Circuit of Munster – A Sample Video of the Limerick Racecourse Stage

The forthcoming Circuit of Munster organisers have been working tirelessly on this year’s rally. As a non Dunlop National Championship event this year, the Motorclub have picked a great route that is, on the one hand, very compact, but very also a real challenge. The main body of the rally will be two stages in a very compact loop with the starts and finish of both stages within just a short distance of each other. The third stage in the leg will be at Limerick Racecourse.

A few year’s ago the club ran a rally sprint at the venue but it was more of a gravel based event then. We did RallyNews there and if it was interesting to look back at our bulletins then. The online service was very much in its infancy in 2001 but it still gives all the information and it was live even then. Oh how we struggled with mobile phone data connections and all the technicalities of working in remote locations. Anyway, here is a link to the 2001 Greenmount Rally Sprint – Click Here.

Twelve years on and the place has been transformed from the point of view of the rally stage. The stage is now full asphalt and will give competitors a real opportunity to showcase themselves as the stage winds around the perimeter road and finishes right next to the racecourse Grandstand. The venue is blessed with some fantastic facilities and it should prove be a great base for the 2013 Circuit of Munster. Above is a short video when we made the Patterson Pacenotes for the rally and it includes the whole of the Greenmount Racecourse stage plus a little sample from the other stages. We hope you enjoy.

 

Swansea Bay Rally. A Short Sample Video

This is, once more, one of our short but sweet little blogs.

The Swansea Bay Rally was once, one of the great national rally’s, and in recent year’s it has fallen into decline.

Bad weather, a reduction in entries, the collapse of ANCRO and a whole load of other factors have led to the Swansea Bay organisers having to reflect on their past but accepting the future. So they have rejigged everything and have delivered a really good club/national B event.

The Walters Arena project is right on their doorstep, and with some skilful management, the experienced heads have put together a rally with a really great format, good stages, and a great compact feel to you the rally.

It should be a great little rally.

We have put together a little video to check out before.
Click here for the link.

Patterson Pacenotes – Digital Downloads

This is just a very brief post to confirm that the Patterson Pacenotes Digital Downloads service is now live on-line in test/beta format.

Due to the increasing overseas demand for portable digital formats for the Patterson Pacenotes DVD, it was a logical step forward to offer the same service to all our valued clients.

Over the last few months we have developed and tested various formats and interfaces and have provisionally came to a starting format. It is very much work in progress, and it will be fine tuned as time moves on.

To start with, we will offer MP4 versions of our DVD. In our opinion, it is the most versatile format. It is Apple native and is also universally used within the PC and Android business. It is unlikely that this format will change as it primarily iPad/iPhone based, and that is the most difficult to cater for.

Patterson Pacenotes themselves (ie The Printed Notes) in digital format are not yet available for direct online purchase. While we have the ability to do it, we will continue to supply in a bespoke environment only. In other words, you will have to contact us directly to make any arrangements. In the future, it will become available, but with some restrictions.

Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion. We know that most people looking at this are already Patterson Pacenote customers, and we would love your feedback and thoughts. You only have to register to give us your thoughts, or email us directly.

To check out the new Digital Download page – Click here

Go-Pro. The Pros and Cons

In the late nineties the supply of safety notes was expanding in the UK and Ireland, and in particular within the BRC and ANCRO Championships. At Patterson Pacenotes we were lucky enough to be at the forefront in this era and we have always tried to provide the best possible service and product. One of the things we felt at the time was that if we installed an on-board camera system, it would enable us to fine check the notes more throughly before they were despatched to the competitor. It was early days in both video and camera technology and a far cry from the sophisticated camera systems available today.

The point is that the original idea was purely for our own purposes. An extra check for the notes. We soon realised that in those days there was more to it than we thought. After a few experiments we discovered better ways of doing things and gradually got a better technical understanding of what we required.

At the same time, some of the top BRC drivers discovered that we had filmed our own recce. It didn’t take long before the question was asked if they could get a copy. Of course back then,( once the formalities were sorted), everything was recorded on VHS video tape. We had very crude editing facilities back then, and it was all done on a bank of VCR’s that would record from a master tape in real-time. No high-speed stuff, but it worked, and it was effective. And so the pattern was set for the modern take of the notes and DVD concept.

The point of this little blog is to try and explain why we use broadcast standard camera’s and lens as opposed to the new wide angled extreme sports derived camera’s that have flooded the market in recent year’s. It is a very technical environment and hopefully we can make it a little easier to understand.

