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Posted: 05 Apr 2018 18:46
side by sides
ten gevolge doktersadvies en veto van madam niet met de moto maar op 4 wielen
en met nen auto van een oliepissend merk dan nog
ik had ni veel keuze, mijnen oude Landcruiser is voor heel ander terrein gebouwd en mijn offroadspitsbroeder kon een "okkazieke" op de kop tikken en vroeg of ik als Co meewou..
daar heb ik zeker zeven duizendste van een seconde over nagedacht
enfin, volgende donderdag zijn we der dus mee weg
ben benieuwd waar we geraken
te volgen op de MDC site
op FB en instagram bij 1313Racing
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 05 Apr 2018 21:27
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 06 Apr 2018 09:57
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 06 Apr 2018 11:48
ik heb mijn schupke mee
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 08 Apr 2018 12:10
't spook wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2018 11:48
ik heb mijn schupke mee
En het zand niet uit de zandbak gooien
En niet in uw mond steken
Brengt ge een zakske zand mee, kheb nog wat werk
Have fun en de groeten aan de chauffeur.
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:54
twastof mo een bekke keut no man goeste...
Fotos op FB 1313Racing, op instagram vindt ge er ook een paar
Somewhere in 2017 I get a call from my buddy and partner in crime. All Gregg asks is if I have something on my agenda from April 14th till April 22nd... My guess is he will announce me what I will be doing during that period. Yep... “if I feel like joining him for the Morocco Desert Challenge 2018?’
Mmmm... gotta think that one through for at least one tenth of a second. ‘Sure I’ll join you, I’ve been dreaming of this for years’
Turns out he already bought a car which would do the job... a Land Rover Discovery 1... being a Toyota guy some might think this is a bad idea but knowing Gregg the car will be pretty much bullet proof by the time we start in Agadir.
The test in Baja Deutschland is a good one and shows the potential of the car. As we learn later, a lot of people noticed the then orange Discovery...
Little green and black paintjob and a headgasket later the Desert Disco was ready for its second and final test in Ijmuiden which was less succesfull, a turbo problem left the car powerless.
So we needed a new turbo fast, the car was going on the Desert Foxx trailer to Agadir in 3 days time. Guy Ooms did the job in no time, creating a suitable turbo out of 2 existing ones so the car was back to A1 condition , I know, such a thing has never existed for any LR but believe me this is a special one...
While the Desert Foxx crew transported our Disco south we took a plane to Agadir. Luxury we are not used to... At Charleroi airport there was a suspiciously large crowd wearing team jackets and all heading for the same plane... We run into Jan who turns out to be one of the Desert Foxx crew. Nice guy, we get along just fine. On the plane one third of the passengers are going to the MDC. Special feeling.
Agadir... the experience starts with the taxi ride to the city. Discussing prices, jumping in the first car whose driver offers you a fair price, the way they drive... seem to have another set of rules than on the European continent but we get to the hotel in due time and more importantly in one piece.
Time to check out those who are already at the parc fermé, our assistance actually arrives 5 minutes before we set foot in the parc fermé. Almost no time to greet Wouter, Sigi and Mon, they go to work the second they arrive... Getting the cars of the trailer, setting up camp for the next 2 nights in the parc fermé and back to the hotel for some well-deserved food.
Real nice food too in the hotel the organisation booked for us, just opposite of the parc fermé. Drinks with dinner are harder to come by... you order them calling the waiter who needs to get a signature of his chief on the order before going to the table in the back of the restaurant where the big chief who takes care off the bill puts yet another signature on it after which the waiter, usually a young boy disappears to where the fridges are before coming back with the drinks, he then puts them on the table and waits for his chief who comes and opens them... what happens when you want to pay is beyond words... let’s say the chief tries to get twice the money and if you show him the bill on the table he simply takes the bill away and you have nothing to go by... except I did, a pair of big hands and a solemn promise to strangle the man who suddenly accepted our money for the right amount and disappeared never to be seen again around our table...
For every rip-off specialist there are 10 nice waiters, helping out where they can with a smile.
Saturday evening, Johan and Pelle, driving the other car on the Desert Foxx assistance team, arrive and the mood gets even better. We are complete now and although it’s not a team competition a real sense being a team sets in. Technical inspection goes well for both cars and we just have to attend a GPS workshop and a briefing by big chief Gert Duson...
