Two Russian teams made it to the recently-concluded Melaka International Rainforest Challenge (RFC) history books by clinching the top and 2nd runner-up titles respectively.
First time RFC entrants Kulbak Roman with co-driver Konstantinovich Alexey of Team 104 beat 16 other competitor teams in the fiercely fought extreme offroad event held in the jungles of Malacca from 1 – 10 December.
Their cool demeanour , “came to compete” spirit, and a well-kitted lightweight 1.3 Suzuki Jimny with Volvo axle helped them overcome the challenging obstacles of the 30 Special Stages (SS) to lead from start to finish.
“It was a dream for us to participate in the RFC, and winning it is like a dream come true,” said the winning duo from Vladivostok, during a post-event dinner.
Teammates Lyubarenko Valeriy and Leonov Alexander of Team 103, in a 1.5 Suzuki Jimny, had good luck smile on them this year as 2nd runners-up after having participated in three earlier RFC competitions without any success.
Last year’s RFC champions Mervin Lim and Hamizan Hamid, also in a Suzuki Jimny, were the first runners-up.
The Prologue Special stages of RFC’s 15th anniversary celebrations were held at Pantai Klebang on 1 December and flag-off at Dataran Memorial next to Fort A Famosa in the heart of historic Malacca on 2 December.
The SS took place along jungle tracks in Kg. Sungai Mering, leading to the Twilight Zone sector fought out in Hutan Rizab Bukit Sedanan in Jasin and ending with a beach finale at Teluk Belanga, Kuala Sg. Bharu in Alor Gajah.
The 12km Twilight Zone fought out in Hutan Rizab Bukit Sedanan, Jasin, proved to be tougher than the earlier events held in Terengganu and Johor.
“It was a battle of the winches, with about 15 mountainous uphill and downhill slopes, with some hills slopes at 70 degrees. Several teams spent about 30 hours crossing this stretch and some even turning back,” said event manager Sidik Khan.
The prize giving ceremony was held at Perkampungan Ikan Bakar Terapong in Umbai on 10 December and graced by the Chief Minister of Melaka Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and his wife.