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Desert Champions Trophy - 2021

Afternoon Fewbie Plus Desert Drive - Exploration: Biyatah to Al Ghail - RAK - 12 Oct 2021


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Thank you @Ale VallecchiVallecchi for a great drive as always, I enjoyed the technical areas a lot and tried out my new high profile tires.

Thank you for the sweep @Shaaz Sha

Always nice to hear the raptor at the back @Russyou were lighting up the track for me towards the end of the drive.

Pleasure meeting the rest of the convoy as well! 

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Great midweek drive, new area, beautiful scenery, different vegetation , totally unexpected terrain for me,  which demanded a different style of driving all throughout. Technical but not the style we normally do between tight dunes. Here, the challenge was to avoid tree stumps, sand mounds with hard bushes, varied vegetation and on top of it - soft sand and slip faces!!

Also , a spectacular view of the sunset on a sand dune horizon...priceless!!

Thanks @Ale Vallecchi for organizing such a different/creative drive, after a long gap. I remember seeing a similar drive notification way back , but could not sign up due to some reason , probably it was rated as fewbie or something while i was  a newbie.

Thanks to @Russ our recovery champion for the day, who gave me a quick tug on a longitudinal crest , and @Shaaz Sha for the sweep.

Good to drive with all other fellow drivers, and see you soon.

And happy to see that @Zixuan Huang - Charlie has sorted out his battery issue ---- a tint off bad luck yesterday, you missed the drive!

 

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Thanks @Ale Vallecchi for allowing me to join this drive with short notice, it was new terrain for me and certainly some tight tricky spots to manoeuvre in and squeeze through in my truck!

It was pleasing to be able to help out with the recoveries (and inflate @Zixuan Huang - Charlie Charlie’s tyres before he’d even touched sand 🤣) which made an interesting drive even better. 

The mountains in the distance and the setting sun behind us were amazing sights!

Great driving by all and see you soon 🌵

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Exploration Biyatah to Al Ghail (RAK) - Drive Report

Work in the invisible world as hard as you do in the visible - Rumi

At one point during the drive a question came, asking if the nature that we were crossing is typical of the RAK region. The question stemmed from the fact that while driving along the highway, the dunes that line its length do not betray the abundance of vegetation, nor the different shapes the desert takes, and which we were fully immersed within. An invisible world was disclosing itself in front of us, with each crossing, each climb and each sharp drop. 

The drive ended up being divided in two halves. The first, from Biyatah's meeting point to the mid-point, was slow and extremely technical, through multiple cordons of longitudinal dunes (the very long ones with soft sand on all sides, including the top), where suitable crossing points were to be found in between sharp and narrow bowls hidden behind what appeared to be the dunes' crest, but were instead just steps up toward the actual ridge, of soft, moving sand. Most refusals in this terrain were experienced while reaching the dunes' tops, and crossing over the crests' soft ridges. Up to this point the pace was a slow, yet unavoidable, 12 Km/h. The second half of the drive, once reached the first sabkhas, and turned south-east toward Al Ghail, was more exhilarating and fast paced, with multiple ridge-riding the more accessible crests of the lower and more open longitudinal dunes. Plus, a short night drive, across the last "savannah-like" sabkha, to reach the pylon track's exit. At the end, this second half allowed us to compile a final 21 Km/h average moving speed, which speaks volumes of the speed at which we zipped along the last dunes.

Great and diverse vegetation, beautiful open views, local farms and roaming camels, and a remarkable sunset were salient features of this very scenic and diverse drive. In the end, we went for 56Km, in 2:36 hours of driving, and only 30 minutes of breaks.

All drivers did well: @Sunil Mathew provided a very clean Second Lead in such a challenging environment. @Shaaz Sha was a very attentive and careful Sweep. Once @Russ had his rope out, there was no putting it back, guaranteeing all the tugs of the day were made, with great care, by his monster truck. Great driving and support by @Thomas Varghese (precious help in sorting out Charlie's battery issue), @Charbel, @Anoop Nair and @Humayun Ghias, who all did great in all kinds of terrains (slow or fast).

BTW, I hope that @Zixuan Huang - Charlie managed to reach the garage safely, and have his battery checked. If all is good, you are welcome to join this weekend's upcoming drive, in a similar area of RAK. If not, it'll be for another time: we were all sorry to see you go before the start of the drive.

Well done everybody. Looking forward to seeing you soon again.

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@Ale Vallecchi I really enjoyed the drive. Even my car was telling me I had done justice to him by making him perform tasks for which he was made. I felt proud I could follow you from point A to B in my car without much hiccups. I believe my car was designed and made to be a true offroader and as his driver could make him do just that. Some people find pleasure in making their cars fly in the air but to actually make the car stay on the ground on bumpy tracks is more challenging than making it fly. I felt proud when I saw my boot still intact after going through all the bumps. BTW how as a lead do you really assess which path to take when going through rough terrains like this full of bumps and vegetations? Really amazing. The places you exited on the longitudinal dunes really kept me wonder how did you know where to exit when checking the map, the convoy behind you and the terrain ahead of you? I checked each place you exited and immediately understood you were right at every instance. There was no other place you could drive on and exit and make us exit safely too. Amazing. 

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