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Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:23 pm
It's one of our practices to have All newbies in before Club Members drive because the marshals are going to focus the next upcoming week on the the new joiners. Nevertheless, this kind of drive is bringing all the levels together which really strengthen the social side of our community.
The drive was full of drops and soft sand spots but the sunset sitting was the cherry on the top.
We have great time and a promising season for camping.
Till next time take care and keep the sand flying
Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:21 am
I have always liked all newbie drives, plenty of attendance and great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
2 convoys, Rapailo supported by Rashid with the less experienced drivers, Optimus leading the more experienced ones supported by Shamsi.
I was allocated as sweeper in Optimus' convoy. I knew light would be an issue, driving with the sun on your backs in that area is not ideal but I always get the feeling that Marshalls don't really need to see, it is more a feeling exercise.
Safari style mainly with convoy moving quite well, there was a sector where Optimus turned around and drove towards the sun increasing pace nicely and keeping it until the end of the drive. I thought the convoy did really well, only one pop-out in tricky location as major incident as well as a rare opportunity of doing a winch recovery that I really enjoyed.
If one thing I would have to say to the newbies in the convoy is to keep an eye on distance with the car ahead, this always needs to be changed through the drive depending on speed, type of dunes, softness of the sand ... this is basic and critical if you want to be able to keep on progressing, btw, keep an eye on a drive already in the app with the same Marshall and if you can please join it ... I get the feeling it is going to be a lot of fun for you guys!!!
Drive finished in the normal camping spot where the temperature was already very pleasant and we had the chance to sit and talk for some time.
Finally to thank Rapailo, Rashid, Shamsi and the organizer Optimus for another fantastic afternoon on the sand.
Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:37 pm
We arrived at the meeting point and set about deflating. the weather was calm and pleasant - still a bit hot but not scorching. Drivers started arriving and before long it was an impressive sight with an assortment of cars - mostly FJ's and Jeeps.
A huge thank you to @optimus for arranging the drive for all newbie levels.
A quick briefing and the group split into 2 convoys based on the number of drives completed. the first convoy to be lead by @optimus and founder @alshamsi_m floating, for the more experienced newbies, supported by @David @Petr
I was assigned to the 2nd convoy lead by @rapailo 2nd lead duties were shared between @CARLOSS and @PedroLeal we had @Rashidjass floating to keep a watchful eye on everyone. I was placed at the back as sweeper. We also had @ImranFJ placed in the middle of the convoy. our convoy was with the less experienced newbies and @rapailo set a fantastic track to match the level of the drivers - and I should say they all did extremely well. there were a lot of straight crests, drops, some super soft sand areas and some very technical areas.
Things to watch out for and skills to sharpen
- radio communication, call your second tries, call your clear. it helps to keep the convoy moving smoothly and ensures the safety of everyone.
- following distance, you need to adjust throughout the drive depending on the terrain and pace of the convoy, not to close, not too far
Actually it seemed to be a day of karma for the intermediates - giving the newbies a first hand look at how to get crested and other scenarios. it was karma for me yet again on this drive - towards the end after many ups and downs finally there was a small arch to negotiate. Being at the back of the convoy I was "Playing" a little bit - I took the arch on a slightly higher line with a bit of speed - managed to hit a big bump (we drove in flat light most of the day) then into the very soft sand - the rear of the car started to slip away resulting in the rear tire wall on the down hill side rolling onto the suspension lower bracket - end result tire shredded on the inside wall. a costly mistake on my part. Everyone rallied around to swap out the tire, a difficult location to get the jack point right, stubborn wheel nuts etc but tire swapped out relatively quickly. a huge thank you to @Carloss for his support changing the tire (he is well versed in this particular "FJ Thing" thanks also to @PedroLeal and @Rashidjass
The drive ended at a lovely high point where we rejoined the other convoy, watched the sunset and enjoyed the conversations with everyone.
I am really looking forward to the upcoming drives and camping adventures in the weeks ahead- CM Drive, Dig the Marshals etc, fun times await
Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:43 am
Here I come with another trip report being written on Monday’s early morning taking an expresso while checking last weekend boring business' emails…what else could I ask for?
I went with @rapailo
's convoy first as second lead (thanks buddy for that
) and after in the middle of the convoy. Both @Pedro
took care of the convoy somewhere else, @brett
sweeping and @Rashidjass
…as usual, everywhere! Whenever there was a turn Rashid was there, before a climb, after a drop…same thing.
“Galaxy” drive was a good drive for both new and not so new members because we dealt with hundreds of straight cresting. I lost the count when my little passenger started to feel a bit motion sick
but thanks to Brett we had a nice break after he chopped for his first time one of the rear tires thanks to FJ sharp edges (welcome to the club
). I managed to get my son back on track and after, I helped a bit on the tire’s replacement.
The rest of the drive was nice & easy with our windows open and ac on (I know it is not a friendly environmental practice
) until we reached our usual camping spot and had an amazing time by having some snacks and chitchatting with some members.
Not too much rescue work (2 pulls and a self-recovery thanks to the magic buttons) mainly due to the good performance of the members and their mighty FJs and specially Jeeps moving like gazelles on the top of the dunes…when I was “young” it was different, with some Pajeros, Prados, Cherokees etc but it seems that these new generations are better equipped.
Before I end, thanks a lot to @optimus
for organizing and putting me in the appropriate convoy and @alshamsi_m
for everything you do for the Club & us.
I look forward to meeting the new members next week!
