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Old 4th December 2011, 01:48   #16
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihrishi View Post
You need better lights
been there done that and i guess this is the best that a camera can capture. The Human does a better job judging the terrain at this hour..cheers!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 22:02   #17
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
been there done that and i guess this is the best that a camera can capture. The Human does a better job judging the terrain at this hour..cheers!
Let me rephrase that.
You need a better camera
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Old 4th January 2012, 09:14   #18
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

Desert Storm 2012
From the last few years the route team for Desert Storm has been increasing the toughness quotient of the event and have incorporated in to sections elements like:

Night Runs
Incorporated a few years back the night runs have added to the navigational challenge and immensely enhanced the competitive spirit.

Longer Sections
When doing route for first edition of Desert Storm the team used to be happy when we found a ten kilometer section. Now minimum outlook is eighty kilometer though we do not always get there. Maximum has been 300+ kilometers in a single section.

Deep Sand
We have incorporated more and more sand passages in to the route to give the true desert feel to the event. Riverbeds segments have earned notoriety for eliminations.

So what are the challenges for this year?
One: New alignment
Two: Sand Country
Three: More than fifty percent of distance is through totally new country side
Four: Limited service time allowed

Limited service? Accumulated service time?
This year we are going to establish parc-ferme after all leg end TC’s. Once you check in you are in parc-ferme and all regulations apply. If you take vehicle out for service an entry will be made by parc-ferme marshal and another when you return. The total service time will be accumulated and you cannot exceed the total service time allowed during the course of entire rally.

Start & Finish:
The ceremonial start will be at Delhi and the end would be at Ahmadabad. Exact locations would be notified to soon.

Will be back soon to add day by day description for the event.

@MODS: Should have been posted here but posted in my travelogue also
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Old 4th January 2012, 11:11   #19
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

I am really gonna to miss DS this year becuase of some other commitment. I really enjoyed the last year's river bed.
Sudev sir you are making me feel bad for missing the event by writing about new challanges. You can take down my entry for 2013 DS.
Desert Storm is a real test of endurance, specially that 300+ stage last year was really demanding.

Good luk for the event.

Cheers!

Alok
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Old 7th January 2012, 23:18   #20
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Desert Storm 2012
So what are the challenges for this year?
One: New alignment
Can you elaborate on this a little bit?

Cheers,
Hrishi
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Old 17th January 2012, 07:15   #21
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

February 20th:
In a major shift we will use NH 10 to head westward from Delhi instead of NH 8. Actual rally start will be from Sardarshahar, 150 kilometer North East of Bikaner. The first section would start at night, after dinner, from Kuber Palace, Sardarshahar ( Map Link : Google Maps )

Kuber Palace has fifty rooms available for those want to take a room to rest / refresh before the night run. We have worked out a discounted rate of Rs1800 per room on twin sharing basis for the night of February 20, 2012. For booking directly contact: Mahender Singh 9983931841 and give reference of "Rally"

Leg 1:
Traverse Sardarshahar to Bikaner

Starting before midnight the rally would do two sections in darkness before returning back to Kuber Palace for a breakfast regroup. There is a Shri Balaji temple complex across the road in case you need to seek divine blessings before you start.

Desert Fox
The first section is a short romp through sand country near Sardarshahar. The track runs off across many dune lines that would be a difficult climb but for the fact that repeated passages of camel carts have created gully's so that you can pass through if approached with speed. Many forks on the way means the navigator is kept busy figuring out which way to go.

Just when you are despairing of being able to hold the speed and steering wheel straight for a while you will come on to a brilliantly fast hard packed grit surface that dares you to go as fast as you can. Be careful of not sliding off in to ditches that line this segment and do not miss the looming ninety left that again takes you in to the sandy dunes.

Further on we leave the village track completely and head right across sandy farmland where hardly any track exists. Dependence on GPS is almost a must. If you do complete this ultra sandy detour we have another change of surface. We are sure every one would enjoy the hard grit surface so we found another longer patch that runs right till end of the section.

Hawk Owl
Aptly named after the bird that is found in abundance in this area. The second section takes you back towards Sardarshahar for that hot breakfast. But first you have to complete the section. No?

