|19th January 2010, 14:36||#18|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Thanked: 19 Times
Hi guys , real sorry this comes in a little late , been busy and finally got some time to post stuff on The Rain Forest Challenge held at Johor Baru .
My oh my what an event……………Just loved every minute of it !!!!!!!.......
A special thanks to Arka for his invaluable jungle survival tips and list of stuff he suggested I carry along .
I’d like to thank Sean Hameed the famous Srilankan Guru of offroading Mr . Sean Hameed for making sure I do this trip
Of a life time and be part of the awesome - Team Lanka .
Sean a very experienced 4x4 driver has participated in many a international offroad event including the RFC , He’s well respected in the RFC camp , he was instrumental in so tactfully guiding the Lankan team to win the 3rd place overall - quite a feat …….. Team Lanka was the talk of RFC this year.
Srilankan team that won the 3rd place was Indika Sanjaya and Navin Marapana. Indika Sanjaya’s driving skills are a dream ………. The man is an amazing , amazing driver , one should see him drive ……….even the best of drivers at the RFC stopped to watch him perform . Navin his co driver was no less , he has the energy of a bull and is an example of a perfect co driver . its true that the co driver plays such an important role in the team and Navin proved it over and over again .
The famous rains of the Rain Forest Challenge that I had heard and read so much about did’nt come this year , sadly …………. I dare to now say I missed the rains , the thing I prepared myself for and maybe also quietly worried about .
But so what even without the rains the RFC 2009 was such a memorable event for me .
The stories I heard first hand from media persons Wing lim ( Malaysia ) and Ludi Stienbner ( France ) of the most toughest RFC of all the 2007 RFC ( The Great Escape as they call it ) so fascinating ……….so extreme ………… made me wish I could have been there too and had my name go down into the history books of the RFC along with them and all the other heroes of 2007.
Meeting the founder of this great event Luis J.A Wee and all these other people I had only seen in the RFC dvd’s , in person , chatting with them and sharing the passion of 4 was one hell’va feeling .
The Prologuewas held opposite the Sutera Mall in Johor ,a purpose built venue to give the public a sample of the best teams from around the world in action !!!
Action it was, yes of course!!! I was completely mesmerized by all the 4x4 action and all the super machines ( not to mention the pretty 2 leg drive machines too………!!! )
It was raining not just cats and dogs but elephants and giraffes too , that day at the prologue and the whole place was a messy slushy pudding with thick clayey mud , feet kept getting stuck , shoes all wet , I remember wondering what my days to come in the jungle would be like (visions of the rainforests mega vampire leeches I saw pictures of before crept into my mind , unlike their smaller more practical ,skinny Indian cousins at are happy to have smaller swigs in comparison to the tall glass requirements of their Malaysian cousins)
The transport stages were great , the a drive in from Kuala Lumpur to Johor and the return as well ,made me feel like a celebrity of sorts, we had the Malaysian police escorting the convoy all the way upto Johor amazing stuff , they even had a helicopter flying above the convoy of vehicles – what a show ………….
Within the forest the transport stages were breathtaking some of them were at night and since it had rained the previous day some parts of the trail were , treacherous and difficulty to drive on requiring winching at times . Huge number of log bridges to cross over , had great fun helping in the recovery of vehicles stuck along the way , this one landrover belonging to the police kept getting its standard tires wedged between the logs on the bridges .
It was great fun erecting our tarpaulin tents and setting up the camp right in the middle of the virgin Rain forest , camp was by the river and was an awesome sight , great feeling sitting by the river with TIGERS !!!!!! ( well that’s some really nice beer ) .
Bathing out in the river , cooking food in the wilderness and eating alfresco was all so thrilling.
What wasn’t so thrilling ofcourse was what came after the heavy meal , one had to make sure no snakes leaches or scorpions around while one was at work !!!!!!
Each morning the SS would start early , about 7 or 8 each day spread across different parts of the jungle withinin a radius of about 2 – 3 km around the camp site.
The special stages - some were really really tough and scary to even look at let alone drive them .
You learn just how the co driver is the most important man around , ofcourse the driver has to be the one with the guts to put himself and the machine through hell. The 4x4 skill levels of these guys is something to be seen in person not just heard or watched on DVD’s or the You tube .
Flip overs , roll overs , getting stuck , winching up at lighting speeds with a God’s winch or giggle pin fitted WARN 8274 and what not seemed so easy for some of these guys almost second nature to them.
The roar and killer looks of these machines and the never say die attitude of these people was all so capturing.
If all these took the cake , what took the bakery was Indika Sanjaya driving up a near vertical mud bank …………. Without winching ……..without winching ……….can you imagine without winching
The Rainforest was truly a great experience , and was a dream that came true for me……
All said and done , I think what we guys do here at TPC and other events in India is awsome too , why ? because we drive our CJ’s without winches , have underpowered engines and all the stuff that we discuss on the fourm and yet do some pretty stuff.
I also think we have some great off road drivers here in India . Sean will agree with me on that one. , he’s been here at the TPC seen what we have here and keenly follows the posts on the 4x4 forum on TBHP.
Our vehicles are by no standards lesser beasts really , I think our vehicles are well built and tough and can take loads of abuse.
Will be great if Sean could share with us some tips , we can make do with to tweak our rides to get to international standards.
I must add in the same breath having been to the Taprobana and the RFC this year I reckon TPC 2009 was of International standards definetly in terms of the terrain and organizing.The scale of the event being the only diffrence.
Do hope that we will have more International participaton this year and in the years to come .
Many of them I spoke to at the Srilanka and RFC are keen to come here and see our event and even participate.
The dream would be to get our events on the asian circuit , hope someday we can make this happen.
I’d like to share some thoughts that passed through my mind related to TPC while I was at the RFC …
Taprobana – Srilanka and RFC are individual events as against our TPC which is a team based event .
I’m of the opinion that a team event has many pluses and really goes beyond the event itself and therefore has a charm of its own,
in that it promotes this team spirit .
A sense of oneness and a sense of belonging to the event / club .
The facilites we come back to after a gruelling day of off roading are a blessing.
I think we have a great thing going and I’m really proud to be part of it .
Shall post pictures of the RFC I took with my humble olympus digital camera , that I had such a hard time shielding from the muck and rain.
Eagerly waiting to be at the Bangalore event , by the looks of it i’m sure its going to be a great event.
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|20th January 2010, 13:31||#19|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thanked: 45 Times
Nice write up. I guess when it rains it pours! Thanks for the kind words. The RFC should be on the bucket list of every passionate off roader.
Your turn is up this year to represent Team India. You guys have got the potential to be on the top 30 percent of this competition. As lot of overmodified vehicles break down on an average daily basis.
Cheers, Keep the rubber side down.