Event Chair: Dennis Miller
Posted on August 27, 2014
Posted on August 3, 2014
Lou Reid, the Illini Nissan General Manager, and I welcomed five rally teams (or was it six) into the dealership’s showroom on Saturday morning July 26, 2014. That sixth team was the two “observers” (Chris and Clay) in the back seat of Dan Marx’s Nissan Rogue. They were running as an Adventure team by answering the adventure questions while Dan and Cooper ran as a Seat of Pants Time/Speed/Distance team in the front seats.
As one of two Adventure teams Chris and Clay were doing great by beating their competition 7 to 14 on the questions on leg 1. In the Adventure Class correct answers count as zeros (perfect scores) while wrong, including blank, answers most of the time count as one against you. In other words “0” would mean getting all the answers right while 7 would mean having 7 wrong answers.
Unfortunately while Dan and Cooper did well on the first leg of the rally they ended up having some difficulty on the second leg and opted to drop out of the rally before finishing it. Fortunately for Chris and Clay it turns out that their competition (Car 2) got off course on the first leg and decided by the end of it to stop answering the questions and concentrate on following the course. This methodology served Brian and Randall well for legs 2 and 3 as they made it to those checkpoints inside the 12 minute window allowed (6 minutes before or after their ideal arrival time) and therefore received Adventure timing scores of zero (0) for each leg.
Unfortunately their maximum Adventure timing scores of 5 and 5 on the first and fourth legs respectively gave them a total of 10 timing points compared to Chris and Clay’s 0 and three 5s for Adventure timing scores. While technically both Adventure teams missed all of the questions on legs 2 through 4 because they didn’t submit answers I elected not to add those points to their scores as that would not have affected their finishing places.
Backtracking to leg 1 again, I’m suspicious but not certain, that Car 2 got off course due to a couple of the most common mistakes that first time rallyists make. The first one is thinking that each person on the team has clearly delineated specific job duties such as that the navigator reads the instructions and the driver executes them. In this case there were two consecutive “right at stop” instructions. If the navigator says to the driver “right at stop” but does not observe that the driver in fact does a “right at stop” all may still go well for that first turn. Unfortunately when the driver then asks what his next instruction is and the navigator simply says “right at stop” trouble can begin.
If the driver says “I just did that” and the navigator goes on to read the next instruction which in this case was a “left” then a miss-communication has occurred. Better communication would be for the driver to inquire “second of two ‘right at stops’ in a row?” Better yet would be for the navigator to have been helping the driver find and execute that first “right at stop” then say “the next instruction is also ‘right at stop’, the second of two right at stops in a row” and then help the driver find and execute that. Skipping ahead to the instruction after the second “right at stop” in this case might have had Car 2 headed west when they should have been headed east.
Meanwhile the other three cars were sticking pretty close to their allotted time slots even though they might not have been sticking strictly to the course. “Rumor” has it that Car 1 had to really think about how to handle an instruction that read: “Left at third opportunity. A “DEAD END” sign may make this road look like it is not a possibility but it is. CAST 30 (Don’t ignore the sign once you get close to it.)” Sure enough at the third opportunity to the left there was a “DEAD END” sign a ways down the road. Once you turned toward the sign as instructed and started to get close to it you could see that there was a road to the right just before the sign.
Due to the few moments it took for Adam and Gary to sort this out they ended up taking the sideroad but at a speed faster than the prescribed 30 MPH CAST. This caused them to shoot past a road that had a stop sign 20 yards down it at an intersection that was hidden by some trees. Fortunately they saw the sign as they flew past the road and realized that it was the ‘Right toward “STOP”‘ road they were looking for. They turned around, got their odometer adjusted, claimed a 1.5 minute time allowance and were “back on time.”
Another “rumor” had it that Car 5 missed the ‘Left at second opportunity after “MAIN STREET”.’ At first I thought this might also have been caused by another common miss-communication associated with first time rallyists like Bill’s navigator Wayne. That error would be when reading instruction words that are in quotes to not indicate that the words are in quotes by failing to say something like: ‘Left at second opportunity after quote “MAIN STREET”.’ Failure to insert the word quote when reading the instruction could have caused Bill to inquire of Wayne: “Main Street object?” I could then envision that as Bill tried to explain what his inquiry meant they passed the second opportunity after the sign (as an aside, the first one after the actual physical Main Street ‘object’) since it came up quickly.
In fact Bill assures me that Wayne did correctly say “quote Main Street” but Bill went past the second opportunity anyway because he didn’t at first realize it was an opportunity. Once he realized it was he had no way to go back until he reached the next intersection where he could cross the median of the divided highway they were on. Fortunately for Bill and Wayne they were able to sort out by then that the rally route would have just gone around a “block” and brought them there anyway. While they were back on course again, over-compensating for not having followed the full course may have been part of why they got a 62 for the leg.
