Thursday 26 May 2016

Rally - The bigger issue

There is much debate and uninformed opinion raging on the 'facetweetblogosphere' at present, but also many expressions of sympathy and support from all quarters regarding the recent decision to cancel this year's Jim Clark Reivers Rally. In order to clarify the position the organisers have issued a Statement and this has been published in full in the on-line Rally mag (line below).

But far from being a single-issue topic of interest, some folk are overlooking the fact that over the past two years we have lost three major forest rallies in Scotland, the Merrick, McRae and now the Reivers. Surely there is something bigger going on than the furore surrounding one event?

Whilst the three main events in the Highlands always seem to attract healthy numbers, those in the south don't fare so well. Apart from the three we've lost, the Scottish has struggled in recent times, but should be OK this year since it is now back in the BRC, while the Galloway Hills regularly fails to attract a big Scottish entry although it benefits from a mini Irish invasion each year as they appreciate a good thrash in some good woods, whilst the Merrick and McRae are gone for good.

This is not a single rally problem, this is a wider sporting problem. Competitors have every right to choose which events they wish to do and how far they are prepared to travel, but what will encourage them to compete more often?

As well as encouraging current competitors, the sport also needs to attract many more new competitors on an ongoing and regular basis. If we can solve that we're halfway there.

And whilst I'm on the subject. It wasn't 'spectators' who were involved in the fatalities two years ago, one was a journalist and one was a photographer and both were 'signed-on' as members of the media. What complicated the issue was that they had two friends travelling with them who were not 'signed-on' and were not members of the media - a fact that many media outlets choose to ignore when writing their reports and headlines.

The full article and the full JCR Statement is here:

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