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Old 11th November 2017, 12:15   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hangover View Post
A query or two about your radio's:
  1. don't you say "over" once you communicate whatever the message was?
Missed answering this.

Yes that's a good procedure if the message is long. But in practice with short messages I find not going into confirmation loop saves lots of sorry time.

Some marshal's would go something like
ABC XYZ come in
XYZ ABV here
Yadayadayada Over
Copied XYZ
Okay ABC

As a hop marshal for each vehicle that passes is we need to give message to hop after us and also to hop before use. The first to tell the next hop that there is a vehicle between us and him. The second to let the marshal before us know that he can stop tracking this vehicle as it has now crossed us.

The previous hop, by being good listener, can help save lot of air time by simply confirming message from us to next hop.

Another peeve is that some are stickler for form rather than about process. They want to keep their list complete and so many times ask for confirmation about vehicle that they missed listening for.

Typically this would form a transmission like this after transmission for vehicle 44th by Hop4 to Hop5

Hop3 Hop4
Yes Hop4
Did vehicle 44 cross you?
Yes at 1020
Sorry missed. How many total crossed?
46
Please give list
......
And now Hop3 will transmit the entire list while Hop4 writes down all numbers
.......

All this will block airwaves for longish time for all around. And for what? So that my list is complete. Remember it's competitor number and time of passing that will be translated.

If one has to transmit entire list you can bet the other side will not be able to copy all numbers at once. So typically they will ask for list again after number YY.

If you have to transmit list it's better to do in bunches of give numbers and wait for listener to confirm before doing next bunch.

Small small things to make life of marshal easier.

As a form if 44 has crossed me it does not matter any more if he crossed last hop or not. Now it's in my tracking area and that all matters.

Last edited by sudev : 11th November 2017 at 12:31.
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:09   #32
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Cover picture of DCOC manual from last year's Raid. This years manual was kept by Samir but for understanding information this is good. It's a think volume and is essential to be used everyday. Both for time plan as well as competitor tracking.

The second picture gives one page of participant list. This is not start order but only list of expected participants. Some last minute drop out can occur or due to seeding some driver/rider may be moved up or down.

More important from marshal's viewpoint is there daily start order. That lists the actual number of starters expected and their order of start. This is handed out by placers.
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:17   #33
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The next important page from marshal's viewpoint is the list of all important officials.

Again a page from last year's DCOC manual. The list is groped based on roles. FMSCI officials, organisers, Extreme marshal's, Adventure (TSD) marshal's, medics, media and support. Almost all these vehicles carry radios.

Against each official some inventory issue items are listed based on the duties he she is expected to do. So for some radio may not be issued. Or type of antenna mount varies. Dinner are to do duty as time controls so they need to carry time control or TC frames with appropriate signage. Typically the end TC is also given pair of hand radios. These are operated on different frequency to do local communication between flying finish and actual stop at end of stage.

Logical query - Pray what is flying finish? At end of competition stage the timing is done while competitors cross the end line at full tilt. They are then given about 200 meter stopping distance. The marshal at flying finish gives signal to end marshal the moment vehicle crosses his line. Visual and whistle signals work in plains but in mountains radio had to be used.

Duty locations are not based on the serial order here so it's essential everyday to check location of nearby "items" everyday against this. No not using items in funny way though almost all marshal's can be classified as items.

And yes there are some eye candy items also as marshal. Caveat : beauty is in eyes of beholder. 8-)
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Last edited by sudev : 12th November 2017 at 09:30.
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Old 12th November 2017, 10:15   #34
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The duty charts come next in the DCOC manual.

Look closely at the picture attached.

Against each marshal name his duty is listed and also in the last column further instructions pertaining to that duty is listed.

This picture is the first page of duty allotment and pertains to Day 0 -2

So in my case I was spending the previous night at home. My duty is transit - travel to Manali - and check in at Citrus for my night halt. I am expected to attend stewards meeting that day evening.

Similarly for all people listing is given. Who is to do scrutiny, when where, open by, close by etc. etc.

The second picture is for Day 1 duty chart. The previous night halt location and start time of convoy from Manali is given. Also duty type and location. RC is radio hop marshal. Control is senior marshal who is given additional decision making responsibility and roles in case of evac. So with controls there is additional RC marshal at location. Giving flexibility to move if required.

Next night halt location and / or hotel is given. The columns which are not showing in picture are columns giving ready for duty time and expected closer time. Latter in almost all cases is more of wish list as one or other things delay closing time.

