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Report 2014 edition

Jeroen Gerrits wins the hard-fought Eastern Europe Rally.

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The 2014 edition of the EER was fantastic! The Tatra mountains looked absolutely stunning when we arrived. According to schedule everybody passed the inspection at 19.00 o’clock and it became clear: the participants were serious and were dying to start off. The next morning we arrived with banging windows, squalls and freezing rain. The competitors became a little nervous, but once passed TC1 the weather was lovely again and one of the most amazing off-road motor rallies started off.

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In the first special mostly the favourites got punished with penalty time. Well yes, the EER is different, no full speed during 200km, but fighting for every metre. Motor control, a good temper and using common sense are the ingredients to win a Leppink Adventure event. The guy from The Hague, Karel, manned the CP and could tell from a distance which participants took the road book ‘right into field’. The majority just followed the tire tracks to end right in the arms of Karel. Karel had a ball thanks to all the complaints and didn’t give in, great to watch! After 2 laps TC2 was for the Dutch people at a spectacular cross court. Straight up and down, after surviving that you felt like a true hero. The penalty time was forgotten and a smile on your face appeared to stay there. What a fantastic sport we practice.

Day 2 had a Dutch touch with a special on sand tracks. Team Dongen with leader Adriaan Wijnen showed here how it should be done. Adriaan rode nice and tight which was amazing to watch. And after winning all but one stage, you’re a true ‘king’. But also the Peelriders hit it off, there was a true battle going on between Jeroen and Paul. The rally class had a different winner every day. For example Richard Haarmans, Jeroen Gerrits, Paul Sesink and Nick Lines won stages. Clearly, we were dealing with some heavy competitors. But the EER is also suitable for the lesser gods. Our ambulance guy Dinand is not an off-road hero, but also he hit the fantastic track with a big smile. At 12.00 o’clock the caravan entered Romania. Romania still has a true border control, however Nick Lines being a New-Zealander had no idea about passports which gave him an exciting hour. Besides being a terrific mechanic, Wouter de Graaff is also a rally addict. His main task was the technical support at the bivouac. As all participants were well-organised, Wouter had plenty of time and manned with his Honda the hidden CP’s with pleasure. Unfortunately for Wouter, the weather as well as the competitors were too good and everybody could conquer the first Romanian mountain. Okay, some riders had a leaking head gasket, but that’s part of the LA events.

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Bart Westerink is loving it and Paul Sesink is chasing Jeroen Gerrits!

Day 3 was a jewel to never forget. The special named ‘the mysterious mountain’ was fast but thanks to the big height differences your arms got sore and fording through water made sure you stayed awake. The competitors had a blast and it was fun to watch the different riding techniques. One rider would ride straight into the water, which gave some exciting moments. Another rider would start off gently but got into trouble after hitting the gas too much. Only a few rode through the water nice and easy and got to the other shore. The quad team from Weesp is always joking and made some massive human water bombs which was awesome to watch!

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Wouter shows how it’s done, while the quad team Weesp shows their human water bombs.

 

After the special the riders were served one of the most beautiful tracks of the rally careers. Some fantastic meandering through a wide landscape with hills where you could just feel freedom. Because the track was still wet, it gave an extra dimension to ride. It got really slippery and was fantastic to experience. This is where you learned how to ride your motor bike! Feet on the foot pegs and looking for traction. The quads thought they were in paradise. Try finding a more beautiful part on this planet where you can ride your quad with that much fun, IIIAAAAA! In Romania we were really welcome, the people were so friendly and because the horses, sheep and cows walk around free at the huge grazing areas, nobody feared us. What’s more fantastic than riding calmly through a herd while the shepherd joyfully raises his hand. Besides that, the country has plenty of wild animals. Team Quadwinkel.nl had the most amazing experience of their lives. A big, huge, brown bear could not get used to the great CanAm quads and decided to look for a safer place and crossed the track right in front of them at only 10 metres distance. Where else can you have such an experience?

Once back at Targu Mures, the riders and mechanics worked until deep in the night to get the material ready for the next day. 300 kilometres through no-man’s land is not easy, but of course the sweeper truck was no option. Day 4 started with a WRC-like special of 100km. There was nothing to win, the truck was here to rest to be able to bring the big ‘getting lost’ special to a good end. Joanna, a journalist from Poland, was strong and powerful. She had plenty of speed, but unfortunately due to wrong navigation she lost 20 minutes in this part.

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Nick Lines, the journalist from New-Zealand, had enough speed but had only experienced car rallies. Day by day he developed navigation skills and even knew how to win a special. The journalists enjoyed the EER to the max; this was a rally and vacation in one and they were really positive. Back to the WRC special: the Ipatec team, known from Dakar but mostly the WRC Rallies, joined the EER to get more experience with different field circumstances. They thought it was fantastic and seriously went for it. The WRC part was just their thing and darn, they got the LA jokes quickly. They changed their tactics; being easy on the gas they went through the ‘getting lost’ part. And then it’s hard to beat these guys! And after conquering the Behego top during the day of rest, victory in the quads class was a fact.

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Ipatec racing team of Dennis and Rene Kuipers

We enjoyed the day of rest to the fullest. The mountain world at Carlibaba is amazing and really everybody was playing and having fun. Day of Rest? More than half knew how to get to the top and enjoyed until dark the off-road sports in this fantastic country. And when DJ Wouter and Mark started to play records, nobody went to bed to sleep but danced until the early morning.

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The winners Jeroen Gerrits, Paul Sesink and Sjiel Lemmens and friend Mike was also bravely riding with them.