More wandering desert tracks that can confuse a visitor during day time. Competitors will do this at night. Navigators need to keep their wits about as there is a proposal not to issue GPS track but only way points for this section. Let us see. For your benefit all we can let on is that about one third of the track is common with the first run but in opposite direction.

Tounge Twister
After breakfast the rally heads westwards for another long passage through the sandy dune country. Some parts of the passage are common to the night run, sadly not the fast grit surfaces, and so expect the sand to have been churned up making drive through even more difficult. Village detours mark the extreme sandy part of the section and if you get bogged down you will need help so better have your tow ropes ready. We are requesting villagers to have a tractor or two ready to help out.

The end point of this section is a town on NH15 with a tongue twister of a name but you will get fuel and some chai paani here.

You are done for the day and now head south on NH15 to Bikaner for a well deserved shut eye.

Watch out for limited transport time and accumulated service time rule. Our advise do not break your car on day one. Save on service time accumulations till you really need them.
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Old 21st January 2012, 08:33   #22
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

February 22nd

Traverse of the day : Bikaner to jaisalmer.

Xtreme

Camel Caravan:
The country west of Bikaner is full of sand dunes and has been in the eyes of route team for few years. In the past we always vetoed it out fearing our competitors were not up to it. This time we have taken the plunge. Not a plunge really but have put our toe in to test the waters. Much more excitement is possible if the entire rally does not get bogged down this year.
The section starts off with a fast flowing grit road where one can do drifts in spectacular fashion. Only watching out for a dump or two...rutted berms or two! Soon leaving the track we head in to dunes. Twisty turn and elevation changes are navigators problems while drivers grapple with sandy surface and loss of traction while trying to climb dune walls. Do not get trapped if the vehicle ahead of you is stuck. There is plenty of room both sides to use even if it does not look that way. Combination of grit surfaces inter spread with sandy drives describes this section. Just fifty odd kilometers of it.

Thar Express:
A thoroughly enjoyable section from last year is retained. Running in opposing direction with change in alignment through the middle the section is fast and has overall all hard surface. Two riverbeds crossings are only the deep sand areas where you need to take care of not getting stuck. If you are lucky you get to race against the rail traffic. Though we guess you would loose!

Night Halt:
Hotel Desert Tulip ( Google Maps )

Other accomodations:
Rajwada Palace
Rawal Kot
Himmatgarh Palace
Jwahar Niwas
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Old 21st January 2012, 08:35   #23
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
February 20th:
In a major shift we will use NH 10 to head westward from Delhi instead of NH 8. Actual rally start will be from Sardarshahar, 150 kilometer North East of Bikaner.......You are done for the day and now head south on NH15 to Bikaner for a well deserved shut eye.
Night halt:
The rally office would be at Bikaner Palace ( Google Maps )
Other accomodations used would be
Lal Niwas Palace
Lalgarh Palace
Sagar Palace
Raj Villas
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Old 24th January 2012, 06:02   #24
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

February 23rd
Traverse of the day : Jaisalmer to Bhuj

The longest day - literally.

Xtreme:

Alternate Bad

We have been running Bad Max for last few years and though it throws formidable up challenges the route team decided to find an alternative. And we did. Starting through a windmill farm, chasing through them like fabled Don Quixote, the rally moves on to serious business of sand. We reckon that by now you would have got tired of sand driving and that is why we are giving you some more sand challenge.
New track means no more familiarity. Crossing sand dune lines means radiator boil overs. Twisty sand tracks means Navigator nightmares. Enough? Wait there is a small but very tough hill and river bed to be crossed too! Tight and difficult. Watch out if the competitor ahead gets stuck however teams can find bye-passes but will have to work on it. Watch out for those tiny stream beds that are crossed. Enough to rip your machinery or mountings if done carelessly.

Night Quake
Approaching the camp this is very interesting section. Last year there were reports of the entire leader board going round and round till finally some one found the track. This despite having GPS track. So what will happen when no GPS track is given? Shorter in length this time than last year when it was the first section after Ahmadabad start. But totally different approach and alignment/ You will find some amazingly straight and fast stretches inter-spread with some amazingly twisty bottlenecks.