There is also information somewhere giving first car expected time.

Additionally this year the chart also had convoy commander name to avoid confusion of people following the wrong convoy.
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Old 12th November 2017, 10:26   #35
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Obviously preparing such detailed movement plans for seventy five plus cars, location mapping, night halt allocation, time scheduling......Major work. And then some or other official has to drop out......sigh.

With so many details to be interconnected minor (or even major) goof ups can occur. So it's up to us, the happy travelers of the Raid, to make sure we read this document clearly and get anything discrepant sorted out by end of Day 0 -1

Day 0 is all about getting the balance competitors scrutiny done and attending to any re-scrutiny issues. Despite clear rules and guidelines some - okay more than some - competitors miss out on complying. They are then given time to rectify non compliance and represent their vehicle for re-scrutiny doing with pleasure of monetary fine. Of course they can opt out.

This year one of the cars was rammed by a local driver after it has been scrutineed. Poor competitor had to run here and there to get his vehicle back in shape in time and get it re-scrutineed after tinkering ended up selling his competition number sticker.

After all this the ceremonial flag off is done. This is photo opportunity and lot of fan fare with loud music is done. Check it YouTube for ceremonial start videos.

The day is not complete yet.

Last edited by sudev : 12th November 2017 at 10:27.
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Old 12th November 2017, 10:59   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
.... Poor competitor had to run here and there to get his vehicle back in shape in time and get it re-scrutineed after tinkering ended up selling his competition number sticker.....
Sorry should read spoiling instead of selling. Though if you go to Himachal, and more specifically Manali, Himalayan Motorport and Raid de Himalaya stickers can be spotted on almost all taxis. Obviously someone is making and selling fakes.
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Old 12th November 2017, 18:35   #37
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Day 3 Contd...

The day started at 0300 from Pang and the convoy travelled on good tarmac road till Debring. Over year there was road being built but that was always work in progress with multiple diversions. This year the road had no diversions and except for a YUMP or two it was a smooth progress. The stage was Debring Dat.

From Debring the climb to Tanglang La - the highest point of the Manali Leh journey - starts. During the season Tibetian dhaba's spring up and almost as soon as the season ends the PVC sheets and wood beams forming the roof are removed and packed off to Leh. The structures left behind looks like abandoned ghost town.

But precisely here the convoy stopped and once regrouped took a ninety left turn on to vast plains. In the darkness the thirty odd vehicles in the first convoy, with us at the tail, tried following the tail lights of the vehicle ahead. These kept on disappearing in heavy dust cloud. It looks something like this picture by Manoj Gupta (https://www.facebook.com/manoj.n.gupta.1) from one of the previous Raids when placements were being started almost at dawn.
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-10680129_10152871150578958_6632030285051624807_o.jpg

While I do not have picture from the early morning dust storm created by us but here is picture from day time when competitors were running the reverse leg from Dat to Debring and then joining the tarmac head towards Leh. You can see the immense dust raised by the vehicles. Picture courtesy Vijay Parmar.
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-22496000_10209985639749510_8971734640098386591_o.jpg

The "road" here used to run along the left side of "mostly dry" river bed but had been washed away probably in the snow melt flood. The initial few kilometres are thus nothing but meandering run across the river bed. The dust is so fine that despite closed doors and windows some of the dust still came in to Fortuner. We really wondered how marshal's in Gyps's or Thar's managed.

Manjeev was leading this convoy and doing placements of RC marshals as we slowly proceeded on the bumpy dust filled area. And the temperature so early in the morning was dipping and touching -7 degree. Despite temperature inside set at 24 degree we were still feeling cold and also groggy from excess of sleeping through the night before. 8-)

At this time a radio call came:
Manjeev Sir Ambulance 6
...
...
Manjeev Sir Ambulance 6
...
...
Manjeev Sir Ambulance 6
...
...

Last edited by sudev : 12th November 2017 at 18:38.
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Old 12th November 2017, 21:55   #38
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Perhaps Manjeev was out of his radio range or reflections were causing signal loss between 6 and Manjeev.

6 whats for Manjeev will relay

So one or the other who is in connect with both steps in to relay the message.

This is 6 we are stuck. Need tow.

The sand and hidden troughs were so bad that the two wheel drive Innova was stuck. Fortunately another marshal was near by and radioed that he is coming with tow. By now most of the cars were out of the dust area and were on the pebble top road that climbed another pass - Yari La (??) - and then down to continue on plains on the other side till Dat monastery. With usual pushing and cursing the marshals got placed and radio net established well before time for the first competitor to start. With us sitting in side the car it was feeling very very cold. We were waiting for sun to climb high enough to start warming us.

