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Old 20th October 2008, 12:56   #31
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@tsk979: I did not but then I was the one Dhruvan was trying to follow - like father like son - as all these years it is cold water for me unless the taps are frozen over. And yes that was interesting conversation going on between Anmol and Dhruvan on how that verification could work...
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Old 20th October 2008, 21:42   #32
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Very good thread, Sudev sir.I think most of the guys are not aware of the duties and responsiblity due with a rally official.As i have done Manali-leh-srinagar and also been a stage commander(popular rally,cochin) ,i know how difficult it will be!!!.
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Old 21st October 2008, 16:03   #33
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Flag out from Leh - 07th October 2008

Leh town was in deep sleep and so was the hotel staff when we woke up at 0300hrs and a frenzy of activity saw us packing our stuff as well. Why? Because after we attended to the flag off of the Raid, on its way to Kargil, we were headed back to Delhi. Dhruvan was flying out and me and Abhinav were driving back. Anmol was going to stay back for the return of Raid on 9th and would fly back only after attending the prize giving.

Grumbling to get awake as I had only grabbed couple of hours of sleep - thanks to late night call from Navdeep Thareja from Kargil, who wanted the results and start order. Now this chap had started from Kaza after all participants had left on 5th morning and overtook them while they slept warmly in their tents at Patseo and had driven right before them to reach Leh in the afternoon and carried on to Kargil. And on reaching there somewhere around midnight gave me the aforementioned call. Dedicated or foolhardy? I love him.

The cold water challenge saw the score jump to 6/6 with Dhruvan just numb from a buket full that he poured on his head for almost next ten minutes. Anmol was now using arguments as if born out from mind of a sharp criminal lawyer to wriggle his way out. The bet and the settlement unfortunately are beyond what mods will allow me to write 8-)

Starting the car I could hear gay chatter of others as they headed en-route to Kargil for duties on days section. A crisp "Good morning Raid" again brought transmission from Majeev. "Sudev, you better see what can be done about three Adventure participants who did not find acco yesterday. I think they are in Leh somewhere" ***!!!??? That is not a nice way to set the tone of the day.

Anyways when we reached J&K Tourism center we found the three Gypsies parked outside by road side with crews trying their best to get a shut eye. Fortunately Leh, for all concerned, was not as cold as it usually is at this time of the year. So I woke up the guys and asked them wehy they could not find rooms?
Them: "We went to the hotel as per slip you gave us but they did not have a room"
Me: "Why did you not come back here?
Them: "We did...at 2200hrs"
Me: "You got the slips from me before 1700hrs..what were you doing till 2200hrs? Why did you not come back here?"
Them: "Finding acco"
Me: EXASPERATED..."It took you 5 hours to realize that you do not have acco and drive all of 3 kms back here?"
Them: "We went to hotel and they said no room but then we attended to vehicles first and then petrol and then food and then.."
Me: Muttering to myself "they deserve it then and here I actually let go of two room yesterday night to a service team"

Anyways all I could do at this time was send them with Anmol to the hotel that had been just vacated by officials going to Kargil and get them hot water and some tea plus breakfast. And to partially help them I allowed them 30 minutes extra for Parc-ferme entry and radioed the same to Vijay. Who incidentally also landed up after a few minutes to give me news that I would not be having any more officials for the start as Bhaskar and wife had gone on to work enroute to Kargil. As per plan there were six of us to do the start but now we were two (Anmol having gone with the Outdoors-men and Dhruvan gone off to airport. Oh well.

What is a parc-ferme? Is short this is secure parking area where all vehicle have to be left. This is usually open from the time vehicles come in to the time they go out. Once a vehicle checks in you can not take it out. However in case of endurance events the rules allow for parc ferme to be established two hours before the start of the event and closes one hour before the start. This is to allow them facility to repair their vehicles. Any one reporting before one hour of the start pays a fine and can be denied start. There were three late comers who shelled out a fine oon the spot.

With only two people handling the start it was difficult to line up vehicles, fill up time cards and also do count down to start. So I asked help from Pradeep, a rally veteran and officials in the past Raids (but competing this time) to help out. Thanks fully with his help we were able to start the flag off in time and kept the whole bunch rolling out at two minutes intervals. Once Anmol joined back, Pradeep was relieved and in matter of two hours we flagged off entire Raid on its way to Kargil.

Only after 0815hrs we realized that not a drop of water or tea had gone inside us and suddenly we were hungry and tired. So we all piled in the car and dropped off Anmol back at the hotel. Then we stopped at the Giana Dhabha in the main market and had a plate of "channa-bhatura" along with sweet tea. At just past 0900hrs we rolled from Leh heading back to Manali.

