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Discussion Starter #1
Descriptive Stage Notes will be offered at the 'Rocky' again this year. For the second year the Jemba system will be used to prepare highly detailed stage notes for the teams.

For 2004 we will also offer them in both French and English versions.

The website has been updated for 2004, with more info being posted as it becomes available.



Shawn Bishop

Rocky Mountain Rally
http://www.rockymountainrally.com
Calgary, Alberta
May 28-29, 2004
 

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Shawn:

Great news that JEMBA is back and in French too. But what happened to the announced "recce and pace notes for all remaining CARS events in 2004?" Was there a reason Rocky couldn't accommodate the one-day recce?
 

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>Shawn:
>
>Great news that JEMBA is back and in French too.

Great news, especially since I expect to make it to Rocky for the first time this year.

>But what
>happened to the announced "recce and pace notes for all
>remaining CARS events in 2004?"

Well, if that had happened, it would likely have adversely affected my participation in the full championship due to vacation time constraints.

Adrian
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello Lawrence,

We discussed the recce / stage note issue many times here and chose the Jemba notes for several reasons.

1. Because of the nature of the Porcupine Hills stages, a recce schedule that would be competitior friendly was virtually impossible to sort out for this year.
2. There are 'local issues' with residents and road permissions and finding a different route was not possible for this year.
3. We have heard from many competitors who are concerned about the extra time needed has pushed us to return to the Jemba notes.

Since the Jemba notes were well received last year we decided to go with them for 2004.


Shawn Bishop

Rocky Mountain Rally
http://www.rockymountainrally.com
Calgary, Alberta
May 28-29, 2004
 

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well, here's my opinion on that.

First of all, while I understand points one and two, I significantly disagree with and forcefully oppose comment #3, about time constraints.

For multiple reasons. I have posted elsewhre on this forum and offered to anyone interested to share my experiences of having done many a recce AND the actual rally in one or two days, at similar or longer length to our nationals. While I understand that you may have no options with Rocky, then let's stick with the real reasons and make it #1 and #2 (the road layout and road sensitivities). To further elaborate on THAT point, perhaps a route change is even worth consideration (I know, I am not trying to harp on you Shawn, I know how hard it is, just making a point).

As far as issues about time and possible complaints from competitors, all that most competitors are familiar with is a 3-day recce ala charlevoix or quebec. one day recce is certainly possible for a rally like rocky and especially due ot its compact format (you dont actually have to recce all the stages each time, just the segments). What competitors have you heard from anyhow ? Were they polled with only charlevoix in mind ?

As far as competitors who might not show up, like Adrian is saying, are they saying this knowing that they wouldn't actually have to take more days off ? Who is in the national championship that is not going to be physically present in AB for at least 48 hours ? No one that I know of. Finally, (this is extra harsh but I am making a point), for every competitor who leaves the championship due to 'recce', one will come back (i.e. Eric Tremblay #2). How many more people will come in addition ? How much better will the spectable be ? Has anyone ever thought that MAYBE the reason that rally is not huge in North America is because it might be boring to watch because it is so much better to watch when the drivers are going flat out ?

I know I never saw a poll going out to me asking me if I would prefer the recce or not. I am sorry to be so harsh but it is comments like the reason #3 that get me riled up these days. Thinking that recce will be a bad thing is simply not true in my mind and I do beleive it can be done without additional days off. Using it as an official reason only goes to further the mindshare and mindset out there that is against something THAT THEY HAVE NEVER TRIED OR EXPERIENCED BEFORE. Hopefully rallies can accomodate it. I understand that for logistical resons due to the choice of roads and route, that reasons #1 and #2 are in effect for Rocky. Will the stewards go home saying "yes rocky was fine without notes and the reasons cited i.e. too much time off are valid"... it only goes to further the mindset. What about (THIS ME JOKING) "the route should change to accomodate notes". I AM ONLY KIDDING HERE BUT MAKING A POINT.

