Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 18th November 2010, 21:34   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya

This year I participated in the Raid-De-Himalaya 2010 as a marshal. It was the culmination of a long cherished dream to participate in a motorsport event and this year I finally did it.

I am just penning down my experiences and hopefully they will be of help to anybody aspiring to participate as a marshal.

To summarize: It's was the simply the most enriching experience that I have ever gained in a matter of 10 days. It taught me how to overcome fatigue, sleep, hunger and fear. It also taught me how to drive a Safari. In short it made me realize both my and my vehicle's physical and mental limits and abilities.

Did I enjoy it: Absolutely, I would do it again if given a chance.

Do it: Only if you are really passionate about motorsports, love the outdoors, have no qualms about anything in particular.

Dont do it: If you have think it's all going to be fun and it would easy being an official, it is not, in-fact it can be even tougher than what the participants go through in many ways.

Here are some photographs to start off the post.

Manik
Attached Thumbnails
My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_0172.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_0174.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_0177.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_0195.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2138.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2576.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2588.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2613.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2616.jpg  

Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th November 2010, 22:13   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default

Continuing the story ..... Preparing for the Raid.....

We had approximately a month to prepare ourselves and the vehicle for the Raid. Himalayan motorsports provided us with a list of essential items that we needed to bring along. So armed with the list we set out shopping. From Spare Type Valves to Tow Ropes to Emergency Rations to Medical Kit it was all in there.

Took us most of the month to get the stuff and pack everything. There was so much stuff that it seemed like we are going for good and planning to stay there for good .

However if I look at it now, every single item I took with was used. So I must say that the list of things specified by Himalayan motorsports is pretty comprehensive and a must.

I added a lot of items to that list as well and I was happy that I did. I was prepared for any eventuality and was even able to help other folks in the Raid.
Attached Thumbnails
My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2627.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2636.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2692.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2698.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_0052.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3756.jpg  


Last edited by Traveler : 18th November 2010 at 22:27.
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th November 2010, 23:25   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,513
Thanked: 2,243 Times
Default

Great going there Manik! This is going to be a gripping read now.

Do share with us the procedure to participate as an official, the requirements, process, fees, etc. From Sudev's previous thread, it was pretty clear that the official's role is not as easy as it might seem! Eagerly awaiting future updates.

PS: Don't you think this would be better off in the travelogues section than being in your ownership thread? Just my suggestion!

Last edited by Dry Ice : 18th November 2010 at 23:39.
Dry Ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th November 2010, 23:32   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default

Day 1, 10th October: Started at 3.30 A.M. from home, enroute to Pinjore Gardens. This was to be the flag off for the first competitive section. From Pinjore Gardens - Mallah - Naina Tikkar - Kandaghat - Shimla - Fagu.

Reached our position around 4:15 AM. somewhere between Mallah and Naina - Tikkar and blocked a side road. This was our job, we needed to block the road till the rally passed by safely. First vehicles started passing us around 7.00 A.M. and the rally had crossed us by 10:30 A.M.

After the rally, we started to our destination Fagu and reached Hotel Apple Blossom at around 5.30 in the evening.

Day 2, 11th October:
Started from Fagu at around 4 A.M. and went towards Theog from where we turned right towards Chailla and then onto Kharapathar. Got stationed at another road junction and blocked the road coming from Kharapathar. Reached our point around 7 A.M. and the rally crossed us between 8 A.M. and 11 A.M. Started towards our destination Manali which was atleast 12 hours away.

Reached Manali at 12:30 AM on 12th October and I had been driving almost continuously since 4 A.M. of the previous day. Total I had already driven for almost 20 hours.

Day 3, 12th October: Surprise at Manali !! We need to start at 1.20 A.M. again and reach Takcha by 7 A.M. for our next assignment. I was fatigued, famished and tired. My hands were like of a cobblers all black and brown. Nevertheless the Raid does not have pity. So we started again. Just got a cup of hot tea from the Hotel Guard and pushed on.

Now we had to climb Rohtang Pass (I had never gone there earlier) in the middle of the night and I was driving. Rohtang had absolutely no roads this time and I had never been there. Well enough said, I had no time to reflect so I stopped thinking and took the road as it came. We reached on top of Rohtang at about 3.30 A.M.

The drive was completely exhausting and I was struggling to keep awake. Somehow being ina convoy helps a lot and I managed to tug along. Then came the descent from Rohtang and onto Gramphoo. This took another 1 hour and finally we reached Gramphoo at around 4.30 AM. Got refreshed after we got a cup of tea.

More surprises !! , we still had another 100 odd kilometers to cover before we reached Takcha and on top of that we had to climb the mighty Kunzum Pass.

