What is a Winch Challenge?

A winch challenge competition is an event made up of several off road stages that test the driver, co-driver and their 4wd (Four Wheel Drive) vehicle to the limit.

The stages

The stage's are set tracks over rough terrain where the teams race one at a time, attempting to be the fastest to get their 4wd from the start box to the finish box.


Because of the challenging nature of the stages the 4wd's are all equipped with winches, so when they don't quite drive up, over or through whatever obstacle they come across, they're not without hope. It's here that the co-driver (a.k.a 'winch-man') leaps into action, setting up the winch to get the vehicle back on firm ground as fast as possible.

The clock doesn't stop while the team are winching so excellent teamwork, good fitness and ingenuity are all needed to get a good stage time.


Stage points are awarded to each team relative to their stage time placing with a maximum 100 points up for grabs. Penalty points are incurred for rule infringements making sure the teams stick to the rules and play fair. At the end of the event, the team with the most points wins.

Vehicle specification

Some of the 4wd vehicles are highly modified, but they all must remain road legal and comply with a set of vehicle specifications that encourages innovation but ensures that winch challenge remains a 'brains over budget' competition.

Get involved

Although some events are closed to spectators due to their remote locations, winch challenges are often open to the public. Keep a close eye on our events calendar so that you can experience first hand this exciting and unique competition at a winch challenge event near you.

Becoming a marshall is a great way to learn the rules and see lots of action right up close. Drop us a line if you're interested.

If you think you want to give this winch challenge thing a go, learning the rules is the best place to start.

Of course there's plenty of sponsorship opportunities in winch challenge. Talk to us for more info.