A Fistful of Dunes 18/06/22

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David
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The drive was what it said on the description, technical.

A bit of fog that delayed the start of the drive, Daggerfall leading, Tom 2nd lead and the flag-less Ehab as sweeper.

The 1st area that we negotiated is one of my favorites, I have been there many times and I love it, soft sand, no room for errors and dunes of a decent size, 2nd area also very enjoyable, dunes in a different type of formation but sand still very very soft.

Luckily for me I was towards the front, I felt sorry for those towards the back having to drive on chewed up sand and tracks.

We did not manage to get a very good flow, convoy a bit too long for the type of drive, plenty of interruptions, difficult conditions for the leading car to get things moving at a good pace.

I have been lucky to spend a long time driving small technical dunes, I do love them, if you get a good convoy speed going I personally prefer them to the larger and faster bowls, also small technical dunes I believe to be the best conditions for training, you need to constantly adapt your distance with the car in front of you, speed up and down, concentration in order to follow the car in front, reflexes to deal with unexpected obstacles, ... I hope we get more of these coming our way.

Not surprised leading Marshall called it off when he did, I was following tracks and cars and I could hardly see any shape in the dunes, I can only imagine how hard it was for the car opening the track with the sun above (and a bit to the back) and very very white sand.

While driving in these conditions came to mind that it would be great if allowed to organize a drive for our Marshalls, Explorers and Advanced drivers, navigation and speed, similar to EIB but without the eggs ... They do a lot of us so it would be nice to give them a drive for them to enjoy and the rest of us to work/prepare, I am pretty sure some of my fellow intermediate friends would be willing to help ... maybe when temperatures drop a bit and PM please so we can enjoy the sunset afterwards???

Finally time to say thanks, first to Giorgio for organizing the drive, Daggerfall for a great lead, Shamsi, Rashid, Optimus and Orlantsev for the support and all the interm that joined in.

See you on the sand soon.
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Sorin
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Hi everyone,

I didn’t realize we’re driving in this area until the last moment, but as David mentioned above, these types of drives definitely make us better off-roaders as you can’t lose focus for a single second or you’re in trouble. Small dunes, soft sand, long convoy, intermediate level are the perfect ingredients for a very interesting drive. I lost focus for a second and did a second try in the wrong spot and got crested, thanks @dorudoru for the pull. And that was in the warm-up area wtfsmilie

After being done with the warmup we rallied thru the sabkha at high speed and we started in an even more challenging technical area and softer sand (if that’s possible). We did keep a good flow initially but then we had more stops and break in the flow.

This is not an understatement: it’s a miracle that there were no pop-outs at all!

I loved the drive and, finally I want to say I totally agree with @David ‘s idea of a special drive for the Marshals, Explorers and Advance.

Thank you @giorgio , @Daggerfall , @Rashidjass , @optimus , @alshamsi_m and @orlantsev
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giorgio
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A Fistful of Dunes

The original plan was to drive in the Al Ain area but due to technical issues with my car I had to change the plan.

The selected area was chosen with a purpose. Al Qudra area has a misleading reputation. The subject area if you know where to go and how to drive it can give you the chills.

I would like to start with thanking @Daggerfall for taking over the lead on this drive (since I was attending with a borrowed car. Thank you @alshamsi_m).

The foggy morning with the limited visibility, high morning temperature and humidity made us aware that it won't be an easy day.

The convoy moved with a 10 min delay with the plan to go back to the basics of off-roading.

The terrain is strictly unforgivable even for the lead Marshall. No room for mistakes. Not for a second you can leave your guard down. YOU SNOOZE YOU LOOSE. It is a closed quarters' combat battle.

I don't know if it is even possible you manage a flawless drive in that terrain. All I know is that repetition makes perfect and that we need to repeat this drive again and again until we make it perfect ( be ready for Fistful II and Fistful III if needed)


Usually on the list of items that need to be brought to the driver's attention are x,y,z. For this drive I would say that every single thing needed improvement .

We all witnessed our weak spots of performance ( each of you had different issues) so reflect and address your points for improvement and get mentally ready for round 2.

We are going back to get revenge

Closing I would like to thank the Organizer @giorgio (thank you mate you did well listening to @alshamsi_m to pick this area) @Daggerfall for taking over the drive and delivering such a nice lead, @optimus for the support and all you fellow drivers that manage to attended and survived it.


Until next time drive safe and looking forward to see you all soon
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Tomvanhouten
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Hello everyone,

Getting the PM for this drive, made be excited straight away! This area is really nice and I had a slight idea what was waiting for us; some people talk (too) much and if you catch up on it, you get it Psmiley

Waiting in the foggy but somewhat warm morning for the briefing with my fellow fugitives, heard the roll call and off we went: Qudra to Faqaa intermediate style!
What a lovely drive, full of excitement. Small dunes, high dunes, no space to pick up speed, soft sands (powder soft) and a long convoy, this can only mean we enjoyed it fully!

Thanks @giorgio (and your mate), @Daggerfall, @optimus and @alshamsi_m

Really hope to go back soon again

Tom
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Hello everyone!

