2003 SUNday Rally - Rallymasters Letter

There was not much sun for the SUN-day rally, but we had a backup plan. It was a "day" rally held on a "Sun"day. Take that Mother Nature. Then we really fooled her by having it in Rockland for a change of scenery. This was the first rally Tina or I have ever put on. Whenever I whined about the instructions to a rallymaster at the end of a rally, I always thought the look of glee in his eyes was pure evil, now I know it's just the joy of it being over with. It's a lot of hard work. We set out to make a rally as hard as a typical WSCC rally, but with some twists from the norm to throw off the regular winners. I noted how the generals always seemed the same rally after rally, so I knew we had to throw some zingers in there. We kept the "SUN" signs on the right side of the road, but the instruction signs and clues could be on either side. Also we had you looking for partial words in signs, not whole words. Hey this IS a day rally, after all. That shook up the WSCC regular winners and it shows in their scoring.

Tina was worried the instructions were too hard; I was worried about making it too easy for the regulars. I think we got it right. Out of 24 cars, 12 made it to the final checkpoint (three cars came in from the wrong direction, so I'm not counting them as making it), but before anyone thinks it was too easy many of the cars came in very late and had a lot of sign points. The course looped over itself 4 times where you're on the same section more than once and criss-crossed 3 other times. This gave us the opportunity to have a lot of fun with signs, and your score sheets showed you were not having fun with it.

Quite a few people got lost looking for the image of the horses. Not only was there a large stable on the left side of the road that you pass, but just before the legitimate sign of the horses on the right was a house on the left with tons of similar cutout images all over its lawn. If you were looking over your shoulder for the horses on your left, you passed right by the correct ones on the right edge of the road.

There was one mid checkpoint in the rally, 3 cars never found it. The mid checkpoint was very early in the rally and after a very slow section, to catch the speeders. I think some of the speeders got lucky by getting lost just before it, a lot of times were very good coming into it.

Going up a nice twisty mountain road, lots of folks got number dyslexia trying to make the "third left after third image number 4" which was a yellow arrow sign. Luckily those other lefts all dead ended as they were all no outlets. Just before the long twisty wooded road with the "20 m.p.h." signs was the instruction "right at Y". A few people thought the intersection before the actual turn was the right at Y, and kept going looking for the third "20m.p.h." signs and missed the actual bear right. This was confirmed by the off course double pyramid sign we had hanging there to the left that quite a few people had on their answer sheet. The first intersection had a different street name on the left while the street you are on carries on to the right. The double yellow curves off to the right with a break in it for the left turn, and there is a large yellow arrow pointing to the right to show the street you are on carries on to the right. So that was a left turn and not the Y you're looking for. Then when you get to the legitimate "right at Y" there's a nice |/ sign there for you, unless you missed it looking ahead at the off course double pyramid, that is.

Almost at the end of the rally, you're looking for two "CLAUSLAND"s. Someone said to me "I did a lot of looking for Santa, and I think there's only one CLAUSLAND out there". Right after you performed the "right at TL" there was a SUN sign on a telephone pole on the right just before a sharp turn to the left. After the curve on the left side were two signs for the Clausland Cemetery. Then the next intersection you cross over was Clausland Road, marked by a street sign. So there were three Clausland signs, but at the end of the road you are on is a forced bear right, the only bear right, so it was self correcting anyway.

Sitting at the final checkpoint waiting for cars to come in, Tina and I were agonizing over if anyone was going to make it to the end. We were very pleased to see two cars come in right at the time the first cars should enter. After jumping up and down that someone made it to the final checkpoint and there wasn't a rally ending mistake in the instructions, we then realized they were at the end of the run group. Both of them were over 15 minutes early! I thought maybe they skipped one of the "loops" in the rally but they had good signs. That's way too fast for public roads, and that's why we assign double points for anyone over 15 minutes early to a checkpoint! They would have done MUCH better in scoring if not for that. But it also shows the people who thought the rally was too hard how some cars made it through without a hitch.

The entire rally was 54 miles. It should have taken 52.41 minutes to the mid-checkpoint, and 93.23 minutes from the mid-checkpoint to the end. The wise-en-heimer at the drivers meeting with the goofy questions won, even with his points penalty for being "special". : Special thanks to Dave, Pat, and their adopted bird for running the midpoint, who were co-rallymasters and showed us the way to making a rally hard yet fair. Thanks to Frank, GJ, and Val for pre-running the rally and coming up with great suggestions on fooling people. We appreciate everyone coming out in the questionable weather, and hope to see you at the Halloween and Turkey rallies later in the year, this time as fellow victims.

-Mike Caroll
-Tina Villardi
SUN-day rallymasters