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Old 15th October 2017, 16:32   #1
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Default Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

Event brief: We (Pune Pathfinders) started our first event ‘Annual Offroad Carnival’ in 2015. You can refer below links for previous event reports:

Event Report AOC 2015: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...thfinders.html (Event Report: Annual Offroad Carnival 2016 by Pune Pathfinders)

Event Report AOC 2016: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...er-2015-a.html (Pics & Report: The Offroad Carnival, Pune - 12th & 13th September 2015)

As offroading scenario is progressing rapidly all thanks to RFC (Rain Forest Challenge) for coming to India and taking this nascent motorsport to a next level altogether. Because of RFC, vehicle preparation and people’s appetite for extreme offroading is increasing. One common feedback which we get every year is to make event tougher and have a separate category for extremely modified vehicles. This year we followed this to the core

This year we introduced two categories:

Intermediate: don’t get fooled by name! intermediate category was normal/standard category which we were having for last two years where standard modified vehicles were allowed. We had petrol and diesel class for prizes in this category. We named it as Carnival Trophy.

The Carnival Trophy: Spread between 8 special stages, where competitors needed to slog out among best offroaders to prove their mettle. All SS are natural and extremely technical which will test your approach, coordination between driver & navigator and all the luck you have. SS for this year were tougher and more technical than last two years. They were designed in such a way that moment you lose sight or press accelerator you would end up either breaking/toppling your vehicle or would be out of the track. Vehicle placement and perfect navigation was key.


Extreme: vehicles with double winches, coil springs, diff locks and with all offroad accessories (ladders, ground anchors, cutting barkes etc.) were slotted in this category. In a nutshell you can say RFC spec vehicles were part of this category. As vehicles were highly modified, SS were equally challenging, testing limit of vehicles, equipments and participants. We named this as ‘Chief Challenge’
CHIEF’s challenge: named after guiding force behind this initiative Shri Sunil (Bunty) Chadha A.K.A. ‘CHIEF’ carries a separate trophy, prize and acknowledgment that you had guts to attempt/complete toughest challenges of the event which call for all your offroading equipment and all the energy of you and your prepped-up vehicle. Until last year, where we had one extreme SS to be conquered, this year its going to be 8 Special Stages (SS) carved out in natural terrain. Extreme would be an understatement to describe these SS. Combination of men, machine and critical thinking is key to sustain and complete

Event Itinerary:

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Till last year we used to have two days event which included lots of activities to be completed in two days resulting long hours for everyone and various logistics issues. Also, most of the participants come from far off places to this event and they always come a day before thus why not use that day for non-Offroad activities (registration, vehicle scrutiny, Gala night etc.) and then its just offroading and lost of offroading for two days. This year everyone (participants, marshals, photographers, officials, guests) was accommodated to one hotel i.e. Hotel Radisson. And all non-offroad activities were arranged at same place only.

Day 1:
Registration: We opened registration counters by 01:00 PM and we participants started coming in by 01:00 PM. After registration each participant got their rooms allocated and collected their kits which had:
o Customized offroad helmets for driver and navigator
o T-shirt, caps and bands
o First-aid kit
o Sticker sets
o Water bottles etc.


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Vehicle scrutiny: once registration and stickering is done, vehicle scrutiny was done based on category in which vehicle is participating. One observation is level of preparedness and seriousness towards vehicle scrutiny. During our initial years we had to send back few vehicles as they couldn’t clear scrutiny but this year none of the vehicle had to go through this. Though our vehicle scrutiny list is getting exhaustive year by year and so are participant’s seriousness
High tea was arranged at hotel lobby, it was a good opportunity to socialize with participants coming from different states

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Old 15th October 2017, 16:41   #2
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Default re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

Gala Night: As our event is getting bigger year by year so is our Gala Night Program. Its Managed by a Bollywood choreographer (Firoz Khan) and its actually Gala 😊 a perfect entertainment evening with performances by various artists, lavish spread, acknowledgment to all our sponsors, dance and what not. A relaxed night before two days of torture

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This year we did live broadcast of Gala night

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Momentos for sponsors made out of gears for personal touch

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We had to remind everyone to be on time next day

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Old 15th October 2017, 16:51   #3
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Default re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

Day 2:

Competitors briefing: after a late night fun filled party it was a task to wake up everyone at 07:00 AM, but hotel reception did a good job and we after breakfast at hotel we gathered all participants for briefing which is very crucial for a competitive event to avoid disputes and heart burn later on. Briefing went on for an hour and then we asked everyone to lineup to proceed for event venue which was 2.5 kms from Hotel Radisson.

