The first chapter in the event history became a bright and exciting adventure for both masters of sport and amateur riders
The first ever Silk Way Snow Journey International Snowmobile Rally-Raid, which gathered 57 competitors from seven countries, finished at the Naikom Arena at the end of February. The tremendous competition became an unforgettable three-day motorsport and outdoor activities festival, where everyone could plunge into the atmosphere of friendship and mutual assistance that traditionally prevails in rally-raids.
57 snowmobiles took part in the event, 54 of which were qualified in the PRO category, two — in the PRO turbo category, and one — in the PRO+ category. The largest number of riders represented the Russian Federation; competitors from China, Italy, France, Cyprus, Afghanistan and Great Britain challenged the snowstorm along with them. In addition, 23 technical service vehicles provided support to the riders during the competition at the Naikom Arena. To comprehensively ensure the safety of this number of competitors the rally-raid organizers involved 62 various vehicles, including snowmobiles and swamp buggies – they were used for the convenience of moving on snowy surfaces. Thus, on the days of the competition there were a total of 142 vehicles at the bivouac and on the track, which required 9,066 liters of fuel.
Telecommunications are an integral part of the safety arrangements during cross-country competitions, and operational communications are necessary for all rally-raid services. To enhance the radio signal and increase the coverage area over the entire track distance and the event infrastructure for the organizers, competitors and spectators, a broadband network was deployed using three communication repeaters. The organizers used 90 portable and 49 car radios, additionally engaging eight high-capacity batteries to power radios on snowmobiles and auxiliary vehicles. Equipment for communication coverage of such a territory amounted to a volume of eight cubic meters. Almost 600 gigabytes of traffic were transmitted through the Wi-Fi networks deployed at the bivouac during these days.
During the three days of the competition the Snow Journey Press Service published texts 58,266 symbols long in press releases and news reports, and the official photographers of the rally-raid took a total of 22,352 pictures. More than ten million people were engaged in the first ever snowmobile rally-raid via social networks; there were 50 accredited journalists from federal and regional periodicals at the Naikom Arena. TV journalists covered the competition most actively, the total time of stories about the snowmobile rally-raid on television was 227.57 minutes.
The Snow Journey is not limited by the rally-raid and vehicles, it is also a gastronomic festival with cuisine for every taste. It is necessary to be not only a culinary talent, taking care of the range of tastes, but also to create a menu that gives energy and vigor to riders, mechanics, organizers, journalists and fans. During the three days of the event competitors and guests had dishes made from 326 kg of beef, 224 kg of poultry, 336 kg of vegetables and 112 kg of lettuce, as well as 520 liters of soups, and drank 522 liters of berry juice and 1,944 liters of water.
The Snow Journey Rally-Raid gave an unforgettable impression to everyone — the unusual format of the event surprised even experienced riders and became an exciting adventure for amateurs. The competition is remembered for a fair contest, and the victory was finally scored by friendship — as the overall standings’ winner Ilya Shcheglov said, he would not have reached the finish line without the help of another competitor — Nail Khubbatullin.
The bright and exciting adventure is only the first chapter in the history of the Snow Journey, and in the future the Silk Way Series will continue to create new formats and events that will allow everyone to find their own way in motorsports.