In any case three cars got to checkpoint 2 within a minute or two of their ideal arrival times but I had to hold the rally up there to wait for Car 2 who had left checkpoint 1 15 minutes behind the pack. This holdup was needed to give Barry and me time to get to the next checkpoint (i.e. to stay ahead of the rally cars on the shortest leg of the rally). Unfortunately that holdup also caused us to miss seeing the four person Car 3 crew at Dos Reales where they finished an early lunch and headed back to Springfield.
Leg 3 was over quickly and without incident except that there was one intersection where traffic delayed two or three cars. Two of them compensated by requesting time adjustments and ended up with good scores (although I goofed in calculating one of them and gave them 65 points until they pointed out to me that their score should be 35).
Leg 4 didn’t turn out quite so good as half the remaining cars got lost then called from Dos Reales to let us know we could shut down checkpoint 4 and come on in. One of the lost cars literally got lost in the instructions and that got them off course. There were two “left at crossroad” instructions with two instructions in between. Somehow Car 1 managed to do the first “left at crossroad” then skipped down to the instruction after the second “left at crossroad” thus skipping three instructions. Interestingly that might have put them on a gravel road which could have tipped them off that there was a problem but they probably saw the gravel, realized that gravel roads weren’t to be used and, since they were at a T, headed the opposite direction. That would have put them into Champaign before they realized the 45 MPH CAST they were doing wasn’t meant for driving in town down Mattis Avenue.
Car 4 made it to the checkpoint but claimed their second time allowance for the day. They turned onto a gravel road (in spite of the instruction having a parenthetical comment reminding them not to do that) at a T then realized they should have gone the opposite direction to avoid the gravel.
In spite of the various teams’ difficulties the rally was an interesting 55 mile drive through the corn canyons around the north and east edges of the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area. The entire rally was run in the Saline Branch Drainage Ditch watershed which is the western part of the Salt Fork watershed. I came up with the Watershed Adventure name when I was thinking in terms of doing a bit longer rally that entered all four of the watersheds that drain Champaign County. Champaign is part of the high ground in east central Illinois with drainage from it going east to the Wabash River via the Salt Fork, southeast to the Wabash via the Embarras, southwest to the Mississippi via the Kaskaskia, and west to the Illinois River via the Sangamon.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for coming; to Barry Rowe for being the cold runner, checkpoint assistant and picture taker; and to those of you whom I’ll be contacting soon about your thoughts on the general instructions. Also, once again a big thanks to Lou Reid and Illini Nissan for their hospitality (and to Gary Patrick for making the initial contact with them).
Jerry White, Rallymaster
Posted on July 20, 2014
Event Chairs: Jacob Kruse and David Guimond
Posted on July 17, 2014
Date: Saturday, July 5, 2014
Rallymaster: Mike Blackwelder
Cold run: Russ Bedford
Workers: Cheryel Blackwelder
Saturday July fifth was the Firecracker rally. It has been known as several different names but the situation has been the same. We run half the rally in the late morning and take a leisurely lunch and then finish the rest of the rally. A few years ago we ran the rally to Clinton, IL and stopped at Ted’s Garage. In April of 2013 a fire started in a neighboring shed and spread to Ted’s destroying the building. The owner reported he would not rebuild. One of his chefs talked him into the use of the name and re-opened the restaurant in a different building and location. Ted’s re-opened last October on the same street a few blocks east of the original spot with most of the same menu and some Mexican dishes added.
On Saturday we met at the County Market store on Glenn Park Drive at nine o’clock for registration. We had five cars for the rally with our club president Tom finally able to run for the first time. At ten oh one the first car left to start the odometer comparison section. Shortly before I left to put up the ODO sign. I put the sign up approximately ten fifty eight. At eleven oh six I received a call from Tom that the ODO sign could not be found. I gave him a description of the marks for the spot. Apparently someone stole the sign during that eight minute window. This makes the second sign we have lost to individuals unknown.
Legs one and two had our three Nav teams running some respectable scores. Both the one car Sop team and the one car Novice team made wrong turns and scored maximum points for the legs. I was able to contact both of them and get them back on course. I made leg three a drive by checkpoint so they could get to the restaurant. This time both the Novice and Sop teams stayed on course and had good scores. The Sop team accomplished this with a delay slip to score eleven points. The number one Nav team were delayed by a slow vehicle but with their delay slip they scored a zero. The other two Nav teams crossed the checkpoint with zeros of their own. This is the first time I have seen three Nav teams score zeros on the same leg.
We spent over an hour taking our time for lunch and left Ted’s just before two o’clock. The next three legs went without anyone getting lost. Leg four was thrown unfortunately because I had made a typo on the outslip. I caused one Nav car to interpret it as a special instruction and drove at the wrong cast. My mistake for that.
The Sop car came in late on the last leg but made up for it with a delay slip to keep his points in the double digits. This last leg was also a drive by which gave me time to calculate the results before I met them at Monical’s. Everyone had a good time with good weather and traffic conditions.
