Article 1 ORGANISATION
1.1 The Great Tour of China 4x4 Adventure Drive will run between 26 April and 25 May 2006. It will be a long distance touring event for 4x4 and selected other vehicles organised by the HERO 4x4 Explorers’ Club (4x4xplore). 4x4xplore is a specialist arm of HERO - the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation.
1.2 IMPORTANT NOTE: this event is potentially dangerous. It passes through areas and uses roads which may be hazardous. It is expressly organised to present a challenge to participants, and to test among other things their stamina, initiative, self-reliance and resourcefulness. Participants should not enter unless they accept that there is an element of risk to themselves and their vehicle.
1.3 The onus is on participants to drive carefully and safely at all times, and to comply with the laws of China and of each region through which the event passes. Participants must fully respect the police who will assist at the event.
1.4 Although the Organisers will appoint medical and mechanical support personnel, they accept no responsibility whatsoever for any accident or injury befalling participants, and do not warrant that they will be able provide rescue or assistance of any kind. All participants will be required to sign the indemnity printed on the entry form.
1.5 The following officials have been appointed to date:
|| John Brown
|| Joanna Brown
|Chief Medical Officer
|| Dr Greg Williams
|Chinese Tour Operator
||China Sea Travel Service
| Other officials will be nominated later.
Article 2 OUTLINE OF THE EVENT
2.1 The Adventure Drive is not designed as a trial of speed or of off-roading capability, but as an enjoyable long-distance touring event which nevertheless tests the reliability of the vehicle over great distances, and the ability of the crew to cope with a long overland journey.
2.2 The event will be run over a period of one month, including four rest days. Participants will cover approximately 10,300 km (6,400 miles).
2.3 At regular intervals throughout the event, the Organisers will hold Briefing sessions. All participants are required to attend these, as vital information may be given.
2.4 Apart from specified departure times at certain start and restart controls and the opening and closing times of controls, the event is untimed, and there is no system of lateness penalties.
2.5 Our permits from the Chinese authorities require participants to stay on the official route as defined in the Road Book or other instructions issued by the Organisers, and keep within the allocated time window. They must not deviate from the route without the express permission of the Organisers. It will then usually be necessary to carry a Chinese guide, which may be at extra cost.
2.6 The event is run for the shared enjoyment of all participants. Although the length and the nature of the terrain make it a demanding challenge, it is a sporting and friendly event, whose object is to provide pleasure and companionship. Participants are expected at all times to show friendship, tolerance and helpfulness towards each other, and towards officials, other road users and the public.
2.7 The itinerary as published to date is subject to amendment, and the Organisers cannot guarantee that the event will visit all the locations shown.
Article 3 ELIGIBLE VEHICLES, EQUIPMENT
3.1 The Adventure Drive is open to any 4x4 vehicle which complies with these Regulations. The Organisers also reserve the right to allow other kinds of vehicle to take part, at their discretion.
3.2 Most good modern high-clearance 4x4s should be able to cope without major modification, but heavy duty springs and shock absorbers are recommended. A list of compulsory and recommended special equipment will be sent to all participants.
3.3 Vehicles must be of good clean appearance and in proper and safe running condition. All vehicles will be checked at Vehicle Inspection prior to the event for compliance with these Regulations and for general appearance and safety. Vehicles found not to be eligible, or to be in unsuitable or unsafe condition, will not be allowed to start. This check is not however a comprehensive safety inspection, and the Organisers accept no responsibility for warranting or ensuring that all participating vehicles are in a safe or legal condition; the onus for this lies entirely upon the First Driver. No refund of entry fee or of other expenses will be made to any participant whose vehicle is not allowed to start.
3.4 The onus is on participants to ensure that their vehicle complies with the legal requirements in China. The Organisers will provide guidance on these, but cannot accept liability for any failure to inform participants of particular regulations. Vehicles will have to carry Chinese licence plates; the Organisers are arranging for the issue of these on arrival.
3.5 Publicity and advertising material, in addition to any provided by the Organisers, may be carried on participating vehicles provided a permit has been obtained from the Organisers. For this, participants will be required to submit an application to the Organisers together with photographs or sketches. The Organisers reserve the right to charge a permit fee, depending on the nature of the publicity and the sponsor. This fee will normally be waived for publicity linked to charitable fund-raising by the competitor concerned, or for the sponsorship of bona fide private entrants.
