500 HOURS race - FINISHED at 1:31 21/10/2014

Старт 01.10.2014, 0:00:00 — финиш 21.10.2014, 01:31:17

Фриланс студия AlmostAll


General regulations

Established in 1978, the St. Petersburg AutoStop League (PASL) was the first to suggest the idea of a hitchhiking competition. More than 200 compatitions have been organized by PASL during its 33 years of existence.

The First TransGlobal Autostop Race is a new step forward. Its key goal is the progress and popularization of competitive hitchhiking as a form of adventure travel.

In the future, TransGlobal Autostop Races may become regular events, like the Paris-Dakar Rally or the World Regatta.

Teams from all countries are invited to take part in the Race.

Since PASL is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, successful realization of the project lies in the hands of the participants themselves. It is only by combining our efforts in searching for sponsorship and other support that we would are able to organize the TransGlobal Race.

1. Structure

The TransGlobal Autostop Race consists of four events, the first three being selection matches. All four events are pair competitions, i.e. each competing team consists of two members, who cannot part during the Race.

1.1. The 1st Selection Race

The 1st Selection Race is intended to define national (regional) teams. Each participating country organizes its own 1st Selection Race, the route of which should run mostly across its territory and neighboring regions.

All events in this category should consist of 2-3 intervals divided by short periods of rest in intermediate camps. The distance covered should be no less than 5000 km. The race must contain no less than 10 control points. The number of competing pairs should be no less than 6.

Conformity of event routes and organization to the PASL standards should be confirmed by the Superior Judge of the TransGlobal Autostop Race.

It is recommended that:

  1. there be at least two equal variations for getting from any control point to the next one;
  2. some control points be located in rural (i.e., forested) areas away from major roads and include elements of orienteering.

Countries that cannot provide the required number of competing pairs may organize a joint regional Selection Stage in cooperation.

One half of the competing pairs (fractions rounded up if this number does not exceed the quota) qualify for the 2nd Selection Stage. For example, if 9 pairs participate in the 1st Stage, the best 5 are selected for participation in the 2nd Stage. Of course, those participants who fail to meet the deadline, leave the route prematurely, or are removed from the competition for rules violation cannot qualify for the event.

The 2nd Selection Stage participation quotas:

After the Russian Selection Stage - 10 pairs;
After any other regional Selection Stage - 6 pairs.

The Organizing Committee grants Siberia the option to conduct its own 1st Selection Stage, separate from the Russian event.

Any pair has the right to take part in the 1st Selection Stage of any country or region, provided that this pair has not yet qualified for the 2nd Stage in another country or region. Organizers of regional and national competitions are free to refuse applications of foreign participants, but they should keep in mind that such actions are likely to provoke symmetrical 'counter-measures' aimed at 'their' participants. It is worth noting that a pair that have qualified for the 2nd Selection Stage in a 'foreign' event runs a risk of having problems in the future, since national team management may decide to offer no support to such a pair.

1.2. The 2nd Selection Stage

All participants selected after national and regional Selection Stages take part in the 2nd Selection Stage. The route of this event should be divided into 2 or 3 intervals and should go through territories of Western and Eastern Europe and Russia. The distance covered should be no less than 10000 km. Number of competing pairs should be no less than 6. The winning half of pairs that have taken part in the event (fractions rounded up) qualify for the next stage. The quota is 10 pairs.

1.3. The 3rd Selection Stage

The first attempt to organize the TransGlobal Autostop Race was undertaken as early as in 1997. By April 1998, six pairs had been selected for participation in the Finals, which never took place because of the subsequent 'freeze' of the project.

Another attempt was made in 2004-2005. Two Selection Stages have been organized, adding three more pairs to the list of finalists.

Due to this, the Organizing Committee has decided it necessary to organize the 3rd Selection Stage.

The 3rd Selection Stage is, in essence, a competition between the old and the new finalists.

The quota for participation in the Finals is 10 pairs. The 3rd Stage will take place only if the total number of contestants matches or exceeds this amount.

The 'old' finalists have two options:

  • either to take part in both 1st and 2nd Selection Stages and qualify for the Finals, thus skipping the 3rd Selection Stage;
  • or (in case of defeat or reluctance to take part in the first two Selection Stages) to take part in the 3rd Selection Stage straightforwardly and compete with the new challengers for the right to enter the Finals.

The distance of this event should be no less than 5000 km. The route should go through territories of Western and Eastern Europe and Russia.

Minimum number of competing pairs (as it follows from the above stated) is 11.

1.4. The 4th event — The Finals

The Finals are the Global Race itself.

Territory: Russia, Siberia, China, Alaska, Canada, continental US, Central America, Northern Africa, Western and Eastern Europe.

Expected duration: 65-70 days. The route should be divided into intervals of 5-7 days. Oceans are planned to be crossed by ordinary passenger airlines.

2. Participants

The Race is a pair competition.

Only male and mixed pairs (male/female) are allowed to take part in the 1st Selection Stage and all the subsequent events. All participants should be at least 16 years of age. Additional age restrictions will apply at the 2nd Selection Stage and subsequent events, dictated by immigration laws of the countries involved.

Within each pair a team leader should be determined.

The following categories of participants are allowed to take part in the 1st Russian Selection Stage with no restrictions:

  • PASL members;
  • members of hitchhiking clubs whose qualification were confirmed to meet the PASL standards.

All other participants are accepted if their training and equipment meet safety requirements. In addition, an applicant may be tested for his/her knowledge of competition rules.

The following categories of persons may be banned from participation: those disqualified at the time of the event by a judge from the PASL or any other club of competitive autostop; those wearing a uniform or emblems of the PASL or any other hitchhiking club (in a case of protest from the latter); those declared non grata at the competitions due to the organizers' doubt in their honesty and/or abidance by the rules.