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Flag off: flag off is always an elaborate event in itself. We had few dignitaries and celebrities who participated in it along with dhol tasha band. After an hour long performances etc. later we were able to push everyone to their respective SS

Line-up to leave for venue with Pilot vehicle

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Line-up at venue

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Phata Poster Nikla Hero

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Old 15th October 2017, 17:03   #4
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Default re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

Intermediate SS of Day 1: All intermediate SS were marked from SS 1 to SS8 whereas all extreme SS were marked from SSA to SSF

SS 1: one of the easiest SS of the event was also one of the confusing ones. We named it ‘Jungle Jalebi’ for a reason. we created a Jalebi shaped loop with a dead-end, participants had to reach till end, take a U-turn and come back to starting point. Simple? No, it was not
one wrong turn and you would be confused and would end up going through same loop again and again or you would break bunting and earn penalties or end up as DNF.

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Old 15th October 2017, 17:15   #5
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Default re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS 2: It involved few props. You move from start line, connect trolley to your vehicle, enter the track which started with slush, then there were tyres placed vertically followed by a ditch, then a tight round about, again cross those tyres, cross slush area, come back to earmarked area to put trolley back and then fun starts after trolley and before finish line there were two circular blocks, and you need to put front two tyres on top of them for 5 seconds and then move forward. After 5 seconds if your vehicle comes back, then you need to do it again. More than 40% people couldn’t do this, many people couldn’t finish rest of the SS with trolley. As they were having hard time judging turns, bumps with trolley. And that is what our objective was. Except few people, none of the offroaders have trolley and we wanted to give them that feel. By the end of the day, trolley was battered with umpteen damages……..

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Few had surprise on the way

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Old 16th October 2017, 22:26   #6
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS 3: carved out in dense jungle, it started with decline which lead you to inside of dense shrubs with water and slush, once you come out of shrubs, you need to take left and attempt the incline, in the middle of this incline there was another turn and then incline which would take you back to start point. We saw various recoveries in this SS as there was no chicken route, there were few vehicles topples as well.

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Old 16th October 2017, 22:34   #7
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS 4: Toughest SS of the day, it had steep decline with articulation at the start of the SS, if you clear it without breaking bunting, then you need to clear a slush pit and then fun starts. It was a steep incline with big rocks and mud. 80% vehicles couldn’t do it, though we suggested during competitor briefing to use spare tyre/ladders in these type of SS (it was designed for that purpose), many didn’t remember to use, few realized very late in the game and few used their equipment and conquered it. This SS also saw most of the breakdowns and topples for that day because of desperate attempts and using too much accelerator

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Old 16th October 2017, 23:01   #8
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

Extreme tracks on day 1: It was our first year for extreme category, and we had 7 SS distributed in two days but which later cut short to 6 SS as each SS was taking more time to complete than thought due to recovery, break downs etc. All SS were designed at par with international standard (on difficulty level) and all of them were natural tracks. We received very positive feedback for this category and hope to expand it further in coming years.

SS A: It was extreme rock crawling track, made at one corner of event venue. It started with entry to a slushy water pit from where participant was required to take right to a short but steep incline (was not possible without winch), then a short but steep decline and then fun starts, there were moderate to huge boulders and you had to navigate through them using winch, ladders, diff locks, ground anchors to reach to a point from where track entered to a slushy canal and with zig zag to take you back to start point. Biggest role was played by navigator as he had to run around throughout to ensure correct placing of wheels, use equipment to move forward and then repeat this process till the end of SS.