Many thanks to my wife Cheryel for helping to lay out the rally and mileage it. (three times) Thanks to Russ Bedford for cold running it the weekend before.
The next rally is July 26 and will be put on by Jerry White. Details on the club website. www.ccsportscarclub.org
|SEAT OF PANTS CLASS|
Posted on July 17, 2014
Date: Friday, June 13, 2014
Rallymaster: Barry Rowe
Cold run: Jerry White
Workers: Jerry White
Download a PDF of the results: Click Here
Seven brave rally teams left the Subaru of Champaign County showroom at 7:30 on Friday the 13th of June for the “Friday the 13th Comes on a Friday This Month” rally. We started early so we would not have darkness to deal with. It
worked out well, as we were just pulling into the ending point (Monical’s Pizza on Mattis Ave. and Church Street in Champaign) when it got dark. We had a good turnout and, I hope, a good time was had by all.
I couldn’t help but name the event after one of the few Friday the 13ths that happen every few years. As a great bit of side interest, it was also a full moon, which, in combination with Friday the 13th is really rare and will probably not
happen again in any of our lifetimes!
The rally went towards St. Joe where there are such nice roads and a checkpoint where the St. Joe — Sidney road turns west. Then it went south a mile, turned west and went through the best set of turns in Champaign County before starting
a march command that took the rallyists almost to Philo with no more instructions. After a turn west again, there was a phantom checkpoint and a long, straight road to get west of Champaign with a turn north to another march command that took the rallyists to checkpoint 3, held in my favorite checkpoint location on the old Illinois Terminal railroad right of way on Illinois route 47 extended south of Illinois Route 10. A final DIY leg going into the ending point and we were done.
There were 4 legs plus 100 points for opening a panic capsule, which no one did. There was an automatic delay allowance so no one who didn’t miss a checkpoint could get more than 49 points. The results are below and it was very competitive. Note how close Nav class was and that Bob and Karen Townsend would have won if they had been 0.01 minute later….. Thanks to Jerry White for cold running the rally, helping with checkpoints (actually, he is a checkpoint expert and showed it!) and generally doing as much as I did for this rally. Thanks also to Gary Patrick and Subaru of Champaign for allowing us to start the rally at their showroom.
One more thing…… I had some questions on the final outslip about where the title of this event comes from. It was from the long running comic strip by Walt Kelley called “Pogo”, an opossum who lived in the Okefenokee swamp in Florida and Georgia. My wording was not as good as it could have been, and I awarded the prize (a book of Walt Kelley’s Pogo Cartoons) to Bob Townsend because he answered the question I meant to ask. However, Russ Bedford answered the question I actually asked, so there is another copy of the book on the way for Russ.
Thanks for attending my rally. It was fun to put on.
|SEAT OF PANTS CLASS|
Posted on June 25, 2014
Event Chair: James Babiarz
Posted on June 25, 2014
Event Chairs: Mike Erpedling and Deb Erpelding
Posted on June 25, 2014
Event Chair: Russ Bedford
Grudgemaster: Greg Lukach
Posted on June 9, 2014
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2014
Rallymaster: Bob Townsend
Workers: Tom and Linda Ingles; Bob and Karen Townsend
Download a PDF of the results: Click Here
We had a good turnout for the June 1st rally with nine teams competing. For the first time in a while, we had four teams in the navigational class. It was a perfect weather day for most of the rally, with the rain holding off till the last few minutes of the final leg, but only the rally master getting soaked retrieving the checkpoint sign. This years rally was held to the east of Philo, going to Kickapoo state park and the surrounding area. Most of the roads were scenic and winding, as the name implies, and except for a few miles of gravel, it was on oil and chip or blacktop roads. After the rally, a picnic meal was served, with President Tom Ingles ably playing the part of master chef. Additional goodies were prepared by Karen. In all, about 30 people feasted on the meal with spouses and children arriving for the picnic.
The navigational class was hotly contested, with the top three cars scores only separated by 9 points. As the dust cleared, second-time rally driver Adam Deffenbaugh, with Gary Patrick navigating, were the winners, with Bill Wagner and Jonathon Flora only 8 points back, followed by Bob and Marianne Demeritt one point behind the second place team.
With two cars in the novice class, Gale and Susan Miner, driving his nicely decorate Mini, despite running on his autocross tires, nosed out Jeremy and Becky Kendall.
The three car class seat of the Pants class was won by Jesse Farrell and Kelly Wegeng with some outstanding scores. However, Emanuel Martin driving without a navigator didn’t fare so well, getting lost in several places.
It was good to see some new faces, as well as our regulars, and if you haven’t tried a rally, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
|SEAT OF PANTS CLASS|
Posted on May 6, 2014
Event Chairs: Bill and Cathy Burkholder