Full competitive day is behind – interview at the finish line

Nail Khubbatullin, No. 50, “The day was great, although the Unic’s supply came unscrewed just before the refueling zone, and Vladimir Chagin personally helped me there. We screwed it back and everything was fine. The rally is awesome, everyone really likes it. When I was driving, I saw riders sitting in the snowdrifts, but they seemed to have no injuries. In general, it’s fun and adventurous. I have a mountain snowmobile, it rides everywhere, but the guys on the tourist snowmobiles “dived” into deep snow. If you ride by the track, everything is fine. But the guys missed the track, rode to the side and fell into traps there. On the plains, tourist snowmobiles have a greater advantage than mountain ones, but on the latter I can immediately get out of any snow. I have to constantly restrain myself in terms of speed. At the summer Silk Way Rally I was the “penalization king” throughout the event, so I tried not to “put on the crown” again, followed the speed, held myself back. The limit of 80 km/h is enough, there’s no necessity to increase it, it will be traumatic. But in general, the speed is good, everything is fine”.

Denis Kolpakov, No. 18 (is also riding a mountain snowmobile), “I don’t know about the sports results, but according to the feelings at the end, the snow “cobblestones” were difficult to pass. There were no problems with the snowmobile and navigation – we were lucky, I guess. It was frosty and windy on the track, but we have special clothing, it is not blown through and does not get wet. I don’t second-guess for tomorrow. I would like to sleep, I have to ride my snowmobile almost standing on my feet. My takeaway from the rally is positive, I would like to continue participating in competitions like this”.

Maxim Grigoryev, No. 53, “Nart Time is the largest team here, we’ve already received approval and first place, at least in terms of the number of competitors. I rode the stage perfectly, I haven’t even expected it from myself. The track is interesting, I liked it very much. I’m very pleased, the mood is great. There are no questions about the track, it’s very good and interesting. We thought that since it was laid on caterpillar snow and swamp vehicles, it would not be quite suitable for snowmobiles, but in general it turned out to be a real rally-raid. Tussock bog constantly keeps me in tension. There are hills, and descents, and corners, and hollows, like rally sections with side slip. It’s very interesting! There were no difficulties on the track, but endurance and attentiveness were required. We have a speed limit of 80 km/h, but it’s very difficult to keep it. As soon as you “open” a little bit more, the snowmobile instantly jumps the number 80. And it’s almost impossible to keep 78-79 km/h, you constantly violate it. Moreover, it’s very difficult to see the dashboard in the sun – there is no contrast. It was the main difficulty. The last section was heavy, it repeats part of the Prologue of the first day. It is broken and frozen, stones are very tough for a snowmobile. Therefore, I had to slow down very much, because I worried about the snowmobile. Tomorrow it will be more interesting than today and more difficult for everyone, because if today we drove two laps on the same track, i.e., the traces are understandable, although today someone have missed and someone has been waiting, then tomorrow we will follow the same traces, but the route will depart from them sometimes. That is, it will be necessary to constantly look not at traces, but at dashboard, because there will be a lot of traces in different directions, so navigation tomorrow will be even more interesting than today”.

Alexander Finogenov, No. 98,  “The day is chic! The main difficulty is to observe speed. My device turned off and misled me a little bit, I staggered and then went straight to look for a road. I’ve found it. The weather didn’t disturb me”.

Anton Kuklin, No. 45, “I like it! I don’t know the result, I’ll wait. I suspect that there are riders who have driven better than me, because I was driving first and cleared a path. It took a lot of time to break through the path and find the waypoints. I didn’t have any difficulties on the track, the only thing I wasn’t ready for was that I didn’t think that the difference in snow cover between areas could be so great. Starting from here, I clearly understood that there were only 5-10 centimeters of snow, and when we arrived at the place where we had a refueling area, it turned out that there was many times more snow. Now, when I’ve passed the second time, the road was cleaned and I was driving more calmly. I would like to give a feedback on the issued device. It’s not even about it, but about the case in which it is packed. When I cleared a path, the snow – there was quite a lot of it – clogged into the cover, blocking the visibility of the screen. I had to stop, wipe the device with my hand and move on. Otherwise, I didn’t even see the arrow. Now I can imagine a scenario for tomorrow. Today I left first and cleared a path wasting time. I’m sure I’ll be somewhere in the middle of the table. Starting tomorrow in the middle of the table, I will have every chance to ride well, because the competitors ahead of me will clear a path. We met Mr. Chagin at a fuel station, and he told us that the route would be in the opposite direction and somewhere 80% would be from the same route, but 20% would be diversions away from it, so we would have to ride and track everything accurately. At that moment, when I go, for sure, the path will already be cleared. So tomorrow I will be the champion!”

Hubert Gallart, No. 64, “It has been awesome today, and the weather is perfect. There was a lot of snow in the forest, I went the wrong way, wanted to turn back and got stuck. I caped on my own, but lost 10 minutes. There were problems with the navigation device, because I didn’t listen carefully when we were told about them. I missed one point and that’s it. Tomorrow will be a short day – that’s good. The track is perfect. Yesterday 8 kilometers were too much for me, because it was my first riding experience, and today it gets better and better with every lap, now I understand what and how to do”.

Boris Konev No. 42, “This is my first rally in such format, with devices. I look down at them, then I look up, and there’s nowhere else to go – there’s no track. The snowmobile has never failed, well, some consumables, which do not apply to a snowmobile. Well, the throttle cable broke. By the way, Taiga’s weak point is the steering bipods, I’ve already welded it four times. Now it has broken down, and changed it in the fields. There is a lot of snow in the fields, but the snowmobile has a huge cross-country ability! I didn’t get stuck anywhere. Tomorrow I will also ride with a fighting mood, tomorrow we’ll have half of today’s distance, it should become more fun”.

Vasily Kormilin, No. 79, “I rode the track today, came back and the snowmobile is with me – I think that’s a lot. It’s very, very interesting, because this is my first experience of riding a snowmobile, and in general participating in events like this. I’m very glad. Yesterday at a press conference we were said that everyone who arrived at the finish line has already won. I would add on my own that everyone who started – he won. Because first of all there are indescribable emotions. Any sport and any event like this are a struggle with oneself, with one’s fears, one’s disconfidence. And a struggle like this is good for any person. Both the level of organization and modern equipment allows every person to participate in such competitions. So get up off the couch, get on your snowmobile and hit the throttle. There’s a lot of adventures! One and a half kilometers from the start I went off the track into a ravine, and three sports colleagues dug me out, thanks to them for not passing by and showing mutual assistance. They pulled me out. I would never have dug it up alone. When I listened to the briefing on the devices, it seemed that it would be very difficult. And when I rode, there were no problems, the arrow showed a way and changed direction. And there is the specificity that the trace remains well-trodden, and sometimes there is no great need for this arrow – the general direction is clear. Tomorrow I would also like to ride for my own pleasure – to return uninjured and with a not damaged snowmobile.