Mountains to the Sea 2018

A classic two-day Time-Speed-Distance road rally

It all began in 1965 when Don and Ruth Murray won the inaugural Mountains to the Sea rally which ended on the turnaround in Seaside, Oregon with Miss Oregon flagging the teams in. Today the trophy holds the names of many of the top rally competitors from the northwest and beyond. This year marked the 53rd anniversary with a two-day rally starting in Portland, an overnight stay in Seaside, and a return trip to the Portland area the next day.

Over the years the rally has been styled as everything from a simple touring event to a hard-core trap event. The more recent trend has tended toward the touring style – easier on everyone. But we also like a little variety, so we came up with a format that would allow for both simple course-directing but with a little more challenging timing aspect.

To that end we created some Automatic Route Instructions that would be executed every time they occurred except in Transit sections:

A. CSU 1 at each ARROW.
B. PAUSE 0.10 minutes at “AHEAD”.
C. CAST the posted legal speed limit minus 5 mph.

Automatic A was all about curve arrows. At each curve arrow contestants increased their average speed by 1 mph. Not so interesting until it occurs five times over two curvy miles. Over the two days there were more speed changes based on automatics than in the numbered route instructions. Those automatics provided all the randomness we needed. Rally teams would not be able to calculate perfect times for the course in the parking lot but would have to discover it in real time on the road. May the best team win.

The Road to Seaside

Automatics are the way of the day

The first day traveled from Portland to Seaside with a lunch stop in Rainier, an afternoon rest stop at the Bradley Scenic Viewpoint, a drive past an eagle sanctuary and through Astoria. Teams encountered a mix of passage controls and do-it-yourself controls on mostly paved, less traveled winding roads.

By the end of day one Washington’s Bob Morseburg and Mike Daily stood in first place overall with 23 points for 150+ miles and 10 controls. Oregon’s Kevin Poirier and Chris Hale were second with 36, and Wisconsin’s Ann Olewnik and Jim Crittenden were in third with 59.

And since it was Saturday night in Seaside, it was time to party on the beach. Bill Ferber provided the BBQ and all the trimmings, beer and wine flowed, the beach fire got lit and folks got some time to relax and relate after a long day of rallying.

The Road Continues

The twists and turns of the rally world come into play

Come Sunday morning teams were back at it. The second day wound through similar areas traveling down the highway 30 corridor. After the lunch stop in Clastskanie teams headed to the hills once again on scenic country backroads through Columbia County. The final three legs featured a grand drive through timber land, with automatic after automatic, followed by three passage controls within the last 5 miles to the finish in Scappoose. And it was here the day was decided.

The lead team from day one, Washingtonian’s Bob and Mike, made two crucial errors on day two which put Oregon’s Kevin and Chris in the lead. But with less than four miles to the final control, the sender on their computer failed knocking them off the pace and in fifth overall. This opened the door for Wisconsin’s Ann and Jim to squeeze past them and into first place, a mere 18 points ahead of Bob and Mike. 

Blake Harer and Jeremy Green took 6th place overall and SOP honors while Paul Eklund and Yulia Smolyansky took 3rd overall and the win in the Limited class. A little further down the board, Marcus Gattman and dad David claimed the Masters class while the team of Eustacia Su and Valerie Frank took the win in the Novice class.

Along The Lonely Road
For the rally there are costs involved that can’t truly be measured – and that is the workers. They come to a two-day event while covering their own expenses for gas, food and lodging. Some even bring their own equipment. And they spend their day sitting alongside the road waiting for the next rally car.

There is no glory for them. Yet without them there would be no glory for the others.

They are the true heroes of the sport and we are thankful for every one of them. A heartfelt thanks to our worker crew: Larry Lefebvre, Larry and Annette Anson, Randy and Gloria Hale, Bree Anderson, Fran and Ann Hanchek, and NW Rally All-Stars Steve Perret and Kathryn Hansen (pictured above) who drove from the Seattle area to come help. Lawanna Poirier helped facilitate a great Saturday buffet lunch at El Tapatio in Rainier. And a special thanks to Bill and Kelly Ferber for providing a fantastic Saturday dinner on the beach in Seaside.