2001 American Rock Crawlers Association Rock Crawling Championships, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Photos by Lance Clifford
Story written by Shawn Fisher (syko)

Click here for pictures from Friday

Click here for pictures from Saturday

Click here for overall scores for the weekend

We rolled out of bed at 4:30am on a warm Thursday morning. I loaded the truck and prepared for the long flight that was ahead of us. Mike, Chrissy (Mrs. Syko), and myself were ready to go. We flew from Louisville, KY to Dallas Fort Worth, TX. From there, we had an hour layover. Then we flew from DFW to El Paso, TX. We picked up the rental and headed to the hotel in Anthony, TX with the top down. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the sky was clear. We checked in and dropped off the luggage and headed to Las Cruces. As we pulled up at the La Qutinas hotel and all we saw was a sea of rigs. We spent most of the evening walking around and talking to people. We met Bob, Sean, and the Fat city guy Eric. I was ready for the event to start!

The next day came way too early. We got up about 6:30am and headed to the hotel to find the group. Once we got out to the courses, we ran into a few guys from Louisville, Ky that were sitting at the top of the hill. Its was really cool talk to people from back home. The ground was so loose, to walk down the hill was nothing more than a controlled fall. Once we made it to the bottom we found a large rock to sit on and watch the action. Bob and Lance were second to run on course B. On gate number 2, Bob laid the rig on its side. Between Lance riding the rig like a Hobie Cat, and Bob driving, they made a great save and righted the rig with minimal points. The last gate on course B was a large waterfall. It was about 7 with a very tight turn and a big hole at the bottom. Bob and Lance decide to start the course in reverse and walk up the opposite wall to make the corner without hitting the gates. The plan worked very well and they walked the waterfall with ease. All in all, course B was very tight. It had lots of switchbacks and tight turns. I would say the first gate and the last gate were the best on this course.

We then walked to Course A and sat at the large waterfall (Obstacle #3) known as the Intimidator. This seemed to be the toughest obstacle of both courses. Very few of the rigs that tried this obstacle made it without winching. Some rigs couldnt even get past the rocks that lead up to the waterfall! This hill was every bit of 10 to 15 tall. The steepness of the waterfall required the right line and a lot of go pedal. After watching many valiant efforts on the waterfall, we decided it was time to retire to the hotel room to rest up for the next day.

The next day came around 6:00am and we headed back to the course. We had learned our lesson from the previous day and packed a lot of beer, sandwiches, and water. We decided to sit at obstacle #3 and watch everyone attempt the "Intimidator". We got a good spot right on the edge of the fall. We watched many rigs try the left line with no avail. A guy sat his YJ on its tailgate but lucky for him, it didn't flip backwards. There was lots of action going on at this obstacle! We watched the rig that Eric was spotting for try this obstacle with no brakes. I was waiting for a roll. They tried but just couldn't make it to the top with out a winch. We were just about to leave when Bob and Lance staged to run this obstical. The sun and the beer had almost done me in. My legs are still burning! We decided to stay and watch them run it. Im very glad I did, since they made this obstacle look like cake. They made the tight turns that lead to the waterfall without getting a single point. Lance stacked a few rocks and Bob then proceeded to hit the right line. They worked at it a little and then I heard Lance yell, GET IT BOB and the propane was poured to it. It hopped and bounced up the hill. I think they received the lowest score on this obstacle. It was an awesome run. After that great show, we decided to call it a day and headed back to town.

All in all, Im very glad we went to watch this event. It was a lot of fun, and Im working on plans for Cedar City, UT in July. My applause to the judges and sponsors.

By Syko AKA Shawn Fisher