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Old 26th April 2019, 17:10   #1
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Default Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)

A review - MAHINDRA GREAT ESCAPE (MGE) CHENNAI – February 2019


MGE comes to Chennai after a long gap, and was to be held on 13, October, 2018, which was then postponed to 21, October, 2018.

The event did not happen in October, 2018, probably due to the poor response received on the online registrations, thanks to the Mahindra Dealers in Chennai, who took, either very less or no initiative in calling the owners of Mahindra vehicles to inform them of the proposed event. I did not get a call, and neither did my friends, all owning Thars, and all purchased in Chennai.

And finally on 2nd February, 2019, the MGE in Chennai happened.

Registration and participation was pegged at Rs 3000/ per vehicle for 2 persons, with the option of adding more persons at an extra cost and this included Breakfast and lunch, a snack pack, Mahindra T-shirts and caps, and the Mahindra Adventure sticker set.

Venue for reporting/Flag Off : Motel Mamalla, Mahabalipuram
Adventure type : Trail Drive.
Date : 2nd February, 2019
Time : 0800 hrs
Location of the OTR : The Palar River Bed.

Reached the venue at 8 am, and found that there were quite a number of participants. I had made an online registration and payment, so just had to go to the counter, get my participation confirmed and collect the Mahindra goodie pack. There were a few ‘onsite’ registration as well, and by the crowd assembled and the number of vehicles lined up, I guess there would have been 40 vehicles, which included a few 2 wheel drives ones.

The Chennai based off roading team Terra Tigers (TT) were pooled in by Mahindra to assist in conducting the event, so in addition to the participants vehicles, there were around 14 of the TT marshal vehicles and 12 of the Mahindra Adventure Team. So that made a total of 64 Mahindra off roaders. And an ambulance with the medicos for any medical emergencies.

After breakfast, all participants were gathered and a briefing was given by the Mahindra Adventure team, with a brief history of what MGE was and the type of events that were being conducted. There were many participant who had never taken their vehicle off the road, and only a few hands rose, when asked about prior off road experience.

A token of appreciation was given to the TT head by the MGE team.

Flag Off happened at around 10.30 am, and then the participants were asked to proceed in a convoy towards the entry to the Palar river bed, around 25 km from the Motel.

I had been to the Palar a few times for the events organized by the TT, and knew what to expect. There are a total of 7 special stages (SS) consisting of rock climbing/crawling, sand dunes, slush pits, mudding areas, grass lands, all spread across the vast river, and connected with loose sand and hard rocky and gravel tracks.

The convoy reached the OTR point at around 11.30 from where 2 wd and 4x4 vehicles were split into 2 convoys, of 10 x 2wd and the remaining 30 4x4.

I had a Thar, and queued up into the 4x4 line to proceed to the first SS, the slush trail, which was going to be a drive through very loose and dry sand to get there. And so we had a convoy of 30 vehicles, mostly Thars, lead, escorted and swept by the MGE and TT vehicles. The sand was loose and progress was slow.

I shall let the photos speak, starting off with photos from the starting point to the finish, and then bore you more with the narration after the photos.

The Venue
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-mamalla-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-mamalla-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-mamalla-3.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-mamalla-4.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-regtn-counter.jpg

The Breakfast spread
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-breakfast-spread.jpg

The Line up outside the Motel
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-1.jpg

Stickering the vehicles
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-stickering-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-stickering-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-stickering-3.jpg

The briefing before Flag Off
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-brief-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-brief-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-brief-3.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-brief-4.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-brief-5-hand-up.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-brief-6.jpg

Token of Appreciation to the Terra Tigers Team
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-token-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-token-2.jpg

Flag Off
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-flg-off-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-flag-off-2.jpg

Entry line up at The Palar
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-palar-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-palar-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-palar-3.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-palar-4.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-palar-5.jpg

The first Special Stage - slush
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-slush-pit-1.png
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-slush-pit-2.png
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-slush-pit-3.png
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-stuck-towed-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-stuck-towed-up.jpg
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Old 26th April 2019, 17:36   #2
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Default re: Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)

..continuation to above, due to the 30 photo limit.