Finally, it is a disappointment to me, but I applaud the use of the jemba notes. While some organizers are taking the 'nih' policy (i.e. tp), jemba is the next best thing. But I've said it before and I will say it again, I am available to help anyone who feels that doing recce is an untenable situation due to 'vacation time contraints and days off' . I simply don't buy that argument at all, especially for a compact rally like rocky. Let's at least try, if we dont have a route that prevents it.

We are on the cusp of something special here in Canada. Will this be acceptable for all the rallies ? Is anyone educating the other organizers, competitors, etc. that it doesn´t have to be like Charlevoix ? Will this just be the beginning of everyone saying 'too much time off required´ all the time ? that is why I am posting this message, because it needs to be adressed before it goes too far.

And I actually beleive the point about it looking slow from outside.
 

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I'm with Pat on all counts. Recce doesn't have to take long, especially on an event like Rocky where the roads are reused. Defi did it and I don't see a huge difference.

I like JEMBA, actually. But its weakness is that it has to be all things to all competitors. Recce is a whole league above and I love it.

The only thing you have a problem with logistically is that the rally doesn't really happen anywhere near Calgary and so you've got that massive transit to contend with both in a recce and in the rally. How important is the superspecial? Obviously you've made the decision for this year but can we think of a way to wrap the Longview recce by 3pm and get cars on the SS before dark?

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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>How much better will the spectable
>be ? Has anyone ever thought that MAYBE the reason that
>rally is not huge in North America is because it might be
>boring to watch because it is so much better to watch when
>the drivers are going flat out ?

I have a hard time believing the spectacle would dramatically improve by allowing teams to write their own notes. Would the average live spectator, who sees maybe 5 seconds of each car, be able to tell whether a team wrote their own notes or is using organiser-supplied notes? How about Joe Sixpack watching on TV?


>Thinking that recce will be a bad thing is simply not
>true in my mind and I do beleive it can be done without
>additional days off.

If we want to maintain 150-200km of stage, as well as shakedowns and media events in addition to the usual scrutineering and registration, there is no way recce can be added to a rally without requiring at least one more day. How can it be possible? Let's say we run recce in the morning and the rally in the afternoon. There's only so many hours in the day, so something has to give. Do we trade seat time for recce?

If we don't want to make that tradeoff, should we drop the media and promotional events that sponsors enjoy and expect, and use that extra day for recce instead? This would hurt events' (and possibly teams') chances at raising sponsorship. IMO getting more sponsorship dollars into the sport would benefit the championship a lot more than recce.

Or should we simply use fewer roads and repeat them more often? (boring)

Defi had to add an extra day, why wouldn't the other national events? How is it possible to maintain our current norms for stage mileage, add recce, and not increase the required number of days to run a rally?

Not to mention the extra demands recce places on organizers...


>I am available
>to help anyone who feels that doing recce is an untenable
>situation due to 'vacation time contraints and days off' . I
>simply don't buy that argument at all, especially for a
>compact rally like rocky.

Vacation time is a very real constraint for many (most?) teams. Dismissing this argument is insulting, at least to me. Personally, I'm restricted by school commitments, and while I would love to do recce, longer rallies are simply not an option for me.


If recce can be done without adding a day or more to a rally, I'd love to hear about it.
 

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We've got a recce regional next week (cochrane) which is a Saturday/Sunday event...and we're not having to take extra days off. Arrive Friday night, leave Sunday evening. I think with some creative thinking that it wouldn't take much to add National length, and include Friday as promotional/registration day (which most Nationals have now anyways...so no change).

There has also been discussion of an idea here in BC about doing recce saturday morning, and start the rally Sat. afternoon (with some night stages)...then start early Sunday morning and run until noon. The rally insurance would technically be a one-day rally (noon to noon), and people would have time to go home Sunday after an awards lunch. Use different roads on each day, so really you're only closing the roads for 1/2 a day each (cutting down on inconveniencing the public). Who knows...I think they will have to try it to see if it works well...but there are people trying to come up with ways to make recce work. I, for one, can't wait!

I'm sure there will be lots of first hand thoughts and reports after Cochrane.

