THE PALAR CHALLENGE 2009: Event Report
My first experience at TPC in short was nothing short of breathtaking. The skill, tenacity and character required to survive the event complemented with the sheer grit to endure through the weather, terrain and the unpredictability does land TPC in a league of its own.
If we recollect, on the very same thread we had critics who ridiculed the event from being called the Toughest Indian Offroad competition. Well if anyone doubted that, you sure did have to be there to understand it. What was even better - an international participant who is from amongst the best off roaders in the subcontinent or even further stood by this tag. For those who threw up the Rainforest Challenge as the benchmark, this very same gentleman had 'been there and done that' and coming from him, it sure did mean a lot to us. (details on this would come from Arka) It was seconded by our very own UBS sir who was there to support the event and vouch for its quality. Thank you sir, for newbies like me, it was great to meet you in person.
I would be talking on behalf of all participants in stating that it was a great event put up by Major Roy (and his team), Arka and the whole organizing committe who left no stone unturned to make the event truly world class. clap:
In order to understand the whole experience, the details have to be supplemented with a visual representation. Hence Ill wait for the photos to arrive before I share my experience. Arka is gonna have a tough time with the photos because as far as I know the numbers run into thousands.
On the whole, it was a well co-ordinated, well organized and flawlessly executed event that sure has set the benchmark for any similar events. For everyone who found excuses to have a go at the competition without being there, to understand the limits of what man and machine need to endure in a true off road competiton .. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE.
Hey Petrol_Head, Who was the winner buddy?
One should have seen him drive - He was just amazing and bet me by some 13 odd points !
BTW, Shaun, had participated in the RFC 08 and finished 11th. He was such a humble character always willing to share his knowlegde with us.
BTW, congrats to Vinod-Nookala for being a 2 time TPC champion. His team won the championship this year while we came 2nd!
There were some people who came in for a picnic and went back dissapointed complaining that they were newbies!..
Nevertheless, this year it was atleast 50% tougher than last year and we were all truly tested for our grit and ability to take the vehicle over the obstacle!
Event Report TPC2009
THE PALAR CHALLENGE 2009
At the outset let me address all the off-roaders who made it for TPC 09 you guys are the BEST.
The standard of this years participants has encouraged us to take the event to the next level in 2010.
Those who missed it, you guys have another year to get prepared
All the last minute entries who were turned down, please make your reservation within time, you had 4 months.
For the vehicles that did not pass scrutiny sorry but it was for your own safety and the well-being of the vehicle. We are sure you understand why, now that you have seen the event.
Some of the participants did not take the warnings on the website seriously and had to pay a very expensive price to learn that instructions are meant to be followed.
TPC 09 started with a casual run of the Clay pits on the 13th afternoon, for introduction and then followed by the First-Aid training capsule that we organized for participants on 14th evening. A team from the Chennai chapter of the Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS) took the participants through some emergency medical situations likely to be encountered on an event like this, such as heat-stroke, dehydration, eye injuries, fractures, bleeding, etc.
For the first time we had a foreign team from Sri Lanka Sean Hameed & Darshan Maralanda in a MG413W, it was a real treat to watch them tackle the obstacles and their team-work. They set a very high standard for all other teams to move up to.
Sean Hameed participated in RFC08 and stood sixth in his category, and overall eleventh.
We look forward to more participants from Sri Lanka in the years to come.
Keeping with Adventure Zones eco-friendly motto, there were penalties for littering. All participants had to bring back the litter from their lunch hampers at the end of each day and were docked 3 points for each item missing.
The Adventure Zone campsite was brilliant, in terms of logistics, comfort and cost. We are happy to say that participants got comfortable air-conditioned tents, deluxe toilets and excellent food on all days. The packed lunches were adequate and tasty, and participants were provided with 5-lit water cans, plus tetra-packs of fruit juices etc. in individual ice-boxes.
