Covered Bridge 47 Rally – A Vermont Tradition

On November 2, 2013 the 47th running of the Covered Bridge Rally took place at the Mount Snow ski resort in West Dover, Vermont.  This event has been put on by the same rallymaster, Ted Goddard, for all 47 years.

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The Mount Snow Ski Resort

The day started quite early for me.  My driver for the day, Dave Siesicki, and I had agreed to meet at Mount Snow at 7:30AM in order to register for the rally.  Due to practical rally registration timing we were unable to pre-register for this rally.  Dave and I had decided that were we going to compete in a rally that day, but we weren’t sure which one.  The Sport Motor Car Club of Montreal had re-scheduled their Night Trials rally in Bromont, Quebec for the evening of the same day as the Covered Bridge Rally.  Dave wanted to go to Quebec, but his passport had expired.  So Dave applied for a new passport and the plan was to go to Quebec if he got his new passport in time, or go to the Covered Bridge if he did not.  As it turned out by three days before the day, it became clear that Dave’s passport would not be ready, so to Covered Bridge it was.  I had to leave my house at 5:00AM in order to get to Mount Snow at 7:30AM to meet Dave.

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Location of Mount Snow

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Mount Snow In Winter

Once we both got to the rally site, in addition to getting registered, we had to get Dave’s car fitted with my navigation equipment.  Dave is contemplating selling his 1991 Honda Civic that he has used for rallying over the years.  As a result he had removed the wiring and lights that he had previously installed for the rally equipment.  As our out time for the rally was 8:38AM, we had to scramble to get registered and get the car prepared, in addition to shooting the breeze with the other rally friends and competitors.

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Cars Lined Up At The End Of The Odometer Check Section Ready To Rally

Dave and I got everything done and were able to get started on time.  The weather was great – cool and sunny.  And the roads were perfect.  There was just enough moisture on the gravel roads to suppress the dust, but not enough to make them muddy or slippery in any way.

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By Late Fall The Vermont Trees Have Lost Most Of Their Color

In the fall, the New England area of the United States has a well deserved reputation for the spectacular colors of the tree leaves.  At the time of the Covered Bridge Rally most of the leaves have fallen to the ground.  And the colors of the remaining leaves aren’t so bright; but still Vermont has some lovely scenery.

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I Was The Navigator For Dave Siesicki In His 1991 Honda

One of the issues that Dave Siesicki and I had to deal with was the use of my new Timewise 798A rally computer.  While I had used this rally computer model in Targa Newfoundland, La Carrera Panamericana, and the Chihuahua Express it was the first time that I had used it in a time-speed-distance rally.  I had however used the similar Timewise 797A in a Finger Lakes winter rally.  Because of the short time that we had to get the car set up before the rally, I had premounted the Timewise 798A on my rally board.

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My Navigation Equipment Set-Up For The Covered Bridge Rally

In the morning Dave & I had some good scores but we also had a couple of not so good scores.  After a couple of legs, we noticed that the error on the driver’s display was reading in seconds, while the main rally computer was displaying the time in hundreds of a minute.  Once we discovered this Dave preferred to leave it that way for the remainder of the rally as he had become used to using seconds.

At the lunch break, we had some tasty food that was provided as part of the rally.  After lunch we headed out to the first control.  On the way to the first control we came to a line up of stopped cars on the road.  We got out of the car and walked up to see what the problem was.

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Adam Brodeur, Mark Everett, Josh Benner, And Rick Beattie Walking To See What The Cause of The Stopped Cars Was

What we saw was two recovery vehicles spread across the road.  A flat bed truck was hooked up to a traditional tow truck that in turn was trying to pull a car that somehow had found its way down a deep and steep embankment with a stream at the bottom.

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The Tow Truck Is Secured By Another Truck

It took a few minutes to get the car out of the ditch, but it turned out that everyone involved in the rally was able to make it to the first control within the limit of the available Time Allowance provided by the rallymaster.

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The Tow Truck Winched Out A Car From A Very Deep Ditch

In the afternoon Dave and I did better than we did in the morning.  In the end we finished 5th out of 22 cars, so we were relatively satisfied because we knew where our errors were and they are easily eliminated in future rallies.  In addition, we were dealing with a new piece of equipment.  The winners in a very close finish were the Syracuse, NY team of Mike Mazoway and Frank Beyer.  Congrats to them both!

The results are presented below and you can see that the top three teams had final scores that were almost the same.

Covered Bridge 47 – November 2, 2013 Results

Place   overall Names Car Number Place in class Total AM  Total PM Total
1 M. Mazoway/F. Beyer 3 1A 41 27 14
2 C. Regan/S. Beliveau 1 2A 42 25 17
3 P. Beattie/R. Beattie 6 3A 44 33 11
4 M. Beliveau/K.   Murdaugh 2 4A 86 45 41
5 D. Siesicki/S.   McKelvie 8 5A 108 57 51
6 A. Brodeur/J. Benner 7 6A 156 36 120
7 Q. Golden/B. Shrader 4 7A 171 154 17
8 M. Kennedy/J. Ling 11 1S 356 170 186
9 M. Everett/B. Lyle 5 2S 480 259 221
10 S. Gosselin/R.   Gosselin 12 3S 490 341 149
11 D. Praetorius/C.   Roddy 13 4S 520 363 157
12 N. Field/S. Field 9 5S 554 323 231
13 D. Baker/K. Mattice 16 1D 786 223 563
14 S. Moore/J. Bennett 14 2D 789 382 407
15 T. O’Neil/C. Cyr 21 3D 938 483 455
16 K. Mims/J. Skende 19 4D 1315 536 779
17 D. Beliaev/B. Knight 19 5D 1429 859 570
18 K. Moody/S. Coble 10 6S 1516 567 949
19 N. Moore/R. Truman 15 6D 1563 667 896
20 B. Schenk/J. Anderson 17 7D 1911 613 1298

The rally ended with some rally stories washed down with some food and drinks back at Mount Snow. I enjoyed taking part in the rally and I look forward to competing in Covered Bridge 48 next year.  Covered Bridge 48 will be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at Okemo, Vermont – so save the date.

Also, it is not too early to think about and plan for the last Covered Bridge Rally, Covered Bridge 50, which will be held on Saturday, November 6, 2016 back at Mount Snow, Vermont.  We should have a great get-together and rally to celebrate the 50th and final running of this Vermont tradition and its rallymaster, Ted Goddard.

The next rally in the SCCA New England Region is always a great rally as well – The Winter Challenge rally.  This winter rally will be held on February 15, 2014 and will be based in Barre, Vermont.  Multi-time US rally champion, John Buffum, is the rallymaster for this rally.  This event should not be missed.

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