EDIT: Afterthought... Although we're not "the rest of the World", I can't help thinking that rallyists in Europe also need to work...so how do they manage it?
 

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I will be watching National entries this year for sure and then comparing this year to say the last 3-5 years.

I'm curious of we'll see the same # of entries or more or less?

Brian
 

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>We've got a recce regional next week (cochrane) which is a
>Saturday/Sunday event...and we're not having to take extra
>days off. Arrive Friday night, leave Sunday evening. I
>think with some creative thinking that it wouldn't take much
>to add National length, and include Friday as
>promotional/registration day (which most Nationals have now
>anyways...so no change).

If your travel time is more than, say, 5 hours, that event would likely require two vacation days. The moment you run a rally into Sunday you are potentially making Monday a travel day.

>
>EDIT: Afterthought... Although we're not "the rest of the
>World", I can't help thinking that rallyists in Europe also
>need to work...so how do they manage it?

This was asked on the Mexico forum a while back to find out how it was done there. The response was that they recce the event the weekend before. Their events are all a reasonable driving distance from Mexico City, so this is feasible and means they don't have to take time off work. Pat can probably give us an idea of how it works in Europe, but remember that their travel distances are much shorter. They also tend to have more vacation than in North America.

Adrian
 

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>If your travel time is more than, say, 5 hours, that event
>would likely require two vacation days. The moment you run a
>rally into Sunday you are potentially making Monday a travel
>day.

With, or without recce, Cochrane, AB is still a two vacation day event for someone from Vancouver/Van. Island...that is for those of us who need their beauty rest and won't be on the road for 13 hours after an all-day rally. }>

On another note, I just finished reading Possum Bourne's autobiography "Bourne to Rally". It would seem that we are in the same place now that N.Z. and Oz were circa 1984, when pace notes were first introduced down there.

Twenty years later they have a healthy national series and are part of reasonably healthy FIA zone championship, the Asia-Pacific. Since it didn't seem to do them any harm and they have roughly the same economic/demographic/geographic factors that Canada and the U.S. experience, why not at least try it here? Or is it just easier not to try?

Bill Westhead
 

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While not at the driving level that Pat and ACP are, I concur with them. We'll need to flexibility on both the part of organizers and competitors to think outside the normal format of existing events to make it happen.

I've said it before with regard to this season. With three less events, total vacation days are quite reduced, especially when you consider the committment needed for Charlevoix. I can't see how anyone can complain about vacation days this season.

My guess is those that are concerned about time off have less than understanding employers.

Regards, John
 

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Here's another point to consider:
Many people, myself included, would like to see a WRC event in Canada or the U.S.(IMO, the WRC needs another snow/ice event). But, can we really expect to get a WRC event when we lack a recce based national and regional series? We need to help train our local competitors to an international level before we can get the support from the sponsor base or the FIA to attain a WRC event. Perhaps Patrick and Ramana would not have spent their money at foreign events to gain pace note experience in order to compete in the PCWRC if the training were here. If the N.A. rally community wants to reach the next level, we need to strive to attain a higher level of competition. That next level will come with growing pains (more rules, more money, more time), but all growth does.
The question is: Who wants the national series to grow into an international level of competition and who wants the N.A. rally scene to stay at the grass roots level?
Andy
 

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I think warwick and the Cochrane rally have the right idea. Recce sat morn and race sat afternoon and Sunday. Some people may complain that makes for an extra long weekend and now they have to take Monday off. I don?t buy that for a minute, look at track racing. There are a ton more people track racing and most track weekends are both Saturday and Sunday. Having an event over two days puts a strain on volunteers but may help because some people can work Sunday but not Saturday. Another possible benefit would be an extra long service sat night. Even from a spectator stand point it could be a good thing, I know I have missed rallies in the past because I had to work sat but could have gone out to watch on sun.

People hate change even if it?s good for them.
I think recce is good for the sport and I say just do it!
 

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Hoo boy...contentious issue ain't it.

