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Best Dakar I have seen yet

randy1123

Well-Known Member
#1
I have seen the comments, but this is the best courses I have seen.
Those years of road courses that you needed 4WD to win a stage are not present in the first six stages.
Hats off to the directors that made the courses.
Great APP
Great coverage

Wish I was there as a traveling spectator.....

Some day, the bucket list is long.

Randy
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
#4
While I agree this has been a great Dakar, a few of the early on Dakars that went to Peru and Chile were pretty good.

I think there were a few areas that were too difficult. To route the vehicles through a huge sand bowl that they then couldn't even climb out of is a little extreme. But otherwise, I think it is on point.
 

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
#5
One of the things to remember is that the route directors plan the route in normal 4x4’s and those cars get through via the easiest route. Sometimes the leaders straight line the route and veer away from the actual driven path.... which leads the rest of them into a difficult area.
 

Will_Higman

Dakar Finisher
#6
^^^Yes^^^

Remembering back to Africa in 2007 I would say the dune routes of Peru are more difficult and problematic for sure. Some of the routes (Cap Headings) over the dunes in Africa are used by local inhabitants to some degree so there seemed to be more of a method to the madness with less bad spots to fall into holes and traps. Also more camel grass off and on which is a rough go but more firm ground. A big factor is where they place the hidden waypoint you need to go get and where you are off piste when it pops up. I can remember one in Africa that was almost impossible for us in the truck as we were on the verge of tipping over climbing the large steep dune. Nail bitter for sure…


:)
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
#7
So does anyone know if there was a way-point in the bottom of that huge bowl so many were stuck in?

If the organizers created the route while the sand was wet they would be able to go anywhere they wanted, now the sand is dry and people couldn't get out. I understand that they are in normal 4x4 vehicles. If the way-point was not in the bottom of that, then the issue is 100% the competitors fault for getting in there.

Does someone from ASO drive the stages just a few days before the race to verify the road book is still good? I know that they have other routes planned. That was seen last year where they were stopping competitors on a liaison and handing them new road books. Lyndon Poskit showed it in his video from last year. I think it is smart to have a few alternate routes as a back up. Just shows you what all ASO does to prepare for the race.
 

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
#8
They have a course opening team which runs the route (usually) 2 days before the special starts. This is where the road books are amended and the amendments get issued to the competitors. This will take into account new hazards which have poppped up since the road book was written, errors that may have been made, etc.
 

mrlentle

Well-Known Member
#10
So does anyone know if there was a way-point in the bottom of that huge bowl so many were stuck in?

If the organizers created the route while the sand was wet they would be able to go anywhere they wanted, now the sand is dry and people couldn't get out. I understand that they are in normal 4x4 vehicles. If the way-point was not in the bottom of that, then the issue is 100% the competitors fault for getting in there.

Does someone from ASO drive the stages just a few days before the race to verify the road book is still good? I know that they have other routes planned. That was seen last year where they were stopping competitors on a liaison and handing them new road books. Lyndon Poskit showed it in his video from last year. I think it is smart to have a few alternate routes as a back up. Just shows you what all ASO does to prepare for the race.
Poskitt complained that on one WP in particular, the actual WP was about 3-400 metres (maybe more I forget) away from where it should have been and it was causing people to double back to find it. It was supposed to be at an intersection but was much further up. I'd imagine there's a bit of variance from time to time but suspect the sand bowl was a drivers error as others haven't complained as to having to miss the WP to finish the stage?
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
#12
Poskitt complained that on one WP in particular, the actual WP was about 3-400 metres (maybe more I forget) away from where it should have been and it was causing people to double back to find it. It was supposed to be at an intersection but was much further up. I'd imagine there's a bit of variance from time to time but suspect the sand bowl was a drivers error as others haven't complained as to having to miss the WP to finish the stage?
I saw the video you are referring to. It seems like every year there are a few way-points that are not quite where they are supposed to be. Last year they were riding up and down a wash looking for it if you recall. Bikes and quads were going all directions. I think that is when the rider was run over by SPH
 

mrlentle

Well-Known Member
#13
I saw the video you are referring to. It seems like every year there are a few way-points that are not quite where they are supposed to be. Last year they were riding up and down a wash looking for it if you recall. Bikes and quads were going all directions. I think that is when the rider was run over by SPH
Sure was.
 