Sunday morning we break camp and head from Agadir to Plage Blanche on the coast. Wauter and the assistance left real early. My guess is he wants the best spot on the Plage Blanche bivouac and when we finally get there I seem to be right. First in line with a breathtaking view over the beach and the ocean.
The liaison to Plage Blanche is easy, all tarmac, and as we used to see on other competitions, police roadblocks only concern other mortal souls, not participants of the Challenge. We meet some other competitors on the road and discover the scenery this country has to offer.
I’m getting nervous, want to be up to Gregg’s expectations and not let him down, it’s thanks to him I can do this and it has been on my bucket list from when I saw the first images of the “Dakar” when I was a kid... Hope it goes away once the start of the prologue is given.
Small roadbook to the start and waiting for our turn... we are one but last to leave from the cars which means not only a long wait but also the first race trucks starting 15 minutes behind us. Staying in front of the trucks till we hit the beach where they can easily pass is very important to us as it also concerns our safety...
When the start is given all the anxiety seems to vanish. The fast tracks on the first part are a good introduction to the way the roadbooks are written and give me the opportunity to get comfortable with the symbols. Gregg enjoys himself throwing the Desert Disco left and right, jump follows jump and as the car seems to be perfect (I know, it’s a Land Rover) I settle in my unusual role as copilot. People who know me are perfectly aware I get sick in any car whenever I’m not driving and have to read a map. Nothing here. I guess it’s blind faith in my pilot. When the fast tracks disappear we dive into the long canyon leading us to the beach. This is stuff we are used to. Mud, deep sand, steps up and down, water passages... there are cars stuck everywhere. We pick our way through without hesitation, deciding on where to cross mud or deep water in the blink of an eye. Way to the left a green Landcruiser who tried an alternative track is stuck for life. We opt for the right side and get through. A photographer on the left, a mule to the right, some trees, lots of rocks... after half an hour in the canyon I get to the marking in the roadbook saying “in 2.3 km take right and go 25km flat out to the finish over the beach. I give my pilot the indication, put the roadbook away and shoot some pictures with my small camera. It’s a sight to see the way the rocky walls of the canyon merge into sand and high dunes before hitting the beach. On the beach we cannot find the hard sand right away and our top speed is about 65 km/h. We are too far from the water. When we see the Mammouth truck pass at 140 km/h way to the left we change lanes and hit 130km/h. Better. We pass between the wreckage of an old wooden ship and veer to the right where the finish is supposed to be. There is a haze over the beach. It’s like mist. We slow down when we see the finish and can brake just in time for a deep gully carved out by the receding ocean. We will learn later that last year’s winner was less fortunate hitting the ditch at top speed, rolling 7 times and coming to a stop 130 meters further. Luckily they were unharmed.
We finished somewhere in the middle of the pack, 40 something if I remember correctly. That’s good. We are rookies in a car everybody seems to take some pity in after all.
Confidence grows a little. I start feeling good in my role as copilot. During that evening’s briefing, big chief explains the roadbook for the next day will be altered because the plan was to go up the canyon we came down in today but allegedly there are still some cars and trucks stuck in what has become an impossible swamp with bomb craters to get through. So we enjoy dinner, which is real good, incredible actually, and wait for the roadbook changes before going to sleep.
First real stage is the marathon stage of the Challenge. 470 km total length. Possible but not easy. Very technical tracks too. Very stony and hard on suspension and tires. We decide to go steady, not too fast and get our Disco to the finish line whatever it takes.
It’s hot, very hot. Knowing full well I usually have physical problems when it’s hot I decide to take good care not to dry out. We get up real early and are first on the beach. We look at the start of the motorcycles and quads. A real sight to behold. Just after an incredibly beautiful sunrise over the bivouac the first motorcyclists start in waves of 4. One of the quads has what looks to be an LC8 KTM engine and leaves them all behind... 98HP standard is not bad...