These were the teams:
Team 1 Vikram R (MG413W), Dr, Jones (PROWLER), Rajamohan A. (MM540)
Team 2 Sanjay David (MM540), Vinod Nookala (MM540DP), Patrick V. (CJ3B)
Team 3 Vijayanand (JONGA), Dr. Rajkumar (CJ5) Babu (Isuzu Trooper)
Team 4 Manzoor (MM540), Jose (MM540DP), Ranjith Kuttan (M&M CLASSIC)
Team 5 Sean Hameed & Darshan Maralanda (MG413W), Baskar Keshavalu (MM540DP)
Team 6 ATV (Automatics) Sundar (Polaris Scrambler 500 4x4), Sridhar (Polaris 700 4x4), Raja (Polaris Trial Boss 300 4x2)
Team 7 ATV (Manuals) Manoj (Beast 250cc 4x2), Jay (Beast 250cc 4x2), Sasu (Beast 250cc 4x2)
The check points and special stages were manned by
Maj. S. R. Roy (MM540DI),
Arkaprava Datta (MM540XD),
Manoj Shah (MM540DP),
Arcadeep Datta and Md. Ali (Nissan 4W73),
Venkatesan Muthaiyan (MM540DP),
Rajkumar Jaykumar & Ravi (CJ3B),
Zeal Siva (CJ3B)
Raghav Ignite & Bala (CJ3B)
We left the campsite at 6:00 am, after an early breakfast.
The participants were split into two groups for a staggered start, to avoid cluttering up on the riverbed.
OTR Distance for Day 1 - 15 kms: Wallahjahbad to Chenglepet
At the Start Line the teams were flagged off towards the Special Stages (SS). Each SS was marked by a flag, and manned by the organizers. The participants had to find their own way across the terrain and execute their own recovery. It was a blistering hot day with temperatures nudging 40 C and humidity close to 85%. However, all the vehicles and participants held out very well. The large supply of juices and ORS came in very handy.
Here are the various SS:
SS 1 3 Climbs with Slush Exit (Rajkumar Jaykumar & Ravi CJ3B)
SS 2 River Crossing (Mahendran MM540DP)
SS 3 Rapid 3 Climbs (Zeal Siva CJ3B)
SS 4 - Table Top + Linear Dune + Pit. (Venkat MM540DP)
SS 5 V-Pit W-Pit Sand Pit Climb & Loop + Sand Trough Exit (Arka
SS 6 4 Climbs with rutted run (Arcadeep Datta and Md. Ali Nissan 4W73)
SS 7 5 point Hill (Raghav Ignite & Bala CJ3B)
SS 8 "Palm" spurs & re-entrants (Manoj Shah MM540DP)
Team 5- started with a handicap of one less participant which was evident in one recovery situation, but otherwise they were brilliant
At the end of day#1 Team 3 got their Isuzu trooper truly stuck, and had to manage with 2 vehicles.
Day 1 concluded on a very sad note, one of the media teams on the way to the campsite knocked down a lady inside Maduranthankam Town, they rushed her to the hospital but she was declared dead on arrival. They reported to the nearest police station and a case has been registered under IPC 304 (A). The driver was immediately released on a personal bail by the Police SI.
On return to the campsite a movie on The Rain Forest Challenge was screened.
Day02 added some cheer to the participants as the weather was cloudy and it turned out to be a very pleasant day.
We reached the riverbed by 07:45hrs.
OTR Distance for Day 2 12 kms: Boothur to Pulipurakoil
Here are the various SS:
SS 1 Water Hole + Table Top Rajkumar Jaykumar & Ravi CJ3B)
SS 2 Sand Dune + Steep Ascent + Pit Ascent + Linear Sand Dune. (Venkat MM540DP)
SS 3 Climb & Loop, Table Top Saddle & Water Pit exit (Arka MM540XD)
SS 4 2 Climbs Loop (Zeal Siva CJ3B)
SS 5 Triple Mud Pit & Sand Climb (Arcadeep Datta and Md. Ali Nissan 4W73)
SS 6 5 Fingers (Manoj Shah MM540DP)
SS 7 Jeepers Ravine (Raghav Ignite & Bala CJ3B)
SS 8 Tyre Changing without a Jack or a Lifting Device
SS 9 Timed Vehicle Recovery
Individual Special Stage (Best Individual Timing) 3 Climbs on a Timed Run
We reached the campsite at 19:30 hrs. After tea and freshening-up, we assembled on the lawn for the quiz. Participants were quizzed on technical aspects of the jeep plus on first-aid procedures.
Then came the grand moment, when the prizes were announced.
