Friday Funday 2

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Johanna
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Sun May 12, 2019 8:24 am

Good Morning Almosters,

the second Friday-Funday drive took place in Nahil, usually an area for 10+ and above drives. So for sure this drive will be interesting for a big convoy of 5-/5+ drivers.
The day started early, I left home at 6:15 and as usually a met half of the convoy on the way.

At the meeting point the usual things, and off we went at 8am sharp towards the beautiful dunes of this area. The convoy was quite big with a total of 17 cars, including @Solmaz and @Agalon floating, @JockJKU leading and @Loca second lead, myself floating and @Rooies and @jose inside the convoy.

The drive was fast and as @JockJKU promised in the briefing proper "safari style" and we drove some relatively high arches, nearly reaching the crest. I suppose this drive was challenging for our drivers, as in addition to the pace and arches the sand was soft.
We had a couple of second tries, but thanks to detailed instructions of the rescue team, no one needed to be pulled out. Very well done everybody thumbsup

At one point @Adrian informed me, that the car in front of him disappeared at the last high arch. I looked back and saw a flag just behind the crest of the last dune.
We did a high arch there, close to the crest, so the car must have jumped over it somehow.
I went to check and found the car just behind the crest, stopped in a bad angle. @Solmaz and @Agalon arrived at the scene and we discovered that the car was not stuck, but the driver was waiting for instructions to bring down the car safely.
I got stuck in a position like this several times as well and I know how terrifying it can feel. It often happens when you start panicking and a normal reaction is to stop the car.

@Jock also mentioned it in the briefing, a moving car is a safe car. It is part of the learning curve to replace the habit of stopping in dangerous situations with the habit of turning your car down and accelerate.

It was a great drive and I think our drivers got a glimpse of an idea what is waiting in the 10+ level.
So keep coming everyone and polish your skills, I promise the next levels are worth it!

Have a great week everyone and see you all at the Grand Iftar have a nice day
BR, Johanna

If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.
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Taco
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Sun May 12, 2019 10:04 am

Hello everyone!

This was my 4th drive as a driver and my 1st time without my faithful passenger so I wasn't sure whether I would be more relaxed or excited (also read as stressed LOL). It was also the 2nd drive in the Friday Funday series.

Drive was organized by @JockJKU with @Solmaz & @Agalon co-marshaling (if this term even exists :)). Of course we also had our much loved intermediates, @Johanna, @Loca, @Rooies & @jose supporting our convoy.

I reached the meeting point a bit earlier than the scheduled time but as usual, many Almosters were already there, almost half the convoy! After the usual rituals (airing down the tires, removing the ABS & traction control module and putting up the flag) I eagerly joined the chit-chat. I immensely enjoy this time before the drive starts as it gives us the chance to catch up with friends, exchange ideas, share experiences, have a good laugh and mentally prepare yourself for the drive.

When it was time, the pre-drive briefing was delivered by @JockJKU. He explained what to expect from the drive and apparently it was going to be another relatively fast paced drive with repeatedly doing arches (which I had experienced for the first time just a week before during FF1 drive). People were reminded of the effective usage of radio and correct following distance. Since parts of the drive were going to be "safari style" keeping a long distance meant losing the convoy and keeping too little distance meant losing to chance from recovering should anything go wrong with the vehicle in front of you. Briefing ended with the convoy order & radio frequency details. We were also reminded to NOT FIGHT GRAVITY and the famous saying (which is believed to have originated from @Daggerfall :D) was repeated, A MOVING CAR IS A SAFE CAR.

I was the 3rd car in the convoy. @JockJKU was leading (naturally), with @Loca as 2nd lead, @Johanna sweeping, @Rooies & @jose distributed within the convoy to act as buffers and @Solmaz & @Agalon floating freely.

It was very good for me personally to have @Loca right in front of me as it gave me the opportunity to see how another very similar Pajero acted in order to adjust my driving. I also had @aminemac 2 cars behind, yet another Pajero. It would have been nice if he was right behind me though, 3 Pajeros in a row 8-)

@JockJKU gave us some -wonderfully adequate- time to warm up a little and off we were in a matter of minutes to the more serious things. We had a mix of different challenges, although the focus was on arches we did have some straight cresting as well as a few drops. While most people may not consider them, I'd like to believe personally that we did also have the chance to see what side-cresting is (I think only in 2 occasions which were extremely mild and anyone other than a fresh newbie like myself most probably won't call it side-cresting).