 

Day 7: the classification was a fact and the riders could score some waypoints the following days. We passed through an area where the thunderstorm had really taken its toll. The tracks were soaking wet and the Hungarian sand paths were flooded. Fortunately the motorbikes could ride around and the quad pilots had some good rain suits. The last waypoint was at a slope in the wood. Not everybody could reach it which resulted in another ranking. Everybody cheerfully arrived in Slovakia thought to have ridden the EER. But that was sadly not the case, the last day took care of neutralisation. The route explorers Wouter and Bart told us that it was impossible to follow the track. It was a battlefield of trees. Along dozens of kilometres the trees were snapped off as matchsticks. Also the roads were closed and the only option was 200 kilometres of asphalt. It was cold and raining hard and on top of the pass the first riders even had snowfall. The riders without adequate clothing, had a tough cookie to bite. Luckily everybody reached the hot shower and sauna and started the trip back home tired but satisfied.

There were too many people involved to mention everyone, but I am so proud of the organisation! Sjef and Piet who managed to be in on time every night. The perfect last riders Antal and Dinand and Patrick who offered help everywhere when needed. Bart and Wouter totally went for it to get the riders penalty time. Wilma and Harrie were there when needed, boy, did they have some rough times at the most beautiful mountaintop ever. Roy and Karel, they joined for fun but helped out where they could. And also to all participants: thanks a lot, you guys were amazing! To me the organisation as well as the riders were one big team. A tribute to you all, where else is that possible?!

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And then the competition, it was real exciting. The organisation tried everything to give the best ranked penalty time. We even let the gamecocks start every 10 minutes. The winners proved that by fellowship, motor control and continuously paying attention and making the right decision, you can win the EER. Well darn, then you just deserve these trophies!

Down below you find the winners and results of the Eastern Europe Rally 2014. Congrats everybody!

Winners roadbook class:

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1) Jeroen Gerrits

2) Paul Sesink

3) Sjiel Lemmens

Winners digital class:

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1) Adriaan Wijnen

2) Peter Jansen

3) Mark Overberg

Winnaars digitale klasse quads:

1) Edgar Nijhuis

2) Dennis Kuipers

3) Rene Kuipers

Totaal resultaten roadbook klasse:

1 Jeroen Gerrits

2 Paul Sesink

3 Sjiel Lemmens

4 Diederick van Haselen

5 Frank Jurrissen

6 Nick Lines

7 Richard Haarmans

8 Peter van Workum

9 Raymond Koldewijn

9 Joanna Modrzewska

10 Eric Bonvanie

10 Huibert Verboon

12 Auke Bosscher

13 Norbert Terhorst

Totaal resultaten digitale klasse:

1 Adriaan Wijnen

2 Peter Jansen

3 Mark Overberg

4 Edgar Nijhuis

5 Dennis Kuipers

6 Rene Kuipers

7 Mike Gruijters

8 Ralph Hendrickx

11 Frank Callaert

12 Dennis Boomgaards

13 Bas Driesprong

14 Jeffrey Polderman

15 Edwin Buitendijk

15 Christiaan v.d. Hout

17 Richard Buitendijk

17 Patrick Buitendijk

19 Hendrik van Winkoop

20 Olivier Brouwer

21 Evert Brom

22 Andre Hanemaaijer

23 Maarten Kool

24 Alexander Lampe

25 Ad Jansen

26 Rudy Reekers

26 Kevin Reekers

Startlijst OER 2014:

Ralph Hendrickx 1 ktm exc 500

Frank Callaert 2 ktm

Bas Driesprong 3 KTM 690

Dennis Boomgaards 4 KTM 450 Six days

Sjiel Lemmens 5 ktm exc 300

Jeroen Gerrits 6 Yamaha WR450F

Mike Gruijters 7 moter

Auke Bosscher 8 Yamaha TTR600

Peter van Workum 9 ktm 450

Eric Bonvanie 10 Can AM

Raymond Koldewijn 11 Can Am

Rudy Reekers 12 KTM 500 exc

Kevin Reekers 13 KTM 450 exc

Huibert Verboon 14 Yamaha

Paul Sesink 15 ktm 450

Mark Overberg 16 ktm exc 300

Alexander Lampe 17 G450X

Maarten Kool 18 G450X

Norbert Terhorst 19 Yamaha TTR600

Frank Jurrissen 20 ktm 450

Edwin Buitendijk 21 Can AM

Richard Buitendijk 22 Can AM

Olivier Brouwer 23 Can AM

Patrick Buitendijk 24 KTM 525 XC

Evert Brom  25 CanAm Renegade 1000

Hendrik van Winkoop 26 quad

Andre Hanemaaijer 27 Can am Outlander 1000

Jeffrey Polderman 28 Can am

Diederick van Haselen 29 KTM 530

Peter Jansen 30 KTM 300 EXC

Ad Jansen 31 ktm

Adriaan Wijnen 32 ktm

Richard Haarmans 33 ktm

Edgar Nijhuis 34 can am

Rene Kuipers 35 Can Am

Dennis Kuipers 36 Can Am

Christiaan v.d. Hout 37 quad

Roy van Leeuwen 38 Service

Joanna Modrzewska 39 hus 530

Nick Lines 40

Antal Verschuuren 41 BETA 300

Bart Westerink 42 HUS 300

Patrick Charmant 43 Can AM

Dinand Stevens 44 WR450

Wouter de Graaff 45 Honda crf450x

Ed Wigman 46

Karel Grasmeijer 47 Iveco

Harrie Olthof 48 Iveco

Wilma Olthof 49 Iveco

Piet van Mierlo 50 Iveco

Sjef Bloks 51 Iveco

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