In 2014, Goa rocked with the
sound and fury of the Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India. It is now
back in its mean and terrible form. The 2015 edition of the off-road motorsport
extravaganza is set to take place in Goa from July 24 to 31, 2015.
The competition will have 40
slots available, with the entry fee for Competitors at Rs 75,000 per team; each
team will comprise of a driver and a navigator. Touring Adventurer slots are
also available at Rs 15,000 for those interested solely in experiencing the RFC
spirit without competing. For all the off-roading enthusiasts looking to take
part in this exciting event either as a competitor or a touring adventurer, the
participation forms, event schedule, rules and regulations and all other
details of the event are available at www.rfcindia.in.
Conceptualised and inaugurated
by Luis J.A. Wee in 1997, the Rainforest Challenge was initially launched in
Malaysia to challenge off-roaders to test their driving, leadership and
survival skills under extreme off-road conditions. Since then, it has been
recognised as a benchmark in extreme motorsports internationally.
RFC is counted amongst the top
ten toughest motorsport events around the world, with Italy, Russia, Sri Lanka,
Vietnam, Tunisia, China, and Australia amongst the countries that annually hold
this prestigious competition. India joined the ranks amongst the extreme
off-roading elite in 2014 with the inaugural Force Gurkha RFC India in Goa.
Surviving the challenge
Glory, winning and recognition
– these are the stakes the teams compete for, but once the challenge starts the
only thing that matters is survival. Skills, physical endurance and mental
strength are frequently put to test as challenges prop up unannounced; the
beautiful scenery of Goa only serves to belie the remorseless demands of the
track. Competitors are thrust into an unrelenting environment designed to test
their mettle; their minds and bodies pushed to the breaking point and far
The drive through a
challenging landscape full of gullies, ruts, impassable streams and other
obstacles natural and artificial consists of four competitive legs – Prologue, Predator, Terminator and Twilight
– which are further sub-divided into 24 Special Stages (SS); points are earned
on successful completion of each SS. The Prologue stage exposes the
participants to the elements in full view of spectators; the mean machines
whoosh down the track, navigating and dodging obstacles, vying for the pole
position. But hold on to your horsepower before you zoom out too fast, for a
good head-start can only take you so far; Force Gurkha RFC India is about
endurance, not speed. The competition makes use of a point format – points can
be earned for successful completion of tasks, demonstration of vehicle recovery
skills, whereas deductions and penalties may be levied in case of infringement,
causing damage to the flora and fauna, and other offences.
Awards are handed out at the
end of the Twilight stage. The trophy is handed to the team with most points,
gaining them an automatic free entry to that year’s mother event in Malaysia.
But it’s not just the podium finish that matters; at Force Gurkha RFC India,
everyone is a winner. The ‘Team Spirit Award’ is given to an individual
competitor based on leadership skills, ability to motivate others and work with
team mates to ideate solutions. The winner will be decided based on individual
points assigned to competitors daily for non-SS tasks. The ‘Jungleman Award’ is
a prestigious individual award presented to someone who shows exceptional
survival and 4-wheel driving skills, good teamwork, excellent recovery and
outdoor skills. The ‘Environment Award’ will be given to an individual or group
of individuals who care for and try to preserve the environment. The individual
must believe in the RFC policy of staying in tune with the environment. Other
awards such as ‘Most Unique 4x4’ and ‘Ladies Team’ are in store too.