We will need quite a few volunteers. And yes, as a volunteer you can see the rally way better than any spectator (if we even let the spectators to watch the ORSC :-). So please start looking for rally workers to bring with you to the rally. Or if you think that YOU could be a rally volunteer, please sign up below.
I also want to tell you something about rally volunteers so that you truly appreciate and respect them even when you are running high on adrenaline.
FOR THE NEW GUYS: THE VOLUNTEERS
So, drivers and co-drivers, you thought that you loved rally more than anybody else? Think again. There are these strange people driving around Ontario gravel roads mumbling to themselves: “Hmm, that looks like a good rally road. I wonder…”. Then a few days before the rally a group of volunteers arrives at a stage road. They rip the boulders out of the road, pull out the fallen trees and generally look like they prefer all this hard labour to a nice air-conditioned gym.
So, you thought you loved rally more than anybody else? There is this guy or gal in the woods with a cloud of mosquitoes around them. He/she is going through his/her pockets: “Oh, man, don’t tell me I left that bug spray in the truck”. But they stay in their assigned spots, trying to recognize a car number in the swirling dust, shouting the number into the ham radio and flapping their hands like maniacs to get rid of the mosquitoes and dust. Yep, that’s the summer rally. In the winter, they just stomp around and freeze their buts out. But they stay there until the end of the rally.
So, you thought you loved rally more than anybody else? There are the volunteers who try to prevent irate people who just must use the rally road right now. There are the sweep crews looking at your car sitting deep in the woods and trying to figure out how to pull it out without damaging it even more – and, believe me, they know how. I was there watching them. There are the other volunteers trying to organize it so there are no delays, no problems with the locals, no problems for the competitors (and sometimes with the competitors) and no problems with tons of other stuff I don’t even know about. Yes, they can make mistakes. But so do you (as you realize right after you have lost that wheel you did not tighten well).
So, you thought you loved rally more than anybody else? As you load your car quickly on the trailer after your DNF or trade tall stories around the podium, a rally workers’ car goes back to pick up the volunteers with their ham radios, sign boards and all the other things you might have seen as a blur while on the stage. When partying with others you mention that you race. Quite a few people around want to hear your stories. The volunteers have no such glamorous stories to share. The volunteers do not mention that they were sitting in the woods this whole weekend looking at cars throwing gravel their way and listening to angry spectators who really wanted to walk back on the stage because all the “good cars” were gone. The volunteers spent hours there without receiving a single penny for this endless time; quite often, they did not even receive their gas money.
So, drivers and co-drivers, you thought you loved rally more than anybody else? Think again…