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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A quote from the STPR website Forum ...

"We are pleased that you are considering coming to see STPR. Directions to official spectator areas are contained in the official program which can be purchased for just $5, in Wellsboro on Friday and Saturday.

However, in order for us to assure your safety and that of competitors and workers, we will insist that spectating is done ONLY at the official spectator areas.

Spectators are ONLY authorized at official spectator locations. If you are found at an unauthorized location, you will force us to take corrective action. This will likely take the form of stopping and cancelling of that stage. Then there will be nothing for you to watch, and you will have wasted both your time and the time of all the competitors and workers.

Roads to non-authorized intersections will be blocked miles from the rally course, too far to hike in. NO entry to stages will be permitted from start or finish controls. You could miss the opportunity to see anything.

Be responsible, and do your part to insure the continuation of this great sport.

We look forward to seeing you in Wellsboro in two weeks.

Debbi Segall
Assistant Chairman, STPR "

... the possibility and likelihood of a cancellation of a half a dozen stages or more (of probably only 10 total)...oh yeah, that'll just be dandy x( Let's go for more than a half a dozen and make this a two stage sprint ... great value for the dollar/time for all those involved :( Plain ole' sucks big time for those of us responsible, veteran spectators that have traveled and spectated the right way for many a year.

Barry Wargula
 

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Barry,

Thanks for the cross-post. And thank you for being a responsible spectator.

It is the committee's goal to have NO stages tossed due to spectator issues. If we all work together we will be able to achieve that goal. All constructive suggestions will be considered and we will try to keep everyone involved. But, basically, spectators can't be at risk or we can't play in the woods anymore. Since we still want to play, we have to solve the "spectators everywhere and anywhere" problem.

With the help of the terrific rally community, I am confident we can do this. We can prove to "SCCA" that rally is not only an extreme sport, it can also be a safe one for spectators and workers.

Debbi
 

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>A quote from the STPR website Forum ...
>
>Spectators are ONLY authorized at official spectator
>locations. If you are found at an unauthorized location, you
>will force us to take corrective action. This will likely
>take the form of stopping and cancelling of that stage. Then
>there will be nothing for you to watch, and you will have
>wasted both your time and the time of all the competitors
>and workers.

I have avoided commenting on this issue, but I cannot hold back any longer.

Consider the following: I pay to watch and I am required to be in a specific location, and then a car goes into that zone and I get hurt. The lawyer is going to argue that the organizers were negligent in picking such a bad spot because no incident occurred in one of the other prohibited areas. Isn?t hindsight a wonderful thing?!

I don?t profess to be a legal expert but this seems to raise the cost of liability not lower it. Charging people and then restricting where they can be places a higher burden on the organizers to ensure people's safety. To prevent this from happening, an area is selected that is so far away from the action to make such a scenario highly unlikely?even after the fact. Thus you get what I heard happened at Cherokee last year, too far from the action to bother going.

Isn?t a better method to identify the prohibited zones, and leave remaining areas to the choice of the spectator? Post a bunch of signs mentioning this is a high speed area and watching is at your own risk.

It is my belief that people should be given the power, and information, to determine their destiny instead of it determined by someone else.

Paul Nelson
Navie
 

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I agree with "Rally to Cave". I attended Sawmill this year and was located like 300 yards from where the tragedy occured and have been spectating Rally events for sometime now and DO NOT go to the spectator areas. I do notice that spectator areas are usually located on some harder parts of the stage, which include hairpins 90 degree turns etc. I can easily see a club car or even a Pro car loose control in those areas and KILL numerouse people with tons of law suits opening up. I feel that free spectating should still be allowed. The two spectators that were killed at Sawmill were spectating in an unsafe manner according to eye whitnesses. For some reason i see Rally NOT growing into the future due to stupid Rules and decisions.
 

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Except there is a positive thing about the spectator areas, they are in the notes and the drivers are anticipating it (assuming the codriver is on the right note). I agree about the liability
 

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Hmm this sounds a lot like what I wrote a couple of weeks ago... The part about how spectators will have to be 100% safe or there will be no event.
 

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Don't confuse increased liability with decreased safety. This is what you are doing in your argument.

