Jeep events a Rangely success

| josh england | rise above photography | Unlimited competitor 14-year-old Olivia Messer from Fresno, Calif., rolls down the A3 obstacle during competition. Nobody was injured in the hard-hitting rollover.

| josh england | rise above photography | Unlimited competitor 14-year-old Olivia Messer from Fresno, Calif., rolls down the A3 obstacle during competition. Nobody was injured in the hard-hitting rollover.
| josh england | rise above photography |
Unlimited competitor 14-year-old Olivia Messer from Fresno, Calif., rolls down the A3 obstacle during competition. Nobody was injured in the hard-hitting rollover.
Last weekend’s World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship event in Rangely, the second of three Western competitions in rock crawling, saw 18 pairs and individuals compete despite difficult weather that affected performances, WE Rock business manager Shelley Krehbiel-Klein said this week.
Cold winds and rain throughout Saturday affected the competition and the number of spectators, Krehbiel-Klein said, noting that drivers and spotters gave viewers plenty to see as competitors fought for progression points at gates along the courses.
“The weather played a factor … The sand on the hills and the rain were a factor for a number of courses,” she said. “Those who braved the weather were rewarded with some fierce competition between competitors.”
Driver and spotter teams compete in unlimited and pro modified events in Congress, Ariz., Rangely and Goldendale, Wash., before moving on to a final national championship event with eastern series teams in Cedar City, Utah, in September.
Eight competitors rounded out last weekend’s unlimited class, which allows any size tires, rear steering and typically features single-seat buggies.
Matt Messer and spotter John Gabriel of Fresno, Calif,, edged out current national champion Justin Hall and Mark Hall of Antioch, Calif. by four points while Rick Deremo and Rick Gertsch from Dove Creek, Colo. took third place in their first competition in four years.
Team Superchips’ Aaron Sykes, the 2012 national champion in his division, and spotter Ken Rose of Sebastopol, Calif., took top honors in the pro modified class, which requires that vehicles be limited to 37-inch tires and contain just two seats. Jesse Haines and spotter Chris Poblano of Sparks, Nev. finished second, while Jared Neff and Brian Cook from Ruby Valley, Nev. placed third. The fourth and newest team in the division, Kevin Reimer and Erick Williams of Idaho Falls, Idaho, came with a new buggy finished last week to work out some of the kinks in the vehicle.
The sportsman class allows any type of four wheel drive vehicle to participate on slightly less challenging courses with limited safety requirements, including a cage, a four-point harness and an approved helmet. Among six competitors and teams, Chris Mercer and Dan Venrick from Craig, Colo. secured first place in the category with second place going to Rangely local Brian Rector. Eli Allen and spotter Mike Mercer from Dixon, Wyo, placed third.
Krehbiel-Klein said that the Rangely Rock Crawling Park will be on the Western Series schedule next year, adding that assistance from the Rangely Rock Crawlers Club in providing judges, food and other help during the event was critical.
“The Rangely Rock Crawling Park is a great facility that could be utilized for many different sports,” she said. “WE Rock is excited to work with (the Bureau of Land Management) and the local club to host more national competitions in the area.”