Thursday 7 February 2019

Rally - Snowman cancelled

No doubt the Snowman Rally organisers will come in for some stick regarding  their decision made earlier this afternoon to cancel Saturday's event. Mostly this will come from those detractors who have never organised a rally before, never assumed responsibility for the hundreds who participate and officiate, and the thousands who spectate, or had to deal at length with local authorities and the Polis, and of course the Forestry Commission.

Not so long ago, forestry was classed as one of the most dangerous occupations in this country. In the period 2003 to 2011 there were 17 fatalities amongst employees and contractors working in British forests while two members of the public also lost their lives. That kind of puts things into perspective a wee bit.

And just as the FC had to reappraise its methods of operation so the Health & Safety brigade were spurred on by the behaviour of one individual, a former rally driver and who should have known better, who placed himself in danger at a rally and took some friends with him back in those dark days of 2014.

Bad enough, but we also now live in more litigious times where aggrieved parties often overlook their own shortcomings and seek to lay the blame elsewhere when things go awry. It's just a pity we can't teach 'common sense' and 'personal responsibility' at schools these days.

For sure, rallying will never be 100% safe, no more than any other sport, and one only has to look at the terrible tragedies that have befallen stadium based sports where spectators would think they should be safe given those purpose built facilities. Years after such events there are still FAIs and Appeals working their way through the courts.

And just as those aggrieved parties want to have their day in court, my thoughts are often just as concerned with those who are called to stand there in front of a Judge in a Court of Law to defend and justify their decisions and actions.

Today's decision might not be popular, but I'm with the organisers on this one. Whatever folks might think this was not an outcome that was desired or a decision which was taken lightly.

On a lighter note, a rather unique and perhaps politically incorrect, but certainly informative, Snowman Rally preview was published on a certain website earlier today before the announcement was made. I'm just going to leave it on-line in case you want to read the predictions and find out about the possible late 'star' entry which didn't happen! It might raise a smile or two this weekend, or maybe not. You decide.

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