Article 4 CREW
4.1 Those carried in a participating vehicle are collectively termed its crew. The Adventure Drive is open to crews of two or more, up to the seating capacity of the vehicle; seat belts must be worn by all crew members. At least two members of the crew at any one time must be nominated as drivers, and be licensed and insured to drive the vehicle in China. Nominated drivers must be at least 18 years old.
4.2 Each vehicle’s entry must be made by its First Driver, who is in charge of the vehicle and must remain with it throughout the event. The First Driver is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle and its crew comply with the event Regulations at all times; and is liable for the entry fee and all other payments due to the Organisers, to public authorities and to hotels and suppliers along the route.
4.3 Other crew members may travel for part of the event only, so long as there are at least two drivers at all times. The First Driver should notify the Organisers by 15 January 2006 of all intended changeovers of crew members. An administrative charge of GBP 100 will be payable for each crew changeover. Participants will themselves be responsible for the travel and accommodation expenses of crew members joining or leaving the event. Every person who is to drive the vehicle during the event must be shown on the vehicle documents.
4.4 All crew members will be required to wear at all times during the running of the event, a necklace identity badge, supplied by the Organisers.
4.5 Participants are responsible for ensuring that there are no restrictions on their entering or travelling in China. The Organisers will provide guidance and assistance in obtaining the necessary visas and travel permits.
4.6 At all times at least one member of each crew must be in possession of a first aid certificate, or some other formal medical qualification.
Article 5 ENTRIES, ACCOMMODATION
5.1 Applications for Entry must be made on the official entry form, which must be signed by all crew members. The Organisers will consider each Entry Application in turn and decide whether to issue an invitation. The entry list will be strictly limited to 35 vehicles
5.2 The entry fee will be £26,950.00 for a crew of two plus £6,600 for each extra crew member, adjustable pro rata for extra crew members attending for part of the event only. The entry fee covers
• containerised shipping of vehicle to Beijing from a nominated port in the UK, in continental Europe (probably Rotterdam), in the USA (west coast) or in Australia, and back from Shenzhen to the same port after the event;
• overnight accommodation and breakfast on 32 nights before, during and after the event;
• pre-start welcome dinner;
• final farewell dinner;
• evening dinner on 30 other nights, including speciality banquets in local restaurants
• personal accident and medical insurance package;
• Chinese third party vehicle insurance;
• all necessary permits and authorisations to travel along the event route;
• issue of temporary Chinese licence plates for the vehicle and driver's licences for all drivers;
• services of 4x4xplore on-event officials, including event doctor, paramedic and mechanic;
• services of English-speaking Chinese tour manager and guides/interpreters;
• guided excursion to Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an;
• at start and finish, coach transfer to/from the bonded warehouse for collection/delivery of vehicles;
• detailed Road Book including maps;
• rally plates and side panels;
• event souvenir clothing;
• souvenir award for all finishers;
• life membership of the HERO 4x4 Explorers’ Club, and of HERO - The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation for each crew member.
Shipping from and back to other points can be arranged on request. The entry fee may be reduced or increased to take account of differences in cost.
The entry fee does not include personal transport to the start or from the finish; transport of vehicle to or from nominated ports; visa fees; single room accommodation (available in most locations at extra cost); lunch; hotel extras such as à la carte dishes, drinks, telephone, laundry, etc; admission fees to attractions (minimal in China); road, bridge or ferry tolls; extended port storage; transport to port of damaged or broken down vehicle; etc.
5.3 We use the highest standard of accommodation available. In major cities, this means five star hotels of full international quality. In smaller places, this may vary from a four star hotel with fully equipped air conditioned bedrooms, to a simple one or two star hotel or guest house. You must equip your vehicle with a tent and sleeping bags, for emergency use if you are stranded.
Accommodation will normally be in a shared twin-bedded room. The Organisers will endeavour to secure single room accommodation where possible. at extra cost.
We cannot guarantee the standards of cleanliness or hygiene of any establishment used, especially in smaller places off the beaten track. You are advised to come prepared for primitive conditions.
