* Mountain Trials June
15-16, 2007- by Mark Nolte
I scheduled a return to Canada to see how they
run their stage rallys, as a worker. Ron Sorem
volunteered to be Car 0 (slow pace), and Lee
Sorenson left his Subaru at Ron's after Olympus
so he and wife Karen could be car 00 (fast pace).
Max Vaysburg would be in the co-driver seat with
Ron. We were the only Americans there.
Raising and assigning workers was in the hands
of Leigh-Ann Matthews. Besides covering the stages,
she also assigned rooms at the Best Western Nicola
Inn in Merritt. Workers get free rooms, but I
heard murmurs of 6-to-a-room, that could be fun.
The rally consisted of 3 roads, all tightly
grouped- Nicola, Mab, and Helmer . These have
been used for decades, and are essentially the
main roads. No apparent problems with closing
the roads, but then, it was raining.
The Canadians do it different. Someone ties
up bannerguard, and plants a few arrows, as a
separate crew who I never saw. The workers all
found their way to the right places. Even the
road marshals and HAMs despite no references
or arrows at the positions. Since Merritt is
3 hours from Vancouver, its not like all the
workers pre-ran the course earlier.
Even stranger, to me, was to use a Californian
and Washingtonian as the Course Cars. And they
weren't just celebrity drivers- Ron and Max had
to set up the clocks and show the workers how
to fill out the competitor logbooks; when bannerguard
was down, the decision had to be made whether
to search the road for a wayward woodcutter,
or tie the tape back up and assume all was safe.
Lee and Ron conferred as to whether the Route
Books needed to note newly deepened ditches across
the rally roads.
This was all accomplished because the rally
took over a Ham radio repeater on a nearby mountaintop.
One radio frequency for the whole event. Everybody
goes through Net Control. Try that at a Washington
rally and everyone would talk at once, then repeat
themselves. Amazingly, it all worked out.
21 starters, 6 DNF's.