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Desert Champions Trophy - 2021

Morning Fewbie Plus Desert Drive - 'Return to Faqa' - AD/Dubai - 8 Oct 2021

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The plan is to explore those parts of Faqa that have been off limits while the border crossing to Abu Dhabi was in place. We will be going into areas that as filled with swooping high dunes and ridges, making our way through soft sand and some light technical dunes.

The key part of a drive in this area is that we should be able to cover a lot of ground, criss-cross and ridge ride and keep up a good pace, covering some incredibly beautiful landscapes to boot. 

Who should join?

  • Drivers looking for a terrain that cries out to be investigated.
  • People that love the chance to test themselves and their vehicles - but not the whole drive.
  • People who love to explore and don't mind a bit of exploration.

What to expect?

  • Practice of key skills you'll need on your journey to Intermediate and beyond.
  • Great team work and fun - we like to keep entertained on these drives.
  • A good but not frighteningly fast pace.

This drive is organized in full compliance with the COVID19 guidelines. We expect every member that joins this drive to go through below information and strictly follow these guidelines in order not to jeopardize someone's health, and to ensure we can keep organizing these drives safely.


Drive Details

Level:  Fewbie Plus and above

When:  08 Oct 2021, Friday

Meeting time: 6:00 AM (SHARP - Without any exceptions)

Starting Point: https://goo.gl/maps/HbK8P3nwuVrMxSye8

Type of Car: Any proper 4x4 with front and back tow hooks and 8-10 inches of ground clearance.

What to bring along: Loads of water, snacks (for yourself), face mask, rubber gloves, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

Approximate finish time: 10:00 AM



  • Limited to 10 Fewbies and above drivers. RSVP will close on Thursday - 9 AM.
    • If the RSVP is full and you wish to join, please mention your name on the drive thread to add on the waiting list. 
  • Latecomers will be returned back - without ANY EXCEPTIONS.
  • Members without RSVP will be returned back - without ANY EXCEPTIONS.
  • Please withdraw your RSVP, if you aren't joining, so your spot can be taken by others.
  • Repeated no-show members after RSVP will have their account suspended for a month.


Please RSVP on below Calendar 



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  • Gaurav changed the title to Morning Fewbie Plus Desert Drive - 'Return to Faqa' - AD/Dubai - 8 Oct 2021

Congratulations to you. You're all signed up and have a secure place in what will be a little bit exploration, a little adventure and a lot of fun ride looking at some of the most beautiful scenery in the area. Hopefully, we are also one of the first convoys back into this area so it's not going to be all churned up. 

As ususal, if there's a change of plan, let us know. We don't have a waitlist yet, but you never know. 

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Tuesday morning and only one drop out so far - which is nice. 

What to expect on Friday? Anyone who was on the exploration drive with @Ale Vallecchi on Saturday, quite a lot of the same (so I hope you enjoyed that!)

We will also hopefully be making our way to some of the larger/higher dunes in the Faqa region. These are great for high level slide sloping. It will be interesting to see if the extremely sharp edged on these dunes have changed in any way in the months since we were last able to enjoy ourselves out here. 

I'll be searching out some bowls and play areas during the drive that were great fun in the past, but no promises - the wind and time changes a lot of the landscape around this area and what was exceptional a few months ago ... well, who knows. 

What we can be sure is that the scenery is going to be beautiful and most of us have driven together before so we know what to expect form each other. 

See you soon in the sand.

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We have a great little convoy for tomorrow morning. We've had 2 dropouts, unfortunately - but that makes the convoy a little shorter and gives the obvious benefits that we could move further and faster as a result. 

@Pacific @Charbel @Anoop Nair @Adhir Saxena @Tbone @Chris Wing @Archibald Jurdi @Tareck @Christopher Assal @Alain Canivet-Abikhalil


Assuming no-one else drops out, this is where we are in the convoy numbering. Radio channel 3. 

The meeting point has been added to the drive posts. 

One little warning - depending on how it goes, we hit some quite technical dunes from the get-go. We can either get through them in minutes if you are all ready to go from minute one, or it's a world of pain as you fight your way through. 

You all already know my preference, but let's see how the mood takes us in the morning!

See you soon in the sand. 

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Post Drive Report

My lasting memory of today's drive will be the comment that the sand is like melting butter. Soft? Despite the chunky tires on my car, a couple of seconds after driving through, the sand had no tracks. 

Covering a distance from Faqa to Last Exit, we started with some techincal dunes and found, unfortunately, the recent rains had led to a lot of vegetation sprouting in many of the bowls that would have been play areas. so we searched and climbed and drove and searched again. 

I am always amazed at how the dunes change and shift over time. We forget that they are living, moving, growing and evolving and it's only when you have not been there for some time that you start to see the impact of these changes over time. The play areas marked on my navigation were no longer the same grandiose exciting swooping bowls, the smooth long range dunes undulate with unexpected gulleys and bumps, the bowls still beckon but super straight sides and soft sand start to put them a little out of reach.

Nonetheless, we drove and drove and drove. Generally I regard radio silence as a good thing. By that metric, today was a good day. Everyone engrossed in the drive, for some enjoying a more relaxed morning for others focusing on the drive.

With so few stops and stucks we just kept moving. Nothing daunted the drivers, nothing dented the enthususiasm, nothing diverted the fun. 

The new tires - honestly, we are not yet fully familiar. Most people know that I was until recently driving a completely stock vehicle on 18" rims and HT tires. My decision to 'upgrade' was because it got increasingly challenging to push the car with the limitation of this set up. Keep in mind that's not a recommendation to upgrade - I have led close to 100 drives if you include Carnity convoys and Masterclasses with the old set up, become a Marshal and successfully led at all levels.

My decision comes AFTER understanding both mine and the car's capabilities to the full. Unquestionably I feel the grip on the sand from the AT tires. That's a big change. Where I am still finding my feet and feeling like a newbie is on approaching and coming off ridges because I am not used to how this new capability feels. Another drive or two and I am sure it will feel as normal as every day and I am already seeing a big difference on the stability and ability in ridge riding. So, if you're at all interested, in knowing about this, I will post more updates as the weeks go by. 

For the people that want to know, I moved to 17"rims with 285/70/17 AT tires. I've also nothing at all against the 'standard' choice Carnity tire, the Geolandar G015 ... except for the price. My new tires are Rydanz Raptor09 and the price difference per tire was more than AED200 lower. We will see in the longer term if that 'saving' was indeed a saving. 

Massive thanks to @Tbone for all the support and recoveries (as much as there were), @Alain Canivet-Abikhalil, excellent in sweep and @Pacific with the excellent 2nd lead. 

ANd finally, the end of the drive was quite special. I know we have a club drive next weekend, but to find three convoys all arrive at LE at the same time and see faces I have not seen in a while (and find @Jeepie waiting as well) was the perfect end to the drive. 

Thanks to all.   

See you soon in the sand. 

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thanks @Wrangeldand the support team for this lovely morning.

always a pleasure seeing old faces and meeting new ones. it was a challenging yet a fun first FB+ drive. looking forward to many more.

sorry Vinod @Tbonei made you use your recovery gear at this nasty hill today 😀.

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Really enjoyed that drive this morning , thank you @Wrangeld. Lovely to meet some new people too. @Archibald Jurdilove the TJ awesome car , and that self recovery you did in that little bowl was awesome. @Alain Canivet-Abikhalil your driving has come on 10 fold and your position in sweep was amazing and your driving very calm and composed. Pleasure to see !

thanks everyone enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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