First Report: Team OVRBLT
Our own Jeff (Jefe) Reynolds was the spotter for his brother John in this competition and finished 12th (of 60). He has this early report on the experience:
I just got back tonight (Tuesday). The Warn Rock Crawling Championship (WRCC) was a wild and wooly experience. The wind blew like a banshee. My brother John made it into the final "Dirty Dozen", (this time actually 13). He came into the finals in 11th position and sank to 12th with a sand filled ARB switch malfunction (cost him 20 pts.), a time-out, and a bad call by his spotter that found him beached on a 3' high square rock.
There were some very, very good rock crawlers out there, and as I predicted absolute clearance was crucial. The successful competitors all had 38-44" tires. The two bigger than life Snipers with their excellent drivers and 44X18-15 Swampers ground to the top of the standings.
The courses each day of the preliminaries on Friday consisted of half of the group (the odd numbers) running some "off-trail" versions of the "Claw Hammer" and the other half (the even numbers) running a trail very appropriately called the "Wrecking Ball". The next day these two groups swapped trails.
Nothing you have ever done can prepare you for what we had to do... Nothing.
If you did know how to prepare, you would have no rig left with which to run the courses. It was brutal. Lots of broken axles / hubs / ring & pinion gears / u-joints / driveshafts / suspension parts, etc,. Big tires were the order of the day. John and I started out dismally the first day. By the second day he was in his stride and tied with Currie/Waggoner (at 170 pts) for the highest scores on the Claw hammer route. John made some spectacular moves over the rocks. So did a lot of other folks. But the pictures will really show much of the story. I was extremely focused on giving John what he needed, so I did not get to see many of the othe contestants make their runs. I'll give you some more of the inside story once I recover.