This was the most challenging and fun drive I've experienced so far and as always safety was kept a top priority. There was quite a high number of second tries and I think a few stucks. I'm not sure if there were any assisted recoveries or in all cases self recoveries worked but I hope to read about these from others' reports :)

This was a highly educational drive for me and I think it was extremely beneficial as I had the opportunity to learn more about my car and how different situations actually feel and look like. I had two second tries, one during straight cresting, having experienced from the last drive when to stop pushing (as soon as I felt the rear tires had started digging in) I did not get stuck, simple, reverse back, go again and done. The second one was while doing arches. We had come off one arch and almost immediately had to start another one with a sharp turn and I had slowed down too much apparently so I found myself not able to push upwards at the -almost- bottom of a bowl (I think it was). I wasn't sure if I was stuck yet or not and @Rooies came to the rescue, watching me from above. Listening to his directives I backed up as much as I could, climbed out towards where I'd come from (using a different angle) and did my second try, which I was able to pass problem free this time. In both occasions, the first thing I did was to radio the situation to inform the convoy of the situation, which is always repeated in every briefing to us newbies!

I managed to lose the track once as well :roll: Although I was not too far away from the 2nd lead, all of a sudden I found myself wondering how and from where the 2 vehicles in front me had moved forward. I was seeing their flags but I did not know how to get there. The very small dune in front of me looked too steep, almost like a wall and there were no tracks anywhere. I stopped and radioed in for help again. @Loca was my saviour this time, he doubled back and showed me where to cross the wall-like obstacle in front of me. I think because the dune was so steep as soon as the cars crossed it the sand was flowing down like water covering any track marks. I followed @Loca and moved on problem free. This showed me once again how important it is to NOT BREAK THE LINE-OF-SIGHT with the vehicle in front of you! We have to watch the vehicle in front at all times to understand the terrain and adjust ourselves anyways.

At one point I had 2 tracks in front of me suddenly and having seen Loca take the one of the left I followed him, which felt extremely sharp to me and I thought I had followed the wrong track. I thought I was helping so I announced on the radio that the left track was too sharp thinking the right track was the correct one still. I was promptly corrected by @JockJKU over the radio as apparently there was a ditch and bush waiting at the end of the right track and @Loca had changed the track to save the rest of the convoy from this danger. My bad, lesson learnt, keep your thoughts to yourself while still a newbie!!

There was also one time where I was apparently fighting gravity during an arch which I had not fully noticed myself. I'd seen vehicles in front of me fall into this situation and I thought it was so clear and how could one not realize it but apparently it was possible. Maybe it was not so bad but I heard @JockJKU over the radio right way, DO NOT FIGHT GRAVITY AND COME DOWN EARLIER IF THE SAME THING HAPPENS AGAIN. I had already done this earlier on this drive, cutting the arch shorter so I guess I need to be more careful and better listen to my car and judge the situation.

A memorable point was when I faced the highest and steepest dune in my very limited off-road driving experience. There was one specific dune where I had to move my neck front and have my eyes up to see where it was leading, it seemed like a giant tsunami wave coming up to it. I heard @Loca on the radio, "Taco, floor it!!!" and to my surprise I managed to complete the arch following the tracks, oh it was thrilling!

One thing has become crystal clear during this drive is the unsuitability of my tires. I can manage to keep up on a straight line but making turns is extremely problematic for me. I turn the steering wheel but the vehicle insists on going straight until I've slowed down way too much, making whatever comes after the curve much harder for me. The tires (from the previous owner) are still brand new so I couldn't justify to myself replacing them but it seems I don't have any other options now because I fear this is going to eventually put me in a dangerous situation.

Very special thanks go to @Loca for his guidance as well, knowing how the Pajeros are he did give me many important pointers throughout the drive which prevented me from hurting my vehicle unnecessarily and also getting stuck in dangerous situations!

I want to thank @JockJKU for organizing the drive and leading it, @Solmaz, @Agalon, @Johanna, @Loca, @Rooies & @jose for their support. It was a memorable drive for me and I can't thank you all enough.
Taceddin "Taco" | 0564806086
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Agalon
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Sun May 12, 2019 10:13 am

Nahil area is fantastic. The dune chains mixed with technical parts together makes it fun to drive there.
@JockJKU gave the briefing and we headed up for the drive. Overall the flow was not interrupted much and drivers did well. Some 2nd tried was there as usual part of the learning curve.
As @Johanna mentioned we had a call for @Chris-JL and attended with @Solmaz. Once we reached we saw that he dropped to the other side of the crest and stopped assuming he is stuck. Actually the car was on 4 wheels and had traction so we adviced him to floor full right front and he swiftly secured himself.
The drive ended with usual happy faces all inflated and headed back home while we went our way towards Hell’s Bells...

See you all next time...
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JockJKU
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Sun May 12, 2019 3:42 pm

Hi all!!

This trip we went from Nahil to the chicken farms outside Sweihan!

The focus was on arches and safari style, getting used to the feeling of climbing towards crests and how to control the jeep.

The convoy did very well!! Some second tries but no ropes!!

Thanks to @Agalon and @Solmaz and all the inters for the support!!

Till we meet again!

