as a sport and as a pastime has taken off over the last two years
like a gale force tornado. More and more, people are turning from
mild trail riding to building or wanting to build all-out crawling
machines capable of taking on the worst rocks in the world. But
even with those really cool custom-built rigs, most of the competitions
open to serious crawlers have historically been near the country's
coasts. For many, though, the first serious "rockcrawling"
competition was held in Las Cruces New Mexico.
start of this new faction of the sport - the faction called competitive
rockcrawling - local wheelers have taken to the nightly campfire
and wondered how they would or could stack up against the best
in the country under the same circumstance and on the same trails.
now Rich Klein of Cal-Rocs
is giving people across the country that opportunity. And in turn,
Rich is finding a number of new places to wheel with obstacles
that people never thought existed. Thus the birth of NARRCA
(formally titled The North American Regional Rock Crawling Association),
an off-shoot of it's larger more professional brother Cal-Rocs
( California Rock-Crawling & Off Road
Championship Series). NARRCA is designed to promote
regional events with local drivers and get more people involved
in the sport of competitive rockcrawling.
first such event in Texas took place the weekend of April 4-6
Off Road Park near Katemcy, Texas. This sprawling 800 acre
garden of granite is better known throughout the state as "Katemcy
Rocks." The Kruse family opens their property up about two
weekends a month to recreational four-wheelers but this competition
just blew everyone away.
competition really began on Friday with the training of the local
judges and a tech talk by Rich going over strategies and giving
the new drivers and judges a chance to learn the ropes of competitive
rockcrawling before going out to compete on the actual course.
From talking to various competitors, I understand this was a real
was broke down into two classes: Pro-Modified and Modified Stock.
The Modified Stock class consisted of vehicles with 35" or
smaller tires and stock or near-stock bodies. For example, "All
vehicles must retain their original back body corner designs (no
dovetailing permitted). All vehicles must have rear lights for
stop/turn and driving. Aftermarket lights may be used."
Vehicles with larger then 35" tires, custom mods like hydraulic
steering or tube chassis run in the Pro-Modified class.
Example: Modified Stock
Example: Pro Modified
ran a series of six trail sections on each of two days (six trail
sections on Saturday and six trail sections on Sunday). Even though
they run the same courses, some selection of cones are considered
optional (extra points) for the Modified Stock classes and are
generally required for the vehicles in the Pro-Modified class.
Vehicles/Teams (one spotter/one driver) accumulate points for
things like running over cones, backing up, stopping, etc. Each
section has a max point value and a time limit. In other words,
if you score the max number of points or take too long going through
the section you are done with that section.
Example of the terrain. Notice the orange and green cones.
Green cones mean optional points.
If you missed
this first Texas event or heard enough about it to whet your appetite
for competition rockcrawling, then be sure to get prepared to
attend the next Texas event. NARRCA will bring round 2 of their
series back to Katemcy on September 12-14 2003. Be prepared to
go play on the rocks!