The Rallying Weekend That Was

I know I keep going on about this but I guess it’s because I’m quite proud of it. I’m from a family that rallies and it gives me immense pleasure when my brothers participate and finish the gruelling sections. The past weekend there was yet another rally and for once I thought I’d make an effort and wake up early and hit the dirt road to go and yell my appreciation at the drivers who participated.

It all started on Facebook. I’m friends with the very famous Anwar Sidi who takes the most awesome rallying photographs I have ever seen. It’s not just pictures of the cars that he takes that have me fascinated – it’s the other stuff he photographs that makes you feel part and parcel of the whole event itself.

So anyway, last week on Facebook I asked him where I could go with the kids to check out the cars and he very kindly called me back and gave me directions and reassurances to answer his phone in case I got lost. Thankfully I didn’t though when I did get to the point called Bullseye just before Bisselly the service park entrance was closed and I was directed 20km up the road to see if I could catch up with the cars there. Eventually after driving blindly I decided to come back to Bullseye and park there if not in the section to watch the cars at least being refuelled but to my delight by that time the route had been opened up and we drove straight in.

We parked at a strategic point and I quickly started mentally listing what we should have brought with us. A garden umbrella was on top of the list followed by foldable chairs and the most important of all, sunscreen lotion. I got badly sunburnt!

Soon enough the cars started passing by and we managed to catch up with some drivers and co-drivers I personally know. It would be ridiculous if I said that they slowed down to wave at me. There were so many people there! But it was all good. And speaking of so many people being there I must also relate to you of the bloody obnoxious spectators who were there too.

I don’t care if you’re irresponsible and have the need to drink so heavily and then drive like a maniac. If you are old enough to drink you are old enough to know your responsibility towards alcohol. The kids and I had parked at a very good spot where we could see the cars coming from a distance when suddenly a van with loud blaring music hurtled towards us and had us scampering towards our car for safety. Out tumbled obnoxiously loud drunk men who proceeded to blare music with vulgar lyrics from their car and spray alcohol on each other in the middle of the road while the rally cars were zooming by. I’m not ashamed to say that more than once I wished they’d get run over.  Such rude obnoxious behaviour! These stupid imbeciles are the ones who ruin spectating this sport for others. Shame on you idiots!

On the way back to Nairobi we also witnessed a couple of bad accidents; one car had overturned over a bridge and I had no sympathy at all. I recognised the car, as one that was filled with drunken louts who were old enough to drink but looked like they had just turned 18 so didn’t quite know how many units to stop at. They’re lucky to have been helped by Good Samaritans.

Having ranted, I must say that it was a nice day out with the kids and the packed picnic. It reminded me of the days when we’d go watch the Safari Rally with Dad and what fun it used to be. Hopefully badly behaved louts won’t keep ruining it for people like us who are there genuinely to have a nice time without being obnoxious to others.

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3 thoughts on “The Rallying Weekend That Was”

  1. Kamal,
    Nice article, and yes its trully upsetting to see where this sport in terms of crowd behaviour has reached.

    I as a participant found it extremely nerve racking when approaching the flying finish at Bullseye!. the spectators were soo close to the uneven road, that one wrong slip up by a rally car would have resulted in a really bad accident with spectators.

    but, glad u enjoyed your day out, and if i can say, if you need camping gear (folding chairs, stools, tables) please u have my number, i will be more than happy to set up with a decent kit for your future rally spectating….

    Have a great weekend sis.

    Raju

    Like

  2. My sentiments too Kamal, I’m a spectator Dad with 2 young ones, soon to be 3. My solution to this problem is 1. Avoid the advertised spectator points and service parks. 2. Get all rally info from Anwars FB page before hand i.e Map, Time, entry list. 3. Plan your route well, start off real early, drive into stages before they close, pick a good view point about a two kilometres in and enjoy the fun and exit responsibly after the 2wd are through. 4. The good stuff is usually done by 3p.m make your way home before rally spectator traffic builds up. A well stocked picnic hamper, tool box, overalls and a GPS come in handy.
    It is a pity about the alcohol driven spectators.
    Enjoy the 2011 season

    Like

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