mattb

Well-Known Member
#15
One of the things to remember is that the route directors plan the route in normal 4x4’s and those cars get through via the easiest route. Sometimes the leaders straight line the route and veer away from the actual driven path.... which leads the rest of them into a difficult area.
I think that is the beauty of a well designed rally. The easiest route takes pacience and skill to find. The straight line isn’t always the fastest line.
 

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
#16
I think that is the beauty of a well designed rally. The easiest route takes pacience and skill to find. The straight line isn’t always the fastest line.
I tried that line of thinking while laying out the Sonora Rally course, and found the top bikes would ride straight over the biggest gnarliest dune I could find. The lesser riders and the cars were forced to find a more passable path. Below, the red and orange lines are the paths of the two top bikes, and the others were a few of the lesser bikes. The circle is a WPM (waypoint) that they had to pass through.
upload_2018-1-13_21-25-3.png
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
#18
The two blue lines look like they were having more problems than just the dunes. They look lost.

I think the navigation wouldn't be extremely difficult until you get into situations like this where the straight line isn't feasible or you must turn around for some reason, which then throws the odometer off.

I have navigated through dense forest before and while it was tedious, it wasn't difficult to stay on course. Even when I had to navigate around a swamp instead of wading through. But I was at walking speed, on a bike at race speed with little landmarks to use for compass headings it would be difficult.
 

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
#19
Hog, do you have an overlay of your track data as a comparison?
When I rode it to prove out the roadbook, my recorded tracks looked a bit like the light purple line. I zigg-zagged and looped all over the place trying to get through the dunes. The shortest path is a straight line from one WPM to the next, which is close to what the two top riders did. They did their best to following a straight line compass heading, and they did amazingly well. The others I'm sure did their best at keeping in a straight line, but the massive dunes forced them off the ideal straight line. Often times for me and many others, I try to get up a big dune and fail to get over the top and have to go back down and try again. That's why some of those lines are looping around. They can't get over the top. You see the same thing in the Dakar videos.

As the course designer, I was bummed that the top guys went straight over everything. There were places I specifically designed the "straight line" path to go straight over some gnarly huge dune peak. I wanted them to be forced off the straight line so they would be challenged to keep on the ideal path. My plan worked great for many of the competitors, but the top guys gave me the finger and went straight over the top.

I've since come up with other ways to challenge the top guys. For example, last year at Sonora we had an "HP" (follow your compass) section that was 26 miles between one WPM and the next, through continuous dunes, huge and small. That means they need to hold a straight line for 26 miles without any road, waypoint, landmark or other navigation help in between, just their compass and odometer. After 26 miles they had to be within 800 meters of the WPM for the GPS (RallyComp device) to pop up the arrow and guide them into the exact point. If they miss the 800 meter radius imaginary circle, they have to ride/drive around "looking" until the GPS pops up the arrow. It turns out that to hit the 800 meter circle after 26 miles, they can't be off from the perfect heading by more than about +/- 2 degrees over the full distance. Think about that. It would seem extremely difficult even on smooth flat ground to be that dead-on perfectly straight for 26 miles. You're probably already off a bit because the digital compass only shows full degree changes (i.e. no digits after the decimal point). Now think about being that perfect after 26 miles of dunes, including some massively huge dunes. Well, the top 3 bikes happened to be riding close together in that section, and they all missed the 800 meter circle by about 100 meters. They all rode in circles at the 26 mile distance, and eventually one of them found it and the others caught on right away and found it too. I succeeded in giving them a good challenge!
 
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Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
#20
I think the navigation wouldn't be extremely difficult until you get into situations like this where the straight line isn't feasible or you must turn around for some reason, which then throws the odometer off.
So you are coming to the Sonora Rally this year?
 
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