See you soon
Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:12 pm
Level : All Newbie
Area : Qudra - Murquab
Convoys : 2
Lead : Rapailo & Myself
Supporting Marshal : Bu Salem & Rashid
Intermediate support : David, Petr, Pedro, Brett, Imran, Carloss, Alpied
Adv support : Armin
It was overdue to have the all newbie level drive. So the marshals decided to bring all starts together before the next CM and before the adrenaline season starts! I couldn’t think of any other title than Galaxy.
I was glad to see the good number of attendance, some common and some no so common almosters!
As mentioned in above reports, the drivers were divided in 2 convoys. I was leading the one with most of them 10+‘s & only few were < 10.
The first part of of the drive the level was kept below 10 so to guage the convoy response. I was happy to see members doing well even doing the arch’s at some soft walls and even some steep straight crests. Then I decided to gradually up the level by increasing the speed and throwing some side crest on small dunes from wind side to flat. Time to time the convoy had to stop and regroup.
My advise to the 10+’s is to work on developing their speeding skills and you guys should train your reflexes when off-roading at high speed, be ready to overcome obstacles that comes your way!
At last thanks to my supporting intermediates Alpied, David & Petr! & our advance Armin!
And ofcourse thanks to Bu Salem for always keeping the convoy safe!
Last but not least thanks to my passenger Ehab for a great company & all the newbies for comming!
See you soon!
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 4:30 pm
Passenger seat with the leading marshal, what an experience.
I got extremely disappointed when my radiator fan stopped working, luckily 100 meters before the meeting point. My luck continued when both @Rashidjass and @optimus insisting that i join as a passenger. Thank you both.
10+ convoy led by Optimus, @alpied as second lead, @Petr support and @David as sweeper. The trip started easy and Optimus gradually increased the level. Everyone did well overall and the trip ended in our usual sitting area. It was great meeting this large number of offroaders.
Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:57 pm
4th drive as a Newbie
Since we arrived at the meeting point a bit late or almost close to moving time. Immediately went for deflating and fixing the flag. And Proceed in joining the group for the initial briefing and roll calls. The groups was divided into 2 convoys (10 + drive and -10).
Our group was assigned to the 2nd convoy which is led by RAFAILO and initially 2nd leaded by Carlos and later on it was the turn of Pedro to the 2nd lead. We were assisted by Brett, Rashid and Imran. I was assigned as a 3rd car perhaps because I have the least drive within the group.
It was a Straight Crest Festival from the get go up to the last few minutes of the drive. Which is fun, technical and educational.
DISTANCIA AMIGO = It indeed pays well if you keep a distance with the car in front of you specially that the 2nd lead is obviously miles away with me in terms of driving skills. I observed for 2 or 3 times that whenever I am too close and car in front of me lost some momentum for him he can still recover and move forward. On my side I choose to give it a 2nd try. With that I give some more distance and start watching his moves as well as is flags. Though not too far as we’ll lost the tracks.
MAINTAIN MOMENTUM = Maintain momentum but not too fast specially on straight crest as will give you an instant wings …
Kudos to Optimus who organized the drive, to Alshamsi the founder and Rafailo for leading our group.
Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:49 pm
I have to say this was the most difficult and challenging drive I ever had.
one of My passengers decided to sleep about 2 hrs before the drive ends. he's 1 & 1/2 yrs old. so I had to make sure his head doesn't bounce all over, which means I tried to drive super slow, and thanks to Optimus he took us to egg basket look a like right when he slept :D
However before he sleeps he kept saying Yay Daddy Yay, so that tells it all.
after event we sat together watching sunset, and suddenly @alshamsi_m asked me out of no where "when did you join us" , all I could think of ( Im busted ) should I lie and say I was there early, or tell them I was few min late. I think I got nervous and chose a random number " I came at 11" I actually forgot what time we started driving!!!
then after many back and forth I noticed he meant when did I join the club over all.
phew, he didn't notice my timing and I don't think he will anymore so Im safe.
@optimus you did amazing lead but I was driving like snail at the end.
Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:55 pm
This was one of those drives that I thinking about for days before and literally could not wait.
I got there a little early and as always there were already a number of Almosters there already. I think I need to arrive the day before to be the first at one of these drives these days. Plenty of time to check the car over, deflate and fit my flags before the briefing.
There was an initial briefing with @alshamsi_m & @optimus before were split into 2 convoys with a full briefing for each. I was added to the 10+ group.
Our convoy was lead by @optimus with support from @Petr, @alpied & @David.
@optimus was on top form as always and gave us a mixture of beautiful, flowing dunes to tackle. Lots of straight crests, where there were a few sticks (including me on one occasion) and there were a few second tries here are there.
He also found a few traps for us here and there so we all had to bring our 10+ A-Game. One small dune was hiding a special treat and caused a pop out in a difficult spot. The car behind me had the pop out and when I was checking my tire pressures I also noticed that I had also narrowly missed a pop-out myself, with my front right tire being completely flat.
The second half of the drive switched the level up a notch. The pace was increased and the dunes became more technical. When I found my rhythm during this section it was the so much fun. Finding the line and keeping up with the car in front enough to make sure you were following the correct track.
Mentally spent after the intense last section we all met up at the final area, along with the other convoy. A great opportunity to chat to other Almosters and share in some of the treats that some of the guys were generous enough to share.
Now there is a gap until I will join you guys again while the new CM almosters come through the system. But I want to see you all soon.