A participant may be disallowed to compete in any event due to disqualification for medical reasons by the Organizing Committee physician. Additional medical examinations may be organized before each competition.

The deadline for applications sent by hitchhiking clubs is 24 hours before the start of a race. For applications from stand-alone pairs - 3 days before the start, provided the pair can be directly contacted, and 5 days before the start otherwise. This applies to all events within the project.

From the start of the 1st Selection Stage and until the finish of the TransGlobal Autostop Race, each pair has the right to substitute one of its members (up to 3 substitutions) according to the Race Rules.


3. Distance and Dates

Routes of all events should be divided into intervals of 5-7 days with intermediate camps in-between. Rest between intervals should last 36-72 hours.

The route of each event should be announced 72 hours before the start of the respective events. Large scale maps of orienteering areas should be given at the start.

Start of the 1st Selection Stage in Russia - August 7th, 2011 from Moscow.
Start of the 1st Selection Stage in other countries/regions – to be determined individually by local organizers; in any case, all 1st Selection Stages should naturally be held before the start of the 2nd Selection Stage.

Start of the 2nd Selection Stage - February 2012, starting point to be defined later.
Start of the 3rd Selection Stage - May 2012, starting point to be defined later.
Start of the 4th Stage (The TransGlobal Race itself) - September 2012, from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Starting dates of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Stages may be changed somewhat as needed.

In case of a large number of participants in the 1st or 2nd Stage, the start will be organized 'in portions' divided by intervals of 24 hours. Maximum number of pairs in a portion is 15 for the first one and 12 for all subsequent portions. Order of priorities will be established according to the order of applications received.


4. Rules and Arbitration

The 1st TransGlobal Autostop Race will be conducted according to specially designed rules, based on the general PASL competition rules. These rules will be the same for all participants, no matter which country or region they are from.

Judging in regional and national events is vested on regional judges approved by the Organizing Committee. Final resolution on especially disputable matters should be carried by the Superior Judge of the TransGlobal Autostop Race.


5. The Organizing Committee

The Organizing Committee carries out the work of planning and realization of the TransGlobal Autostop Race and is a superior body of executive, legislative and judiciary power within the project.

The Organizing Committee carries on negotiations concerning the organization of the 1st Selection Stage with regional go-ahead representatives (hitchhiking clubs management, etc.), able to undertake realization of the 1st Selection Stages in their countries or regions.

Local organizing committees, routes and final results of the 1st Selection Stage should be approved by the Organizing Committee, entry lists and start dates should be defined 'on-site' by local organizers. It is recommended to conduct all regional events at approximately the same time in order to decrease the number of 'foreign' participants. (Note: while planning the route one should possibly avoid partial overlapping (in time and space) with that of the neighboring country so that there would be no overpressure of road sections).


6. Financial Support

Being a non-profit organization, the PASL is not capable of supporting the TransGlobal Autostop Race. The unique character of the project has already attracted the attention of mass-media and potential sponsors.

In case of lack of sponsorship a small registration fee may be charged at the 1st Selection Stage to cover minor expenditures, such as map printing, etc.

The PASL is eager, as far as it can, to help Russian participants in obtaining visas for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Stage. Participants from other countries must care for their visas themselves.

7. Participants' guarantees

Ladies and gents! It is only by combining our efforts that we will be able to conduct the 1st TransGlobal Autostop Race. The PASL are just a little more competent in the technical aspect of it, but we have neither the ability nor desire to drag a dead-weight of those who wish only to get and never give.

Any help would be much appreciated: search for local sponsors, information support, assistance in route planning and orienteering, areas preparing, medical assistance, etc.

Perhaps we will have to discard those applicants who wouldn't like to contribute to the project in any way. This is the least problematic solution: otherwise the rest would break their backs carrying the whole project.

As the experience of the previous Selection Stage (1998) has shown, there is a danger of no-purpose use of visa support and sponsorship by some participants. In order to avoid such a situation, a valid agreement regulating conditions of participation will be concluded with each participant. Any participant who will use 'amenities' paid for by sponsors (such as visas, plane tickets, equipment, provision, communication devices, camping, etc.) for personal purposes different from that of the project, will be charged the whole sum covering all the expenditures for his participation on this Stage. This sum should be announced before the start of each Stage (for the Final it can be very large!). In this case, procurement of visas will be evaluated according to average prices charged by travel companies, food and equipment - according to retail prices, etc.

Participants are obliged to provide the Committee's physician with true information about their health, especially in case of serious chronic illnesses. It should be remembered that only a limited number of diseases can be a reason for refusal of an application, while deception of the Committee's physician surely IS such a reason.

Participants pledge themselves to take part in press conferences, public meetings and other activities organized within the project (of course, not in the active time of the Race).

Participants pledge themselves to place sponsors' logos on their uniforms (as per contract with sponsors).


8. Committee's guarantee

In fact, they are minimal. First of all, nobody can guarantee that we are be able to conduct the 1st TransGlobal Autostop Race at all. The Committee also cannot guarantee that all participants who qualify for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Stage will be provided with required visas by consular services. The Organizing Committee can guarantee for sure that:

  • every possible effort will be exerted to realize the project;
  • judging will be impartial, regardless of club membership of the participant in question; everything will depend on hitchhiking competence only;
  • all participants will be equally provided with all amenities, such as general sponsorship, intermediate camps, support services, etc. Of course, this does not exclude the possibility of a particular sponsor supporting a particular country or a particular pair;
  • any important technical information available to the Committee will be given to all the participants on demand. In particular, a control point for orienteering  will be changed if the location proves to be known to some participant beforehand.