A classic Time-Speed-Distance road rally

Rockaway Lobster

Twenty-one cars entered the Sept. 18 Mountains to the Sea Rally. Two canceled and one had equipment problems early in the rally (you can’t run a TSD road rally without an odometer or speedometer), so 18 teams finished the rally.

The weather gods did not favor us. After over eight months of little to no rain, over an inch of rain fell on rally day, breaking the previous record of almost an inch in 2010.

Views of far-off mountains enjoyed by the rallymasters when they were writing the rally were not visible on rally day. Contestants drove through thick fog and heavy rain in some spots, just barely able to see the road ahead.

Luckily the skies cleared or at least the rain stopped pouring by the end of the rally. Weather on the beach at the bonfire was pleasant, not too windy and not raining.

A big thank you to long-time Cascade rally competitor and regional rally supporter Scott Fisher who lives in the Rockaway Beach area and volunteered to be our Fire Master. He had the beach fire blazing when the rally cars arrived at the finish. Thank you, Scott!

About the rally
The 180-mile route took about six and a half hours to complete. The first two hours of rally included a 30-minute odometer calibration section that ended at Willamette Park in West Linn, a 10-minute transit across north Wilsonville, and 13 timed legs. During these first legs of the rally, the route twisted and turned, wrapping back on itself, providing excellent views of scenic vistas (which most teams never saw).

Then the route went through Newberg for lunch which was part of a 75-minute “Lunch with Monte” Monte Carlo section, ending near Bald Peak State Park. The Monte Carlo checkpoint was identified in the route instructions with official mileage and at the physical location by a CSCC checkpoint sign with the rallymaster, Monte Saager, sitting nearby. The exact time that you are supposed to be there is also in the route instructions.

So, you know where you are supposed to be and you know when you are supposed to be there. Just drive by the sign at exactly the right time and you get a zero! How hard can that be? Check the Leg 18 scores. A few teams figured out how to come pretty close. But perfect performance was achieved only by the team of Brian and Jamie Anderson in Car #3 with a score of zero on Leg 18. Nicely done!

During a 15-minute break at Bald Peak State Park, Victoria Saager distributed dash plaques and a memento of the rally (a small plush lobster) to teams as they entered the park. Over the next two hours the route headed west, through Carlton and then along the Nestucca River, to Beaver. With few deviations or speed changes, the sheer number of checkpoints became the focus. This section had 22 legs.

A 25-minute transit north on Hwy 101 included time for a break at the service station in Beaver. The final hour or so of the rally route headed inland to bypass the highway and Tillamook. Teams found the last six checkpoints while meandering the cow-covered backroads of Tillamook County, arriving in Garibaldi for the final 6-mile transit to the end.

The rally ended at the Rockaway Beach Chamber of Commerce Wayside, a circular parking lot sandwiched between the beach and the train depot. Our Fire Master already had a beach fire going by the first team’s scheduled arrival time of 4:30. Cars finished in short order.

Rally results were emailed about 5:30 and the awards table was set up shortly after in the covered train landing “in case of rain”. But it stayed dry and pleasant. Everyone was masked and respectful of social distancing. All the awards were collected by 6:30. A satisfyingly early evening for the Mountains to the Sea Rally.

What the rallymasters said:
We got lots of good feedback and many “thank you’s” at the end of the rally. Folks seemed to enjoy themselves. One rally team gave us a box of donuts! Thank you, Car # 18! Guess it turned out okay.

We started working on the rally in March, as soon as Rally School was over. Our search for a route began with a request that we end near Tillamook. Nestucca River Access Road was suggested as an all-paved off-highway route across the Coast Range.

We loved it from the first time we drove it. It is a beautiful twisty-windy over-the-mountain through-the-forest route. It conveniently has a couple of parks along the way that could serve as rest breaks. We drove it a number of times.

Until one day, we couldn’t. The BLM closed the road from June through October for maintenance. The detour route is also a paved road over the mountains, but much of it is one-lane road with pull-outs, and there are NO facilities along the way. Well, we just had to go with it.

The rest of the course development was all about staying on secondary and local roads as much as possible and avoiding highway transits. Other than a couple of short stints on 101 North. We were mostly able to do that.

We send a big thank you to the rally checkout team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy. They test drove the rally the Saturday before the event. Although we had measured every foot of the course at least three times, they found two mileage errors. And they made a couple of suggestions that surely saved some teams from falling off the rally route. We owe them a big debt of gratitude. Thank you, Bob and Cheri!

What ralliers said:
Thank you so much for putting on the rally, we had the best time. We were so happy to do less than five u-turns and we actually got two zeros on the route! So very happy!

It was great!

Fun roads I’ve never seen before.

Congratulations to the winners:
Congratulations to the top finishers. First overall and first SOP was the team of Marcus Gattman and Kerrie Steffenson. Marcus and Kerrie are this season’s top SOP driver and navigator in the Saturday Road Rally Series. And they were rallymaster for the August Saturday Series Rally. Congratulations on your first Mountains to the Sea Rally victory!

Second overall and first Novice is the team of Jason Krieg and Justin Wiezorek. Jason and Justin are this season’s top Novice driver and navigator. Since you can’t win the First Place Novice Series trophy more than once, it’s time for this team to move up to SOP. Based on this Mountains to the Sea Rally performance, they are ready. Congratulations, guys!

Third overall and second SOP is the team of Brian and Jamie Anderson. Brian and Jamie were last season’s First Place Novice Series winners. This is their first season running SOP and they are the team to watch. They finished this season tied for fourth SOP in the Saturday Road Rally Series. Congratulations on your Mountains to the Sea finish, Brian and Jamie!

Honorable mention goes to the team of Dave and Kathy Sacry and the team of Sue and Bill Colish for their fourth and fifth place overall finishes, with scores under 300. Sixth place overall had over 400 points.

Congratulations to all!

What the trophy winners said:

Great rally with a fantastic mix of tight, twisty, and technical mixed with some great views. Speeds felt right where they were challenging enough with our lovely weather to keep teams working all day!

We enjoyed the day and are both stoked to bring the driftwood home! She's safe until the next M2C!

Mountains to the Sea FINAL RESULTS
Read the complete story
Entry List
General Info and Rally Rules


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