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From the 2011 Tall Pines winners

November 21, 2012

As last year we won arguably the most challenging rally in North America, I was going to write about how awesome our team is, but then I realized that only my mom would read that, so I changed my mind.

A much better story would be to talk about a small miracle performed by a Toronto based production company, TV2GO. For years they have been behind awesome TV shows covering rounds of the Canadian Rally Championship on TSN and RDS.

For the 2011 edition of the Rally of the Tall Pines, the TV2GO crew, headed by Lawrence Partington and Adam Dowsett, decided to demonstrate what can be done when it comes to modern rally broadcasting. They pulled together 21 volunteers and professionals, two satellite trucks, a mobile editing suite, 7 additional cameras, over 4 kilometers of fiber cable; and put together a ridiculously cool live broadcast of the whole event! While the main TV show (did I say that it was awesome as well?) is sponsored by Subaru and Yokohama, this live broadcast was paid for by TV2GO themselves.

Live satellite transmissions went from the event to servers in Toronto and then to the web. It started with the exciting start ramp interviews hosted by Paul Chater himself. Fans and families at home could witness drivers’ and co-drivers’ emotions LIVE! Then the action moved to the first stage of the rally. The stage was wired with crazy equipment and was buzzing with members of the TV2GO team. That stage was covered live, at a level unseen by the North American rally fans before. People at home, from all over the world, experienced being a part of the action as champions such as David Higgins, Patrick Richard, and Antoine L’Estage, pushed the limits with their fire breathing Open class monsters.

Then there was more coverage from the stages, reports from the service park, interviews of team managers and organizers – the whole place was vibrating! At the end of it all, they aired the finish of the last stage almost in real time!The fans had a unique chance to witness the moment when Martin Brady and I learned that were able to hold off the might of Subaru Rally Team USA and take the overall victory. Then there was an emotional champagne podium ceremony with a lot of passionate fans celebrating with us.

I have been around the sport of rallying in Canada for seven years: first as a spectator, then as a competitor. 2011 Rally of the Tall Pines was the first time I have seen someone come up and follow through with an awesome new initiative that definitely helps to grow the sport. As someone who loves rallying, I would like to thank TV2GO and personally Mr Partington for doing this. My family over in Russia would also like to thank TV2GO, because for the first time they were able to experience the thrill of our amazing sport at the same time we were fighting through the stages!

This live broadcast put Rally of the Tall Pines on a new level of international recognition. There were just over 10,000 unique views on the webcast site. Of these 50% were Canadian and 50% international. That was with very little promotion for the webcast. It was only announced a few days before the rally because it was a “proof of concept” rather than a promotional exercise. Organizers of the event reported that they were getting feedback from Ireland, Australia, Singapore, and Bangkok – which hasn’t happened before. Isn’t that what we want for our championship…International recognition, so that teams from across the world will come and try their best on our truly awesome roads?

I would like to ask the great and experienced people who are in charge of the sport in Canada and the US, why hasn’t anything else like this been done before, or after? Why aren’t initiatives like live broadcasting supported? Why are we not using the enormous financial potential of North America? Why does the Canadian Rally Championship have only 900 twitter followers, while Travis Pastrana, who has been involved in rallying in North America, has 540,000?

There are groups that are trying to do something: for example, Maple Leaf Rally Club, which organizes the Rally of the Tall Pines, is not only quite successful at getting sponsors onboard, they’ve also build a mobile app for the event. But there’s no centralized effort and one regional club can’t do it all.

If we truly love the sport, we will keep raising these questions, and I hope one day someone will step up and do something about it, just like TV2GO did.

With immense passion for rallying,
Crazy Leo Urlichich
Can-Jam Motorsports

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posted in Blog by CrazyAdmin

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