Thread: Norra 2013
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:13 AM   #882
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Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
I just posted this on RDC, where there's a poll regarding this subject...

Here are the instructions for navigating the 1971 NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally, and a sample from the 1971 roadbook. This came from Mike Pearlman’s box of early off-road racing history. So, this event is indeed “honoring the past” by using roadbooks for navigation. With a few tweaks, those 1971 instructions could apply to using today’s NORRA roadbook.

I do see Marty’s point about making it easy for everyone to find their way. GPS is easy. But is that really in the spirit of Baja racing? Isn’t Baja all about overcoming adversity, dealing with what’s thrown at you, and having a fun adventure while beating all those challenges? Maybe those who are looking for less challenge should enter the NORRA Charity Poker Run instead of the race. The roadbook is just another challenge. You can hate dust, hate bumps and old short-travel vehicles, hate dangerous twisty roads, hate sand, and hate navigation. Or you can embrace those things that challenge you, and have a ton of fun doing it.

Is GPS fun? Do you get to the finish line and say “Wow that was tough navigation, I really accomplished something following that line on the screen.” Although the NORRA roadbooks are pretty simple to follow (with a good odometer, even grandpa could do it), there is still a level of satisfaction and accomplishment when you find your way through each stage. It’s what the guys in the old days had to deal with, long before the days of GPS and a burned in course.

GPS should be added to the list of things that have “Wussified” the sport. I’d be all for the old way of “find your own way to the finish”. Unfortunately, in these days of expanding pavement, private property, locked gates, liabilities, etc., it’s not very practical to do that in Baja. It is possible elsewhere, and the Diabolical Rally will include that and other long-lost elements of early off-road racing, but that’s another subject and another race.

Everyone seems to have their own idea what the meaning of this event should be, and how NORRA should run it. Some say it’s all about honoring the past (old-school, vintage), some say it’s all about having fun (relax, enjoy), some are laser focused on winning at all cost (speed, race). Clearly Mike Pearlman has his own vision, which includes all of the above, plus aspects of rally (stages, roadbook navigation). Personally, I think he’s done a great job creating an event that sets itself apart from all the others. I sure hope he doesn’t give in to those who are afraid of a good, fun, old-school challenge!

Yeah but……

The most important part is the final bullet.

“The route SUGGESTED is not guaranteed to be the fastest or the shortest, but through the process of trial and error we have found this to be our best."

In 71 your road book race was simply a suggested route, you were allowed to take any route you wanted, all you needed to do was pass through all of the checkpoints.

You want a challenge Scott??? Go the way of the National H&H or D-37 desert races. No pre-running no road books telling you what to expect, simply follow the ribbon and course markings. I've done roll charts with no course marking, I've marked course marking only, I've done GPS both with and without pre-running and GPS with and without course marking, each offers a a unique challenge do do at a winning race pace. GPS without pre-running and without course marking is much more challenging than many would expect. Even the largest GPS screens simply don't have resolution and tracking ability at speed to simply keep the arrow on the line. If you come up on a "Y" and the GPS doesn't have both roads (one marked as race course) it is nearly impossible to tell which is the correct until you are way past the "Y" and you see that you have diverged from the correct route. GPS tracking error commonly places you off the track on the screen. I'm NOT a big fan of having to turn around and backtrack hoping that the guy behind you didn't make the same error and you meet him coming the other way.

I tell you what......on the first day, I'm going to really piss you off....I'm going to use the Roadbook AND the GPS to make it as easy as possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jajajajajajajajajajaja!

"I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."
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