So what should you expect for the Storm ’13?
We can not reveal all at this point of time but we can share hindsight with you to help you prepare for the unexpected.
First and foremost is the traditional motto of Storm : “Sweat and grind during the day and luxury and relaxation after sundown.” The participants are put through tough sandy and barren sections with challenges thrown at them at virtually every turn. Unexpected dunes and rocky terrain are all mixed with thorn scrub and greenery around oasis. Then after a full day’s grind come the rest halts at majestic and imposing heritage properties unique to the Indian Thar Desert. Luxury accommodations that are famous for pampering their guests. Inviting pools of water and chilled drinks with sumptuous food spread. This will continue to be the theme.
Secondly the last few Storms have broken that hospitality and relaxation tradition a tiny-weeny bit by introducing killing night sections. These are looked at with dread by the veteran rallyists. Post the event once the ppanic has subsided, the response was overwhelmingly in favour of keeping this in the schedule. So expect more night runs this year.
Thirdly we are going to increase the “endurance” challenge by clubbing already long sections in to one or two huge stages per day. Choice of speed versus safety is entirely up to participants but just be forewarned. The long section do come interspersed with “speed zones” where you are restricted to low speeds while passing through villages and hamlets. The longest stage this year is going to be in the region of 300 kilometers…… something very few current ralliest have experienced.
Fourth element that will test you utmost would be increased stress on “dead on” navigation. Especially when you are running in near proximity and parallel to the borders of the country, on a trackless expanse of Great Thar Desert, you’d better not stray in the wrong direction!
Fifth suggestion would be to prepare your self physically and mentally to cope with increased length of the event. The length would increase both in number of days & nights run and distance to be run.
Sixth be prepared to wade into deep sand & push, pull and cajole your reluctant beast. The gloves are off this year and expect deep sand and huge dunes.
That said, at end of the day it is man and his machine which are put to real test. In the past we had people off the competition as the had run out of fuel, had radiators boiled over, had more than one puncture, had a dead battery, had a blown gasket, had…………
The list is varied and endless but the common theme – they were not prepared.
In the calm before the Storm , prepare for the worst.