The basis for insurance premiums has to be directly proportional the product of the liability costs of an incident, times the liklihood of a payment for an incident, times the probablity of an incident. Overall liability may double, but if the probability of an incident, goes down by a factor of 10, then the risk and premiums are lowered.

Limiting spectating to areas gives the opportunities for better control; I know you hate that word, and I do too, but that is what we are down to. But better control and supervision are going to be the prime, and maybe only, answer here.

And, I can vote for increased control, as a competitor. The very worst spectator problems I have encountered have been at national events, with the large numbers of people. Imagine starting a stage, and people are walking down one side of the road, facing you, and you drop the hammer, and blare the air horns, and fully 25% of the spectators don't move over one inch as you accelerate towards them, THAT'S A BAD SPECTATOR PROBLEM. But, it's a true experience!

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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>It is my belief that people should be given the power, and
>information, to determine their destiny instead of it
>determined by someone else.

So if I rob a bank, because I think it is my destiny, then I should get to keep the money and stay out of Jail?


As someone who has spent a fair amount of time mid-pack, spectators have always been a big concern of mine. I've brushed a couple that were on the inside of a corner walking out. I have a loud Production car for a reason, cause when the Neon was quiet I almost hit a spectator wheeling a stroller down a hot stage.

Sorry if you don't like it, but the number of spectator fatalities needs to remain at two. Permanently.
 

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I'm sure I'm going to raise the ire of many people, including some of my friends and organizers of STPR. But I think I'll withdraw from the event now. I've been going there for over 20 years. If they are forced to stick to this, we will either not have any stages at all, or it will take 2 days to run half the stages till all the spectator "problems" are cleared up to be able to run a stage. What about the owner of a cabin along the route (of which there are many)? Are they going to be forced to go to an official spectator area? Is this the way spectators are handled in Europe? I'm not a pessimist, just a realist. It's not going to work. Something needs to be done but this is not a workable solution. I need to say I feel sorry for the organizers that have to attempt to implement this. They may get very frustrated and walk away from it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you Debbi for a professional response :) I do not envy the responsibility and overwhelming job that the organizers (volunteers) must shoulder in putting on a successful rally event, more so now with the recent tragedy at Sawmill. I believe rally is and has been extremely safe for spectators and workers. (Although, I have seen my fair share of spectator stupidity and agree the masses can and probably need to be aided in their spectating forays. And I guess severe actions do need to be taken at this time.) But there are those of us that have ventured responsibly out into the forests stage after stage, rally after rally, and we might be seeing an end to that. I just believe there must be other additional ways to keep more of a balance than all-together-or-nothing spectator concept ala Cherokee Trails. Spectators will always be at risk no matter the size of the fence. I truly look forward to traveling to rallies and don't mind too much the time and money involved, but this just doesn't sit well with me, especially after a tough week at work and STPR right around the corner. Rally is a different kind of beast compared to any other motorsport ... it is unnatural for the entire spectating community to be penned up like at many other motorsport venues. I am hopeful STPR (and N. American rally)overcomes this obstacle or "yump in the road" because this IS the motorsport. Best of luck and success out in Wellsboro :)

Barry Wargula

PS. Hope I was not out of line re-posting your STPR forum post. I apologize if that was inappropriate.
 

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i specifically tell my co-driver not to mention any spectator areas when reading from the routebook. for me personally, i do much better when i don't know they are there.
warned about spectators = worrying about messing up there = greater chance of messing up there.

james
team saabworks

canada here we come!
 

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So KNOWLEDGEABLE spectators, standing in SAFE places...

...along the rally route, will result in the stage being cancelled?

I'm sorry, but that's just silly.

Maybe you can build some grandstands and run all the cars around and around in circles in front of them? That would be safe. :(

I'm not privy to the discussions that are going on between the SCCA, the orgainizers and the insurance companies, but we need a plan that will insure rallies as they exist, not a plan that turns enthusiastic and knowledgeable rally fans into cattle.

Let's see how many rally fans give the STPR organizers, the SCCA and the insurance companies the finger.

Let's see how Subaru and Mistubishi like having thousands of past, present, and hopefully future customers associating their sponsorship and corporate identity with such a repressive policy.

