The RECON G6 CHALLENGE “Gamblers Paradise” Las Vegas
Date: April 2nd, 2011
Location: Some N.E. hillside outside Las Vegas, Nevada
Words: Rodney “GCRad1” Wills
Images: Brandon Coonce & Rodney Wills
The year Twenty-Eleven has barely started and the RECON Crew has already and totally changed the game of having R/C fun in a friendly environment!
The G6 Challenges first started in January with “Erzberg” and “Folsom G6 Blues,” February saw “Love of Rock” and “Folsom G6 Blues part Duex,” then March brought on the “Maddness.” Finally, April was not fooling around with “Gamblers Paradise!” All in all, six events of G-six’ism this year!
The casual bystander would view the landscape for a G6 Challenge as beautiful to view from a distance but would not consider the terrain and environment as “friendly,” but for the adventure G6’ers, the rougher and less traveled, the better! But what is this G6 Challenge that has Trail Honcho’s in a frenzy to adventure into the unknown?
The Gamblers Paradise Edition of the G6 Challenge was actually a “no gamble – all win” event with spectacular al la natural landscape, awesome weather and course design on the Scalers’ list of paradise-type terrain! Yes, this event was EPIC for the adventure enthusiast!
While on a previous G6 Challenge in Reno, I did a little sample driving as I spent most of my time filming and shooting photos. I had such a blast with the little time I drove my rig at the “Maddness” event, that this time I wanted more seat-time! Jeff Johns [Axial President] and myself went out to participate in this event from start to finish. With two very stock SCX10’s in hand, we wanted to get the full flavor of fun and a full-day of seat-time… ok, steering-walking time. Either way, it was the adventure of the unknown we were chasing!
The G6 Challenge events are comprised of three trails ranging from 50 to 200 course markers- pretty much however many Brian Parker feels like putting in that day, but with heavy emphasis on “challenge” as in the most challenging courses set in natural terrain. At G6 Challenge events, two guys work together as “trail buddies.” The mission is that one person drives his rig and the other guy goes along as “co-pilot” alerting the driver to course directions while scoring his driver. Once the driver finishes a trail, the participants switch duties for the same course and repeat for the other trails. Yes, this is the honor system with nine million ways to seek the gray area. But hey, this is the very reason we are seeing a flip as the other side coin has nine million rules to follow. At the end of the day, we currently only need/want general guidelines for some wild style adventure fun!!!
Jeff and I being first time G6’ers, we were also trail-buddies and driving showroom bone-stockers! Can we make it any harder!? From a participant standpoint, it is very easy to show up and run at one of these events! As the event was getting underway, I couldn’t hold back my urge to snap a couple of shots of the other adventure seekers as Jeff was making ready his SCX10 murdered-out Honcho. OK. So his rig is not that stock, he has custom flat black paint and a couple of scale accessories.
It dawned on me that while I understood the rules, I was not familiar with the score keeping process and in just a few moments we would be out on a trail, clock ticking and no way of returning to G6 base-camp to ask about rules and scoring, so I made a quick inquiry about rules right as Jeff approached the start line. Talk about cutting it close!
“Rules – EASY! Don’t hit trail markers and don’t hit boundaries. Have FUN!,” stated Stewart G. with assistance from Brad Bailey while starting other G6’ers out onto the three trails simultaneously. OK, so that is (I hope) rather simple, I thought and we started our adventure in the “deep-end of the pool” with the 100-trail marker course!
The coolest thing about participating in the “chase of adventure” at a G6 Challenge is that it is not about the podium finish. It’s about the massive amount of seat-time driving and possibly surviving the unknown unscathed and then, sharing stories at the end of the day- “How in the heck did you clean TM-24 on the 100-course?” “Did you see that Bender-6X walk-it!” “Did you get passed by the Swanson Swagger!?”
WELL. Let me tell you! I personally witnessed the “Swanson Swagger!” I got passed on the 100-course by the man himself, Mr. Tom “Swagger” Swanson, somewhere after TM-66 and before TM-75 on the radical terrain of the 100-course. I was in disbelief, but the “rumor” is in fact true! “The Swagger” as he will now be known, was walking, not running, in a brisk and smooth manner as he somehow piloted his SCX10 Dingo [the only one at the event] through the Vegas outback. As he navigated his rig past and was a few feet ahead, he shouted back for me to look on the left as he thought he may have seen a cleaner line for me to attempt. I looked in a fit of frustration and why yes, I saw the line! HOW THE HECK!? I’m laughing as I line my Sharpe Camo’ed SCX10 Honcho up to the rock and could only punch the skinny pedal and succeeded in launching my rig up the rock on the left side only to take out the course marker on the right. Luck will only take you so far and did at this point as some of my previous course marker clearings where finessed in complete amazement even to myself and stage partner. I’m sure everyone knows of what I speak, everyone needs video to capture the proof of pure amazement.
Here at TM-74 is where I would be passed by Tom “Swagger” Swanson:
I pulled out of the way in order for Tom to have a clean-through line. Also, I was attempting to reverse through the trail marker diagonally without having to winch without the winch I do not have and without the use of the stage buddy winch. Tom of course needed no stinking winch as he boosted up the ledge on the third approach!
Later at the G6 Base Camp, I asked Tom Swanson for some of his hysterical magical swagger to be sprinkled on my rig to make up the difference in driving talent that expired and without instant renewal, back there around TM-68. He graciously popped the Dingo’s bonnet [it was European] and showed me his personal outback setup! This is the comradery that the G6 Challenge members have! It’s us that have to survive both the outback wilderness defined by the trail markers of Brian Parker and the G6 Crew. It’s all part of the mystery and adventure that happens at the G6 Challenges.
TOUGH LUCK AWARD:
Brent Brammer is presented the Tough Luck “G-Degree Good Apple” Award. Brent battled electric gremlins from the very start but fought them through the 100-TM course and the first 50-TM course before expiring his battle. This was inauguration to the G6 family.