The Arguments seem to be for and against based on what the _competitors_ are able to manage "days on and off" etc...

1 word people..... WORKERS....

No matter how you slice it you will need more People with more time to run the thing. ... (bring on the flames)

As both competitor and organizer within the past 5 years I can tell you one of the _biggest_ challenges to running a rally is not accommodating the competitors but accommodating the people who VOLUNTEER their time to make it happen..

We ran the 2002 Voyageurs on 40 people the day of..we needed 100...couldn't get em....too many people with previous commitments or having just sucked up their vacation time going to Targa...

Or for that matter the used up their "good will" time with the wife/husband and Kids...you can only spend so many weekends away from home before you get served with divorce papers...(why do you think I stopped organizing Voyageurs)

Scrutineering registration and such had a team of about 12 people running it....
We _DID NOT_ have any extra people to monitor recce on the Friday(trust me the townships would have _FREAKED_ if we just let you loose on the roads without any supervision)

As a competitor I like the idea of recce... makes me go faster makes the event more exciting helps level the playing field etc.....

As an organizer I have _no_ Idea how I could incorporate it into a rally without a significant increase in logistics effort and volunteer stamina...not something we're flush with in Canadian rally...

There are basically about 20 people running the entire championship...asking them to do more is unfair...

The worker/organizer pool in Canada is stretched _really_ thin...

the sponsorship from the "unamed source" hoping to bring recce into the sport is well intentioned...and the idea that it's there to offset the organizers grief in implimenting recce is also well intentioned....but it's not gonna make qualified marshells and organizers come out of thin air...
 

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>EDIT: Afterthought... Although we're not "the rest of the
>World", I can't help thinking that rallyists in Europe also
>need to work...so how do they manage it?

For sure, they also have day jobs. However, for a national series in most countries in Europe, the longest tow to any event isn't even a full day. That makes a lot of things easier and cheaper.
 

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There are a bunch of points being discussed that I think needs addressing.

First of all, yes, ALL of the points and concerns raised about why it might be a drag *if* (and I say IF) the rallies need an extra day are valid. I never discredited that.

My whole argument is that it can be done without extra days, and everyone is jumping all over this because they simply have not experienced first hand compact recces in Canada and so they think it is not possible.

Although there is a post somewhere here saying "oh yeah then how is it done" I could list a bunch of circumstances which invariably will get shot down because of the multiple number of variables that are unique to each rally as they are currently organized. All I can say to you, is that I personally have partaken in over half a dozen single day (SINGLE DAY - NOT EVEN MULTIPLE DAY LIKE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT) rallies where recce and the rally is in the same day and the rally is over 120km of stage. Did you know that ALL of the French Championship (gravel) events are done in this format ? Did you know that a huge number of club-level events elsewhere in the world are run in this format ?

Now, when getting to our national championship, as I have already stated, I beleive that our current format, which requires a MINIMUM of 48 hours presence in the region of the rally at almost all the events, and NORMALLY more i.e. Baie, Defi, Quebec, Charlevoix (all rallies on the calendar last year, only one of which could even be argued was undersubscribed), etc. that recce can already be accomodated within that window. Note that this is ONE MORE DAY than what I am saying can already be done. In other words, they is PLENTY OF F_IN TIME to do it. That is already happening in many places around the whole wide world outside of our sandbox. Yes indeed, recce and rally in 2 days. Note that this is a format which is EASILY accomodated in MANY places worldwide and that in many countries, you do a three day rally, BUT the third day is an exact REPEAT REPLICA of day 2, and the total distance goes will into the mid 200 kms and eveyone is out by 3pm on Sunday. But they dont usually fly home. We should easily be able to accomodate 150-200km. Finally, fantasically and magically this also includes all the 'fluff' that everyone seems to be doing on Friday (i.e. getting ready because they aren't ready yet). Are we scared that we wont be ready to rally so we will lose our precious last minute fixit time ? Well, you won't, all it means is, maybe you only get 1 recce pass. That has happened to me twice, my first 2 times doing this, because I wasn't "ready" to go at Friday (at 11am), I was used to doing it the way we do it now here.