We start per 2 and the other car is a Landcruiser 80 which looks pretty standard. No use trying to outrun the 4.2 6 cilinder Turbo on the beach... when we hit 130 they start pulling away and disappear in the haze hanging over the beach. Nothing we can do but hope we can get them in the technical parts of the course. 25kms of beach, hardly 2 in the canyon and up to the right. That’s where the GPS goes crazy because waypoint 5 has become waypoint 1 so for some reason the GPS doesn’t accept the waypoint. We drive over it twice but still no beep. So we take a picture of the car at the waypoint and go on. Navigation is pretty difficult. Everybody is going in any direction it seems. We go the wrong way too but realise soon enough and when we hit the next waypoint the drawing in the roadbook does have no resemblance at all with the actual situation. Worst of all, we have to drive to crops if we want to follow the given cap so we go around and have a tough 10 minutes before finding some usable tracks. We decide to go for those together with the Landcruiser who started with us and find the petrol stop for bikes and SSV’s some kilometers further. When we cross the road it gets really stony and technical. One of the first cars to pass us there is Johan and Pelle in the Defender. We look at each other as they go really fast on those sharp stones. Too fast. On overtaking us the left the track with only slightly less sharper stones and got a puncture. So we pass again and continue. Not too fast, not too slow... or so we think.
About half an hour later they pass again and disappear in a cloud of dust. Our Sentinel system keeps us on our toes. Not so much the cars but the trucks really worry us. Especially on the narrow mountain tracks which are hardly as wide as our car with a nice drop on one side and nowhere to get aside and let them through. But the truck drivers seem to understand our problem and signal a friendly thank you when we get to the bottom and finally can get out of their way. The stop at “Moeke’s”, Big Chief’s mother who makes sandwiches for the competitors somewhere along the way with her team seems hours away... When we finally get there I’m done... I feel sick to the bone... .
Thinking I am drying out Gregg and the crew at the stop give me water, a coke, some isotonic drink and a salt solution. And then realise I already drunk 3 liters from one of the camel bags in the car. That means I’m kinda drowning and they just gave me everything I didn’t need because they were under the impression I was completely dried out. Instead of the mandatory 20 minutes we rest for 45 minutes before hitting the tracks again. Meanwhile Johan and Pelle left and are in front again. We meet Fleur, a woman motorcyclist who gets off her bike with a big smile seeming to enjoy herself. The oldest biker of the pack stops too... he’s looking a little bit like me... not too good... We all get our act more or less together and leave...
But it’s getting worse. I seem to be carsick, my stomach won’t budge, I cannot concentrate even for a minute which is a small catastrophy because without precise instructions Gregg cannot go faster than he can see without risking missing a ditch or a big rock or hole in the track. So our pace slows even further. At a certain point we get into the first feshfesh, the car fills up with dust and I have to concentrate on breathing and cannot read the roadbook for 2 or 3 minutes... we pick up a waypoint by accident and when the dust settles we stand on top of an hill with the Japanese FJ Cruiser and a truck. Not the right way. We go down again see other competitors come out of the feshfesh our way and drive up the hill where we were... we do not go up again. We stay below the hill and find the track which leads us into a dry riverbed. Feshfesh again, stranded cars and a truck. Gregg gets us past those, gets out of the riverbed, takes a right turn, stops under one of those typical umbrella trees providing a lot of shade and gets me out of the car. He makes me lie down on my back, wets a cloth with the 40 degrees water from the camelbag, puts that on my head and starts whirling a T shirt around to create some wind which gives a real cool feeling to the wet cloth. Then he gets out a tin of fruit cocktail we always take with us on this kind of crazy adventures. Combines sugar and drink... he feeds it to me while I lie on my back. After having nursed me back to health I climb back in the car and for a short while I feel better. Just then Gregg hits a rock and the rear left tire blows out. Shit. That’s all we needed. Stopping in the shade of a tree we get out and guess what... no way to open the rear door to access wheels and jack... So Gregg gets in the car, climbs through the roll cage and over the tires to try and help me open it from the inside. When we finally succeed and he crawls/falls out of the car he looks in real bad shape. So I get out another tin of fruit cocktail and it’s my time to feed him. We change the tire in nowhere near to a record time and get back into the green oven. After that it goes downhill for me again and a strange kind of lethargy sets in. Off course I loose count of the distances and of our real position in the roadbook but we run into our 60 something years old motorcyclist again who gets us back on track. We manage more or less to stay on track but it’s getting dark and at a certain point Gregg takes the roadbook from me. I remember some parts of that last bit but not everything. When we cross the finish line I’m completely finished. I even remember almost getting mad at Gregg because he talked to some people trying to find our assistance in camp. When we get in the Desert Foxx team shows its worth. They are excellent mechanics. But they are even better human beings. The immediately recognize the state I’m in, help me out of the car onto the bench next to the table under the tent and give me a cold drink so I can get my senses back. That’s a process which takes about half an hour. We still are not too late to go grab some great food from the organisation’s catering and slowly get back to our normal state. I’m hugely disappointed in myself, feeling I let my pilot down. This is what I wanted to avoid but in trying to avoid it I ran into it my eyes wide open. Being real good friends we can talk about it and decide to bin all the things I’m afraid of before leaving the next day. A good shower later we’re almost human again.
