WCRA website promoting Stage and TSD Rally Sport in British Columbia
Mountain Trials Rally
June 15/16, 2007
Merritt, BC
Round 3 of the
Western Canadian Rally Championship

Organized by the
West Coast Rally Association
Merrit Maps
CARS event entry permit
Volunteers sign up form
Results (avail June 16)

* 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. Or not.

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.
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