No offense Debbi, as I'm sure this wasn't your decision or preference.

Big mistake. BIG mistake! :(
 

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Well Well Well...

Mr.Team hella..

I am curious...the eye witnesses that you refer to...just where were they standing?.and if you were 300 yds from the accident location,was that closer to the start of the stage or the end of the stage???


regards
niall d
 

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Let's not forget Brockway ...

One word to describe Brockway Mountain at LSPR 2001 - SCARY.

One word to describe Brockway Mountain at LSPR 2002 - controlled.

My educated guess is that since the LSPR organizers have shown they can control that road completely, if need be, there may be a chance that spectators are allowed back up there this year or next (pure guess on my part - but it would make sense to move that direction).

Don't forget that pendulums swing both ways. We lost two mates recently - that's serious stuff. You have to expect that the surest way to convince anyone (everyone) that we're doing all we can to keep from losing more mates is to lock down the stages - even if that ends up a COMPLETE lock down to begin with. If no one is out there in the bushes or hiding behind the trees I'll get to experience two things - I'm sure to become a bit nostalgic as things spectator-wise will look as they did when I started rallying in the 70s -and- I won't be distracted by the human forms scattered along the stages as they have been the last several years.

Now, had I been planning to spectate STPR this year I'd be ALL OVER volunteering to marshal or work a control so I could be close to the cars. Shoot, save the beer drinking for when one can rub elbows with drivers and crews after the rally.

To address Don's recent withdrawal post - I gotta tell ya I too am torn about entering. STPR might yield only a handful of scored stages (or none, I suppose) and that could be a very bitter pill to swallow given a certain Bug driver's lack of finances, vacation time and other resources.

But for me it's simply in the hands of the Rallye Gods now. The Bug is at Brad Noe VW in Tulsa getting the engine replaced (thanks to the dealership, VW and a bunch of help from friends) so if it's done before 31 May I reckon I'll risk it and enter. If it's still in the shop a week from tomorrow then the Rallye Gods have spoken and I'll likely be staying home.

Halley ...
Owner/Driver ProRally #86 - world's first New Beetle Rally Car
RealAutoSport, LLC
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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RE: So KNOWLEDGEABLE spectators, standing in SAFE places...

hi jon
ok... you see this as a mistake....so where is your solution...

regards
niall d
 

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RE: So KNOWLEDGEABLE spectators, standing in SAFE places...

The solution has to originate in a realistic assessment of risks, not a knee jerk reaction to a single terrible accident. This is a typical American "lowest common denominator" approach to finding an answer--that's what I disagree with.
 

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RE: So KNOWLEDGEABLE spectators, standing in SAFE places...

>The solution has to originate in a realistic assessment of
>risks, not a knee jerk reaction to a single terrible
>accident. This is a typical American "lowest common
>denominator" approach to finding an answer--that's what I
>disagree with.

No its a typical American answer to the overabundance of lawyers. Newest form of the lottery? The lawsuit. Suit for 3 million dollars cause your bmw has a scratch they painted when you bought it, a jury might just give it to you (And they did in Dallas).
 

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RE: Let's not forget Brockway ...

Hey nialld, for some reason you seem very interested where i was standing. If you must know, I was about a mile or two into the stage. Does that help gratify your immature response to my post. Were you there? do you know the details better than me?
 

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RE: So KNOWLEDGEABLE spectators, standing in SAFE places...

A realistic assesment of risks....sounds good so far

and do you think that 3 weeks is enough to complete this...

1. should the organisers of STPR let the rally go ahead with people spectating from anywhere they like.

2. Should they cancel .

3. Should they take the Kneejerk reaction and ensure complete control
for this rally, until they have the time to make a realistic assement of risks..

to me 3. is about the only option based on this situation...

but please pick one because these are the only options they have

regards
niall d
 

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RE: Let's not forget Brockway ...

well i was checking out how much you actually know...
which is obviously nothing...

i was standing 100 feet from the accident...and watched two friends
lose their lives...

you should always do a little research before you make such a broad statement..

relying on eye witnesses
to make a statement that Martin and Peter were spectating in an unsafe manner...is an insult to their memory...

only talk about what you actually seen,which in this case is nothing

regards
niall d
 
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