Donning the black embroidered Western Motorsports T-shirts, team WM officials took their places as the curtains raised for the 4th CanKids Rally 2015. Each official vehicle comprised of a team of 2-3 people, and had a designated photographer. I, along with Sameer were assigned with Sagar. Our team was called Team Jackal.
The other teams – Team B was lead by Bhuwan ji, Yogesh (aka Yo-Man) and Anchit(photographer); Team Papa was lead by Pritam and Bhuvan (photographer); Team DJ lead by Digvijay (aka DJ) and Uvraaj (photographer); finally Team A with our leader Anukraman, Yatin and Somya (photographer). Team Tiger had to drop out at the last minute due to a family emergency.
It’s a funny story how these names came up. It all started during the recce for Cankids. Anyway that may take forever, and my intent is to give you a glimpse of the back stage only. All officials are briefed about the day’s route and activities. The lead, assigned for the day, would place the teams at their designated TC (Time Check) point. The stage is still not live, but the radios go live as soon as the official vehicles start rolling – and then starts our bakar (non-stop non-sense-less gossip). Thanks to the radios, we all stay connected, both officially and “un-officially”!
No TC can leave/close their TC unless instructed by the lead. At the close of each TC, we were supposed to scan and send our TC control sheets. At day end, we must handover the hard copy of the control sheets to the results coordinator.
Day ends for the rally but not for the officials. Photographers download the images and send live feed on the WM website. Results coordinator ensures all data is entered correctly and declares the day’s result. Media coordinator feeds images and write-ups to the social media and other media houses. The team is then briefed about the next days plan.
And, finally we can eat and merry.
Next morning, team starts rolling again. Radio goes live with each team shouting our their team codes “Team Jackal rolling”, and so on.
We as officials don’t compete, but are in the race throughout. Reaching the TC before the rally begins and closing the TC only after the rally gets over. Our job is to ensure that the rally run smoothly as per the designated plan. It is undoubtedly an Adrenaline filling experience.
Why do we do this – because this is our passion! This is who we are – Team WM. It’s our Life of Pi.
Personally, this was my first official rally. But I have attended many rides with the WM team. I loved being a part of this, especially because it had a cause. It’s an amazing job the Cankids team is doing to spread cancer awareness in school and village children. Truly unique rally!