The 2019 Pajero Challenge was held 9th and 10th February in the Big River State Forest.
Pajero Challenge 2019
supported by WICEN Victoria
This annual event is organised by the Pajero 4WD Club of Victoria and has become one of the best and most challenging self-guided, off-road Navigational events in Australia. The Pajero Challenge is open to experienced Four Wheel Drivers and experienced Navigators. All brands of 4WDs are welcome, but vehicles must be set up with good off-road tyres and suspension lift to suit High Country terrain.
The Mitsubishi Motors Pajero Challenge is a 24-hour 4WD navigation competition, split into four sections, each of which allows for 3-4 hours of driving. The driver and navigator(s) find their way from point to point, answering questions as they go. Many teams have multiple navigators and also swap drivers; it’s a team event!
Checkpoints are manned by members from various 4WD clubs and WICEN. There are special stages where points can be gained, such as a written navigational test, skills task and team activities. Compulsory rest stops at each stage. The focus of the event is teamwork, observation and navigation. The terrain will be typical of High-Country driving and teams must prepare for dry and wet conditions. This is not a race because the objective is to make the least number of errors to beat the test of the competition.
WICEN Victoria has for many years provided the logistics and emergency communications support for this event. A dozen WICEN operators were involved scattered across the Victorian High Country at each of the event check points, as well as in the sweep vehicles. Effective communications were made possible by the placement of a portable repeater located on Mount Duffy and two meters was used as the primary frequency. However, in the early planning stages, communications into Woods Point to one of the control points was identified as not possible. A temporary UHF translator with permission was installed and manned through out the event at Mount Matlock. This allowed operators in or near the township of Matlock and Woods Point to have communications back to AWI (WICEN HQ) at Frenchman’s Creek Camp Ground.
WICEN Operators worked through out the 24hr period to provide information of each of the vehicles at the many check points throughout the event. Communication reliability was excellent thoughout the event with the Mount Duffy Repeater working extremely well. WICEN is no stranger to the Big River State Forest which also annually holds the Stockman’s Rally. Good local knowledge ensured great communications coverage. Operators reported fair coverage even as far out at Ecnoch Point.
The event ran without issue with only a few teams pulling out due to reasons other than vehicle damage or medical issues. It’s a very friendly event with many in the 4WD community catching up annually for this event. WICEN Victoria is looking forward to the Pajero Challenge 2020 with dates and location already being set.