It was good to be back on sand after a short break of 2 weeks…both my car and I were thirsty of drives and “A fistful of Dunes” came to save the day thanks to Giorgio. thumbsup

I was told about this chain of dunes behind the CM MP but I have never had the opportunity to come and explore so it was great to tick another spot in my off road to do list…but let’s start from the beginning….

I arrived on time with some of the usual suspects already deflating and all of a sudden, we saw Big Red roaring in the distance…that was not looking good and we all said: “Let’s hope that Shamsi is not leading today with this little red evil” whut ...and thanks to Gaia App I took advantage to try the passenger seat for a few minutes in this little red thing and oh man! This is not a car, it is a little red bullet when Shamsi drives it…ditches are not ditches anymore, U-turns just take half a meter and it seems that gravitational law does not apply to it. I hope I can take some more anytime soon. It was an incredible experience! blank

Now the drive…I saw many cars, a lot of support and said to myself: This is going to be a bloodshed brains...! , so I took a place at the front and I think it was actually a good idea because of the terrain condition: super soft sand with reduced visibility due to sun inclination. I was car number 4 and it went perfectly fine for me cool as tracks were still ok after Daggerfall, Tom and David and as expected, the “party” of second tries and stucks started just behind me.

I really enjoyed Daggerfall tracks selection…he always finds the right and sometimes the one option doable between all the mess of dunes, ditches and bushes…a real pleasure following his lines.

Finally, I would like to thank to @giorgio for organizing, @Daggerfall for leading and the rest of supporting marshals (@optimus and @Rashidjass ) and founder @alshamsi_m for taking care of us.

See you soon
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alshamsi_m
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Hello Everyone

It was really nice to see the intermediates chilling in the morning waiting for the fog to clear up. As some of you realized that recently my red Jimny decided to change his name from "BigRed" to "Papa" so I coming excited having in mind I might have the chance to lead today's thumbsup . Well we opened the topic for discussion with democracy to vote but unfortunately, we got the unanimous decision to vot AGAINST my lead :dark_mood:

Well @Daggerfall was nice enough to volunteer to lead us and he did a great job " There are climbs only Daggerfall can do or a solid excel car can do " that is another story for fire camps !!!

We had a great time that brought back our intermediates to the basics because they are important no matter how much you drive!!! cool

Thanks to @giorgio for organizing , @Rashidjass & @optimus for the support

See you in the sand
Hoppfully A NIGHT drive in the same area
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orlantsev
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Hello all,

The initial drive location was supposed to be in Al Ain. Big dunes and constantly high RPMs in this heat could mean a choice between performance and aircon, so I was quite please when the location changed to the smaller dunes of Al Qudra. It was dense fog coming to the meeting point and as soon as you get out of the car the skin gets very sticky. Al Qudra is one of the areas where I have seen most of off-road accidents (maybe except Badayer). I think it is a combination of proximity to Dubai and a challenging terrain. The SWB has an advantage as spaces are smaller, and for most part of the drive I was quite relaxed. Driving in the second half of the convoy you appreciate the softness of the sand even more, so no choice but to deviate a bit form the track which I think is fine in these conditions. At one point I followed what seemed to be @rashidjass track to avoid the completely broken approach, but it led me a bit far from the main track and going down one dune I got into a perfect V ditch and had to call for a recovery which was assisted by @ehab and @rashidjass. The exhaust was total buried in sand, and once the car got out I realized the bottom plastic part of the bumper completely melted. I cut it off with a knife and the damage is almost unnoticeable. There was one area in the drive where the second half of the convoy stalled. It was a small balcony with a bumpy approach, and once you are on it you need to instantly climb again. @alshamsi_m did it with ease. I tried twice on a low gear, but unsuccessfully. It is very typical in this area that dunes are so tight that there is very little space to gain momentum to climb the next dune. As it was observed by many it was a nice change in the setting after big dunes of recent intermediate trips.
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Daggerfall
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Hi Almosters,

It was a foggy morning before the drive....

While we were chit chatting with fellow Almosters @alshamsi_m made a "big" entrance with "Big Red" grin .

Fog + @alshamsi_m + Big Red ...... I remember some good old memories where he was leading us at Badayer in a foggy morning...... And I thought ...we will have fun you're kidding, right thumbsup

Maybe next time.....

Our organizer @giorgio informed the members that it will be a technical drive where we will try to tackle dunes in a "different' way...What I love most about our club is we are trying to train our members to tackle any type of terrain, any track, any dune, any time etc..... thumbsup Not like "just go to desert and drive".....In time they will become one with their cars and will know by heart what they can do and what they cannot!

As planned there were many second tries, stucks and struggle, which we call "learning opportunities".

We drove to a time when we cannot see clearly anymore and everything looks flat. Thanks to all supported participated and organized the drive

Hope you guys enjoyed it and see you next time

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Intermediates in Alqudra, what can go wrong?? oh god, i thought those technical drives are only for newbies, i was mistaken. We had tremendous number of second tries and stucks, and yes in al qudra.

Enjoy watching

A Fistful of Dunes - Intermediate Trip
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