The night doesn’t bring a lot of rest because next to our tents a truck who got out of the stage even later than we did, parks up and the mecanics start working on it till 4am.
During breakfast we realise it’s the truck Jo (Raemen) co-drives. They had a puncture, didn’t realise it in time and destroyed the rim. Since their truck only carries tires and no rims the were stuck in the desert for hours on end.
When we check our starting position we realise we dropped from 40 something to 68th place. Not good. Knowing full well what happened yesterday can not happen again we decide to drive fast, so we do not stay out on the track endlessly and can keep our focus on roadbook reading and driving. For my part, I decide not to drink too much and keep cool. How I managed that? Easy, the camelbag was used to rince my mouth after which I let the water run onto my chest, wetting my T-shirt and being kept cool by a constant flow of air from the roofduct and the sliding windows. I only drink from a bottle, in order to be able to see how much I drink, something you do not know if you use a camelbag.
Tracks promise to be slightly less stony than yesterday, we go through the military domain and have the first dunes 50km before the finish.
We start off as if it were a 70km prologue. I get it wrong on the first deep stoney ditch where we try the wrong side to get out. We swiftly reverse track and find the good way out. GO. Speed climbs as confidence rises again. This is it, the symbioses between driver and copilot, indications right on target, fine tuning not to slow down too soon before a ditch or yet another oued, counting down the distance before the next difficulty. I soon realise Gregg is on a high too, drifting the car even when speeds reach 3 digits, going flat out on some of the salt flats we cross, drifting through military checkpoints to the joy of the poor devils standing guard in the desert. We even see some mirages... impressive stuff if it’s the first time you encounter such a phenomenon.
Before we know it we are at “Moeke’s desert café”. They all remember me from yesterday and want to know if I’m okay today. I am. Feel on top of the world despite the fact our car cannot keep the dust out. That results in great pics of our orange dusty faces. A fresh sandwich accompanied by a coke for the sugar and an aquarius for its isotonic properties later we’re ready to hit the tracks again. A quick check of the belts and we’re off. Twenty minutes exactly. Getting better at this. Johan and Pelle left a couple of minutes before us so that means we made up a lot of time. We meet them again somewhere along the track, a hose from the radiator seems to have popped. They are repairing.
Somewhere along the track, in a deep sandy ditch we see the roof of another car. We enter the ditch from the other side and help the french team out of their bad position. We’ll meet for a drink later (or so we think). Sand becomes a reality and we have to stop behind 3 cars and a truck stuck in some feshfesh. We try the deep side of the ditch where no one had put a wheel and get through in one go. Johan and Pelle tell us later they also got stuck there but the Gregoor truck helped them out. Meanwhile we make good progress and speeds are over 120 km/h most of the time.
Then we get to a CP after which there seems to be a traffic jam. cars allover the track, people walking around them and then, when you look up you understand... dunes... real dunes... knowing full well that if those cars all get in the dunes at the same time we deflate our tires in record speed, get back in the car and go for the dunes...adrenaline is pumping... this is what I was waiting for, this is what makes it all worth it... Gregg is on another planet altogether and surfs the dunes with our under powered Desert Disco. He’s done this before and it shows. No hesitation, no fear. Only wild determination to get through these dunes. We pass cars, trucks, abandoned bikes, even SSVs and when the car lacks the power to make it to the top of some dune Gregg aims to the left which is lower but this leads us into one of those short holes in the dunes you never get out of if you don’t get through the first time... we don’t... get through the first time. I get out, put the plates under the wheels, Gregg backs it up till he’s almost on his nose on the other side, shows me where to put the plates which is halfway up the highest way out of this pit and guns it... I still don’t believe it but he made it up and over... Only then do I realise I’m standing in an oven, heat coming from above and below alike... it’s so damn hot in this hole... so I get the plates and stumble up the sand... hardest thing I’ve ever done physically...
The Portugese truck passed while we were stuck and we follow it through the dunes. Seems we make good progress... Then a hole neither of us did see, the car dives nose first on the hard rock, landing on the right front wheel... nothing seems to be broken... so we head for the next challenge... judging by the position of the helicopter we’re right on track. We realise there are not many tracks where we drive and will learn later we were in 15th position at that moment... just before exiting the dunes engine temperature rises...
