Mid Atlantic Rally - 2005
years Mid Atlantic Rally was held from Thursday October 6th through
Sunday October 9th at Pearls Pond, Rt 652,
My original plans were to take 3 days to drive the 1,658 miles from
Upon arriving at the Rally venue on Thursday I was surprised to meet up
with Kevin Willey and Kevin Newell from
The property hosting MAR consists mainly of red claying dirt which turns
very quickly into red sticky mud. Friday morning saw all trails transformed from
easy and a bit of fun into potential nightmares. Many people were wearing big
smiles for the fun they thought was to come. First, what to do for breakfast?
Not a hard choice, fresh donuts made on site were available for purchase along
with a variety of muffins. All washed down with hot coffee which helped jump
start the heart for the day’s adventure, especially after all that rain over
night. Luckily for me, these items were available each day of the event.
Whilst many took in a Safety Session and guided drive conducted by Bill
Burke and Steve Mason, the more adventurous took off in small groups to explore
in the mud. “Rescue” crews from ROAV were kept busy most of the day going
out to help those hapless many who found themselves bogged, stuck and even lost
in the mud that was MAR [Short now for Mud & Rain]. The most interesting
event occurred when one group of rescuers led by Kevin Willey came across a
Discovery with only 3 wheels and no occupants. Apparently the entire end from
swivel ball out had detached spreading parts all over the place. Another
Discovery attempted the river crossing only to find itself drowned with water
halfway up the windscreen. After being extracted and dried out the Discovery II
was stuck in low range with the owner unable to remove his key. Friday was a
full day of stories such as these.
Bill Burke entertained us Friday evening with a slide presentation from
his Camel Trophy experience. He explained the process by which the
Saturday morning saw more rain and warnings of impending doom. At about
The annual Rally auction was moved to
due to the rain and many items form DVD’s to
Winches were raffled. A small belt pack actually worn and used in the Camel
Trophy was donated by Bill Burke. This item attracted the most vigorous bidding
from a number of interested parties. Later that evening a Banquet was held with
a “Creative Black Tie” as its theme. Steve Hoare [yes of LRM fame] took this
seriously and turned up wearing a skirt [Ok it was a kilt but skirt sounds much
better], Evening Shirt and Bow tie topped off with an enormous blue felt English
Flag top hat.
Sunday morning everyone awoke to bright Blue Skies and no rain! Just
kidding although there was no rain! Most people were packing up and trying to
get out of the rally site with many non 4WD vehicles getting stuck trying to
drive up very slight grassy slopes. The catering truck for Sunday brunch got
bogged no more than 20 yards off the main road trying to get in to feed us all.
Luckily someone had a Defender 110 [fancy that] close at hand to tow the Ford
Pick up out of the way and extricate the catering trailer.
MAR attracted an eclectic variety of Land Rovers this year. From my
wanderings I managed to view the Rare Cuthbertson tracked Series Land Rover, a
Dormobile, 3 G4 Discoveries, Series I, II, IIA, IIB & III, Defender 90’s,
Defender 110’s, Defender 130’s, Discovery I, II & LR3, Classic Range
Rovers, P38’s and the Current Range Rover. There were also various hybrids
along to show off the expertise of their owners in fabrication and innovation.
In my roamings I managed to talk with people from many Land Rover Clubs
from places such as:
A number of Vendors had stands and I managed to meet many whom I had only
spoken to over the phone such as Scott from Rover Specialties; Steve from DAP,
Mark from Rovers North; Adrian from 4x4 Adventure Gear; Bill from Kensington
Motor Cars, Eric from Atlantic British and Grampa’s Retired Rovers. There were
also a few other vendors however regrettably I did not manage to chat with them.
Steve from Rovertym and Jason from Red Rhino Products were also at MAR although
neither had a stand this year.
An “Aluminum Man” contest was held on several of the Rally Days and
generated interest for spectators and participants alike. This consisted of a
number of 4WD related challenges to determine who was the most crazy, I mean
creative and skilled. For example one of the challenges consisted of placing a
ground anchor on the opposite side of a small ditch, once secure a team member
had to climb back across the winch cable to pick up a piece of paper from the
ground then race back to start a small fire without matches.
MAR organizers did a great job bringing everything together especially
under difficult circumstances. The attendees I spoke with were all welcoming and
very enthusiastic to discuss their trucks, where they had taken them and what
things they had done to make them better. A better bunch of people would be hard
to find! See you at next year’s event.