Most rallies are run at three levels: Master, Apprentice and Tour. There may be slight differences in the routes driven by the classes, but the key difference is the level of difficulty in the navigation.


The Route Instructions provided for the Tour Class are quite specific.

You will be given the exact distance at which you need to make turnings, etc, and may even be given road names or signpost details.

The Instructions will use standard rally abbreviations (e.g. BL=bear left, TR=turn right, RL=railway line, XR=cross roads, etc) so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with these. The Supplementary Regulations for the rally will normally contain a list of abbreviations used.

Download sample Tour instructions (.pdf document) Sample Route Instructions for the Tour class
(from 2007 Alpine Classic)

In some rallies, you may be able to do the entire Tour Class without ever looking at the supplied maps: everything you need is on the Route Instructions. In other cases, a very small amount of map reading may be required.

Apprentice and Master

PhotoThe Apprentice and Master Classes offer much more significant navigational challenges than the Tour Class.

Instead of being given step-by-step instructions, you will actually need to work out your route on the map.

For example, you may have to travel between two points on the map, crossing over a railway line exactly three times. Or get to a cross road that is directly south of an airfield, after using three mapped km of a secondary road.

The Route Instructions for the Apprentice and Master Classes are basically the same, but the Apprentices will receive some extra information. For example, the Master instructions might say "Drive west past a quarry", where the Apprentice says "Drive west past a quarry near Pelton".

Download sample Apprentice instructions (.pdf document) Sample Route Instructions for the Apprentice Class
(from 2007 Alpine Classic)

Download sample Master instructions (.pdf document) Sample Route Instructions for the Master Class
(from 2007 Alpine Classic)

These instructions may seem terrifying - even impossible - but with practice you will find they are quite achievable. A number of helpful documents are available below. In addition, at the start of the year, the Classic Rally Club sometimes runs Navigation Schools.

Before attempting a rally at this level, you need to be familiar with:

  • Grid references on a map
  • How geographic and other features are shown on a map: mines, railways, powerlines, dams, route markers, road types, etc. (All of these will be shown on the Map Legend.)
  • Compass directions
  • Rally terminology
  • Rally puzzles, such as "herringbones" and "tulips"

Navigator Aids

Here are some documents you may find useful when preparing for your first rally:

Download Key rally and navigation principles (.pdf document) Key rally and navigatgion principles ( 2012 Tony Norman )

Download How to win a touring assembly (.pdf document) How to win a touring assembly ( 2012 Gary and Wendy Maher)

Download Equipment Checklist (.pdf document) Equipment checklist ( 2001)

Download average speed tables (.pdf document) Average speed tables (speed and distance in km)
(Only necessary if the rally is timed - most are not.)

Download average speed tables (.pdf document) Average speed tables (speed in km, distance in miles)
(Only necessary if the rally is timed - most are not.)

Download Apprentice Navigator Training Pack (.pdf document) Apprentice Navigator Training Pack ( 2001)

Download Navigation in Classic Rallies (.pdf document) Navigation in Classic Rallies ( 2000 Ian Reddoch)

Download Briefing Notes for Navigators (.pdf document) Briefing Notes for Navigators ( 2007 Jeff and Peter Whitten)
From the 2007 Forest Classic Rally.

Download 1970 Ampol Trial Preparation Notes (.pdf document) 1970 Ampol Trial preparation notes for the Leyland team
(Historical interest)

You may also want to look at the Rally Meters page of this website.

Navigation Schools

At the start of the year, the Classic Rally Club often holds a Navigation School, in which new navigators, or those who want to move from Tour to Apprentice, are given instruction on Rally Navigation. This typically takes place over one or two evenings.

A particularly comprehensive Navigation School was held in 2006, run by John Henderson, with the assistance of Lui MacLennan and others.

The PowerPoint presentations from the evening have been converted to .pdf format, and are available to CRC members and sister clubs. Please note that these documents are password protected. To obtain the password, please email the CRC webmaster, advising your full name and club name.

Download Presentation Part 1 (.pdf document) Presentation part 1 (1 Feb 2006 - 563 kB)

Download Presentation Part 2.1 (.pdf document) Presentation part 2.1 (8 Feb 2006 - 410 kB)

Download Presentation Part 2.2 (.pdf document) Presentation part 2.2 (8 Feb 2006 - 2.79 MB)

Download Presentation Part 2.3 (.pdf document) Presentation part 2.3 (8 Feb 2006 - 2.3 MB)

Download Presentation Part 2.4 (.pdf document) Presentation part 2.4 (8 Feb 2006 - 1.83 MB)

Download Apprentice Exercise (.pdf document) Exercise - Apprentices (30 kB)

Download Master Exercise (.pdf document) Exercise - Masters (25 kB)

CRC thanks John Henderson and Lui MacLennan for all of their efforts in compiling and presenting the training school, and thanks also to Jeff West, who set the Cowra Conundrum used as an exercise during the school.