Gregg notices and tells me one more dune and we’re out of it, then we stop to let the engine cool... but it wasn’t to be... Driving down the last dune we hear a metallic sound from the engine and before Gregg can cut it it stops...
We both know this is the end...
We both need a couple of breaths to take it in, to realise it’s finished and we won’t get to the big dunes in Merzouga...
But hey, you know this can happen... it’s a mechanical sport after all and we drove a Land Rover...
The Dutch yellow Mercedes passes and promises to alarm our assistance team. We contact the organisation using the satellite phone and 45 minutes later get real help in the person of Johan and Pelle when they get out of the dunes. They pull us some kilometers to CP3 where we can wait for the sweeper truck. We settle in the shadow of the CP, get a chair and above all a Pastis on the rocks... incredible...
The french volunteers hardly ever see the camp, the go from fuel stop one day to a CP the next... respect.
We meet two other french citizens living in Morocco and driving their Landcruiser where whatever leads them will take them. We try to get a deal with some nomads to pull us to the bivouac, in Erg Lihoudi at La Dune du Juif but prices are too high. It is getting dark fast. We settle for the night because the organisation will not let our assistance come and get us and as the nomads realise we are getting ready to sleep at the spot prices drop and we find a guy smoking marihuana from a pipe wanting to pull us in... he doesn’t have a clue where the bivouac is but an old man appearing out of nowhere will be our guide... so we leave for the camp being pulled by the last model hilux in pitch dark... they do not miss a ditch or a direction change. The old man beats every GPS. When we get stuck in a sandy bit we realise he doesn’t own the car either because he does not know where the low gear button is... or he is too high... anyway, they get us to where we need to be for a price...
The assistance checks the engine and quickly come to the same conclusion we did. Game over.
Since we ended on a high we don’t feel too disappointed and even if we did, Sigi gets our food from the fridge. She went to catering before they closed. Salmon with mozzarella, chicken curry and a real Dame Blanche as desert.
After that she starts up her computer and finds us tickets home from Ouarzazate 2 days later. In order to get there we have to accompany them to Merzouga where a taxi will wait for us at Garage Aziz, with a real good driver who will get us to Ouarzazate where we’ll stay the night before getting on a flight home the next evening.
Hotel Ryad which Sigi told us was good looked less than good and just a little bit further Club Hanan200 seemed a good alternative. Clean rooms is an 80’s club, walled and with a pool, offering good food and with a very help full staff... there are worse places to wait for your plane. Dinner and breakfast are good, only thing is they do not serve alcohol... but we can live with that. The next day we eat at the square in Ouarzazate, kefta and something, real nice food. We head back to the hotel, have a swim and head for the airport on foot...
5 hours later we are home...
about the MDC,
great event, very well organised, bucketliststuff
about the Land Rover
being a Toyota guy I really enjoyed the Discovery but I honestly think the 200 and 300 tdi engines are way low on power and not suited for the dunes or the desert... maybe the td5?
about my pilot
thanks buddy, you made one of my dreams come true
will never forget that
discovered bad sides of myself on day one before the start and on day two during the stage
Gregg helped me over/through it on both occasions, making me perform to a good level on day 3, thanks
there are some things I now know I’m capable of I wouldn’t have believed before the start
about Desert Foxx
incredible people, kind, help full, great mechanics with their heart in the right place, if ever I go back I would love to be able to do it with these people, thanks again
about the desert and the dunes
the country is as tough as the MDC
and as beautiful
riding the dunes is an incredible experience
I could try to explain it but if you’ve never done it you wouldn’t understand fully
conclusion... when I called my brother to tell him it was over he told me he was kinda jealous of what we did... so I told him to come along... seems he wants to be copilot and not photographer as I anticipated... to be continued
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 29 Apr 2018 20:23
Marokko is altijd good fun. Met of zonder wedstrijdelement. Maar naast zo'n ervaren piloot moet het wel kicken zijn
Volgend jaar opnieuw !
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 30 Apr 2018 17:27
op één of andere manier ga ik proberen daar terug te staan
waarschijnlijk met nen ouwen toyota op bladveren of zo waar ze hun nen bult mee lachen als ze hem zien staan maar dat ben ik gewoon
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 01 May 2018 00:51
Doeme, ik had dat ni mogen lezen ...
Re: MDC 218
Posted: 01 May 2018 12:52