On the 8th of March “Expedition-Trophy”, the second transcontinental off-road adventure reached its finish in Vladivostok.
28 crews from Russia, Latvia, Great Britain and the USA fought for the main prize of the race — 10 kgs of pure gold. Just as it was in the last year race, each crew consisted of two men and one woman, driving one off-road vehicle. The principle of the participants’ elimination in the course of the race has also remained the same — at the end of each stage one or two teams (consisting of two crews each) had to leave the Golden Contest.
In all the other aspects this race differed from the previous one. The main difference was the introduction of new nominations. Apart from the 10 kgs Golden Prize, that was handed to the three members of the winning crew (last year it was a winning team and 6 people correspondingly), there were two new nominations: “Cultural Navigation” and “Expedition” Prizes.
Cultural Navigation is the basis of the long-distance stages of the 2006 Expedition Trophy Race. It comprises more than 300 points of cultural, historical, geographical value connected with great personalities or events. Those are “non-glamour” places important for the country and the world. For example, the unique Kungurian Cave or Orel-gorod, where Ermak’s expedition was formed. The detailed information about Cultural Navigation project can be obtained at http://www.navigatory.ru. The teams were to find the described points by their GPS-coordinates and fix their presence nearby. Searching for the most remote places the participants had to detour from the federal high-ways for up to 400 kms.
All the crews could take part in the competition for the Cultural Navigation Prize, including the crews eliminated from the Golden Prize Contest.
The “Expedition” or the “Spirit of Expedition” Prize is a tourist trophy. It goes to the most dignified crew, according to the participants’ opinion. The winner is defined by secret ballot after the finish in Vladivostok.
One more difference was the route, prolonged and complicated by means of an extended race track — from 400 to 800 kms — and a bigger number of off-road challenging points. The length of the Expedition Trophy route turned out to be 16900 kms. Thus the 2006 Race has beaten its own last year world record. The route was divided into 7 stages: Murmansk — St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg — Moscow, Moscow — Perm, Perm — Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk — Irkutsk, Olkhon — Chita, Khabarovsk — Vladivostok. Besides, the teams had to overcome 5 off-road sections: ice-and-water challenging point “Khibini” on the Maliy Vudyavr Lake, snow CP in Ekaterinburg, "Camomile" on the Baikal ice, off-road sections near Chita and Vladivostok. The last challenging point played the decisive role in the competition for The Golden Prize. The team that crossed the field of snow and a deep ditch first got the main prize of 10kgs of gold. And it was a crew from Ekaterinburg “Mult and Ko”, consisting of Viacheslav Fillipenkov, Andrey Trukan and Olesia Karimova (their vehicle was Toyota Hi Surf , 1986 year model).
The first place in the Cultural Navigation contest was taken by another representative of Ekaterinburg — team “Off-road Club”-“Arsenal A” (Toyota Land Cruiser). With only one point lag the second place was occupied by “4x4 Team Latvia” (Toyota Land Cruiser). The third prize went to “Mult and Ko” together with Moscow crew “Vimpel” (Mitsubishi L200). The winner of “Spirit of Expedition” Prize is “Pride”, a crew from Moscow (Mitsubishi L200).
“Expedition Trophy” changes the scale and grows into a project that will take place once in two years. But next year already, in 2007, a new adventure will begin — “Expedition Around the World”. The round-the-world race will attract teams from “Expedition Trophy” 2005 and 2006 and will consist of two-week stages on different continents. “Expedition Around the World” will become a foreword of “Expedition Trophy 2008”, that will traditionally begin on February 23rd, end up on March 8th and cross the whole Russia. It will be a new race with it own regulations, rules and routes.