Like the rest of the world, the Land Rover community has been thrown for a loop by the effects of the pandemic. The closures of Jaguar Land Rover factories, the shifting of major auto shows, and the cancellation of highly-anticipated events, such as the Great American Rover Rally, made for a difficult period of upheaval and relentless change.
Major events like Rovers at Wintergreen in Virginia, SCARR in Texas, Sand Rover Rally in Florida, and Muddy Chef Challenge in Vermont, all fell by the wayside last spring and summer. As it did for much of everyone’s life, rethinking structures and changing patterns enabled later events like Rovicon (CA), the Mid Atlantic Rally (VA), and the Hill Country Rover Rally (TX), to proceed.
David Short, the President of the Rover Owners of Virginia, works as an Emergency Management Consultant. He used the state’s mandates, as well as his professional knowledge, to create as safe an event as possible. “It boiled down to masks, social distancing, and personal hygiene. Sarek Autowerke funded masks, and we provided hand sanitizers in every registration packet. We doubled the number of hand washing stations and portable toilets, while limiting participants, the number of camping sites and enforcing their locations.”
Josh Gilbert of Hill Country British, San Antonio, TX, revamped the annual Hill Country Rover Rally at the Hidden Falls Adventure Park. “We changed the event for safety — no registration desk, no raffle, no major gathering. Participants received hand sanitizers and masks, which were required within a 6-foot range of others. We encouraged people to remain with family at their campsites and stay in their vehicles during trail runs.”
2020 became one for the books, but enthusiasts put their heads together and made lemonade out of lemons. During a holiday season, I’d be remiss in not celebrating the intimate Land Rover moments that made a big impact. One such event was the wedding of Ethan Drain and Kelsie Annelli this past September, in Killingworth, CT.
Let 2021 bring even more joy for you and your Land Rover.
Jeffrey Aronson, Editor