My senses were so dulled out by this time that nothing mattered any longer. So after the cup of tea at Gramphoo we started again. Complete absence of roads, pitch dark conditions, unfamiliar territory and more than 25 hours of non-stop driving had bought me here. Felt like "what have I done to deserve this" .... but the spirit was not willing to give up and neither was the Safari.

At last the might Kunzum pass stood before us. 15000 feet high with a dirt road going up to it. Black ice on hair pin bends and frozen waterfalls on the way. However since I had already conquered my fear, hunger and fatigue, I was excited and refreshed and I flicked the Safari in to 4x4 H and said "Here we come" and that is how we conquered the Mighty Kunzum La at 7 A.M. . Paid obeisance at the temple on the top and continued downhill to our destination for the day - Takcha.

Descended from Kunzum and reached Takcha and stationed ourselves for the rally. I had been driving all the way from Fagu - Manali - Rohtang - Kunzum and finally Takcha and had not slept for the last 28 hours. I parked the Safari handed the Radio duty to my friend and just fell asleep. When the rally came and went I do not know. I got up after about 2 hours when the last of the vehicles were passing and then we began our last leg of the journey for the day to Kaza.

Drove another 80 odd kilometers and reached Kaza in the evening. We had been on the road for the last 32 hours without having been to a proper toilet or having seen the sight of civilization. The bed and food at the small hotel at Kaza was like the ultimate sight. I realized how much we take things for granted and how small things sometimes become so important.

I has established a personal best record of continuous driving of 28 hours apart from having successfully conquered two great passes, Rohtang and Kunzum in the middle of night.

My Safari was going strong and I was proud of the fact that it started in very first self at all times, including in temperatures that were sub zero. There was absolutely no issue with the vehicle so far. We had been through some of the toughest trails, had used the 4x4 extensively in mud, sand and ice but nothing seemed to ruffle the Safari's feathers.

Guess I will continue in the next post.......
Attached Thumbnails
My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2694.jpg  


Last edited by Traveler : 18th November 2010 at 23:40.
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th November 2010, 01:15   #5
BHPian
 
himavanth_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hyderabad/Pune/Chennai
Posts: 582
Thanked: 266 Times
Default

Please do share the procedures to become race official as well.
Never thought that officials task was much more than the participants themselves. I was always under the impression that the officials come to the place well in advance according to plan but never thought it involved 32 hrs of sleepless journeys.

Edit: Great pics. Love to see more of those.
himavanth_m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th November 2010, 13:58   #6
BHPian
 
informmaha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Banglore/Madras
Posts: 218
Thanked: 39 Times
Default

Great Going Manik

I also was thinking about marshalling an event off late. So thought of going directly to FMSCI to collect details regarding the same this weekend. Since i read in many posts that it takes huge amount of money to participate in rallying, but marshalling was equally good and you got to know many things about rallying.

Had some thoughts on marshalling before seeing your post, but after seeing your experience, i felt oh my god, is this that difficult?

Please share the details of how you got into a a marshal for this rally which would be very helpful for people like me. i hope there would be many more enthusiats like me in this forum as you can already see the reply from 3 of us.

Eagerly awaiting to see your experiences in the posts to follow.
informmaha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th November 2010, 15:37   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,390
Thanked: 785 Times
Default

It is indeed a great experience to be a marshal. I did Raid long time back and this time had gone to the Indo Bhutan Rally. MIssed out on Raid this time due to lack of proper 4X4 wheels. Hopefully from next year this issue will be solved and I can be back on the circuit again.
wanderernomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2010, 12:32   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,390
Thanked: 785 Times
Default

C'mon mate, where are the further updates?
wanderernomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2010, 22:31   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,240
Thanked: 226 Times
Default

Wonderful Manik. Look forward to more of your experience and photographs.
dwaraka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2010, 00:53   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
khoj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dilli
Posts: 2,722
Thanked: 1,253 Times
Default

@Manikahuja,

Did you by any chance happen to meet another tbhpian Rishi Kapoor. He has competed in the Raid in its previous versions and was to officiate at the Raid this time around.
khoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2010, 10:48   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,992
Thanked: 356 Times
Default

Awesome report ! But the report doesn't do much justice without pictures.

So please post up fast!

Cheers
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2010, 18:28   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Please do share the procedures to become race official as well.
Never thought that officials task was much more than the participants themselves. I was always under the impression that the officials come to the place well in advance according to plan but never thought it involved 32 hrs of sleepless journeys.

Edit: Great pics. Love to see more of those.
The officials duty actually turns out to be more arduous since we need to be present at our assigned locations before the rally crosses and we leave the position only after the entire rally passes through safely.