You will be running blind with no sunlight to help you. This year Rann is dotted with lakes - small and big - so going off track can be exclusion of different sorts. Good news is that you end up at the camp itself.

Night Halt:
Vekariya Camp ( Google Maps )
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Old 24th January 2012, 07:39   #25
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

The 10th edition of the annual Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm is scheduled to be held from the 18th to the 25th of February 2012.

Over the last decade the Storm has grown into the premier mega rally raid event of the subcontinent. The 10th edition of 2012 promises to be the most exciting Storm ever!
Over 130 Participants. Factory Teams from Maruti, Mahindra, Tata, Fiat, Polaris and a surprise new category vehicle entry.

Most of the top drivers including Gaurav Gill, Sunny Sidhu, Lohit Urs, Suresh Rana to name a few will be vying for the top honours. The battle is being joined by Mahindra who have taken up the challenge in their new XUV 500.

For 2012, the event will start from New Delhi and end 3,000 kilo meters later at Ahmedabad.

Schedule:
18th & 19th Feb:
Scrutiny & Document Check at The Great India Place, Noida

20th & 21st Feb:
Great India Place, Noida – Bikaner Palace, Bikaner
Ceremonial Flag Off & 2 night stages & 1 day stage in the Churu desert.

22nd Feb:
Bikaner – Fort Rajwada, Jaisalmer
First Introduction to the mighty Thar Desert. 2 Day Stages

23nd Feb:
Jaisalmer – Camp Tropic of Cancer, Rann of Kutch
1 day stage challenging the Sand Dunes & 1 night stage in the Rann

24rd Feb: Camp - Camp
The Mega 400 Km stage.

25th Feb:
Camp – Ahmedabad
A night stage out of the camp into a Grand Flag in & Rally Ball

Last edited by sudev : 24th January 2012 at 07:41.
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Old 25th January 2012, 06:33   #26
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

February 24th

Traverse of the day : Camp to Camp

Xtreme:

The Great Circle:

Only one section for the day. Starts near the camp and ends at the camp.

The organizing team was still looking at logistics of handling such a long section from last year when the single section here was of 300 kilometers. However the route team found further extensions that will make it within touching distance of 400kilometers!! And this with reduced Speed zones marked with DZs & FZs. So now the great circle will be a single section of 400kms. Bring on your energy and concentration. Fueling enroute will be on your own time.

The terrain needs no description to veterans but for sake of newcomers it can be best described as combination of flat lands, bush country, sandy patches and hard clay surface. Flat lands invite speeding - pedal to metal driving - but sudden twists and bumps add to heart stopping excitement. Navigation can be very tough as one can loose track of road book reference. So what are the likely problems?

One factor is that Rann is ever changing year after year. You can come to the same spot and see totally different landscape than previous year. All depends on monsoon inundations. And so the tracks also keep shifting. The picture shows the new track created in barely dry surface.
Desert Storm 2012-100_4747.jpg

Second factor no GPS track? What says?

When the recce team was in the area we were surprised to see so many lakes - small and big - and marshy surface strewn all over the Rann. It does make for some stunning sunset pictures.
Desert Storm 2012-100b4690.jpg

Last year the track was arrow straight towards the horizon here.
Desert Storm 2012-100_4666.jpg

And not just the water. Even the sides are totally marshy.
Desert Storm 2012-100_4660.jpg

The area to the right was more like a sea than a lake here. The water extends all the way to Pakistan border. See the second picture.
Desert Storm 2012-100_4643.jpg
Desert Storm 2012-100_4645.jpg


And we do know from 2010 what happens when a Gypsy wanders off track


Night Halt:
Vekariya Camp ( Google Maps )
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Old 26th January 2012, 11:35   #27
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

February 25th
Traverse of the day : Camp to Ahmadabad

Xtreme:
Finally your tired bones are going to get some rest. Just as soon as you reach the end of this leg. Hotel and hot bath awaits. Glittering Prize Distribution and podium pictures for the winners. Are you going to be up there?