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Old 16th October 2017, 23:08   #9
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS B: it was an 8 shaped SS with winch playing crucial role, it started with steep decline where few used their rear/front winch to go down we jumped in directly saving time, once you reach down there were big logs and ditches hidden beneath water, you navigate through them to take sharp right with very limited space to align your vehicle, this incline was steeper than earlier one and when you winch to the top of incline, there was left with smaller decline to take you back to nullah again, where you had to come back to the top from second incline and then you reach to finish line.

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Old 16th October 2017, 23:22   #10
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS C: This SS was interesting with mix of rocks, incline/decline, tight turns. We started this SS almost at the dusk and it went on till 08:00 PM. This SS started with a slant slope negotiating deep ruts to the bottom of hillock, from where you had to take left to reach to the top of hillock negotiating few big rocks and a steep incline at the middle crossing a huge rock. Again navigator, equipment and diff locks worked overtime to see through this SS.

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Last edited by Shubhendra : 16th October 2017 at 23:24.
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Old 17th October 2017, 22:53   #11
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

Day 3:
Last night was again a long one for many people for many reasons, few had to spend hours in the night to get their vehicles repaired. Few were tired after grueling day 1 and few socialized too much
But thankfully we were able to open all SS by 10:00 AM.
Every year we provide mechanical support for participants, we have two separate garages owned by our team members (Grizzly Motor Works & Shetty Multicar Services) who provide their group of mechanics for Jeeps and Gypsies respectively. They are unsung heroes who work almost 24 hrs for these three days. In fact, the Gypsy which won petrol category in intermediate class broke down while coming to the event from Goa (it was towed for 150 kms to Poona), it had a major engine problem. Mechanics had to work overnight to repair it they won the event 😊

Intermediate
SS 5: this SS was probably the longest SS in the event, it had long flat surfaces to gain good speeds followed by long incline and decline. You need to basically cross one entire hillock and reach till top of next hillock and come back to start point from track parallel to incoming one. But easier said than done, this was one track where we didn’t clear track unlike other tracks, there were trees, grass, shrubs with hidden rocks, potholes, slush etc. initial participants had not so pleasant surprises

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Old 17th October 2017, 23:07   #12
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS 6: one of the toughest track for the day, it was long track with variations. It started with steep drop which then takes you along a small nullah and then you take right to reach to top of a small hill and then comes the surprise, in between big trees and dense jungle, there was big drop at an angle which if not taken appropriately would topple the vehicle or you get stuck in between rocks. Once you clear it toughest part of SS comes after clearing the drop and slush was incline between rocks which takes you back to start point. Not even 50% vehicles were able to do it

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Old 18th October 2017, 10:01   #13
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS 7: Situated between loose rocks, water, long trench but it was primarily rock crawling SS. Started with small drop which would take you to naturally placed medium/big rocks scattered in first half of the track, after crossing rocks, it lead to grassy patch where you had to take right U turn but with an angle, many vehicles got stuck here, few toppled but few with calculative approach crossed. After that a long nullah with tall grass and again right turn at an angle, once you clear this it takes you back to starting point but to reach finish point you need to climb small incline with loose rocks which you ascended at the start. You can see in pictures, it was a difficult one

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Old 18th October 2017, 10:09   #14
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

SS 8: it started with entry to water pit but at an angle as we placed a cone on left hand side once you are in the pit, it had three diagonal pits one after another and then a small incline from where you had to take left U turn BUT at turning point there was a big rock which you had to climb, breaking any peg here would earn you 30 points penalties instead of 10 points penalty which was applicable everywhere else.
Most of the participants either got stuck on the rock or broke peg to take U turn which takes you down to slush pit, from where you had to take right U turn to come up again to take another left U turn from top which would take you to a rocky nullah and if you are able to cross it then follow the nullah and you would reach finish line

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Old 18th October 2017, 10:14   #15
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Default Re: Event Report: The 2017 Annual Offroad Carnival by Pune Pathfinders

WOW! What an event.
I have been following this from 2015 - post mortem!

I am not into off-roading personally. However, I would love to come and see. I hope I will find out before the event - from next time onwards.

By the way, rated a fully well deserved 5 stars.

Girish Mahajan
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