Excitement and expectation levels were high yesterday morning as a new season of motor rallying in Scotland beckoned, but within hours pleasure had turned to tragedy.
Euan Thorburn and Jock Armstrong were setting the pace, Mike Faulkner was having teething troubles with his new car and David Bogie was already out, sidelined on the second stage. But all that excitement was expunged in an instant when the news filtered through of the tragic accident on the fist stage.
At that point the rally was cancelled.
The Northern Constabulary completed their preliminary investigation at the crash site as darkness fell late yesterday afternoon and a fuller investigation will now be carried out. Witnesses have been interviewed and medical teams, rescue organisations and organisers questioned. Their findings will now be awaited with much interest.
In the meantime, the highly experienced rally organising team are reviewing their own procedures and carrying out their own investigation as will the sport at a much wider level.
It's no comfort to those invoved that this was a freak accident with unanticipated results, but that is the nature of the sporting world in which we live.
At times like this we see the worst in those whom the Leveson Inquiry would like to act more responsibly - they make their name by making headlines, and to hell with the consequences.
I thought the BBC's Iain MacDonald provided the most considered and balanced view of the accident and its aftermath when he reminded listeners and viewers that not only must we think of the victims and their families at this tragic time, but also those two young men in the rally car who will be suffering too.