Late night run. Or should we say early morning run? No not the usual out but a long way around exit is on the cards. Shooting off in to the dark of Rann is scary as you would have discovered on the day coming in. Now get more of this mix of scrub forest, open rann, straight dusty track, lake bed, bumpy grass land.

Night Halt:
Hotel Cambay Grand Ahmadabad ( Google Maps )
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Old 1st February 2012, 14:58   #28
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Default Re: Desert Storm 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
24rd Feb: Camp - Camp
The Mega 400 Km stage.
Sir, will the TSD Xplore also be 400 Kms long stage..? If yes, what would be the refuelling plan for the TSD cars, as we do not have the luxury of Additional Fuel tanks or Service crews.? Even with a Tank full, I don't think cars can do a 400 Km stage.
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Old 1st February 2012, 16:15   #29
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@amitku : Abhi kahani baaki hai mere bhai (the story is still not finished brother)

Desert Storm Xtreme is described in the last few posts. Let us now turn our eyes on the challenge for 2 wheel drive category. This is known as Xplore. After the ceremonial flag off from Delhi the rally will re-assemble at Sardarshahar and will be flagged out after dinner.

During the Desert Storm Xplore participants spend considerable time behind wheels driving through the night. And on more than one occasions during the event.

Two years back this conversation happened at around 0300hrs. Yes 3AM!!
Caller: Sir, this is comp #XY
Me: Yes??
C: I think we are lost
M: You think or you are lost?
C: Well we were following the road book
M: You are supposed to
C: We crossed a railway line as per road book
M: Then?
C: We came to a round about as per road book
M: Then? (By this time mentally I was running the road book in my mind as I had set the route and knew about the one and only railway crossing that night)
C: Then we took the third road out
M: Good you are supposed to do that
C: Then we got lost!
M: Well you were supposed to take next fork left and immediately thereafter a cross road left.
C: We did. But there was no cross road!
M: How far was the fork? (my mental picture showed the fork less than 100meters away from round about)
C: Well..the fork was about 7kms away
M: 7km!!! The road book says less than 100meter!!! No wonder you cannot find the cross road......

Road books are simple to follow. Problem is if you miss the instructions. It is so frustrating not to find any one to guide you in middle of night when you are lost in middle of nowhere. That is precisely the challenge and you better be up for it. Navigation as usual is the key and missing a turn can land you up miles from where you need to be.

February 20:
As usual the route team has found an interesting night loop for you to traverse. Consisting of some back of beyond roads passing through sleepy (literally) villages. Small village roads that keep getting choked with sand drifts as western wind pick up.

To add to the challenge we decided to take the Xplore participants off the tarmac real early during the storm on the first day itself. Watch out for the dips and curves as they could be hiding a Time Control - called TC by every one. And navigation has to be top notch to keep the score in check and not loose to competition.

Just so that you know where to get to if you do get lost - and the route team hopes you do - hot breakfast is waiting for you at Kuber Palace, Sardarshahar.

February 21:
After breakfast some more of the same stuff to keep you busy. Criss crossing the arterial routes and sticking to small connect roads. We are sure the day time visuals will be pleasing to you and make for nice picture opportunities.
The area around has really bloomed in last few years due to introduction of tubewell water. You will pass through green patches of farmland. Once, not long ago, these were only used for one crop. Now there are some farmers who even are able to make it rich by harvesting three crops. Peanut, wheat, mustard and what not. Do watch out for tractor with overloaded trailers and local jeeps as you try and keep with the allocated target speeds.

The rally will take a small break for lunch at our old time favorite "Teja Garden" at Sheruna viallage - right on NH11 - before heading off to Bikaner for night halt. We think most of the teams would surely looking forward to the early to bed opportunity - having spent most the previous night awake.

Last edited by sudev : 1st February 2012 at 16:19.
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Old 1st February 2012, 16:39   #30
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Some pictures from the recce trip of Bhuj. Lots of migratory bird species can be seen during the winter months.
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And lots of grass all over the Rann. This is while following the tracks from last Desert Storm when it was a fully used village track with many jeeps and buses using the shortcut between villages.
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