The Ambulance which waited at the entry point to the Palar
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-ambulance.jpg

The 2nd Special Stage - the Rock
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-3.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-4.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-5.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-6.png


The wait for each participants turn at SS 2
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-wait-1.png

Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-rock-wait-2.png


Time lost in waiting at the SS
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-waiting-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-waiting-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-waiting-3.jpg


The way back out from the Palar
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-terrain-1.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-terrain-2.jpg
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-line-up-waiting-1.jpg


Back on Terra Firma
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-terra-firma-1.png
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-terra-firma-2.png


First stop to fill up air
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-stop-air.png


Back to Base
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-back-base.png


Any event where I get to take the Thar off the road, and that too with the secure feeling of having help and assistance at hand, is FUN, but for those who are familiar with the Palar, and from the above photos I guess it would be clear that only just a small part of the river was covered, and the FUN was limited. The main reason being that all the 30 4x4 vehicles were led in a single convoy to the first SS, and time was lost, as the slushy SS could be tackled by only one vehicle at a time, with vehicles getting stuck and having to be towed out. By the time all 30 vehicles completed the first SS, it was well past lunch time.


After the ‘slush pit’ the next SS was to tackle the rocks, which incidentally was also the location where lunch would be served. So all 30 vehicles proceed to the next SS. Here some time was saved as some had lunch, while the others tackled the rock. Yet by the time all completed this stage it was well past 4.00 pm, and with the sun coming down, there was not enough time to proceed to the next SS. So the only option was to proceed to the exit of the Palar, which itself would take more than an hour to get onto hard tarmac. And at around 5.30 pm we were out of the river bed and back on the road. No causalities, no breakdowns and all in one happy piece.


The event concluded at the starting point, the Motel Mamalla, where all participants were welcomed back with hot beverages and snacks, and each participant was issued with a certificate for taking part in the Chennai MGE.
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-img_0376.jpg


The next MGE Chennai dates are already out, and is going to be held on 19th October, 2019 agw. Will I join the next one ? I still have not decided, but one of my friend, who was part of the February one has. Below is his decision in the form of a ‘whatsapp’ message, and wonder how many others would have felt this way.
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-whatsapp-mkd.jpg


If at all Mahindra Adventure has plans to make the MGE Chennai a regular affair, I guess they would have to change their modus operandi. There was a similar turnout at Palar in Sept, 2018 for The Palar Challenge conducted by the Terra Tigers, and all participants got a chance at the 5 SS that was laid out for that event. This was made possible by splitting the whole lot into different convoys and each convoy proceeding to the different SS, entering into the Palar at different spots, with the required TT marshals. No time was lost, driving experience was maximized and all participants got a turn to tackle the SS.


And also the briefing given to the participants could have been better. Even though knowing that the main terrain was going to be loose sand, there were no instructions to deflate tyres, and I could see many a participant struggling to move through the sand, leading to un necessary wheel spins, stalling and engines heating up. Those who had been to the Palar earlier took the pains to deflate to around 20psi, a norm which was always recommended by the TT team.


Hoping that the next MGE Chennai would be a better experience for all.


And finally thanx to Mr Bala, the official photographer for the TT for sharing the photograghs.
Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)-bala.jpg
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Old 29th April 2019, 14:48   #3
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Default Re: Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)

Excellent report!

And what a brilliant combo of M&M and Arka at this event. I am sure the stages would have been challenging and with lot of learnings on Offroad technique. My colleague had driven down to attend this event in his bolero, I see couple of snaps of him. Will share the link with him
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Old 29th April 2019, 14:58   #4
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Which models were the 2WD vehicles there Captain? I wonder if any FWD Ecosports/Nexons had turned up.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 17:41   #5
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Default Re: Report & Pics: Mahindra Great Escape @ Chennai (February 2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Excellent report!

And what a brilliant combo of M&M and Arka at this event. I am sure the stages would have been challenging and with lot of learnings on Offroad technique. My colleague had driven down to attend this event in his bolero, I see couple of snaps of him. Will share the link with him

Thanx Jaggu.

Due to the huge number of 4x4 vehicles that turned out that day, and all the participants being led in a single convoy, apart from the challenging drive on the loose sand river bed, only 2 Special Stages could be tried out by the participants before sunset.

It was fun though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
Which models were the 2WD vehicles there Captain? I wonder if any FWD Ecosports/Nexons had turned up.

Locusjag, this was an event conducted by Mahindra, and was exclusively for Mahindra vehicles, so no Ecosport / Nexon. You could have joined in on the TUV. The 2WDs were Scorpios and XUV3OOs.
Below is a part video clip of the 2WD stage, that I found on Youtube. Hope the uploader would not mind. I have thanked him for the video





Ps. Terra Tigers are conducting their next Off Road Drive at the Palar on the 4th of May.

Reporting and registration at Motel Mamalla at 0900 hrs on the same day.

Last edited by CAPTAIN REX : 2nd May 2019 at 17:47. Reason: Adding couple of lines
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