5.4 At some overnight halts, more than one hotel or guest house may be used. Although the Organisers have done their best to find establishments of similar quality, some differences of standard may be perceived. The Organisers will endeavour to provide a fair balance for all competitors, taking account of the date of entry.
5.5 In the case of significant changes to the route that increase the number of nights’ accommodation required, or of other unforeseen contingencies, such as major fluctuations in exchange rates, the Organisers reserve the right to increase the entry fee by up to 7.5%. By the fact of applying to enter the event, competitors undertake to pay such surcharges.
5.6 The closing date for entries is 15 December 2005, although the Organisers reserve the right to accept late entries.
5.7 The first named driver on the entry form undertakes to pay the full amount of the entry fee in accordance with the Regulations and in default the other signatories shall be jointly and severally liable.
5.8 The entry fee may be paid in instalments, now due as follows:
Before 15 June 2005 GBP 5,000 due
Before 15 September 2005 a further GBP 7,500 due
Total now due GBP 12,500
By 15 December 2005 a further GBP 7,500 due
Total now due GBP 20,000
By 15 January 2006 balance of full fee
5.9 Entry Application Forms must be accompanied by the full sum due at the date on which they are submitted.
5.10 If an entrant whose payments are up to date withdraws their entry, he or she shall receive a refund of fees paid and/or due as follows:
Before 15 September 2005 all but £1,000 refunded
Before 15 December 2005 all but £3,000 refunded
Before 15 January 2006 all but £5,000 refunded
After 15 January 2006 No refund
5.11 If an Entry Application is unsuccessful, all fees paid by the Applicant will be returned in full.
5.12 Entries which are fully paid up may by the written agreement of the Event Director be transferred to another person (whether or not they are in the same crew), who must have signed an entry form. Entrants who fall behind with payments will be deemed to forfeit their entry and the fees paid up to that point. The entry becomes the property of the Organisers, to dispose of as they see fit.
Article 6 DOCUMENTATION, INSURANCE
6.1 The Organisers will arrange all the permits and authorisations necessary for participants and their vehicles to travel along the route, including the issue of Chinese licence plates and drivers’ licences, and for the Customs clearance of the vehicles. The cost of these items is included in the entry fee.
6.2 It is vital that participants complete all the necessary forms and questionnaires in full, and return these to the Organisers by the dates required; the Organisers cannot accept responsibility for difficulties arising from participants’ failure to comply with this. The full list of vehicle contents (in simple form) must be shown on the customs declaration completed by the participant; the Organisers cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of any failure by a participant to do this, or to attempt to import goods prohibited or liable to heavy import duty in China.
6.3 Participants are reponsible for securing their own personal visas to visit China, using the event itinerary for this purpose. The Organisers will advise on this for UK residents.
6.4 The Organisers cannot guarantee any participant’s right to enter or drive in China. No refund of entry fee or other recompense will be made to any participant unable to start, delayed en route or unable to continue because of difficulties with the Chinese authorities.
6.5 The entry fee includes third party insurance for the vehicles.
6.6 The entry fee includes personal accident and medical insurance cover of up to £100,000 for death or permanent total disablement as a result of an accident; and accident and illness medical expenses including repatriation up to £50,000. An excess of £250 applies to each and every claim.
6.7 The Organisers’ cancellation insurance policy will enable entry fees to be refunded if the event is cancelled or curtailed by the Organisers for reasons beyond their control. The policy does however have some exclusions, and the Organisers reserve the right to retain all or part of the entry fee if the event is cancelled or curtailed, to cover uninsured costs incurred to that point.
6.8 Marine transit, third party and participant’s non-appearance insurance will be available through our brokers. The last of these will enable participants who are forced to withdraw for bona fide reasons to recover certain costs incurred to that point, including entry fees paid or due. Participants are advised to take out this cover. The organisers will not refund entry fees to participants who have omitted to take out this cover
6.9 Any fees incurred by the Organisers before the event on participants’ behalf must be settled prior to the Start.
Article 7 FUEL, ASSISTANCE, EMERGENCIES
7.1 In places, there will be long distances between filling stations. Participants are advised to ensure that they can carry enough fuel for at least 500km, under difficult road conditions and/or at high altitude. This figure may be amended later.
