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SLROC

Scottish Land Rover Owners Club

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What does the club do?

To the outside world, Cross Country Motorsports is just another branch of mucking about with cars ... perhaps grubbier and madder than most, but a singular branch non-the-less.

In fact, Cross Country Motorsports is a wide and vibrant sub-culture, that reflects many of the "normal" branches of motorsport.... but with a twist, reflecting the nature of our environment.

  • Cross Country does Rallying... Multi-Venue rallies are called Hill Rallies and single-venue rallies are called Competitive Safaris.
  • Cross Country does Trials... we even call them Trials.
  • Cross Country does Orienteering or Navigation events... they can be simple orienteering events, Treasure hunts, Point-to-Point events, or Winch Challenge events.

Cross Country also provides other, non-competitive, events for the discerning enthusiast:

  • Green Road Runs are a bit like a Sunday Drive, but without the tarmac, and with friends.
  • Driving Days are organised drives across country.

Trials

(by Darren Taylor)

CCV? RTV? Tyro? What is this, the battle of the Acronyms?

Yes, and no. In, what is not an entirely unusual situation, the acronym has in many ways superseded it's meaning, to the extent that just about no-one can quite remember what they stand for.

RTV

RTV is supposedly a "Road Tax Vehicle Trial", although sometimes referred to as a "Road Trim Vehicle Trial" the basic principle is the same. An event slated for RTV purposes is designed and layed out in such a way as to be non-damaging. Whilst the exact meaning of "non-damaging" is open to interpretation the idea behind an RTV is that by and large your vehicle will complete the event the same shape as it was when you started.

Tyros

Tyros (from the Latin for novice or beginner) were an attempt to temper the RTV. A Tyro has fancier rules regarding how roughly we are allowed to treat a vehicle (and it's driver ;). The maximum angle of hills; minimum width of gates; minimum radius for turns, etc.. It's supposed to be safer, or at least less damaging. Because of this, Tyros are a lot more relaxed with respect to who is allowed to do what, for example an Tyro is the only situation which allows passengers in the back seats, all though quite why anyone would want to be thrown around in this manner is beyond me... (Well.. perhaps in a Discovery of something... I used to do it in the back of the Series III and enjoyed it immensely, although the thought of having the rear body of a Land-Rover forcibly inserted into certain 'sensitive' parts of my anatomy doesn't seem quite as appealing as it used to... One for the kids perhaps ;)  )

CCVT

CCVT, technically stands for "Cross Country Vehicle Trial", although choose between "trial", "CCV" or a whole host of others. Again, the rules are open to interpretation, however the principle is that a CCV can be damaging to both the vehicle (and it's occupants), simply by crossing more aggressive terrain. To this extent the specifications of the participating vehicles are also more involved, often requiring more strenuous safety standards (roll cages and so on).

However, now we have dispensed with the technicalities we can get onto the basic methods by which we play (sorry compete ;). As kind of explained above all of these events follow a similar pattern some are simply tougher (rougher?) than others, mainly as a result of the terrain they traverse.

A trial (any trial...) consists of several sections. Exactly how many sections depends upon the club, and most Scottish clubs do 10 sections.

A section consists of a sequence of gates numbered from 12 tending towards zero. The idea is to navigate around the course without stopping, hitting the gates, going "significantly outside the natural line of the course", rolling (which is just a more extreme version of stopping), killing pedestrians/other competitors (only joking!), swearing, breaking anything that isn't yours, or generally doing any of a whole host of other unpleasant things.

Points are awarded depending at which point you mess things up*. Drive into the 12 gate ( <cough> Ian <cough> ) and you get "12", stop somewhere between the 3 gate and the four gate, and you get a 3 and so on. Should you navigate around the entire course ( <cough> Ian <cough> ) without hitting any of the gates, you get "0" or "clear". Evidently the entire idea is to complete all the sections with the lowest score possible.

Got that? Good, not too difficult really, in fact it's pretty simple.

Go and watch a couple of events to get the idea, then join in... we'll even class you as a "Novice" for the first year too!

[*] The Highland Club has a wonderfully different way of scoring, where you are allowed three attempts at an obstacle, and even permitted to miss out gates all together... very confusing the first time you meet it.

Competitive Safaris

(by Ian Stuart)

A Competitive Safari is a speed event for modified off-road vehicles, where competitors are timed against the clock around a course of challenging terrain. Vehicles are timed from a standing start to a flying finish. The route, between one and nine miles long, is generally designed such that competitors should average no more than 25-30mph - using twists & turns, climbs & drops, and simply the very nature of the ground to challenge (and thus slow) the competitors.

There is no penalty, other than the time taken, for stopping.

Courses should not be designed to actively break vehicles, however drivers to have a tendency to "tunnel vision" when competing, and fail to slow down for trees, rocks, or ditches unless forcibly reminded.

The only time limits are when the course "opens" for competitors, when it "closes", and a target of [normally] ten laps to complete in that time-frame.

The winner at the end of the event is the one with the lowest cumulative time to complete all laps.

The Scottish Cross Country Championship is a series of seven such events, run at seven different sites, hopefully each with a unique flavour and driving experience.

The winner of the championship is the driver who was the best across the whole year.

Hill Rallies

(by Ian Stuart)

A Hill Rally is a "Multi Venue Stage Rally"... a "multi-stage" version of a Competitive Safari. In essence, this means that the competitors drive a number of different stages, in a defined order, with set times to cover the non-competitive sections (the drive between the stages, and service)

A Hill Rally, like any other Special Stage Rally, is made up of three types of "event" for the competitors:

  • Special Stages are the actual competition: the bit where you drive as fast as you can, the bit where the drivers skill is paramount
  • Road Sections are the bits of road/track/route that you are guided along to travel from one Special Stage to the next
  • Service is when you can fix the car, and service time is limited... so don't go damaging things too much!

At the end of the day, the competitor who manages to complete all the Special Stages in the fastest time wins the event.

Hill Rally stages are run to a higher "safety specification" than most Competitive Safaris, meaning that the average speeds can be higher.... up to an average speed of 50mph.

There are currently only one Hill Rally run in the UK, run by the Scottish Hill Rally Club.

The "Borders" Hill Rally is a multi-stage, single-venue rally run in November, and is mostly on forest tracks. It is designed to be an opportunity for new competitors to experience the difference between Competitive Safari events and Hill Rallies.

The "Perthshire" Hill Rally was the last true cross country event in the UK: Vehicles need to be road legal, yet capable of performing competitively off-road. Combining aspects of Rally Raid, Competitive Safari, and classic Stage Rallying, the Perthshire is an event where competitors need the precision to drive Forest Stages, the flair to drive the open hillsides, and the patience to drive on the public highway.

"You can't win a Hill Rally on your own, but you can lose it for your team."

Orienteering

There are a number of variations to the "find things" concept. Like everything in Cross Country, there's more than one way to do it: events can break down into "guided" or "unguided"; and into various levels of  "difficulty".

Treasure Hunts & Orienteering

Treasure Hunts & Orienteering tend to be simple events, suited to everyday cars. Orienteering tends to mean "looking for punches" whereas Treasure Hunts imply that there are a series of clues to solve, which lead you to find "treasures"

Winch Challenge

Winch Challenge events are most definitely NOT for your everyday car (well, not unless you are a die-hard Cross Country fan!). Winch Challenge events are difficult, and hard work. They require the vehicle to have a winch, to get into (or out of) some place where a nasty person has put the "punch". Winch Challenge events can range from the relatively tame to the downright dirty, extreme, challenging, & frustrating.

Non Competitive events

Driving days

Green Road Runs

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