Mahindra Adventure Monsoon Challenge 2017 TSD Rally – Report

Mahindra recently invited us for the Mahindra Adventure Monsoon Challenge 2017 TSD Rally. For the 2017 Edition, the TSD Rally started at Mangaluru and ended in Goa.

Mahindra Monsoon Challenge, one of India’s biggest TSD (time, speed, distance) rallies, was flagged off from Hotel Moti Mahal, Mangaluru on 24th June 2017. The rally then made its way to Murudeshwar, and ended in Goa on 25th June. The TSD rally route included highways, B roads and rough stretches with the magnificent Western Ghats as an omnipresent backdrop.

Participants competed under the following categories – Open Category, Challenge Category, Corporate Category, Couple Category and Media Category. A total of 22 contestants participated in the aforementioned categories.

In the Open Class Category, Sanjay Takale and MK Mohammed Musthafa finished first. Close on their heels was the duo of Vinay BP and Ravikumar BM who emerged winners in the Challenge Category. Santosh Kumar and Pradeep Nagaraj were the winners in the Corporate Category. In the Couple Category, Harsha Fredrick and Heldise Precilla were declared winners. Rushlane competed in the Media category, and we emerged winners. Mahindra allotted 3 KUV100 SUVs for 3 Media contestants. Here is a brief report of our TSD rally experience.

Day 1

The night before flag-off, a briefing session was held, followed by a Q&A session. In the morning, we collected our manifests for the day at 7.15 am. Our start time was 8.27 am and we were ready with the calculations before we left the hotel for our destination, Murdeshwar. Exactly at 8.27 am, we started our rally from the exit gate of the hotel.

Being the first time at a TSD Rally, my navigator Omkar, and I were obviously nervous, and excited. Adding to our nervousness was the fact that our GPS app (on an Android phone) wasn’t locking to the satellites. We navigated through the narrow streets of Mangaluru using the trip metre of the Mahindra KUV 100, and reached the outskirts. We had a free zone of around 30 mins, which meant no Marshals were present in such zones.

After the cool off zone, we tried our best at maintaining the speed given to us in the logbook. On the first day, we saw a couple of competitors missing turns, which made them lose time. Navigating with instructions and small sketches printed on a paper seemed a bit tough on the first day. The Media category was supposed to compete only till a specific Time Control who informed us that from theron, it was a free run for us.

We were free to use this time to click pictures of the Rally and soak in the beautiful weather en-route. At the end of Day 1, we were leading in the media category with a penalty of 7 minutes 17 seconds, with the 2016 edition winners closely following us at 9 minutes 07 seconds. We reached Murdeshwar around 5 pm, and called it a day post a timely dinner at around 8pm. The next day was reserved for the final leg of the Mahindra Adventure Monsoon Challenge 2017 TSD Rally, to go from Murdeshwar to Goa.

Day 2

Similar to the previous day, as soon as we got on board, we immediately began our calculations from the logbook for the day. With the KUV 100 needing a refill, we were worried about losing time for the diesel refill. Thankfully, the first 50 mins for the day was a free zone and we could tank up the KUV 100 without any worries or loss of time The free zone continued until the National Highway ended, and we had to take an uphill road to the start point.

Exactly as per our calculated time, we left the start point where many other competitors were waiting for their time to start. Thankfully, the GPS app was working today, and we were in sync with the distances mentioned in the logbook. The only challenge was to navigate, and also maintain the specific speed mentioned for that time specified distance. In between, Marshals were noting our time of arrival at specific stops based on which, penalties were calculated at the end of the day.

On day 2, thanks to the working GPS app, we had improvised on mistakes made on Day 1. After driving onward for 150 kms, which included some short free zones, we were asked to submit our Time Sheet to the last Marshal, which meant our competition had ended. It was a free run now for Media category contestants till our hotel in Panaji, Goa. We reached our hotel around 5.30 pm. The provisional results were displayed around 7 pm in the hotel lobby, which mentioned we had a penalty of 5 mins 45 seconds. We were leading the Media category and as expected, declared winners at the Prize Distribution ceremony post 8.30 PM.