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View the Picture Gallery for the 2005 Rally.
Each of the race's two legs includes:
- 1 Start Point
- 3 Mandatory Checkpoints
- 1 Bonus Checkpoint
- 1 Timing Point
- 1 Stop Point
The checkpoints, and therefore the course, change every year. Only the start (HWD), the fuel/lunch stop (BFL) and the end (IFP) points remain the same. The required and bonus checkpoints are announced the day before the race (see the race schedule) at the briefing and are documented in the race book provided to each team. The exact course flown is chosen by the pilot of each aircraft. Remember, this is not a speed race, it is a proficiency race; accuracy counts.
So that prospective racers can get better idea of the materials
provided during the briefing, a copy of the 2005 Race Book may be downloaded here (PDF format 1.1 MB).
Checkpoints are to be overflown by race aircraft. Each checkpoint can be adequately identified from the air. The two timing points at Checkpoint Mike and Checkpoint Bette are also overflown and race officials on the ground will record the time overhead the timing line.
The 2005 course is described here to provide an example only, the 2006 course will be different, and will not be announced until the day before the race during the briefings. The 2005 course included the following checkpoints and stops:
- Hayward (HWD) - Race Starts
- Gustine (3O1) click here for a picture
- Chowchilla (2O6) click here for a picture
- BONUS #1: Oil Camp (36-40.88N, 120-30.69W) click here for a picture
- Woodlake (O42) click here for a picture
- Checkpoint Mike (35-33.5N, 119-11.6W) - Timing Point
- Bakersfield Meadows (BFL) - Landing, Fuel and Lunch
- Barstow-Dagget (DAG) click here for a picture
- Kelso (35-01.00N, 115-38.90W) click here for a picture
- Golf Course (35-33.3N, 115-25.10W)
- Bonus #2: Corral (35-13.80N, 115-08.50W) click here for a picture
- Checkpoint Bette (35-00.1N, 114-38.5W) - Timing Point click here for a picture
- Bullhead/Laughlin (IFP) - Landing, Fuel, Race Ends
Approximate 2005 Race
Each checkpoint has a question to be answered to ensure positive identification. A typical checkpoint question looks like this:
Bonus Checkpoint #1
Overfly above 2300'
Lat 36 deg. 40.88'
Long 120 deg. 30.69'
At Oil Camp I saw:
T. a tall cement wall permiter with guard towers at each corner, looks more like a prison.
U. many counter-weighted oil pumps hard at work.
V. a square compund with a perimeter marked mostly by trees.
The checkpoint at Oil Camp looked like this from the air:
So, the answer was: V. a square compund with a perimeter marked mostly by trees.