Dat stage is one of the fastest and loveliest stages of the Raid. It is worth a visit for some one who is in to off the beaten track touring and camping in open. I am sure I will go back there without mad cap schedule.

Two pictures for you to enjoy the stage thrills. The leaderboard must have been at the top end speed at this location as the competed to improve their ranking. Picture credit to Vijay Parmar. Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-885246_10200584725292524_872827909_o.jpg

Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-1415215_10152035850551413_1598192818_o.jpg

This one is by Siju George who along with Manoj Shadija from Delhi were also marshalling.
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-22496257_1489707744430574_2481099411738279389_o.jpg

As it was a stage that was also run in reverse direction here you see competitors lined up at Dat end awaiting restart.
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-894463_10200610961308408_725745409_o.jpg

Last edited by sudev : 12th November 2017 at 21:57.
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Old 14th November 2017, 08:11   #39
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Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-23509259_1735897569776413_2038058125521499258_o.jpg

Milkyway captured by Umesh Gogna

The brilliantly lit sky's at night and desolate endless plains bordered with some snow capped mountains are characteristics of the region. You hardly see any people except at dhabas setup along the route.

Vijay Parmar writes this caption for next picture: The early morning light at Takcha lights up in a very ethereal sort of way.....inside the rally cabin no eyes for the sights - only the road or what masquerades as one !
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-22770034_10210039030284240_5025856740234133877_o.jpg

A shot by Vijay Parmar that says it all for the Debring Dat stage.
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-22829079_10210054166502636_6354496283459469924_o.jpg

These vistas are what the road journey to Leh is all about. BUT - a significant BUT - you need to get away a bit from beaten track to enjoy.

A good AWD SUV and companions to share with are essential. Make it two car's and you'd not be left with a breakdown in middle of these mighty mountain ranges.

I could write more about rest of days competition but it would be sound like repeat.

To close the journey here is a shot of Rishi and Poonam Kapoor enjoying it in freezing cold doing marshal duty for the Adventure category.
Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-22552673_10155831068662855_8132570047914827209_n.jpg
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Old 14th November 2017, 08:32   #40
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Sharing a funny conversation that lasted the duration of the rally.

Just as we start off from Gurgaon.
Samir - Sudev we have gas to make tea coffee soup noodles and meals. Only a pan is needed.
Me - Sure let's buy one on way out of Delhi

At Delhi Haryana border.
Me - Pot to liya nahin
Samir - Traffic bahut tha. Let's try at ahead

At Karnal tea halt.
Samir - No shop selling pots here
Me - We will get shops ahead. Sure we also have to pass through Kharar. We will get it there

At Ropar byepass.
Samir - Too much traffic to go through town
Me - We should have stopped for it at Kharar
Samir - No problems. Tomorrow at Sundernagar.

Crossing Aut tunnel.
Samir - Shit forgot to buy pan. Chalo bhad me gaya pan shopping today. We will buy it at Manali.

Returning from n=dinner at Jhonsons on Day 0 -1.
Me - Samir pan lena hai
Samir - All shops are closed now
Me - Tomorrow pucca

Early morning climbing Rohtang after two days.
Me - Yaar pan to liya nahin
Samir - Kal (Day 0) time hi nahin mila
Me - Lets try at Kaza. Today we can get tea coffe meals at Batal Dhaba. Lucky to get this duty.

Shivering in the car at Dat.
Samir - Sudev garm garm chai ki zaroorat hai
Me - F%%$ bola tha pan kharid lo
Samir - Let's make sure we buy one at Upshi or Leh. Aaj ka din to chala lenge.

Early morning drive to Kargil.
Samir - S417. Pan to....
Me - Kargil market will not be open when we cross

Having noodle soup at Umba La stage start courtesy Tarun Rai and his fully stocked car.
Samir - Sir bola tha na pan kharid lete hain. Dekho kitna maza aa raha hai
Me - Today eveing at Kargil for sure. Market to khuli hogi.

Next day morning at Thakcham shivering with cold waiting for dawn.
Me - Yaar the mraket had closed by the time we reached Kargil.
Samir - Nahin Sir. Market to open tha aap hi Padam ka birthday celebrate karne mein zaydaa interested the
Me - Pucca yaar tonight

Again at Thakcham having heat and eat Haldiram Rajma Chawal using pot and LPG of fellow marshal.
Me - See how good and easy this is
Samir - That's what I have been saying. We should have bought a pan.

