Beyond Beer & Beaches
By-lanes decorated with coconut trees and tiled house, the aroma of fresh fish and sea breeze. Goa, the quaint place from another era not just calls for lounging on the beach but also lends itself seamlessly to some monsoon off-roading. And so, in the month of August, Goa was abuzz with Mahindra Adventurers clocking miles in the beach destination of the country. Goa Great Escape lured off-roaders to the Konkan belt.
With wipers and fog lights on, off-roaders from around the region drove to South Goa for some hardcore off-roading. The 2WD and 4WD Mahindra vehicle owners took on the natural trail as they toyed with their mean machines. They dug wheels in slush and crawled on rocks. It was a day when men went back to being boys.
While the 2WD and 4WD category participants explored the off-roading tracks earmarked for them, the Off- Road trophy category contestants geared up for the three challenges crafted for them. The challenges weren't child's play as off-roaders figured during the course of the day. And rightly so, as the winners of each Off-Road Trophy category across the country will be competing against each other for a brand new Thar, at the Off-Roading Trophy 2014-15.
The first obstacle was timed and participants were judged on the time taken to complete the challenge and the manner in which they approached the obstacle. Participants had to climb up a rocky hillock during this obstacle. The time taken by each participant ranged from less than a minute to close to five minutes.
In the second challenge, off-roaders had to maneuver their way through a steep 60 degree fall, drive through a mud patch and then a slush pit. Towards the end of the slush pit was a sharp turn and a narrow climb up. Only the skilled drivers and capable vehicles could clear the obstacle.
The final obstacle was the most time consuming and the most nerve-wracking. Competitors had to drive through a river bed. After crossing the river, off-roaders had to conquer a small climb, wade through bushes and exit through a steep drop to cross the river from the other side. After which they had to climb a 45 degree climb. Only 4 cars could finish this challenge.
More than the humidity in Goa, it was the obstacles that got off-roaders sweating. In the end it was skilled off-roaders who preserved their vehicle while clearing obstacles that emerged victorious.
Winner: Allan Almeda & Saju
Runner-up: Pushkar Audi & Tejas Shindolkar
Winner: Vivek Goenka & Tambi
Winner: Zita Goenka & Naresh