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Desert Champions Trophy - 2021 - Winning Team

Afternoon Fewbie Desert Drive - Shaaz and Ale Explore Bab al Mutawha to Faya Rds - Abu Dhabi - 24 Nov 2021

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General Info

This drive is organized in full compliance with the COVID19 guidelines. We expect every member that joins this drive to go through the 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 and above 

Meeting time: 2PM (SHARP - Without any exceptions)

Meeting Point: https://goo.gl/maps/iWtzB7vjE16GWSNE8

Action Plan: A "four-hands" drive, where Shaaz Sha and myself will exchange leads, while exploring an old track I drove a few years back, between the areas of Bab al Mutawha and Faya Roads, running along E20 (or Sweihan Road). There will be plenty of tall and open dunes, some vegetation, a lake or two, and plenty of opportunities to practice side loping, criss-crossing, and some climbing around sand bowls.

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), smiles, face mask, rubber gloves, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

Approximate finish time: 6:00 PM

P.S. Only join if you have a compressor to inflate your tires after the drive.




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Dear Desertnauts.

A quick note on tomorrow's drive. It'll be nice to get back around Sweihan area after a while. Let's just hope there aren't many (if at all) of those tracks and wires left by O&G research machines in the dunes between Sweihan and Al Ain.  This drive will be mostly Shaaz's to run with. Together we'll explore around this old track of mine, with the goal of moving west to east, in the direction of Faya. If we make good time, perhaps we'll venture in Faya proper as well.

The convoy order will be the following:

@Shaaz Sha will start at Second Lead, until we'll switch leads, and I'll fall into SL

@Santoso Marjuki will be in place #3

@Adhir Saxena at #4

@Sunil Mathew will drive in #5 

@Looper at #6

@Zed will be #7, and 

@Thomas Varghese will Sweep.

Considering that the meeting point is quite far away from Dubai, from where most drivers are coming, let's stay in touch through this thread to announce any possible delay. We'll still try to leave as close to 2PM as possible.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Enjoy the evening.

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1 hour ago, Looper said:

Coming though E11 or E311 go to this Petrol Station: ADNOC Petrol Station-Al Mearad (686)

Coming through E611+E75 go to this Petrol Station: ADNOC Service Station

I'm already at ADNOC 754 😀. Having lunch and filled up petrol. 20 min from here to the meeting point

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Thanks to all who showed up on time for the most wonderful drive on a very challenging terrain. It was a surprise and pleasure to meet @Tbone again. Always a treat to watch him wroom among the sands. 

I had my 1st pop out after maybe 6 months which was fixed in no time with good support from @Ale Vallecchi, @Shaaz Sha & @Tbone

@Shaaz Sha along with the Professor @Ale Vallecchi charted a very interesting and challenging route. Soft sands, high dunes, crisscrossing, side slopes, pockets, bowls, what not was there that was not in this drive.  Even though overall kilometers was less it didn't matter as it was very good learning. I wish the Marshal's in @Carnity use this area as Newbie training ground plus to assess the skill levels of Fewbie's, Fewbie +, Intermediates. It has all the challenges an offroader wishes for. I don't know if @Shaaz Sha's car is a Herbie but seems like it acts as one. Always a treat to watch that Xterra climbing high dunes with ease. 

All the drivers which participated @Adhir Saxena, @Santoso Marjuki, @Sunil Mathew, @Looper, @Zed must have left the exit with much satisfaction. For some it was new learning, for some it was brushing up their skills. 

Till we meet again for another drive in the sands - Good night. 

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Thank you guys ..for joining us in such a wonderful drive . We started off on time and entered the area where we had real soft sand and the first one to have a refusal was my self..just minutes after starting the drive. When i was out from the situation @Santoso Marjuki got stuck in the same area , which was a bit tricky. After a bit of shoveling and finally with the muscle power 😅 we could push him out..THAT WAS NICE.. And later i got stuck in a pocket where @Ale Vallecchi had to tug me out and i believe that was the only time we had to use the rope. Today we all had enough learning opportunities since the terrain looked easier ..but very tricky and technical. We could practice most of the skills like long climbs, side sloping , ridge riding and much more. The terrain was challenging but amazing...Loved it and it was a pleasure to be with such a strong convoy. We were really lucky to have a Marshal support in front and an expert support from behind. Though we had a few refusals and stuck ..i believe all of us have done really well to make to the exit. Thank you @Ale Vallecchifor your trust and giving me an opportunity to take the convoy through a totally new area and terrain. Thank you for all your valuable tips and tricks during the drive and in recoveries. Thank you @Tbone for joining us and it was a pleasure having you on board . Thank you for your help in moving the convoy smooth from behind. Thank you @Adhir Saxena, @Sunil Mathew. @Looper, @Zed and @Thomas Varghese .. you guys were amazing today and drove really well considering the challenges we had.. Good work guys 👏. 👏Hope to catch up with you guys soon 🙏. Some pics in the gallery..  




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This drive was one of the most challenging drives I have even been and had a lot of fun driving in that narrow band of tall and highly technical dunes. Sometimes I wondered how on earth are we going to come out of it, but it wasn't no match for @Shaaz Sha. Thanks to @Ale Vallecchi for helping with all the recoveries and @Tbone on in the sweep.

It was good catching up with @Santoso Marjuki@Adhir Saxena, @Sunil Mathew, @Zed & @Thomas Varghese

I had installed a Tazer JL programmer on my Jeep and it was the first time driving in the desert with it. Due to the programmer my car was that was playing some other games with me and I was loosing momentum while driving in my usual way.

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Congrats @Shaaz Sha on yet another wonderfully lead drive, under the able guidance of @Ale Vallecchi.

It was my first time in proper Abu Dhabi, the terrain was tricky and i believe the whole drive was one notch above FB as we had some not-so-easy crossings, some sharp maneuvers, soft sand bowls etc. the sand on slip faces was literally flowing like water at the slightest touch!!

The lines taken by Shaaz, offered us the right blend of excitement, challenges and adrenaline rush and an overall content feeling after the drive. 

@Santoso Marjuki had the opportunity to practice some self recovery by playing with all the techie buttons his Rubicon could offer. You can be proud to have conquered this terrain!! 👍

@Adhir Saxena is back to the desert after a stint of 2 months ,driving in front of me, had couple of refusals and stuck. Thus giving me the chance to do my FIRST TUG EVER,  in my off-road life. I did not announce it earlier , lest you may be scared 😄😂. Your name will be written in red letters in my off-road history book :-) ......Thanks @Ale Vallecchi for the guidance and prompts given during the tug.

Good to drive again with senior drivers @Looper who was right behind me  , @Zed who i met after a long time, and @Thomas Varghese who was his usual self - very active with his comments, interactions and guidance.

Thanks to @Tbone for handling the responsibility of sweep, and hope that you sort put your car issues soon!!

Till we meet again!!

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