So the point is, before we all GO OFF SHOOTING DOWN RECCE DUE TO EXTRA TIME, first of all, YOU DONT ALWAYS NEED IT.

And that, is the whole damn point of this post to begin with. No "insulting" of anyone and no "I dont care if you cant get time off" and no "is this a club level or professional aspiring thingy". I am not and did not argue or say any of that. While the people's points in those posts are valid, it is not a case of "pro vs. club" and it is not a case of "I can take off more time than you" and it is not a case of "I dont care what you want".

Secondly, EVEN IF YOU DID NEED IT, (which you dont', but of course, you do if you want to add it with NO REFACTORING or thinking or effort to rejig anything else at all and just do it 'dumb' style), the calendar had three more events on it last year, 2 of which were multi-day recce events. This year you should have AMPLE OPPORTUNITY to partake in more practise, since you won't need time off to do recce, because people will make an effort to do it right. Even though in the last 3 years we have had rallies add days. And now, even if a rally does want to add a day, it now becomes a contentious issue. So still, you will have more days to practise/not be at a rally, because people will make an effort to do it 'right'.

Thirdly, EVEN IF YOU DID NEED IT, BUT STILL CAN'T take a day off, a lot of 2-day rallies do not use up the sunday or friday at all, and despite the post about "if you do ANYTHING on sunday then I have to take monday off", I simply don't buy that. You can run well into the early afternoon on west coast and make it anywhere on east coast. The fact is, our schedules are normally very, very loose.

Finally, I find this especially ironic considering that for you cushy eastern guys, your western events have been "in and out". Does anyone consider the western guys when the goo ol eastern rallies schedule awards at 10am on sunday ? Does anyone consider the western guys when your scheduled tech which is 6 hour drive from nearest airport is Friday at 9am ?

It is all moot, again, because even if you did need extra time, it will most certainly not be a full day requiring an extra day off. To put it bluntly, do we all want to start rally at sat 10 am, be drinking beer by 8pm, and rest on sunday. Is that then the point behind the national championship ? Which rallies are single day events again ?

My whole point is that people need to envision the events running different time schedules and routes (but almost always same roads) in order to make it within the time limit. It is possible, and like I have said before, I am available to help to make it happen. I actually have experienced this, and it is possible, and things can happen this way, and you dont need to lose your job or get a divorce nor will you miss your kids growing up. BUT THAT IS ALL UP TO THE ORGANIZER'S IMPLEMENTATION.

So it is basically a question of, do we want tight time schedules, a requirement to be ready to recce/rally, and to be on the go from say friday at 11am until sunday at 11am (or whatever permutation of 35-48 hours you want), or do we want to be like we are, normally hanging around friday at 11am and rallying sometime between then and 11am on sunday, and then going home. It can be done, and the rallies need rethinking, but it aint impossible, and the upsides (oh yes, we haven't talked about that yet) are big.

In closing, I have spectated many a recce'd club level rally, and they are DAMN WORTH WATCHING. Kind of like watching doo ****, where most everyone knows the roads. The action kicks ass. And we may, in 5 years, have a Julien pilon or antoine lestage or joel levac competing at international level. They're so young, they could even stay at that level for a while. And we may have international competitors COME HERE (dont you ever wonder why no one comes ? jeez. And whats been going on in the us - the 'marketing' excersize, does not count) so locals can raise their game. And we as drivers dont have to 'hope and pray' and make the winner a contest of who cares less about self preservation. We could actually learn to drive as quickly as possible.
 