This means we start at-least 3 to 4 hours ahead of the rally flag-off each day and similarly reach our destinations for the day 3 to 4 hours after the participants have reached.

Nevertheless it is such an exciting time that one hardly feels anything. Every moment is full of surprises and there are ample opportunities to do photography, cook your own food on the road and sometimes even race ahead to rescue some unfortunate participants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by informmaha View Post
Great Going Manik

I also was thinking about marshalling an event off late. So thought of going directly to FMSCI to collect details regarding the same this weekend. Since i read in many posts that it takes huge amount of money to participate in rallying, but marshalling was equally good and you got to know many things about rallying.

Had some thoughts on marshalling before seeing your post, but after seeing your experience, i felt oh my god, is this that difficult?

Please share the details of how you got into a a marshal for this rally which would be very helpful for people like me. i hope there would be many more enthusiasts like me in this forum as you can already see the reply from 3 of us.

Eagerly awaiting to see your experiences in the posts to follow.
Not really, it definitely does sound difficult, but when you are there it is all working like clockwork, you are on the Radio all the time, you always move in a convoy, you are prepared mentally and physically beforehand for the task. All this gives you confidence to go ahead and complete the job you have been assigned.

The event is a real confidence builder in terms of what you can achieve and how much you can push yourself. It is an activity par excellence in building teams and promoting team work.

You must definitely participate, you will not regret it.

You typically need to be scanning the web sites for the major rally events across India. The websites typically post details about the events in details alongwith posting details about how to Volunteer as a Marshal.

You most definitely need to have access to a 4x4 vehicle and have oodles of enthusiasm to participate and a must do attitude. These 7 odd days generally give you a lot of opportunities to regret your decision and you want to head back home.... what makes a successful marshal is the determination of "I will do my job and complete this duty successfully" .

Once you have this attitude, I see no reason for you not only to participate but also complete the event with full confidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
@Manikahuja,

Did you by any chance happen to meet another tbhpian Rishi Kapoor. He has competed in the Raid in its previous versions and was to officiate at the Raid this time around.
I was in the X-treme version and unfortunately I did not hear the name Rishi on the Radio.... guess I might have missed it or he may have been in the Adventure version.
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2010, 19:20   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default Some more pictures

Here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure. These are from day 3 onwards when we were at Kaza.

I got the opportunity to tank up my Safari from the "World's Highest Altitude Retail Outlet @ 3740 Meters above sea level", this is one thing I will always be proud of.
Attached Thumbnails
My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2720.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2715.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2718.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2740.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2757.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2760.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2768.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2940.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_2887.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3321.jpg  


Last edited by Traveler : 27th November 2010 at 19:36.
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2010, 20:53   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default Day 4

Day 4, 13th October: We were assigned to block the Rama Gate exit, approx 20 kilometers from Kaza, (pictures above). The rally was to make two passes on this route so we were pretty much stationed at this location throughout the day.

Our Nutan kerosene stove came real handy and we cooked Noodles and made tea and coffee on the road. Also got some great pictures of the rally vehicles as they passed us. Both the adventure and X-Treme version ran on this route and we got to see all the participants this time around.

This was an easy day since we had traveled only about 20 kilometers today. We got some much needed rest although we were on the road for the full day. We returned to Kaza towards evening and checked into our Hotel.

An interesting thing that happened at Kaza, when we started out early morning, I turned on the windshield washer to clean the windshield and the moment the water touched the glass it froze. So i was stuck with a frozen windshield till the Sun came up.

Also at Kaza I changed the Air Filter for the Safari, I had taken one with me and it proved to be real life saver. The old air filter was clogged with dust. No amount of cleaning could get it rid of the dust and I decided to dump it and install the new one.

This was the first spare part that was replaced in the Safari after 3 days of driving. Cost was approximately Rs. 750/-

Overall I was pretty much happy with the vehicle. In the freezing cold the Safari never ever missed a beat. It started in the first self at 6 AM at Kaza. Lot of other vehicles did not start and mechanics had to called in to get them running. Even some imported vehicles had a tough time starting up and I was silently feeling proud.

Day 5, 14th October: We started from Kaza at 4 A.M. en-route to Jispa. We had the radio car duty at Takcha again and after driving for around 3 hours we reached our appointed place. It was absolutely freezing with temperatures plummeting to -5. I had my heater on and the Safari was standing at the lonely spot for around 2 hours and idling and keeping us warm. For the first time in my life I saw the temperature needle going down in a running vehicle. The temperature needle went all the way down to a Quarter since it was so cold. We had almost 5 inches icicles form under the front bumper since the water the splashed on got frozen. It was unbelievable.

Our Nutan stove came to our rescue again and we had hot tea and boiled eggs and some bread cheese for breakfast. We had two more official cars with us at this time. One was the official Doctor and another was a emergency response team.

