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Club Off Road's Ironman Enduro
March 31st April 1st 2007
As a fitting follow up to the inaugural Ironman this years event will be longer and tougher but like last year need top level driving & navigation skills to find the optimum routes. The Enduro site is big enough to hide an Army and tough enough to tame them too. The only artificial obstacle is the gateweay in. After that you are free, nay encouraged, to go where you please. A mixture of bog, streams, rocky outcrops and hills with both gentle slopes and precipices. There is but one entrance and exit. The crew must be committed, (possibly to a sanatorium). Challenge trucks do not lend themselves to being beasts of burden yet for safety on these hillsides, there are minimum equipment requirements to be carried for the crews safety and comfort.
The concept is to find the solo crew that can fulfil the following criteria; Reliability, skilled off road driving which includes ground interpretation, solo recovery techniques for when the former attribute goes wrong, navigation over trackless terrain to find the shortest driveable route. All of which need to be done for a minimum of 15 hours non stop over two days whilst carrying survival gear for the crew and coping with whatever the weather may deal out. Piece of cake then really. To ensure every entrant has the same choices to make it is mandatory for ALL the crews to carry the same MINIMUM equipment in the vehicle at all times. (This is about personal safety.) CoR will inspect, prior to the event, the crews equipment which must have as a minimum the following; Tent for 2 people or 2 solo tents/bivvy bags. 2 sleeping bags. Food and water for 2/3 days. Substantial ground anchor. Shovel. Torch. CB radio. First aid kit. Naturally the upper limit is yours to choose. The trade off between equipment and weight is a hard choice and one that on an event such as this can have a huge impact. Kit such as spares, wheels, fuel etc. can be stockpiled and left at an on site 'dump' and fetched (probably on foot you should understand) as needed. But I repeat the mandatory equipment stays with the car at all times or the crew will be excluded. They who get furthest wins and will richly deserve the Ironman Trophy. No artificial tasks. No devious navigation. Nothing except natural, unadulterated, full frontal four wheeling for two days. If it was food it would be epicurean, if it were libidinous it would be orgasmic (but tasteful!).
Anyone entering for the first time can rest assured that the action starts right at the very gate with the river crossing, and just gets better, bogs rocks, burns, hills, lochs and not a tree to be seen. These are not exaggerations. When I say there is a real risk, there is. There will be NO professional medical cover. Your 4x4 must be road legal, be well maintained, well tyred, well equipped and well prepared as must the crew. The best of 4x4's can break down at any time but everyone entering this event has a real duty to themselves and others to ensure everything possible has been done to properly prepare their 4x4. It is eminently possible that a major mechanical breakdown could see your 4x4 left on the hillside for you to recover later once the repair has been done, yes that is a possibility.
Elegibility. All makes and types of road legal, (that means taxed, tested where applicable, and insured) light 4x4's with a crew of two.
Standards Class. Only one winch. No diff locks or other traction aids including electronic traction control or any form of fiddle brakes. Tyres no more aggressive than Mud Terrain pattern (check with me if you aren't sure) no bigger than 32" tall and 11" wide. A vehicle fitted as standard with a REAR limited slip diff (Trooper, Shogun come to mind) remains classed as standard, fitted with two limited slip diffs, whether standard fit or not, is classed as a special. All Standard class entries will be checked to ensure compliance with the foregoing before the event. In the event of non compliance specials classification will be used.
Class. Anything not in standards class plus tyres no more aggressive than
Simex (no Maxi Cross, Sataniks Implement pattern etc) and no bigger than
35" tall 13" wide. Portal axles are not allowed. All tyre sizes
will be measured with a gauge not the sizings on the tyre wall.
The event needs a minimum of 12 entries to run, CoR reserves the right to cancel the event, returning all monies but with no further liability, if the minimum cannot be reached by March 17th or in the event of 'force majeure', (i.e. something outside our control that means the event can't run) No cheques will be cashed until that date or when the event is confirmed.
Most of the site is exposed to the prevailing westerly winds making shelter from the wind hard to find. None of the hills are particularly high, 1,322' is the highest but all are separated by valleys making the traverse from one to the other difficult and you know where all the punches are likely to be already don't you? Punches will not (knowingly) be placed in boggy areas to try ensure the actual area around the punch remains viable. Each entrant will receive a detailed O/S based map of the area. The start line and finish line will be in separate locations. To ensure maximum choice there will be no set order to obtain punches BUT once all the punches have been obtained the finish line must be crossed in order to obtain the next punch card.
On all such events as these it is my overriding concern to ensure that we never have to call in outside agencies for anything other than a medical emergency. Our 'stealth' policy works well. We arrive quietly, go on our chosen mission and disappear home. Self-help is the order of the day. Indeed on this event you will be reaching places other cars cannot so you really must be certain of being able to recover yourself. Nightmare scenario is a major mechanical or medical problem in one of the far corners. The former could result in needing repairs in situ to have any hope of moving the motor the second means that professional help could be hours away. To that end read the following carefully.
