Brian & Linda Dermott Feedback
Linda and I want to thank Smoothline for getting a package of notes to us at short notice and guiding us through the process of downloading the GPS file into the new Garmin and being there for us when we were learning, sometimes at odd hours.
When our envelope arrived, we soon realised it was not just another bunch of pace notes books. It was a comprehensive set of tools to help get the most out of the sport – a tarmac rally enjoyment service. And even after 32 tarmac rallies over the last 19 years, we really needed everything in there.
An expensive and time consuming part of the sport is the dreaded recce which has often been the source of heated squabbles. There is no second driveway after the red letterbox! …. Why can’t you type the right numbers into the GPS? etc etc.
We now know that Smoothline provide thorough and accurate guidance on what order to do the stages depending on how many days you plan to recce, where the stages are on the map, places to stay, get fuel, have lunch … it’s quite amazing. The GPS takes you easily and efficiently to each stage in order. Although we know Tassie very well and had made our own plan, we did use some of their recommendations and they were good. Bernie is only a call away for personal help, it amounts to a service which transforms the tedious part of the sport into part of the fun.
It’s almost like the actual pace notes are secondary, except they are not. The car positioning info was excellent – late, in, middle – and I grasped it quickly. Their late apex calls were always right. Their use of ‘fast’ as in ‘fast straight’ and ‘fast crest’ is much better than ‘crest straight’ because it kind of gives you permission to floor it.
The write up on the stages in the notes and the “nav only” info is excellent – and nicely written. It smacks of the old road books that John Large did – ‘Accidents Common’ instead of ‘Schenkens Shemmozzle’.
In all those pages of notes we never lost the notes. In some of the super slow tourist traffic we got a bit confused a few times but Lin immediately sorted it thanks to the copious nav-only info. And she liked the high quality paper which removes the need to dog-ear every page in advance to avoid sticking and the binding stays bound – no loose pages floating around the cabin.
The assiduous noting of crests and brows took some time to grasp and the distinction between brow (does not unsettle car) and crest (does) is not always obvious at recce speeds but I’m sure it will be useful in the event.
Brian and Linda Dermott, 2016