Results of TPC2008
Winner, Palar Challenge 08 (Sponsored by McRennett Foods) : Team 2 Sanjay David (MM540), Vinod Nookala (MM540DP), Patrick V. (CJ3B)
Runners-up Team 1 Vikram R MG413W, Dr, Jones (PROWLER), Rajamohan A. (MM540)
Most Performing 4WD
(Prize sponsored by MAXXIS Tyres 5 M8080 Mudzilla 31-11.50-R15 & IGNITE for the Trophies)
The First Sean Hameed (MG413W)
The Second Baskar Keshavalu (MM540DP)
The Third Vikram R. (MG413W)
Winner, Technical Event (IGNITE sponsored the Trophies)(Tyre Changing without Jack or Lifting Device & Vehicle Recovery) Team 1 Vikram R MG413W, Dr, Jones (PROWLER), Rajamohan A. (MM540)
Spirit of Palar (Most Sporting Team) Team 3 Vijayanand (JONGA), Dr. Rajkumar (CJ5) Babu (Isuzu Trooper)
Individual Special Stage (Best Individual Timing)
First Ranjith Kuttan (M&M CLASSIC) 1:17 minutes
Tied Second & Third Mhd.Ali (MM540XD) & Vikram R (MG413W)1:24 minutes
Pics will follow shortly
Day#0 - Reporting & Registering
We decided to include the clay pits behind adventure zone as technical obstacles, and since quite a few participants had arrived, we decided to have some OTR fun, however, due to delays we did not include this section in the main event.
:thumbs upTPC 2009 was awsome and was conquered for the second time in a row!! Feels great considering the competition was tougher and the obstacles were even tougher. Truly TPC is where even tough get seasoned!!
I thank my team of other two jeeps plus my navigator naren charan (Desertking) who came all the way from Rajasthan and did an excellent job. (He managed to clik lot of superb pics and videos too!)
Sanjay david in his white MM540 was probabaly the most well prepared vehicle for the event with all the tools, recovery gear and one hell of an XD3p engine with sand tyres. He had participated in palar last time but was in other team. This time he was determined to do it and did it.
Patrik sir (we call him pat) was the senior most among all of us and i must say he had superb energy for his age and build! Winch on his vehicle saved us and the sections were so tough that all most 50% of obstacles needed winching!
Our teamwork and driving skills paid and iam happy we did that amid some formidable competition!! Team A of headers gave us some really tough competition despite 2 out of three vehicles gave frequent troubles. Headers it was nail biting till the results were announced! Thanks for giving us a tough fight man!!!
As mentioned by headers shon from srilanka of rain forest challenge fame and UBS sir presence made TPC 2009 a very special touch. Team Kerela , salem and Erode were good as well. Most didnt have experience on sand and their vehicles were tuned for jungle trail than sand and deep slush. But they tried thier best. Kudos to them for trucking thier jeeps all the way from Kerela. (One classic driver sorry i dont remember his name was superb and he sis the best in rapid section individual event at 1.17 seconds, second shared by headers and ali at 1.24 seconds)
Bhaskar kesavulu did amazingly well with NDMS tyres and adapted to sand like a seasoned camel got second best driver timing.
Headers took 2 awards for quickest tyre changing without jack, third best lap timing for individual performance round (i lost to him by 1 sec). Headers am i any other award?
Last but not the least, big hats off to organisers and team like Trooper (kiran), shiva, venkat, mahendran, raghav to name few who slogged their a** to make the event happen smoothly. Needless to say Arka and Major roy who conceptulaised this event are striving to improve it event by event!clap:
p.s - Loads of pictures were clicked and will follow soon.
Congratulations to the winner!
Can we have more pics now please :)
Congrats to Vinod, Sanjay & Pat for winning the TPC 2009.
Congrats also to Vikram, Dr.Jones & Rajamohan for the runners up position.
Congrats to Vikram for also bagging 2 more awards.
Funny that 2 jeepsys were among the top 3 in the most performing 4WD award !
Congrats to everyone who won and to those who even participated. It was nice to be there at the prize distribution and could notice that this was no way some amateur competition (as some on here thought).
PS: Vinod_Nookala, Winner for two years in a row,heh?
You seem to be some good luck charm. :p
Congrats guys!! Seems like you people had loads of fun!! Awaiting more pictures eagerly!
AWESOME !!! Congratulations to the winners.
@jaggu- Thank you man...we have plenty of pictures you will have enough of it:-)
@Esteem lover- Thank you again, well jeep-si performed well because of it outstanding drivers, else you know about it:p LOL
@nitrous - Well headers missed my lucky charm so nearly and dearly:-)))
@ram.west & spitfire- Thank you guys!!
@petrol head- yes we will have a party for sure!!:-)
The Palar challenge was truly grueling. We were manning the special stages on both days and had the pleasure of watching how different teams understood the terrain and coordinated amongst themselves to pull themselves out from the obstacles.
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