Already for third year Jeep Club Latvia gathers Jeep owners and has managed to form a community of enthusiasts. Jeep Club Latvia event schedule was released already in December 2009 and 2010 Jeep Club Latvia Winter Race was scheduled for 22nd of February. Even the weather conditions of this winter were extremely harsh, Jeep Club Latvia decided not to postpone the event, but let Jeep enthusiasts test capabilities of their vehicles, when the snow level is above the hood.
It was an early Saturday morning of 22 February, when 2010 Jeep Club Winter Race took off. The weather conditions were severe. It has been snowing almost every day for the last month and the last night was no exception – the snowfall added additional 30cm of snow to already so high snow level in Latvian woods. At 8:30 competing teams received a message on their cell phones with instructions and coordinates of the base – Statoil petrol station in Adazhi, on highway A1, 20km outside of Riga towards Tallinn. After 9:00AM one by one stock as well as rebuilt, well-lifted and equipped Jeeps with Jeep Club Latvia emblems started to roll in to Adazhi patrol station. Each participant got registered, instructed and prepared for the start. Among participants was also a team with 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. As the roads used during the race, would demand much higher clearance, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was not allowed to continue and members of the team were separated and seat in other Jeeps.
The first stage was a legend called “Legendary Baltezers”. The legend required competing teams to find their way on snowy roads around lake of Baltezers. For this stage two hours time limit was scheduled. The start time for each team was given in order of the check-in time in to the base. The objective of this stage was to cover the whole route according to the given road map and check-in at hidden waypoints. The evaluation of this stage was time spent from start till return to the base as well as the number waypoints photographed. At the start 14 Jeeps took of one by one. The competing and racing spirit soon was over. As the snow was so deep, vast majority of the stock Jeeps could not cope with the Latvian forest roads. They stuck long before the first waypoint. So the race turned out into friendly challenge were competing teams were towing, dragging, pushing each other until they were out of the woods. Well, it took more the two hours to get through the legend and the hosts of the event decided to prolong the scheduled time limit by one hour. By 1.00PM the time limit of the stage one was over and all Jeeps had safely returned to the base.
The second stage was an orientation called “OZ”. At 1:35 PM the last Jeep left the base to compete the task of the second stage – find waypoints indicated on the map. The distance of this stage was 100km. The evaluation of this stages was number of visited waypoints. In case when teams have visited the same amount of waypoints, the priority is given to the team that has competed the task in shorter time. Teams had an option of getting 10 or 30 points by visiting the waypoints. Waypoints were located 30 to 100 meters of the road. If team finds a waypoint, it had two options - reach it by foot and get 10 points or reach it by Jeep, take a photo of the team member touching the waypoint plate with one hand and the car with another and get 30 points. Some of the waypoints were reachable only for rebuilt and lifted Jeeps, but as the snowfall did not stop also lifted Jeeps could not reach complicated waypoints without using recovery procedures. The time limit for this stage was scheduled 4 hours. Each team finishing this stage behind the deadline would loose 5 points for every minute. From stock Jeeps Pulkvedis (Colonel) with its Jeep Commander came in first while from rebuilt Jeeps Shrek was the first to finish this stage.
The Stage three was an orientation sprint held old Soviet Army tank-training field. The stage three was a challenge only for rebuilt Jeeps and more as entertainment to watch for teams with stock Jeeps. This orientation was performed in a closed area with almost one-meter deep snow. The hosts of the event had marked 9 checkpoints, which all were in the line of site. Therefore, no map was required. The time limit was 30 minutes. By surprise to itself and others, Il Padrino collected one more point than Shrek and thus took the first place in this stage.
The Stage four was a finish as well as a special task for team to perform. Each Jeep had to balance on a swing. Time limit was 2 minutes. Unfortunately only five Jeeps completed the stage. Shooter with its CJ broke the swing. 1st place was given to team Shrek as they managed to find the balance on swing in the shortest time.
A wrap up of results:
- place – (Shrek)
- place – (Il Padrino)
- place – (Shooter)
- place – (Pulkvedis)
- place – (Andris)
- place – (Jeeper)
In a lottery tickets to concert of Rammstein was drawn to: team KemnitZ and team Kruzis
Enjoy the following captured moments of the event!