Mahindra off-road trophy
We paid a short visit to Goa to attend the Mahindra Adventure Off-roading Trophy. Here’s the low-down
Slushing it out in some choice local bred SUVs
When you think Goa, it automatically invokes images of sandy beaches, crashing waves, days of relaxation, and night-long parties, but when Mahindra Adventure invited us to this sunny paradise for the Mahindra Great Escape and Off-road Trophy, I knew that things were going to be a little different. The event was held over two days wherein we would be driving along some challenging trails, overcoming obstacles set up for us, while competing teams tried to outdo one another to make it to the next round of the Off-road Trophy. Mahindra Adventure put us up at the Club Mahindra at Varca Beach where I did my best to get a good night’s sleep before an early start the next day.
The morning started with a safety briefing. Officials from Mahindra Adventure explained to us the dos and don’ts when out on the trails. Once they were satisfied that we were ready, we headed out of the hotel in a convoy of nearly 50 Mahindra 4x4 vehicles that included Scorpios, Boleros, Invaders, Classics, and, of course, Thars. We were not allowed to overtake on the way to the trails which was about 15 kilometres away. We drove into a thick forest in an orderly fashion under the watchful eye of the officials, following the lead car and with a sweep car bringing up the rear.
There were several service and support vehicles to help us in case of a mechanical breakdown or if we happened to get stuck in the thick slush and there was a lot of it around. With the rain coming down hard, the
forest had turned into a deep and slippery mess, criss-crossed by several fast-flowing streams.
I was behind the wheel of a relatively new Mahindra Thar, shod with Maxxis Bighorn 764 tyres which were able to maintain grip in seemingly impossible conditions. We spent most of the day driving through soft and sticky mud, over rocks, and across streams, with several steep ascents and descents along the way. With the Thar slotted into the 4WD low ratio, it crawled over just about anything in its path and, although I was quite apprehensive earlier, by the end of the day my confidence in this vehicle’s capabilities had grown exponentially.
Day two saw the competing participants scramble to collect points and avoid penalties as they took on the Trophy Challenge. The participants were divided into two groups, Stock and Modified, based on how their vehicles were customized. Mud terrain tyres and offroad bumpers to enhance the approach and departure angles were the only mods allowed in the stock class, while the modified class featured vehicles with tall offroad suspension, articulation, and a whole lot more to tame the toughest obstacles. All competing cars were required to have a roll cage; in competitions like this one, roll-overs are commonplace.
At the end of the day, the team of Dattaraj Lawande and Krishna Bhobe were declared winners in the Stock class, having completed all the obstacles in the shortest time and with the least penalties for making errors or going off the course.
In the Modified class, it was Earl Braganza who came out on top, while in the Ladies class is was Maithili Bhobe who came out on top.
With a fantastic weekend of mud-plugging behind me, I packed my bags and headed back to Pune, looking forward to my next off-roading experience with Mahindra Adventure.
The next instalment of the Great Escape and Trophy Challenge will be held in Sakleshpur. You may keep track of that and more such events on the Mahindra Adventure website.