2023 is the year that team RallyMoto attended one of Europe’s biggest rally raids, the Hellas Rally.
We transported the bikes and gear for Stuart Cryer, Pete Livsey, Andrew Yartlett, and Martin Gibson, and together we supported each other throughout all the trials and tribulations that this event threw at us!
SLIPPERY WHEN WET
To set the scene, this years edition was based in the mountain town of Karpenissi, some 1000m higher in elevation that the previous year’s coastal bivouac. With that came some fairly unpredictable mountain weather.
At the first evening’s briefing, Meletis, the organiser, informed us all that there was an unusually high chance of severe weather and thunder storms, and it although it wasn’t exactly the relentless rainfall we experience so often in the UK, it was enough to turn some of the tracks into slippery slop fests, make some of the river crossings unrideable, and have us navigating through thick mountaintop fog with less than 10m visibility.
There were some plus’s to the wet conditions; we didn’t go through as many tyres as we thought we would, and air filter changes weren’t as frequent or essential. The wet tracks did slow the riders down significantly, however.
The welcome (and warning) briefing.
Andrew Yartlett sending it in the prologue.
Burt marking up.
The Brutal Beginnings
Not exactly what you want on day one of Hellas Rally!
Battered, Bent and Bruised
Andrew taking on the role of chief mechanic.
JUST KEEP ROLLING
So with four of us still in the race we kept rolling through day after day. Day three was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, and we welcomed a rest and some prep time for the day four and five marathon stages which were to lead us to a remote bivouac.
The roadbooks on these stages were also cut short, but with the conditions as they were, we were still served up a couple of tough days of riding up and over stony mountain passes and winding through dark damp forests.
Marathon Day One at the top of a very bumpy mountain track
The remote ‘Parc Ferme’. Feeling a bit tired on the morning of marathon day 2.
A Bumpy Ride for Big Bikes
The rocky sections were most felt by Pete Livsey, who held an impressive speed on his 690 Enduro along some very rough tracks. On the fast open sections the bike came into it’s own though, and despite his mechanical issues he made good time and finished every stage in style.
THE END IN SIGHT
Between the bouts of rain the sun did shine and we managed to kick up some dust (and eat quite a lot of it if you were unlucky enough to be passed by a SSV!).
The stages progressively got faster and more flowy, and by on day seven, although somewhat bruised and battered, the four of us rejoined each other at the finish line to receive our medals and regroup with the rest of the team who supported us through the event.
Some Great Results