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MudDogs on a roll


Stefan Walker

MudDogs on a roll

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The off roaders, also known as Barbados MudDogs took part in the Shelbury Construction Safari Rally 2012 last Sunday.
The event played host to the fourth round of the Chefette Novice class and the Pro class championships.
Going into the event, the front-runners were Chris Armstrong and Wayne Clark in the Toyota Hilux, who lead the Pro class, while Dominic Straker and Nicholas Pinto were ahead in the novice class.
The safari was set by Warrick Eastmond and Biddy Barber.
Eastmond has a reputation of being able to set some of the toughest routes in Barbados – so both drivers and spectators alike had their sights set on the tough event.
In the early hours of the morning, there was heavy rainfall and to the MudDogs that made little difference as the wetter the course became, the more exciting it would potentially become, not to mention that it would also make the challenges much more difficult.
Things got under way just after 8 a.m. as scheduled, and the planned route proved nothing if not exciting.
If you have seen MudDogs but you were never really interested, then I suggest driving the route which they used this past weekend and immediately your attitude would change.  
With the early morning showers, the competitors were in their element and most of the starters negotiated the slippery roads with relative ease.
However, in Wilson Hill was what appeared to be a huge water crossing which stood between the competitors and the next checkpoint.
The first to arrive was Audley Croney and Jeremy Croney in their Suzuki Samurai. After they checked their bearings, they used a little power to keep dead left and handled the water easily, not even bothering the few birds that were there.   
After them, many drivers came and most adopted the dead left in the water approach and negotiated it safely, while others drove straight on and then had to correct themselves.
Ben Norris’ machine looked so intimidating that as it powered its way through the water, the water appeared as if was running away from the truck.
As the event proceeded, competitors ventured into the gullies and some had problems dealing with steep hills after getting the tyres wet and opted for safer ground.
Soon after, it was the lunch stop in Six Roads where the drivers prepared for the second route and more spectator-friendly challenges.
The first challenge took competitors to the cart roads of Searles, where they had to negotiate a water crossing. However, that had to be swift as this was a timed venture. Most drivers opted to drive straight on and then reverse and tackle it straight on again.
However, some drivers opted to drive straight on and then reverse the trucks through the water which proved to be the fastest way to go.
After that, the drivers headed over to Foursquare – a little dexterity-type course. It looked simple from the spectators’ vantage point, but this challenge proved to be much tougher than the previous one.
Most drivers did well, though some were spectacular in the approach which kept the fans happy.

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