Entrants should be confident they are up to the physical demands of living out on a Scottish hillside and be self sufficient with food, water, clothing, accommodation, for at least 2 days. Why? Because we have a tendency to underestimate Scotland's mountains and weather. The Kyle is actually further north than Moscow and though the west coast is known as being temperate because of the Gulf Stream I wouldn't bank on it. If we go prepared for the worst then things can only get better. In truth we will never be more than 1.5 miles as the crow flies from the forest road we use to access the site, with another 3 miles from there back to tarmac. The worst case scenario is fog or blizzards. Lack of visibility means movement is seriously impeded and would need accurate map reading to ensure that you didn't drive into danger. In addition we could have bright sun, gale force winds, sub zero temperatures, mega snow falls or glorious weather, possibly in just one day.
The event starts Saturday march 31st 0830 at two separate venues (one for standards one for specials) at the Kyle of Lochalsh, location to be notified with the final details, all entrants will receive a detailed map of the off road area at this point. No trailers trucks etc. will be allowed into the forest access road area but excess equipment can be left at the gate or inside the site itself. To ensure everyone has the same time window for the event there will be a 'curfew' imposed on vehicle movement on Saturday night at a time to be confirmed but one that will be roughly one hour after sunset (BST will be in force I estimate sunset to be around 1930). Start on Sunday will be 0800 finish at 1430. Once a punch card has been removed at the finish line by CoR, then those points are 'safe'. However any vehicle not making it back through the finish line by the 1430 deadline will forfeit all punches not already 'banked'. I believe it is known as a sudden death finish! You are at liberty to retire from the event and leave the site at any time. It isn't impossible that we could be up there for days, the good part is it won't cost you any more! A serious mechanical breakdown could, repeat could, leave your vehicle stranded on site.
Now here is a conundrum of my own. I believe it is right to ban all recovery between entrants during the event. By doing so I remove the genuine desire amongst off roaders to help other and thereby also many difficult decisions for teams. It also stops people unofficially 'teaming up' to help each other. This event is a solo challenge and should be entered as such. Having said that if there was anyone hopelessly stuck with say a burnt out winch then how can they ever get free? My solution at this moment is the following. Anyone in the predicament described could be voluntarily recovered by another entrant during the event but only by forfeiting their (the stricken crew) place in the results. The recovery team would gain nothing for their generous act nor receive any criticism for not doing so. However as the event comes to an end I would hope that anyone able to help others who need it would do so, Redcoat help can be guaranteed but we aren't as well endowed as the entrants (and that's not something you see in print very often) so that help may be more organisational than practical. There will be no qualified medical assistance on this event. Mileages; Glasgow 176. Edinburgh 200. Leeds 430. Birmingham 470. London 585. Bristol 540.
Nearly finished. Club Off Road reserves the right to refuse any entry, both on entry form information and on the day if the requirements mentioned above cannot be satisfactorily met. Vehicles and equipment will be checked. There is an overall maximum of 30 entries and a minimum of 12. Entries will be taken on a first come first served basis subject to the entry complying with the minimum criteria. You will be required to sign a disclaimer. The entry form must be accompanied by the full remittance of £150 per vehicle (regardless of passenger numbers) though no cheques will be cashed until your acceptance has been sent and certainly no earlier than March 5th. Club Off Road reserves the right to cancel the event should the minimum figure not be reached or 'force majeure' dictates a cancellation, and return all money in full. Once an entry has been accepted any subsequent cancellation by the entrant will attract a £25 fee, cancellation within 5 days of the event or being refused entry on the day due to non compliance with the rules will forfeit the entry money.
Only men and women with mettle need apply to enter the Ironmen. Have you got what it takes?
The Kyle Hotel has played host to us in the past and is a good quality place with 27 rooms and an excellent restaurant. (Tel 01599 534204) All rooms are en suite. CoR has a £25 per person per night B&B deal so mention it if you decide to book there. They are reasonable about paying guests leaving trailers in their car park whilst on the event. The same rate can be utilised should you wish to stay over after the event. Please book your room requirements direct with the hotel. They operate a 50% deposit requirement and a 24 hour cancellation requirement for a refund of the deposit. There are plenty other establishments locally including B&B's. Three hotels are listed here plus the tourist board number for your use; Loch Duich 01599555213, Balmacara Hotel 01599 566283, Kintail Lodge 01599 511275. Kyle Tourist Board 01599 534276
DVD. A professional DVD was made of our first event on this site. It is available for £12 inc p&p from Club Off Road should you wish to have a visual look at the sort of ground the event will be held on. Send a cheque or PO to payable to Club Off Road Ltd at the address on the entry form. As my website skills are so abysmal a printable entry form is beyond me, can I please suggest that you either paste and copy the entry form or E mail me and I'll send and entry form in Word format by return?
Off Road Ltd 5 Quarryside Road
THE IRONMAN ENDURO
Cost is £150 per vehicle. Please fill in the form and send with the entry fee, (payable to Club Off Road), to the above address. You must sign the disclaimer on behalf of yourself and your passenger.
I confirm I am legally entitled to drive vehicle registration number .................................................
Signed ..................................................... Date ........................ Tel No .........................
E Mail .......................................................
Vehicle make ___________________________________ Model _____________________________
Reg _________________________ Winch Type (s) _______________________________________
Tyre size, make and pattern _____________________________________________ CB Y/N? ____
Crew name ________________________________________________________________________
Can you meet all the event criteria listed in these event details? Y/N? _______________________
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