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2003 Goodyear Skyjacker Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals Reno Opener - Gentlemen, Start Your Buggies

Posted in Events on August 1, 2003
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The 2003 rockcrawling competition season will be half over by the time this hits the newsstands, but the Rock Crawlers Association of America (RCAA) kicked off its Goodyear Skyjacker Extreme Rock Crawling National season with an event at Moonrocks outside of Reno, Nevada, in April. We were amped to see what new tricks the teams were going to use to get to the top of the pile this year, and we were not disappointed. The recipe for this particular event involved strong axles (yes, Dana 60s), healthy horsepower (shoulda had a V-8), and a lightweight rig with a suspension that sticks when pointed straight up.

A few things we saw at this event may become trends in the sport. It seems that the era of throttle jockies throwing down with total abandon to get through cones is becoming a thing of the past. We're sure those guys were getting tired of broken parts, but we also think the fans will miss it. The use of throttle is not gone, just way more controlled.

As usual, we were impressed with how vital a spotter was to most of the obstacles where an experienced spotter and driver could make it look easy, but at times we wondered if some drivers were even looking at the course or just following their spotters' directions. Another thing we saw was teams of drivers with similar rigs to help share parts or strategies on obstacles. It was almost like Formula One racing.

Another cool change was made by the RCAA by forming the Modified Stock class. Now a more entry-level vehicle can compete. RCAA has also gone to the next step by collaborating with the promoters behind the CalRocs series to offer small regional events for those who want to try their hand, and vehicle, on trails close to home. You can learn more about the future national and regional events by visiting the RCAA Web site (www.rockcrawler.org).

Are Competitions Cool?It seems like there is a rockcrawling competition almost every weekend during the spring, summer, and early fall. Since this isn't Rockcrawler Digest we don't cover each and every one of them, but we wondered what you think of the competitions and our coverage. Are rockcrawling competitions interesting to you? If so, do you like to hear who won each event, or just see what cool new rigs/technology are out there? How many of you would like to compete, but aren't able? Why or why not?

We would like to hear your views on rockcrawling competitions and other off-road competitions (mud bogging, desert racing, and so on). Send us a letter about what you think of the competitions, whether you would like to see more or less coverage, and if there are other competitions besides those currently offered that you would like to see someone start.

We'll take your responses into consideration for our future coverage and choose 10 responses to win some 4-Wheel & Off-Road stickers and license plates. Send your mail to: Competitions Rule or Competitions Blow, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

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