(Continued from page 12)
Some more details are:
The sketches indicate only when you really change directions. That is turn left or right at a normal 4-way intersection, T-junction, Y-split, or into a side street. The sketches are not to scale but should represent the angle of the intersection. That is 90 degree, bear left/right at a Y etc. In between the sketches you follow the road, as it curves through the landscape and as it sometimes goes straight across an intersection or passes any side streets that you are not supposed to turn into. Because the sketches include the distance as well as some land marks it is very easy to get assured that you're on the correct route. You ignore intersections and junctions that do not match the looks of the next sketch or are not at the correct distance.
Please note that the sketches are not oriented according to a compass. Just like Google and GPS systems, they usually appear as you'd see them when you drive. There are many ways for a rally master to provide the Tulips instructions. We've seen hand-drawn sketches and computer generated illustrations. The nice thing is that it doesn't really matter. Because the system is so simple, it is very robust to the rally master's drawing or publishing skills.
The other rule that we've tried to implement is that all landmarks, clues, gimmicks, questions etc. are on the right side of the road, unless marked differently. This is very important from a safety point of view. It is the drivers responsibility to drive the car. To do so safely, a driver can't be expected to pay attention to anything else than the traffic situation at hand. The navigator can only really search for landmarks, clues, gimmicks, questions etc. on one side of the road at the time. Therefore these should all be on the right side and the driver doesn't have to help watching out for answer and other distractions.
The Tulip system and the right-side only clues have proven very successful last year. In the rallies, tours and events that adopted the system there were no reports of participants searching for the correct route or getting lost. All teams arrived at the finish smiling. No arguments! And even though the clues and answers were all on the right side, there was enough differentiation in the results to score and celebrate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place results. And because the clues and answers were all on the right side, there were no stories of narrow escapes and near misses by distracted drivers searching for answers instead of paying attention to traffic.
I hope that the 2013 rally masters will continue to use the Tulips system and right-side only rule and even more so, I hope that you, the participants, will learn it quickly so that you can enjoy safe and easy driving events without getting lost, without driver-navigator disagreements, and without accidents.
Please feel free to contact me at 847 342 9804 or email@example.com if you have any concerns or questions.
"The more you drive, the more you smile".
-- Reinout Vogt