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here are a few examples of how things have been done differently (all independent of each other, some can be done, some dont have to be done, some are risky in some circumstances etc etc OF COURSE IT ALL HAS TO BE DONE IN A WAY THAT ISN'T STUPID)

1 - recce in the rally car
2 - recce on a road section (i.e. transit)
3- no recce marshalls, no recce in, no recce out control
4- call the cops, put them somewhere, and a speeding ticket == exclusion, no ifs ands or buts
5- start rallying at 6 or 7 am
6- leave cars for self-scrutineering before recce (ie no not your crew since you probably dont have one, just leave it there for them to check without your presence)
7- let crew scrutineer car during recce (yeah like that would ever fly here)
8- do all stages at some point twice, reducing number of unique stages
9- DO NOT USE any stage twice within less than 3 hours of each other, like we do here, so we dont sit idle
10 - dont use turnaround stages
11 - dont use recce cars
12 - no rally cars allowed for recce (for sensitive regions)

should we go on and on ? There are 30+ more ways of doing things that we have never done over here ! it isn't rocket science. These are NOT SUGGESTIONS merely examples of the various things that can be done and there are MANY more. I am sure now that this thread will focus on picking apart each one of those and saying why it cant be done. I'm not saying any of that can be done on any rally. I am saying that one or maybe 2 can be done at each rally (out of the more than 20 possible suggestions) to make the timing work. Or even none (as in the case of Rocky !). WHICH IS MY WHOLE POINT TO BEGIN WITH. I don't buy argument #3 "compeitors dont want to take more time off" because the real reason, is that even if we could do recce at Rocky, we can't, because of reasons #1 and #2.

In addition to the aforementioned 30+ more suggestions, here's a couple of interesting "no for sure we probably cant do that here" ones (all experienced, not pulled out of my enthusiast rear end);

use 30 second intervals (!) from the Jim Clark Rally
use free recce (honor system) but with cops stipulation in place (the thinking being that doing the stage over and over at 50km/h has seriously dimishing returns)
rally for 24 hours non stop
2 way recce traffic on recce (from many events)
use free recce
recce at night only (many events)

there are more, you are starting to get the picture...
 

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A question for Patr or someone else that has actually done recce.

Exactly how long do you need to do recce in order to get good notes?

Tall Pines last year was 470km, 173km of special stages. If you restricted speeds 50km/h on special stages and posted speeds (80km/h) on transits, it would take a minimum of 7 hours to do recce. I?m generalizing way too much, I?m sure this could be cut down a lot because of repeat stages. If I had a route book I would do some better calculations. Could some one take a few minutes to figure it out?

Can you accurately create pace notes with one pass?

Is 50km/h a good speed for note creation?

Can you accurately create pace notes at night?

I don?t know about last year but in 2002 I entered the Black Bear regional event. It was a single day event with organizer-supplied notes, 50 km of special stages. Four passes on a single road, two in and two out. For note familiarization reasons the organizers did a parade type run thru the stage in the morning prior to the special stages. This worked very well. I?m sure with some practice the parade run would have given more than enough time to create notes.

Recce is a viable goal, keep pushing for it!
 

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>Finally, fantasically and magically this also includes all
>the 'fluff' that everyone seems to be doing on Friday (i.e.
>getting ready because they aren't ready yet). Are we scared

My perception is that there is a fair amount of standing around time at the rallies I've competed in - I'll qualify that by saying that I spend most of that time getting nervous and shooting the sh*t - and not considering what might be happening in the background among the workers
;-)

I often think that it would be better to have a registration desk at scrutineering - show up, line up with everything ready: documents, bodies, cars, log books, helmets suits. Line up, one shot, one place - done. (Maybe the facilities to accomodate this would be too hard to find, I dunno - but certainly this is possible in the warmer months?)


Finished reg/scrut? - go recce! (I LIKE to shoot the sh*t - but I'd rather rally)
Drop the shakedown.
Lots of rallies go at around 8am Saturday. Speaking for myself, I can't sleep much the night before anyway - how about a second pass of recce Sat moringin starting at, say 6am (you're your own gravel crew!).
Be back at parc expose for 10am - rally starts at 10:30 and finishes after midnight. (endurance - separates the out-of-shape from the... in-of-shape and is a determinable aspect of rallying)
Have an awards BREAKFAST - buffers the hung-over stomachs of the service doods.

Use the fairy godfather CARS recce money to provide accoms, food and parting gifts to the workers.

Robin
 
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