GPS support for competitors and spectators from BajanNav

Two volunteer marshals, with more than 30 years’ service to Irish motor sport between them, will shortly be starting the trip of a lifetime, as winners of an all expenses-paid trip to Sol Rally Barbados 2012 (June 9/10), including return flights on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick, accommodation for 14 nights and rental car for the duration.

The prize draw was organised by the Barbados Rally Club in association with the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), Pacenotes Rally Magazine and the Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland, for the first time a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC). It was the final component of the European promotion of Sol RB12, which has drawn a record-breaking International entry, including 10 crews from Ireland, more than half newcomers to the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International.

The winners are 41-year-old rescue unit regular Philip Bryans from Belfast in Northern Ireland, where the ‘Circuit’ is based and 46-year-old all-rounder Sean Hayde, who made a nearly 600-mile round trip from his home in Enniskeane in County Cork, in the south of the Republic of Ireland, to work on the event.

A member of Ballynahinch & District Motor Club and volunteer for more than 15 years, Bryans worked at the Shakedown, the SuperSpecial in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, then on the Legane and Lisburn stages. “I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had won,” he said. “You hear people winning the lottery who say it takes a while to sink in . . . that’s exactly how I felt. It must have taken about a week before it really hit me!

“After I got the call, I had to tell my boss. Straight away, he knew something had happened. He said ‘you look very pale, what’s wrong?’ I explained and we’ve been able to jiggle a few things around to let me get the time off work. Now I can’t wait to go!”

Hayde, a co-driver and event organiser at the Skibbereen & District MC as well as marshal, worked at Scrutiny, Shakedown and the Legane and Banbridge stages, but it was all rather last-minute: “I was supposed to be navigating for Jer O’Donovan but, in the end, we couldn’t compete. So, while I was driving to the event, I phoned Des O’Loan to tell him I was available to marshal.

“I’ve never been to Barbados but, believe it or not, I was planning to go within a couple of years. There are six of us down here and we have always talked about going but never got around to it for one reason or another. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Simon Mooney, Publisher of Pacenotes, which launched its 100th edition this week, said: “Its a great result. They are both rally mad, have been involved for more than 15 years, and live at opposite ends of the island! It could not have worked out better.”

The names of more than 600 marshals were entered into a random draw – they came from all aspects of the ‘Circuit’, including stage marshals, timekeeping and results, rescue and recovery, medical, communications, service parks and Rally HQ; the winners’ names were drawn out of the hat by reigning IRC Champion Andreas Mikkelsen.

The event’s Chief Marshal, Des O’Loan, said: “I know Philip and Sean will have a great time, but I can’t imagine them suddenly becoming spectators . . . they will want to get their hands dirty! Everyone in the draw was a signed-on official, some had worked on two or more days – the only volunteers not on the list were those who asked not to be, also the senior management team, as we did not think that was appropriate.”

GPS support for competitors and spectators from BajanNav

For the second year, AccuNav Ltd will be supporting Sol Rally Barbados, using John Mann’s BajanNav, the gps map of Barbados, launched in March 2010. The company will supply tailor-made POI files – ‘overlays’, which identify Points of Interest – for use in conjunction with BajanNav; one will help spectators find major rally locations, the other will provide additional competitor-specific information, particularly useful for newcomers.

BajanNav and the Sol RB POIs are free to download, while AccuNav agents will be on hand to provide BajanNav on SD cards if users do not want to install it themselves. As BajanNav is compatible with Garmin GPS devices, overseas visitors can bring their own units, or rent one along with a hire car. A link to BajanNav will shortly be posted on the home page of the official event web site. www.rallybarbados.bb.

Sol Rally Barbados and Shell V-Power King of the Hill are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB12 is the 23rd running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the fifth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.

Web sites: www.rallybarbados.bb; www.barbadosrallyclub.com

Irish volunteer marshals Phil Bryans (left) and Sean Hayde celebrate winning all expenses-paid trips to Sol Rally Barbados 2012 – Photo by Jonathan MacDonald/Pacenotes

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