We have tried many different camera setup’s in the past, almost to the point of frustration. Not long ago we had a three camera system that consisted of one broadcast camera and two wide angled camera’s. These were controlled together along with a VGA output from our Coralba trip and once combined, it gave a very good view of the road ahead, plus a wider angle of the side of the road. That was found to give too much information to the crew and after consultation with the MSA, it was no longer permitted to be used, in particular on safety notes events in the UK.

What we learned over time was, that a wide angled lens was just no good at giving you a picture of the road ahead. By default, a wide-angle picture has to be squeezed to fit on any type of screen to view it. A Go-Pro for instance has an angle of almost 180 degrees. When you view that on a TV or a monitor, it basically straightens out the view ahead. On the one hand you get a good picture, and in an on-board situation, it looks really fast. The big problem is that there are no corners to speak off as they have all been squeezed straight. In short, you can’t get any useful information from a wide angled camera if you want to check your notes before a rally. All you get is a straight road with a few ditches. So stick with a Go-Pro or something similar for your high-speed on-board from the event its self, but pre-event, get a good standard lens camera and let it read the road.

Below is a short example of just how misleading a wide angled camera be. The top image is the wide angle camera with the more conventional camera is at the bottom. Remember, to finish first on a rally, you first have to finish, and using a professionally prepared pre-event DVD with proper camera angles might just help to achieve this goal.

Monaghan Stages Rally. Patterson Pacenotes Google Trace.

Occasionally we will provide our own Google Earth Data Traces from our own recce while making the Events Patterson Route Notes.
This weekend we have listed our Google Earth Files from the Monaghan Rally. Hopefully it gives some of our more distant viewers a more complete picture of the event’s route. This information is provided for viewing only and does not represent any official involvement from the rally. We hope you enjoy.Download the Google Earth Files. Monaghan GoogleEarthMonaghan Grab
Please note that the Google Earth files are contained in a zip file. If you are using a computer, they will be downloaded to your downloads folder and can then be opened with google Earth. For mobile/iphone/ipad users – you will be asked to “open in” an app like iFiles or Evernote etc. You must do this and then unzip the files. After this the files can be opened in Google Earth. It seems a long way around but it is worth it. It is assumed that you have installed both a file viewer & Google Earth beforehand. If not they are all avialable via the App Store and the Andriod Play Store

Ulster Rally Moves To Fermanagh.

The Northern Ireland Motor Club has confirmed that County Fermanagh will host the 37th Ulster Rally on August 23rd and 24th, with the Rally being based in and around Enniskillen town. The event will once again be sponsored by the Todds Leap activity centre in Ballygawley.

Confirming the move, Ulster Rally Clerk of the Course Lewis Boyd commented;

“It is fantastic that an event of this magnitude has, with the enthusiastic support of Fermanagh District Council, moved to the home county of the legendary Fisher family who have been, and continue to be at the forefront of international rallying. I am personally delighted that as a native of Co. Fermanagh I have the privilege of being at the forefront of this exciting move to Enniskillen.

“A number of exciting new initiatives have been introduced for this year’s Ulster Rally, including a Town Centre Ceremonial Start and Finish and an accessible Spectator Special Stage on both days of the Rally at St. Angelo Airport. I also welcome our 2013 sponsors Todds Leap Activity Centre and Fermanagh District Council and I look forward, with their help, to the safe running of this event on 23rd and 24th August.”

Fermanagh has enjoyed a prominent place in the history of the Ulster Rally, having hosted the traditional Saturday morning breakfast halt during the 1980’s and 1990’s, but this is the first time that the event has been based in and around the Fermanagh Lakelands.

Left to Right: Alistair Fisher,Lewis Boyd (Clerk of the Course) Alan Elliott (Ulster Rally) and Enniskillen Council Vice Chairman, Councillor Harold Andrews.   Photo by Raymond Humphreys
Left to Right: Alistair Fisher,Lewis Boyd (Clerk of the Course) Alan Elliott (Ulster Rally) and Enniskillen Council Vice Chairman, Councillor Harold Andrews.
Photo by Raymond Humphreys

Welcoming the event’s arrival the Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, commented;

“Fermanagh District Council is delighted to support the 2013 Ulster Rally. County Fermanagh is internationally renowned for its motorsport heritage and we look forward to welcoming rally drivers, crews, officials and spectators from across Europe to the Fermanagh Lakelands in August. We wish everyone involved a safe and enjoyable rally.”