In short we reached Manali at night and after a short night rest headed to Delhi. Leh Manali was done n just under 12 hours and Manali Faridabad in 14, out of which 3 hours were from start of Delhi to Faridabad - a mere 50 kms! Since I was only driving it was too much for me to push beyond Manali in one day, especially after we had sleet and rain accompanying us all across Rohtang La with it wonderful no-roads and slight snow fall when we crossed Baralaha La.

Last edited by sudev : 21st October 2008 at 16:11.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 12:11   #34
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For those mad men who are thinking "I want to do this too!"

First ask your self this question: Are you really interested and are willing to do serious work with total commitment? If you answer yes you are certifiably mad and welcome to world or motor sport.

Participating in a rally or other motor sport events as a marshal / volunteer / official is another way of getting up close to the action. You can gain insights and learn rules and regulations far more than you would in the "field".

For experienced marshal's organizers pick up full or partial tab of acco / fuel / out of pocket etc. What you need to invest is time and effort. This however is easier said than done as the organizers expect 100% commitment as all their movement and duty plans hinge on the officials being in the filed at the right place and at the right time every time.

Major query is how do I get started? Simple answer is find out who are the people organizing events in your back yard and get in touch with them. Do not expect high response as they are wary as there are too many scary stories of people not turning up at last moment or similar. But if you are dedicated and persistent they will welcome you. Do not shirk away just because you are being given a lowly job. This is a step in right direction.

Having your own bike/car would be a plus but not necessary a negative. As organizer we have arranged vehicles for volunteers and hams. Another plus would be your awareness of rules and the area in which the event is being run.

The preparations for a rally start almost a year to six months in advance so do not expect that a week before the event you will be welcome. If you missed this years event try and be there for next one and touch base with organizers constantly much in advance of the event.

Another way is to touch base with marshals who were there in the last event. All cars need a minimum crew of two people and you can be the co-passenger with an experienced official. You may end up learning far more though you may not get to drive. If you are avid photographer take pictures and do write-ups describing the action. This helps with your profile.

May be other can pitch in with their advice.
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Old 23rd October 2008, 00:57   #35
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Off topic:

While we were on our HP trip and at the fag end of the trip -- around Oct 11 the Raid has ended by then ---- came across quite a few of them either being transported or driven from Manali.

Also came across on Oct 12, when we were at Sai Ropa and Shoja side, a couple of Raid gypsies who still thought the Raid has not ended. They were driving full throttle up and down with their characteristic loud exhaust noise and we could see the local drivers and people becomin irritated. But being a Raid fan definitely was excited to see these gypsies with "Extreme" tag on them.

Then later that day when we were going to Kingal after crossing Jalori Pass, one such crossed me and I promptly made him the pilot car. With him and exhaust note in lead he did clear up the road for me. But only that I had a 2.5 tonne Safari otherwise would have shown him!!! just kidding . Initially, was with him for around 5-6 minutes before being stuck with larger sized oncoming traffic.

We soon caught up with him again as he was chatting with someone by roadside and passed him. Sometime later, he again passed us and promptly made him the pilot car again - we covered some good distance for some 10 minutes and then we lost him as I got stuck with a tractor coming up.

My wife took this video as best she could with the Canon S3 IS in movie mode before it became too much for her to hold on to the camera - one does hear the stock tyres noise.


Last edited by adc : 23rd October 2008 at 01:14.
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Old 23rd October 2008, 07:03   #36
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@ADC: On open public roads thats pushing it beyond the safety envelop. The road has huge drops and is quite narrow. That said it is fun drive and I admire your fun loving attitude.

Raid is not as much about highest speed as it is about endurance - being at it minute after minute, hour after hour and days on end. The journey you have described in your travelouge is no less than the Raid though. 8-)
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Old 23rd October 2008, 11:33   #37
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Yes, a completely fun drive and that video instantly became one of my favourites.

Also, definitely thanks for posting facts and shedding light from the officials perspective, anything about the Raid fascinates one and all.
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Old 24th October 2008, 00:16   #38
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Awesome Sudev boss,

Organising even a small event (any kind) is a pain but at the end of it, you are richer from the point of view of experience.

In case of the raid, it seems the organisers and gang have a one-of-a-kind experience. And I am sure the rewards are worth it: the drivers must be really thankful to you, as much as their families (for keeping them safe). Not to mention the superb surroundings and live action only seen on WRC recordings by people like us.

And a unique narrative, as I have already mentioned!!
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Old 24th October 2008, 16:37   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotzuk View Post
Sudev sir,
Eagerly waiting for the next episode.
Its really interesting to read our side of the story..
Kudos to you...
Cheers
hey bro...how did it go??
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