2007 National Rally Report

REPORT ON 2007 TSOA NATIONAL RALLY: Vic 3- 10 November at Phillip Island

Another TRIUMPHantly successful National Rally has just ended! Leigh Hardy, The Victorian TSOA President, wrote in his Welcome to all Participants:- “I trust you will enjoy the week’s activities, make some new friends, re-acquaint with existing ones and justify the amount of work the committee has put into theplanning and execution of the 2007 TSOA National Rally. “ Well, Leigh, thanks to you and your hard-working team, we greatly enjoyed the Rally and look back on it with warm, fuzzy feelings.

Our Triumphs behaved very well (as almost always) and gave us real pleasure as we drove around the beautiful green countryside and screeched around the race tracks.

Day 1 Saturday – We arrived in all manner of post-1954 Triumphs from all over almost all of Australia, and registered at the Arthur Phillip Motel, where we were welcomed by a very unique “penguin”, met our fellow attendees and were presented with a rally bag of information, hat and goodies, plus a neat carry bag, emblazoned TSOA National Rally Vic and containing picnic equipment including ever-useful wine glasses.

Our accommodation for the week was at the Waves Resort on the Esplanade (for the early bookers) and at the Motel. My room at the Waves turned out to be a beautiful near-new 2 bedroom apartment with a spa bath and kitchen, looking out over a park to the sea. Luxury!

The Rally booklet listed 106 full participants and 43 part-timers. By States, full-timers wereNSW  38, Vic 30, Qld. 14, WA  11, SA 9, UK   2, ACT 1, “Stateless”1. There were 57 Triumphs, comprising TR3 2, TR4 1 TR5 2, TR6 7,  TR7/V8 11, TR8 4, Stag 13, GT6   4, Spitfire            2, Dolomite   5, 2500 Saloon   5, Vitesse 1.

After a Happy Hour in the Marquee (an opportunity to “break in” our new wine Glasses), the Reception Dinner was held nearby at the Cowes Golf Club. Greg Bird (QLD) was our genial entertainer- singer and DJ) for the whole week. Well done, Greg!

Day 2 Sunday – Today was supposed to be Concours and Display Day, but the weather hit with such a vengeance- heavy rain, dark skies and strong winds, that, reluctantly, all outside activities were cancelled, and we retreated indoors to again try out our new wine glasses, talk about Triumphs, watch TV and read the newspapers. We even had to eat our delicious BBQ lunch indoors! As we are in severe drought, no-one resented the rain, but we were hoping that it would stop for the Hillclimb scheduled for the next day.

Day 3 Monday – The Hillclimb was held at Morwell, 89 miles away, in green, rolling countryside near coal mines. Apparently, the site of the Hillclimb is about to be closed, then mined for the precious coal beneath; a new Hillclimb site is to be built nearby by the mining company.

After a thrilling day’s action, the Outright Winner was Brian Falloon (Qld.) in his white Triumph TR5.  On our return to Cowes, we ( and several others ) were geographically embarrassed and had to resort to stopping, reading maps and back-tracking in order to find the right road ( the scenic route not the Freeway ). Back on Phillip Island, Happy Hour awaited us – we had lots to talk about! A great day.

Day 4 Tuesday – Today was Melbourne Cup Day- probably the most important day in the Vic. calendar!We were fortunate to be invited to The Shaw’s property on the waterfront at Crib Point. No driving Triumphs were involved for us Full Participants, as we took the Ferry from Cowes to Crib Point and were bussed to the property. There we found a mini-Flemington with a short grass track ( which we later learned was to be the site of the Iron Person Competition ), a well-stocked bar and lunch area, parking for dozens of Triumphs owned by local TSOA members, horsey-signs and a great view of the sea at the end of the garden.

The Melbourne Cup was run and won in marvellous sunshine.  After much merriment and a chicken and champagne lunch, the Iron Person Competition was held – long-time winners SA were edged out by Victoria (I think- the combination of a great day and a glass or three of bubbles makes it hard to recall!). See the image in TRak for more details of the “horse” involved in this Competition.There was another Happy Hour back at Cowes; just in case we were de-hydrated…..

Day 5 Wednesday – The long-anticipated track day at the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit took place on a cool, sunny, clear day, with quite strong winds noticeable on the higher portions of the track. The outright winner in the Sprint event was, again, Brian Falloon (Qld.) in his TR5, with Greg Morsillo (NSW) winning the Regularity in his TR7.

A great thrill for Triumph owners was the Parade Laps around the track during lunchtime- what a track- picturesque and billiard-table smooth, but with some vicious corners noticeable even at our low speeds. Our admiration for the competitors grew after our laps. That night, at the Happy Hour and Dinner at the Cowes Golf Club, many stories were told about the fun we had at the track, and cameras worked overtime displaying the day’s images.

Day 6 Thursday – Our Triumphs cruised through 135 miles of green, hilly countryside with little other traffic, around South Gippsland. This was a long, leisurely day in brilliant sunshine on smooth, windy roads. On the way, we filled in our “Alert” questionnaires, and I was lucky enough to win the booby-prize: a very tasty bottle of red wine! We were well fed – delicious pies and coffee for morning tea at Paul the Pie man in Inverloch, lunch and gourmet beer tasting at the Grand Ridge Hotel in Mirboo North and, you guessed it !- Happy Hour back at Cowes and dinner at the Golf Club.

Day 7 Friday – Rather than have a day off, most of us opted to join the half-day Three Islands Tour. We took a ferry to French Island where we were bussed around to visit a historic chicory kiln / museum and enjoyed morning tea with locally-grown and made jams, and heard about the history and continuing eco-friendly, low-pollution, recycling lifestyle of the island dwellers. Then we ferried back to Cowes and drove via a bridge to Churchill Island which was a National Park with an Information Centre and café, where we enjoyed lunch. The third island was Phillip Island, and we chose to visit the Chocolate Factory and two wineries (Purple Hen and Phillip Island Wineries); both offered tastings and I thought the red wines, especially at the Phillip Island Winery, were very good and reasonably priced.

That evening was the Presentation Dinner at the Foreshore Hotel at Rhyll. We ate and drank well and prizes were given for the competition and Concours and social events. The lottery prize ($500 worth of tyres) was won by Neil Martin (SA). Our club was publicised on that night by a large TSOA banner draped over 3 Triumph GT6s parked on the foreshore- see image in TRak.

2008 Triumph National Rally Qld.  13- 21 Sept 2008 – For next year, the Queenslanders have invited us to join them for 4 days in the Qld. bush, another 4 days at the Gold Coast, touring and competition events. For details, go to www.tsoaq.org.au

John Wood

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