The 2013 Ulster Rally will again host all of the premier Rally Championships from both the UK and Ireland including the British Rally Championship and the British Historic Championship as well as the Irish Tarmac and the Northern Ireland Stage Rally series.

 

Willie Loughman Memorial Rally – Sample Video

The sunny southeast stood up to its name this week when we made the Patterson Pacenotes for the forthcoming Willie Loughman Memorial Rally. Despite the dreadful snow that was bringing the north of the country to a standstill, the Waterford based stages have escaped the bad weather and we had a very nice day in which to get our recce done. Some light snow showers came and went during the day but they were only passing through.

COC Andrew Purcell has really put a superhuman effort into his route. New stages are hard to find but the former national champion co-driver has done just that. Without divulging too much information, we thought the new stages are great. We will give a more in-depth assessment next week in Irish Notes but for now we have put together a small sample video for your enjoyment. Watch in 480p for the best results.

Triton Showers Easter Stages – Cancelled

The management of the Easter Stages Rally, due to take place this weekend across Counties Down and Antrim, have been forced to cancel the event. The decision has been made in light of the hardship being faced by residents in the area, and the heavy snow.

The rally was to use a number of roads in the Dromara Hills, around Slieve Croob, which are buried under snowdrifts of up to 12 feet. Clearing efforts are expected to make some progress by the weekend, but the forecast of continued low temperatures – in the midst of the ongoing difficulties being experienced by residents and farmers of the area – have caused organisers to take the decision.

Bobby Willis, spokesman for the event, said: “People in the area, particularly farmers, are facing critical issues at the moment, including the loss and death of livestock. Therefore, the management team has decided unanimously that it is inappropriate for the rally to continue.

“As well as conveying sensitivity to people in the area at this time of hardship, our fear is also that the road closures that are necessary for the rally to run, may further hamper what has become crucial access in the area. The rally could also put additional pressure on emergency services, which are already stretched.”

He added: “We are currently exploring alternatives to run the rally at a later date but, whilst we have had a huge setback, our sights are now firmly set on the Circuit of Ireland 2014 and returning the European Rally Championship to Northern Ireland.”

The one-day Triton Easter Stages Rally was set to replace the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 2013, which was postponed due to insufficient funding.  The event was scheduled to start this Saturday in Lisburn and finish in Ballynahinch on Saturday evening.

A huge number of entries have been received for the event, which was to feature as Round 2 of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and Round 3 of the Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship.

“We are all disappointed and for sure the competitors will be too,” said Bobby, “but we must remember that this is a sport, and right now there are more pressing issues in the area. The farmers and residents are having a terrible time and we should definitely be thinking of them.

 

“We would like to thank everyone who has assisted and supported the rally to date. Over the next week we will have a clearer vision of where we go from here and we will let everyone know.”

Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster, was due to attend a press event at the Millbrook Lodge, Ballynahinch, on Thursday 28th March for the unveiling of the studio from which the rally’s innovative internet channel, Circuitofireland.tv, was to broadcast. This has also been cancelled.

All rally competitors, staff, marshals, sponsors, and event partners are now being contacted, and a full announcement of our future plans will be made in due course.

For updates, please see www.easterstages.net, www.facebook.com/easterstages, and Twitter @EasterStages

Circuit/Easter Stages Sunday Recce Scrapped. Adverse Weather.

The Easter Stages has taken the decision to abandon their first Recce period for the Easter Stages. Weather condition s in Co Down have failed to improve and most of the stages remain close to impassable. They have released a comprehensive final instruction that includes the revised recce details and signing on arrangements. Below are the first couple of paragraphs from the instruction.

Due to the exceptional snowfall some stages are impassable.
The PSNI has advised that all non essential travel should be avoided, with this in mind we have taken the decision to postpone reconnaissance sign on tomorrow (Sunday 24th) in Ballynahinch.
To Organisers have decided to allow reconnaissance to also take place on any day from Tuesday 25th March between the hours of 09.00 and 18.00hrs. The Reconnaissance Regulations apply and officials will be on the stages during these times.
To assist competitors we are offering reconnaissance sign on and administration checks in The Island Centre, Lisburn on Monday 25th March between 19.30 and 21.00hrs.
Roadbooks can also be collected, by prior arrangement, from Patterson Agency, Unit 1F, McKinney Road, Mallusk, BT36 4PE, Telephone 0044 (0)28 9084 4111.
We can also courier Road Books to you, at a cost of £10, please telephone 0044 (0)28 9080 8808 to arrange this.
We are doing everything we can and we would ask that you check our website www.easterstages.net
A full copy of the FI is available from this link.