Defenders conquer extreme terrain in Terengganu

By CARSIFU | 9 September 2015

It was supposed to be a fun and "not too tough" 4-day/3-night off-road excursion in the rainforest over the Merdeka weekend.

However, the dreadful floods last year had wrecked much of the off-road tracks around Sungai Loh, Terengganu.

Add in rainy weather into the mix, and participants of D' Defender Day off-road trip found what a veteran off-roader described as a "mini Camel Trophy."

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The convoy of 15 SUVs (sport utility vehicles) and pick-up trucks including 10 Land Rover Defenders, had driven 380km from Kuala Lumpur to Bandar Al-Muktafi Billah Shah in Terengganu before making the 12km off-road excursion starting from the Cengal Besar staging point.

The excursion was a collaboration between the Land Rover Owners Club and Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia, to celebrate and experience the true ruggedness of the 2.2-litre diesel-powered Defender.

This year marks the last year of production of the Defender which have been produced for over 65 years.

The off-road section proved to be extremely challenging, as vehicles were stuck in the mud and participants used snatch straps and shackles to pull them out.

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Adding to the challenge were vehicles that did not have extreme off-road tyres needed for the severe terrain encountered, as well as drivers who had never negotiated such tough conditions before.

This meant the convoy took 12 hours to reach the Sungei Loh campsite, after an exhausting night off-roading.

It was well worth it, though, as the sunrise illuminated the magnificent clear water of Sungai Loh after the convoy had set up the camp site.

After two days in the rainforest, the convoy made another exasperating drive on slippery and muddy downhill terrain to get back to the Cengal Besar staging point.

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The more experienced particpants took things in stride, and using established off-road techniques, won through the jungle after 19 hours.

The Land Rover Defenders, once again, proved to be invaluable all-purpose wheels with massive off-road capabilities.