At Umba La on last day of raid.
Me - Kal kyoon nahin kharida pan?
Samir - Jaldi pachun gaye the na. Bister mein ghus kar so gaye.
Me - Aab yaad kar bistar. Phati padi hai. Garam garam soup pite.

At Leh market after last leg is over.
Me - Pot le lein
Samir - Aab kya karenge. Itne din to logon ke pot pan use kar liye

Between Ambala and Karnal.
Me - Samir yaar ek pan abhi se le kar rakh le next year ke liye.
Samir - Sure kaal jate hi.

Last edited by sudev : 14th November 2017 at 08:49.
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:00   #41
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Travelled to Jaipur and back past weekend to help out in a small autocross event. Met up with Tarun - the LPG soccer guy - and Romil and spent time talking about the Raid travel.

Tarun clarified that he had both LPG and Butane burner stoves. Though the latter is costlier by factor of three but is able to heat much faster is colder rarified air. That I can agree with as Butane has more calorific value. But he also insisted that soup made over Butane was hotter. How can that be? Boiling point at height would be constant across sorceress of heat? Any explanations?
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Old 30th November 2017, 10:04   #42
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Default re: Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya

@Sudev, thanks for a brilliant write-up. Somehow I missed it, not being regular on FB/T-BHP now.

One point I want to add is that a part of you has to be insane to officiate in Raid. Every year one common conversation between you and Navigator is to not do it again. But even before you reach back Delhi, you start planning for next.

If you truly want to learn leadership, do a Raid. No business school could ever teach you kind of leadership and management that you learn here (I’ve been to Wharton, Kellogg, IMT, ISB, FDC, INSEAD...list goes on).

A bottle of water may sound a very insignificant resource but you truly appreciate the value of it when temperatures of -16 degrees hits you in wind swept tent with a sheet of PVC beneath you.

The teamwork works like a charm but it gets out of gear with unforeseen scenario each day! Every raid gives you a new learning. The comraderie is at its best and the Raid family (as I fondly call it) is always ready for any challenge and to make the show happen in spite of any challenge that comes our way.

Yes, the party is due!!

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Old 10th December 2017, 21:01   #43
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Default Marshal's travels

Another food story. Authentic and amazing Dal and Bati.

For Royal Enfield Shamble motorcycle rally did marshal duty near a small temple tucked away in Aravali hold about 40~50 kilometers from Jaipur.

Only one small stall holder was offering tea and some package biscuits and snacks. As we had reached our location very early. It was a cold morning.

After a cup of hot tea we chatted up with the stall holder and learned that his family had been Pujari's of the temple for 700 years! The record of which is available with names of all Pujari's since. Further he mentioned that while current Pujari is his uncle he also lives in the temple. We also chatted with his son who was preparing for his English exam at school next day.

We asked if he could prepare dinner Paratha or even a simple namak roti. He refused and said he only could prepare tea. We persuaded him further by starting that since he lived there only he would be making food for himself and his uncle. So why not help us out. He did not commit.

After a while he came to where we were soaking in the warm sunlight and informed that he's preparing food for us and it would be ready in an hour.

An hour and half later he beckoned us inside the temple premises and too is into open hall. There he made us squat on floor covered with cotton mattress. He then proceeded to serve us with most awesome Dal Bati that we ever had.

Bati had been slowly roasted on slow wood fire and were crusty and crisp on there outside. Size of tennis ball and dropped in Desi Ghee. Panchratan Dal was simple and awesome.

With langurs and variety of birds chirping in the background it was simply it off the world experience.

And free except for few moments spent chatting and paying for few cost of tea.
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Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-img_20171209_074721.jpg  

Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-img_20171209_085326.jpg  

Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya-1512919358420.jpg  


Last edited by sudev : 10th December 2017 at 21:02. Reason: Marshal's travelogue
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Old 27th December 2017, 16:13   #44
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Default Re: Marshal's Travel Stories: The 2017 Raid De Himalaya

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Can anyone be madder than them?

You bet. Read on in the next post.
We know a few, dont we.

Nice thread Sudev. Chanced up on this today. Is the Samir in the "pan story" the "fire" one we know ??

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram
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Old 29th December 2017, 19:20   #45
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Yes Ram...Samir of fire fame.
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