LANDSLIP 4x4 TRIAL
THE LANDSLIP, NEAR GORE COULD HAVE BEEN PURPOSEBUILT FOR 4X4 TRIALS. PHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS WATSON WAS THERE TO CHRONICLE THE 2016 EVENT.
On November 12 last year I went along to the Southern Trail Blazers 4WD Club’s annual Landslip 4x4 rally at Pukerau in Southland to marshal for the day. Having always competed for many years it was definitely a change for me.
After the usual scrutineering checks and drivers’ briefing the action started. The course I was marshalling started with an off-camber drop into a boggy ditch with a short run down the ditch which competitors had to climb back out to the finish.
This course turned out to be surprisingly easy in the morning but was starting to change by lunch time. Other courses like the speed course provided great entertainment for the crowd of spectators with drivers encouraging each other to push that lit tle more resulting in a few rollovers.
At the lunch break, there were plenty of vehicles being repaired and everyone had good chance to have a catch up and tell stories of how their day was going.
Once the action kicked off again the first truck into my course was two young guys in their modified Suzuki. After discussing their plan of attack, they pulled up to the start pegs, brought the engine up to the redline and dropped the clutch.
The Suzuki took off about four metres before dropping the left wheels into the ditch and tipping over hard on the passenger side damaging the body work. However, once recovered, and with big smiles on their faces the young fellas were off to the next course.
While some drivers took the drive-it-like-you-stole-it approach others – like Mike McCarthy – drove very technically, making the course look easy.
Mike’s was in fact the only vehicle to achieve the zero for the afternoon.
Marshalling for the day unfortunately meant I didn’t get to see all the courses but what I did see, and the feedback from drivers/ navigators was that it was a great course and everybody was enjoying themselves.
An excellent day put on by the Southern Trail Blazers 4WD Club.
Blair Pope pushing his Jeep hard in one of the many mudbogs.
Mike McCarthy & Tom Hayes of Dunedin stuck fast.