After the rally crossed us safely we started our journey again towards Jispa, it was as usual a long way off, but after reaching Gramphoo the going was pretty easy since we were back on the main Manali - Leh highway.

We reached Jispa around 7 in the evening and as usual we had driven for more than 12 hours that day too. En-route we also crossed the last petrol station before Leh. Leh is more than 350 kilometers from here and this is the last opportunity to get fuel.

At Jispa, we checked into Hotel Ibex, and Wow what a place. It was the most well appointed hotel after the Hotel at Manali. We had unlimited Solar Heated Hot Water and I had my first bath after 4 or 5 days. It was out of the world.

Next morning we again started at 4 A.M. to reach Patseo, this was the flagoff point for the last competitive stage. We were stationed just at the bottom of the road that leads up to Baralacha Pass. Enroute is the famous Suraj Tal lake.

It was again sub zero temperatures and we were all huddled up in our respective vehicles. At around 7 A.M. the first of the competitors started coming in and our work started. We were busy coordinating the flag off's for the competitors when suddenly a frantic radio call alerted all of us.

The biker who was coming second in the Motoquad category had gone missing somewhere between Patseo and Baralacha Pass. Hari Singh(The famous Rallyist) who was our team leader instructed me to immediately rush up and rescue the biker.

I cranked my Safari to life, pulled in my co-driver and we jumped right in-between the rally cars. With the headlights on, the hazard lights blinking and horn blowing we started climbing the road to Baralacha pass as fast as we could. Parallelly the doctor stationed with us at Patseo also started with us in his Innova.

After about 12 odd kilometers there was a small iron railed bridge and I saw the unfortunate biker lying down on the ground. My heart sank and we rushed upto him as fast as we could. He had not noticed the bridge and jumped over a crest just before the bridge, when he landed he saw the bridge and braked hard and and his bike skidded. He fell down and his bike got entangled in the gaps in the bridge. He was okay but had broken his right leg.

We immediately went into rescue mode and I removed his riding boots, then the doctor gave his some painkiller shot. A full stilt was put around his leg and bandaged with crepe bandage and then we moved him onto a stretcher and into the Innova. The doctors rushed him down to Patseo and onto Keylong hospital. We had rescued him within a very short period of time thanks to the extremely tight coordination of all time control points.

I was about to turn back and head down, when another radio call alerted us to one more unfortunate event. Another bike rider has gone missing further ahead. Since I was already there, I was told to rush up ahead again. Another 5 kilometers ahead we located the rider. He was one of the people who had come from Austria. He had skidded and dashed against the mountain and broken his collar bone. He was otherwise fine. The second ambulance that was stationed up ahead had rushed down and the very capable Doctor Rana quickly bandaged him.

I then got him to ride with me in the Safari and we took him to the M.I. Room at Patseo. He was relieved that we had rescued him so quickly and that there was nothing serious to his injuries. Meanwhile another braveheart official drove his still running bike down to Patseo in the freezing cold.

Finally after all these upsets and rescue missions we were free to go back to Manali. This was the last stage and we had done our job. We now needed to reach Manali safely.

After a long journey back to Manali, we finally checked into the Log Huts and rejoiced in the fact the we had DONE IT.

We had successfully completed the Raid-De-Himalaya. We had had no vehicle breakdowns while we actually pulled out a Stuck Innova, towed a fully loaded Balero uphill, rescued two competitors, driven non stop for over 28 hours, covered a total of over 2000 Kilometers in 6 or 7 days, gone to place I would not have dared to go alone and most importantly not given up.

I am proud to have participated in the Raid-De-Himalaya as an official and would love to do it again. It is an out of the world experience. Simply can't be put into words. You need to be there.

Last edited by Traveler : 27th November 2010 at 20:54.
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2010, 21:05   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: On the road...
Posts: 220
Thanked: 135 Times
Default Some Final Pictures

Pictures from the last two days......
Attached Thumbnails
My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3877.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3889.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3894.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3908.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3920.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3929.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_3994.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_4048.jpg  

My Experiences as a DCOC for Raid-De-Himalaya-img_4051.jpg  

Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Raid The Himalaya 07 sanket12 Indian Motorsport 15 20th January 2006 21:24
Raid-de- Himalaya '05 ! khaadu75 Indian Motorsport 1 24th September 2005 16:54
Raid-de-Himalaya '04 khaadu75 Indian Motorsport 4 21st October 2004 15:36
Raid de Himalaya '04 khaadu75 Indian Motorsport 5 15th October 2004 12:33
RAID-DE-HIMALAYA '04 khaadu75 Indian Motorsport 9 19th June 2004 14:38


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:33.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks