March 9, 2015 … mud and petrol fumes

Sunday was the day of the Deadwood Safari.


Hi revs, loud exhaust, mud and weeds, what’s not to like?

Each year, there is a National 4×4 Trials competition. Each leg comprises 30 short obstacle courses designed to challenge the ability of driver and co-driver to navigate their vehicle through it without taking out the marker pegs, and I think, without losing forward motion. Points are added for each peg run over or not passed. The objective is to get your front hubs past the end posts having lost no points. Zero is a perfect score. It is loud, spectacular and totally outrageous for those mindful of carbon footprints. It’s also a lot of fun. It attracts thousands each year to the farm in Whiteman’s Valley where the Wellington leg is hosted. I went last year and enjoyed the opportunity to take pictures close to the action, so I went again.


Thick sticky mud getting well and truly stirred up

After weeks of dry weather, there was a monumental downpour in the Wellington region on Saturday with 43mm of rain in the Hutt Valley. This contributed enormously to the mud obstacles. These seemed to have the consistency of overcooked porridge. Even so, when you have four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and up to 500 hp, the porridge gets stirred vigorously and the marshalls and any spectators foolish enough to get too close share in the distribution of the mud.


This drone is smart enough to pull its lifting legs (landing gear) up out of the way thus giving the camera a clear view though 360 degrees

There were many photographers around the course, including a team driving a high-end drone which could get very close to the action without the operator getting dirty at all.

Fast approach

Many of the obstacles required a high speed approach with lots of wheel spin.

Some sections were more challenging than others and there were some that most got through with a lot of bellowing from the exhaust, and the occasional breakage. At least one tie rod snapped leaving the car with its front wheels pointing in opposite directions.


The canvas strop is attached to an ordinary far tractor which is easily dragging the vehicle and a wall of mud, out of the swamp.

Some obstacles became more impossible as the day wore on and the mud was stirred up. Each section had either a farm tractor or a hydraulic digger nearby to rescue stalled vehicles. It must be galling for the crew that a farm tractor just attaches a towing strop, engages a low gear and lets the engine idle the whole mess out of trouble. No bellowing exhausts or spinning tyres, just a relaxed “ponk! ponk! ponk!” from the exhaust and the crew and their car are plucked from trouble.


Cautiously over the top and down the bank

Not all of the obstacles were mud. Some were steep dry crumbly clay with short sharp pitches which required the co-driver to be really skilled on the four brake levers. Overall it was an enjoyable day assisted by many volunteers and the best $10 investment for ages.


Sleepy afternoon in the Judgeford Valley

Towards the end of the day I was coming over SH58 (The Haywards Hill) in golden afternoon light. It occurred to me that the view back down the valley from Mt Cecil Road  towards Judgeford was worth a look.

That’s enough for today.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Cars, Landscapes, Machinery, Weather, Whiteman's Valley. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to March 9, 2015 … mud and petrol fumes

  1. Well there’s your end of year portfolio. Great action shots.

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