Fuel cans, containers and unprotected fuel tanks may not be carried inside vehicle passenger compartments. Participants are advised to carry extra fuel in supplementary long range tanks rather than jerricans.
7.2 Recovery vehicles with mechanically and medically trained personnel will follow the event. Each vehicle will also carry an interpreter. However, the assistance they can provide will be limited at best to simple roadside repairs and basic first aid; they may well be delayed, e g in looking after other participants; and they may be obliged to miss parts of the route to recover lost time.
7.3 These support vehicles should therefore not be relied upon to provide immediate first aid; in the event of a serious medical incident, the next vehicle along will probably be that of another participant. All crews must therefore be aware of how to deal with serious incidents. At least one crew member in each vehicle must possess a first aid certificate or have some other first aid qualification. Every vehicle must carry a first aid kit to our doctor’s specification, plus emergency survival rations and clothing. Participants will be given a fact sheet setting out the emergency procedure.
7.4 The Organisers cannot guarantee to repair, tow or transport vehicles which break down; the onus is on participants to extricate themselves or each other from difficulty. Participants are expected to help each other.
7.5 The Organisers cannot guarantee to provide immediate medical assistance to participants who are injured or fall ill. They must use the normal emergency services of the region concerned. Participants are advised to take out additional medical repatriation cover.
7.6 In the event of their vehicle being unable to continue in the Tour, participants are wholly responsible for its repatriation, and of all tools and spares carried, and for any import duties, fines or other costs which may result in their failure to do this.
7.7 Participants who are involved in a road accident or other incident involving the police or local people, their animals or their property must inform the Organisers as soon as possible and, if uninjured, wait at the site of the incident for the Organisers’ representative to arrive. Participants must then cooperate fully with the Organisers’ representative who will deal with the necessary authorities. Failure to comply with this rule could have serious repercussions for the whole event.
7.8 Participants who are substantially delayed during the event must inform the Organisers of their whereabouts and safety at the earliest possible moment. All crews must, on finishing or retiring from the event, complete and hand in the official Incident and Damage Declaration form.
Article 8 ROUTE, NAVIGATION
8.1 A route outline and timetable is published with these Regulations, showing the route in broad terms.
8.2 A detailed Road Book will be produced, containing sufficient information to follow the correct route, including maps. This may include signposts to be followed, landmarks, and other relevant information; plus town plans showing the location of controls, hotels, selected garages, etc.
Article 9 INTERPRETATION AND ADJUDICATION
9.1 “Organisers”, “4x4xplore”, “HERO” and “HERO 4x4 Explorers Club” mean the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) Ltd, or their successors to whom responsibility for the organisation of the event may be wholly assigned. “Regulations” means these Regulations as at herein, and as supplemented, varied or modified from time to time. “Instructions” means written or verbal instructions issued to participants before or during the Event, which have the same force as Regulations. “Event” means the 2006 Great Tour of China.
9.2 Save where provided otherwise, the signatories to the entry form shall be jointly and severally liable under the Regulations.
9.3 All communications shall be given to the first named driver or otherwise as determined by the Organisers. Any communication signed by the first named driver shall be binding on all the signatories to his entry form(s).
9.4 In cases of uncertainty or dispute over the interpretation of the Regulations or their application to any occurrence, the decision of the Organisers shall be final and binding.
9.5 The validity, construction and interpretation of the Regulations, the Entry Form and other documents issued to competitors shall be governed by English law, and the Courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction. All parties shall however use their best endeavours to settle any dispute amicably and without resort to law.
9.6 All sums of money are expressed in pounds sterling.
9.7 At the time of writing (25 April 2005), the Chinese yuan (RMB or CNY) is valued on the OANDA FXDaily exchange website at 15.87 per GBP. The Organisers reserve the right to levy a surcharge on the entry fee to offset the effects of any significant revaluation between now and the date of the event.
The Great Tour of China 4x4 Adventure Drive
The Town House • Leigh • Worcestershire • WR6 5LA • England
telephone (+44/0) 1886-833505 • fax (+44/0) 1886-833144 • e-mail: info@ 4x4xplore.com