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Eric Hall

sonorarally Sonora Rally Adventure Raid

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This is a REALLY cool idea!  Basically it's a tour of the Sonora Rally Mar 17-22, 2019 on an adventure motorcycle!  Get to ride adv-friendly trails and stay each night in the bivouac and get a feel for a true rally raid event.

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I think this is really fantastic.  If you're interested in doing something like this then I can tell you you're going to have a blast.  That part of Mexico is very beautiful and offers a lot of great riding.  The food is amazing and the people very friendly.  It's not an unsafe part of the country either.

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I don't know the exact race course but the race last year starts in San Luis Rio Colorado which is just across the border south of Yuma, AZ and snakes down along the east side of the Gulf of California.

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Visit their website for more information!

My contact says: 
Whoever comes along on this tour will have the oversight and support of the org for safety as well as full bivvy experience and out and back to the race course with a little following along the course...lots of great scenery and some wine and cheese!

New Adventure Raid class ($1350):
The new Adventure Raid class replaces last years Safari Class.  Adventure Raid is intended as an introduction to navigation rally without the stresses of racing and most extreme terrain. It is a guided trip, designed for street legal 4 wheel drive vehicles (Raptors, Jeeps and Overlanders) and adventure motorcycles (BMW GS, KTM 950, etc.). You will be running paved and dirt roads mostly parallel to the race course, with occasional intersections with the race course to provide opportunities to watch the action.  You will not be running at race speeds or scored in results.  Navigation is by following the guide and following provided GPS tracks. The trip will be at an easy pace to enjoying the scenery and the unique Sonora Rally experience, at points along the course and in the bivouac.

  • 5 day guided trip that parallels the Sonora Rally
  • Proof of Mexican auto insurance required
  • May include a portion of a race-like paper roadbook to see what roadbook navigation is like (you may want a basic rally odomotor, like the $20 RallyBlitz app for iphone or the free F2R Rally Tripmeter app for Android).  These apps are not allowed in the competition categories.
  • The Rally Comp device used in the race classes will not be used in the Adventure Raid class
  • Includes Sonora Rally Adventure Raid decals
  • Includes Bivouac Pass with bivouac meals and awards party dinner
  • Includes 4 nights in hotel (double occupancy).  You will be paired in the room with your "navigator" or a fellow rider, or an event volunteer.
  • Camping 2 nights at remote dirt bivouacs (right in there with the competitors) using your own camping gear.
  • For cars, a vhf radio programmed to Sonora Rally frequency is highly recommended
  • A SPOT or inReach tracking device is required.
  • Limited spaces available, so don't wait to enter.
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I'M IN!  My understanding is that we will start in San Luis Rio Colorado (adjacent to Yuma) and end this year in Hermosillo for a killer finish party!  Deeper into Sonora than the rally has ever been.

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Here's a little more from a press release today...

ABOUT SONORA RALLY
Held deep in the expansive deserts of Sonora, Mexico, the Yokohama Sonora Rally is a five-day off-road navigation rally and a true Dakar-style adventure. Created by Dakar veterans Darren Skilton and Scott Whitney in 2014, the venue has brought rally raid, a mainstream attraction in Europe and Africa, to the forefront of the North American automotive world. Organizers have fueled the passion and growth of the sport authentically, bringing decades of experience in the form of world-class road books, pre-event navigation classes, and professional logistics management.

The region’s uncharted territory, massive sand dunes, and spectacular landscapes lend perfectly to rally raid, and nuances of Sonoran culture render it an authentic international venue. The Sonora Rally is also the only North American race to be deemed an official “Road to Dakar” event. This prestigious affiliation with Dakar has landed it squarely in the center of the global media stage. Traditionally open to dual-sport motorcycles, UTVs, and four-wheeled vehicles, this year they are introducing a non-competition Adventure Raid component to the rally.

The Raid
Adventure Raid is designed for those that want to experience rally raid and navigation without the stresses of racing. This guided trip is open to street-legal four-wheel drive vehicles such as Jeeps, Raptors, and Tacomas, as well as dual-sport BMWs and KTMs.

On the first day, after the racers make their way through scrutineering, Adventure Raid members will join competitors in an instructional navigation class. The next day the group will travel at an easy-going pace, allowing time to take in the scenery and absorb the full Sonora Rally experience. At pre-determined points, they will turn off on lonely two-tracks that intersect the racecourse to get close to the action. Participants have the choice of following their guide or venturing out on their own, navigating via provided GPS tracks. When the sun dips toward the horizon, they will head for the nightly bivouac to experience rally raid at its finest.

The Bivouac
Sonora Rally is renowned for its unique bivouacs. Erected deep in the desert or near sandy beaches on the Sea of Cortez, they are a place of camaraderie where world-class competitors, amateur racers, and crews mingle and share tales of their exploits. Adventure Raid participants will enjoy locally sourced food and artisanal beer, as well as Mexico's famous Guadalupe wine provided by celebrity chefs. Some nights will be spent in hotels (four nights are included with registration) while others will be spent camping under the stars. After the morning gathering for breakfast, participants will head out for another day of exploration.

The Guide
This year’s Adventure Raid will be led by Chris Collard, an internationally recognized journalist and adventurer. He began traveling in Mexico in his youth, has crossed all seven continents by four-wheel drive, and is an Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee. You will be traveling in good company.

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