Jock
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Loca
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Sun May 12, 2019 6:43 pm

Taco wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:04 am

Very special thanks go to @Loca for his guidance as well, knowing how the Pajeros are he did give me many important pointers throughout the drive which prevented me from hurting my vehicle unnecessarily and also getting stuck in dangerous situations!
Thank you @Taco , all the times I'm glad to help the Pajero community in our Almost Family thumbsup
Gianluca (aka Loca)
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Tekton
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Sun May 12, 2019 8:01 pm

Hello everyone,

Friday Funday 2 was nice drive @JockJKU ensured new comers had real challenges in beauties of Sweihan.

Entire drive went well with no serious issues accept it is Ramadan and it was fasting day so it was difficult to stay on sand without having fluids but still manageable...

Thanks to @JockJKU for organizing the drive, @Solmaz, @Agalon, @Loca, @Rooies, @Johanna and @jose for supporting convoy.


Thanks & Regards
Tekton - Almost4x4
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Loca
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Sun May 12, 2019 9:34 pm

Dear Almosters,

Friday Funday 2 was my second drive in the support team. This was in the beautiful area of Nahil which is near Sweihan and offers small to medium size dunes. It's an area where 10+ and Intermediates are used to find the right playground for their drives therefore could have resulted too much challenging for drivers with around 5 drives in their records. Well this was not the case as @JockJKU delivered a very balanced drive with the right mix of adrenaline and safety for all the drivers thumbsup

@JockJKU held the briefing and warned the drivers by his straight and clear style: drive today will have quick pace "safari style". We'll do many arches so keep the distance a bit longer than usual. Keep the right momentum and go down as soon as you feel you don't have the right speed. Keep the car in movement as a "moving car is a safe car" (I love this) Psmiley

I was 2nd lead which is the place I love as it gives me so many chances to learn from behind our Marshals. It took some time to all the drivers to cope with the level of the drive which was a bit higher than what they got used before. However after 30' warm up everybody broke the ice and did drive very well. We had a few 2nd tries, few stucks but nothing major and all the drive was safe and smooth.

We did many arches which was new experience for most of the drivers and this was big fun for them. During the few stops we spent some good learning time talking about the importance of momentum, tires pressure and tires type. In fact cars with road tires were less easy to control in the arches due to tendency to slide of the rear. This is because rear of the car is lighter than the front, where the weight of the engine helps to keep the wheels sticking to the ground.

After approx 3hrs we reached the exit point in Sweihan. Day in the sand was over for many but not for @JockJKU , @Solmaz , @Agalon and me ... we could hear the scaring rings of Hell's Bells calling for the challenge of the day OSMILEY melt
Gianluca (aka Loca)
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Amir
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Mon May 13, 2019 1:57 pm

Hello Almosters!

After a while i’m back driving with Almost4x4 and just wanted to say as usual always exceed my expectations with how everything is organized, professional, safe and to the point.

I got a chance to drive in Friday Funday 1 and 2 lead by @JockJKU and both were excellent drives with no major stops at all. (Except the heat of course 😅)

Looking forward for more drives with the Almost4x4 family and always eager to learn from the best!

Thanks again to @JockJKU for the lead and thanks @Agalon, @Solmaz, @Rooies, @Johanna, @Loca and @Jose for the support!


See you on the sand ASAP!
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Mon May 13, 2019 3:38 pm

Hi Almosters,

Another great day out in the desert. This was the most challenging drive so far for me and consequently the most enjoyable. It was great fun going up and down some high and steep arches. This was my first drive in this area of the desert and I found it to be a little different. The convoy moved along quite rapidly with not many second tries or stuck vehicles (I don't remember there being any need for rescues by towing) so congratulations to Jock for choosing a path very much suited to the level of the drivers. Thanks to all the leaders & support as usual. Now I've got to wait at least 2 weeks for the next Newbie drive. What a drag!

Adrian
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Rooies
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Fri May 17, 2019 3:13 pm

We were heading to Nahil, been there before & I had a good idea what lies behind the dunes you see when you reach the meeting point grin

It was a -10 drive & @JockJKU said that we were going to have fun because they never a -10 drive to Nahil, there were a few worried faces. We did the briefing, got the convoy order, @JockJKU placed me in the convoy to look after the "problem" vehicles.... OSMILEY

He headed into the sand & it was not long before the "problem" started giving problems. A Pajero got stuck but he managed to do a self rescue, second try & got it right. Their were a few second tries from the group that I looked after, a few stucks, but not once did we use a rope, well done to the drivers thumbsup . Somewhere late in the drive we "lost" a Jeep, I just saw a flag & the driver on the otherside of the dune....how did he got there I asked myself slow . @Solmaz , @Johanna & @Agalon went to the rescue & it was not long before they joined us again.

It was a very nice drive with a challenging track for the drivers, but they did very. Thank you @JockJKU for an interesting track.

Till we meet in the sand again, take care.

Greetings
Rooies
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