In this coming of age year, a decade (2008) of the Rainforest Challenge (RFC), it’s also fitting that we pay tribute to the pathfinders or scouts of the event. Why X-Men? Because those roped into service seem to have “super mutant” power as they slogged in and out of the jungle trails come monsoon rain or shine. They are also the First-In-Last_out team, always committed and dependable at all times. Their evolution and transformation goest hand in hand with the history of the RFC.
Their evolution began in 1998, in the second edition of the event when some members of the Land Rovers Owners Club of Malayisa (LROM) were roped in to help with the scout work together. They formed the second scout team of the RFC then. Up to three different scout teams have served in the event, but they have withstood the test of time.
The original crew was comprised of Rate de Silva, Alyna Tai, Vicky, Zainal Shukor and Abdul Aziz. Later in the years, they were joined by Shah Zain, Anbarasan, Walis, Jasi Salim@Bob, Mustafari Mahmood, Amiruddin Sabri Shahmuddin, Osmadi Osman, Engku Min, Rahman, Zakaria Ismail, Mohd Hanapiah, Hong Yuen Hock, Kam Tak Lai, Low Fook Poh, Leong Meng Keong, Jack Toh, Deli Merah, Mohd Idris, Mohan Chitran, Wong Kah Kin, Hamzah, Martin Lewis, Peter Taylor as well as all those roped in to do the marshaling work.
The name X-Men was coined in the year 2000 after the “Grand Daddy Landslides” episode of the same year. Together with the international press and teams, they made it through the massive landslides of Hulu Trengganu while the rest of the convoy had to retreat. It was the year when the Hollywood of the same name was released in cinema nationwide.
You can call them “die-hard” off-roaders with no fear of the unknown. Year in year out, they are always there at the forefronts, albeit with a different mix of people. Whoever joined the pathfinders, must ear their badge of honour – committed to the event and its ideals, ability to keep on going under whatever circumstances to ensure the completion of the event’s objectives. In later years, they served both as scouts and marshals.
Throughou the history of the RFC, they have great stories to tell in the various recees and post event tales. When conditions in the monsoon drenched jungle become atrocious and unbearable these pathfinders will be there, to do “battle” again and again.
Dedicated to all those who have served in the scount and marshal teams of the RFC – past and present. The X-Men is led by Rate de Silva@Atek ~ Luis J.A. Wee
Admin’s note: The X-Men have stop participating in RFC as of 2009, however we salute and commemorate Luis Wee’s dedication for his passion to provide the opportunity of ultimate offroading adventures for many many others.