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Offroading on the Farm reaping success

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 12, 2019

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OFFROADING on the Farm: Stage 3 held at Brighton River in St Elizabeth on Sunday was the biggest of the fledgling competition to date. The series began July last year.

“It was another successful staging despite the late start. As we go along each staging of the event always surpasses our expectations. This staging, we had a bigger crowd and more sponsors on-board,” Troy Bernard, series co-organiser, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Once going, the event, now in its third iteration, provided a more streamlined flow of action from one off-roading challenge to the next with clearly marked areas and security for spectator safety.

“For this staging, we had introduced a few new challenges and made it into a real competition by awarding prizes to persons who ranked first, second, third overall. We did a few adjustments to some of the challenges; for example we made the swamp challenge much bigger and with a lot more mud,” said Bernard.

Those who opted to complete found themselves able to mix and match the obstacles available. These ran the gamut of the Elephant Footsteps that tested vehicle suspension to the Swamp Challenge that pushed all to their limits.

“We had two classes that competitors could choose to enter; professional and amateur. For each obstacle challenge, the top three times for each would award them with points, 15, 10 and 5, respectively. From there, whoever had the highest points were awarded the first, second and third overall positions for the day,” he said.

At the end of the day, it was an unlikely victory taken by the 1995 Nissan Patrol driven by Cheval Darby out of Clarendon, as he faced quite a cadre of more modern machinery and experienced off-road drivers. While he didn't win any of the challenges he entered, he maintained a constant second-place finishing to put him on top points-wise.

“I didn't plan to enter. It was just an on-the-spot decision,” Darby said.

Having owned his unmodified example passed down to him from his father for the past six years, he's looking forward to the next event.

“I do plan to enter again, but next time I'm going to bring my crew,” he said.

Second overall was off-roading enthusiast Steve Case. Shane Howden followed in third. Case also captured the Amateur Championship, with Howden second and Dwayne McKenzie third in that class.

Looking ahead to the next Offroading on the Farm in October, Bernard and his team are hoping to build on the success.

“The level of support and positive reviews from competitors and patrons is always encouraging. We had a few new sponsors on-board whose brands had a lot to offer this staging. This branch of motorsports we have introduced in Jamaica is accepted very well by persons who already have an understanding of it and those who are now interested in being a part of this growing trend,” Bernard added.


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