July 2020 President’s Message

by | Jul 25, 2020

Welcome to the second half of 2020! I know we didn’t have the first half we may have envisioned in back in January, but we can all be thankful for making it this far through the challenges that have been set before us. We can also carry-on reveling in the knowledge that “this too shall pass.” If that’s of little comfort this far down the road, I’ve got something else I am excited to share: a Redwood Region Member has created an entirely new event we’re trying for the first time this month.

Many of us met Jim Robison for the first time at the Redwood Region Annual Members’ Meeting in Occidental last October. Through his conversation with Ben Davoren, Vice President, that day, Jim was able to inspire interest in some sort of a rally event for 2020. Rallies are a different kind of driving event than our typical driving tours, and many of our members have experience driving or navigating them, but no one remembered our region putting one on…at least not in the last 10 years. Ben came to our Events Planning Meeting last November with a plan for us to learn about rally events with Jim’s input and to consider putting one on this Summer or Fall. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it too far in this plan’s execution.

Not one to allow social distancing to diminish his fun, Jim, a well-experienced Rallymaster, took the current circumstances as an opportunity to author a unique event for our unique times…a Social Distancing Rally…all on his own. You may have read his editorial on the event and his reasons for organizing it in last month’s der Riesenbaum. Jim shared his detailed plan with several of us on the Board, and after a quick review by Brian Cooley, Safety Director, some minor adjustments, and a check with National regarding event policies, we concluded that this is a pretty cool event.

The rally can be driven anytime from July 18 through August 9. The start and finish are in northern Santa Rosa, and the route follows a well-defined 140-mile course on the backroads of Northern California on which you’ll be looking for markers to record on your score sheet. Rallies are a team sport, and as such, to be safe and have maximum fun, each vehicle needs both a driver and a navigator. See what I did there? I purposely used the word “vehicle,” because this type of event begs for our club’s Cayenne and Macan owners to jump in and join the fun!

Some (unattributed) quotes from board members that were part of the event review process you may find informative:

“It is absolutely critical that drivers have navigators/marker observers, and those navigators should be comfortable for several hours of winding roads in a Porsche. Jim has already emphasized this but it’s worth emphasizing again. I am super fortunate to have married the world’s greatest passenger.”

“The markers were very well-placed. You have to pay attention (see above: must have a navigator) but that is sort of the point. Kudos on those, Jim. That must have taken a lot of calculated effort.”

“The dirt-road section of this rally comes very early on” (2.2-mile dirt road on route at mile 21.8)…”(it) was a little more than I imagined — but I’ve never done a rally and was mostly concerned my sparkling clean car was getting filthy”…”all the tires survived just fine”…”I didn’t hate that part of the drive oddly enough.”

We hope you are as excited as we are to go out and enjoy our Porsches while doing something a bit different…even, perhaps, outside of our comfort zone. It should be a blast…and should be the source of some good pictures and stories, so please do remember to share yours; the best ones will certainly find their way into a future der Riesenbaum. Further details on the event, including the rally’s detailed instructions, route, and scoring sheet, can be found on our website.

Thank you, be well, and drive safe out there!

Chip Witt

Chip Witt

Past President

I have been on the Redwood Region board since 2015, serving as Secretary (2015-2016), Vice President (2017-2018), President (2019-2020), and Sitting Past President (2021-2022). This club and the people in it have helped to add tremendous joy to my life. Serving on the board and volunteering time has been my way of trying to give some of that joy back.


chip@wittzend.com?subject=Redwood Region President

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