also a sprint run, though it was through a stream in the jungle. The entry to the SS was little tricky, but not really difficult for these heavily prepped vehicles. The only catch may have been the sharp rocks along the way:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss22-stream.jpg

The entry to SS22:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss22-entry.jpg

The exit from SS22:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss22-exit.jpg

The Gurkha entering the sprint run:



SS (Special Stage) 23:

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss23.jpg

This was also one more tricky SS for the day. What you basically had to do was enter into the SS, take a right turn to a narrow and slushy rut. A few meters ahead you have to take a left turn, which you need to winch yourself out of. After this, it's a circuit of articulation humps and mounds into the jungle, turn around and come back to the finish garage through the same kind of terrain. The end of which is a nice incline to show off your vehicle's prowess.

The father and son combo from NIOC got stuck here, and IIRC they broke their axle yet again:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss23-noic-1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss23-noic-2.jpg

The ever enthusiastic son giving me a pose, while waiting for recovery:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss23-noic-3.jpg

"The Doctor" - Chaithanya from Hyderabad in a super pose (Photo credit: Tejas):
Name:  11813437_809125369202832_7149174359855028063_n.jpg
Views: 10406
Size:  111.1 KB


SS (Special Stage) 24:

This was the last SS for the day, and a very short one too. You had to come down, zig-zag through a series of coconut trees, come back and get yourself up an incline (100% winching). That's it. SS is done. The thing in this SS is how fast you can get down and winch yourself up. Teams with better recovery expertise scored better.

Prabhu coming into the stage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-1.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-2.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-3.jpg

Going zig-zag through the coconut trees:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-4.jpg

However, due to lack of proper spotting, he got stuck at the exit. Had to get winched out, wasting time:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-5.jpg

Winching out of the final incline to the finish garage:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-6.jpg

Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-7.jpg







After successfully completing the stage, he goes into his next stage. Ferrying all his team members:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-ss24-prabhu-8.jpg


That's all for the stages. Now, for some moments from the campsite.

Good friend Ambar Rao offered me a way in and out of the campsite, which was a kilometer or more from the road:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-boda-ferry.jpg

The main person behind the track, David, checking out each stage proceedings. His job in RFC `15 is almost done. Only the Media Challenge and the Twilight stage remain:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-david-proceedings.jpg

The Indian Force team watching Siddhu doing SS21:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-indian-force.jpg

The Malaysian drivers for the Force team, taking a well deserved rest. Their performance was indeed commendable; they clenched the top spots from the Indians with good work today:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-malaysian-drivers-take-rest.jpg

When rain comes spectators resort to all kinds of measures just to stay in the campsite!
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-rain-time.jpg

Swastik Viji from BODA, giving some sound advise to Jamio (Siddhus co-driver):
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-viji-advise.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th August 2015 at 15:38.
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Old 8th August 2015, 11:28   #15
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Default re: Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa

The Media Challenge:

The Media Challenge was supposed to happen on the 29th. There were 21 media houses who could send one driver to represent them. I represented Team-BHP . We had to do two stages in the Terminator stage. It was a majority of SS24 and SS22. We were given the Polaris RZR800 with a winch, as the vehicle. I was teamed up with experts from Polaris.

These are the results of the Media Challenge that I received. I came 2nd, just behind Ryan Lee:
Report: The 2015 Rain Forest Challenge @ Goa-media-challenge.jpg

However, later on, Rahul Richard from Overdrive was declared to have the first place.

And, one weird thing I noticed about the Media Challenge is that the penalties weren't clear. Most of them seemed to get zero penalties when I saw a couple.

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th August 2015 at 17:51.
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