Monday, August 17, 2009
volunteers, there are no events. Simple
as that. So, the WCRA truly appreciates
the time and effort, the skills and abilities
that volunteer workers bring to club activities.
So, you think that you would like to volunteer,
an event is not nearly glamorous, really-just
ask around. There are times when it can
be tedious and boring, uncomfortable and even
dangerous. It is, however, almost always
a great adventure, and a lot of fun. You
meet new and usually interesting people, learn
new skills, get to hang out with people with similar
interests, and hopefully are made to feel "loved
and wanted" by event organizers. Competitors
are your true and loyal fans.
come from very different backgrounds and volunteer
for many different reasons. Some volunteers
may have been pressed into service-they may have
just been too slow to say "no!" Scooped
up by an enthusiastic companion, they find themselves
parked in the dark, in the middle of February
trying to balance a clip board and timing clock
on their knees, their stomach rumbling, their
bladder full, they're wondering how they ever
got into this position. If you would like
a bit more information before you commit to work
an event---read on.
volunteers are actively involved in rallying themselves.
Rally cars may be resting in garages awaiting
repairs, or disposable income earmarked for entry
fees has evaporated. Drivers, co-drivers
and service crews take opportunities to support
events that they might otherwise enter.
For other volunteers, working an event is an opportunity
to learn about rallying from the inside out.
People often start out working an event before
deciding to become more involved in rallysport.
Navigators and drivers entering a competition
are far better informed about time controls, and
rules and regulations, having worked an event.
There are those volunteers who are no longer satisfied
with spectating. They want to be closer
to the action and more actively involved.
Some volunteers are simply adventurous souls looking
for a new experience. I've got some
extra time; this looks interesting---what is this
rally stuff about? Family members
and significant others often show their support
for their favourite rally enthusiast by volunteering
for events. They may be "along for
the ride" but working truly beats the boredom
of waiting and lets them actively share in the
rally is a rally-right?
WCRA sponsors and organizes both TSD (time/speed/distance)
and performance/stage rallies and while there
is some overlap, volunteers for these events are
required to do different things. At both
kinds of events, volunteers do timing, registration,
technical inspection and scrutineering, however
checkpointing at a TSD rally, Heart of Darkness,
for example, is quite different from working as
a control marshal at a performance event such
as Pacific Forest Rally.
events: Regularities, transits and checkpoints
at TSD events are time controls usually hidden
along the side of a road somewhere along a regularity.
(Camouflage is not necessary) In a TSD rally
the teams aim to drive "perfectly" following the
instructions (which they have not seen previously)
written in tulips, driving at speeds suggested
in the route book. They aim to pass each
checkpoint exactly at the time designated by their
start position. If a team passes a checkpoint
early or late, they are assessed time penalty
points; in the end, the team with the fewest penalty
consist of a team of driver and co-driver.
At least part of the rally route is driven as
the checkpoints get into their positions, so,
drivers working a checkpoint should have driving
skills adequate for the conditions, and have their
cars prepared accordingly. Co-drivers need
to be prepared to read maps and interpret the
route book's tulips.
addition to checkpoints there are also teams that
"open" the event, driving the regularity ahead
of the first car to make sure that checkpoints
are in place, and teams that follow the last rally
car, "sweeping" the regularity clear of vehicles
that may have gone off the roads.
TSD workers need to be adventurous, survival-oriented
events: Special stages, transits and time
at TSD events, the checkpoints are on the move,
leapfrogging ahead of the rally teams, at performance
events, such as Mt. Trials and the Pacific Forest
Rally, control crews and road marshals may stay
put and or move only short distances within the
course of the event. Whereas the cars
in a TSD pass by a checkpoint without stopping,
at a performance event, the cars start and end
a stage, stopping at a timing control. Control
marshals count down the cars, starting them usually
at one-minute intervals and record their times
as they end the stage in a flying finish.
In a performance rally, the teams are attempting
to race against the clock. The driver drives
as fast as possible along an unfamiliar route
as the co-driver reads out the directions from
tulips in the route book. The fastest car
working performance events need to be adventurous,
survival oriented, self-sufficient, reasonably
confident and assertive. While TSD rallies
are held on public roads and the suggested speeds
are usually below posted speed limits, the roads
used for performance events are usually private,
logging roads that can be effectively closed off
and secured to allow drivers to drive at top speeds.
Safety is always the priority and volunteers are
charged firstly with keeping spectators and participants
safe. Volunteers work as control marshals
doing starts, flying finishes and timing. They
work as road closure marshals and as safety marshals
at spectator areas, and in service areas.
They drive sweep vehicles, so course opening and
have even been seen on "moo" patrols to control
cattle in open range areas. Ham radio operators
are the most desirable of volunteers in that without
an effective radio net to monitor the course of
each rally car, the event will not occur.
want to work a TSD? :
Come out and learn to checkpoint as part of the
upcoming Novice TSD Events. Inexperienced
volunteers who want to learn to checkpoint will
be paired with an experienced volunteer at each
of the Novice TSD Events. Spend the day,
learn new skills and have some fun. See
if you like it-get some experience before volunteering
for regional events such as the Goldigger or Thunderbird
want to work a performance rally? :
Come out to the Workers' Orientations for Mt.
Trials and the Pacific Forest rallies. Unfortunately
these are usually held locally, but if you live
in the Lower Mainland, try to attend. In
addition to a general orientation to performance
events, we will show you how to fill out time
cards and run time controls. A time
control will be set up and you can practice starts
and flying finishes. If you are not able
to attend an orientation, know that your work
assignment will take into consideration your inexperience
and that you will be provided with written information/instructions
ahead of the event. Each and every volunteer
is important to an event and work is carefully
assigned. The notion that your job can be
easily filled by someone else, should you change
your mind and suddenly not show up is not based
in fact. Events revolve around volunteers
as much as around entrants and rallies can be
in jeopardy without enough workers.
for your interest. Questions? Just
ask: [email protected]