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President’s Report – January 2024

Friday, January 26th, 2024

I trust all TSOA members had a great Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to getting out in their Triumphs in 2024. We have not had formal club meetings in December and January, and so we will be getting back to business in earnest at our February meeting.

We had a great run to Gumeracha at the beginning of December, with a good turnout of members, and coffee enjoyed at a new café in Gumeracha. Members could then choose to go to either Torrens Valley Orchard or Kenton Valley Cherries. After the heavy rains a week or two earlier, we thought that supply of cherries might be limited, but at Kenton Valley Cherries at least, there were plenty available, and these were very reasonably priced. Thanks to Bill and Margie Berlemon for organising another great day.

The “Apres Run” was on the 28th December. I was unable to attend this run, but I understand that it was well attended with over 30 members and partners present. It was, as I understand, great weather, and the Macclesfield Hotel put on good quality and generous sized meals. Thanks to Roger and Cherri Lange for organising this ever-popular event.

I was also unable to attend the January informal meeting, and thanks to Duane Kaak for standing in for me. I understand that there was only a reasonably small number in attendance, however they were entertained and informed about model yacht racing by our multi-skilled racer, Neil Martin. Neil retired from work at Christmas and is now an even more dedicated competitor in classic car racing and his new passion with model yachts.
A small group of members had a very enjoyable picnic lunch at Lawrie and Kaye Placing’s house for Australia Day. The Placings provided ice-creams for all those there, in lieu of the traditional January ice-cream run to Noonies. Weather was good, and those of us who attended had a great time and an overload of ice-creams. Thanks Lawrie and Kaye for your ongoing hospitality.

The MSCA 50th Anniversary picnic is being held at the Mount Barker Oval on Sunday 25th February. We are making this an official club event, and hope that there will be a strong turnout. Roger Lange is organising a club display, and we have been successful in the past in winning the award for best club display. The venue is the shady western end of the Mount Barker Oval complex. Assembly of cars in club display groups are to be in place by 11.00 am. BYO everything for a picnic lunch. Talk to Neil Martin, Duane Kaak or Roger Lange if you would like more information or encouragement. Lots of us are going, so please, come along and enjoy the camaraderie.

Lastly, the All British Day is at Echunga Oval of Sunday 3rd March. There are 800+ people who have entered for this year event. Registrations closed some time ago, however if you have not registered, please still think about coming along as a spectator. It is always a great day, and this year, we plan to have our gazebos firmly tied down to heavy objects (e.g. Triumphs) to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle.

I look forward to seeing as many members as possible at our February meeting. I believe supper may even include ice-creams for a lucky few.

Regards
Alex Smithson

President

President’s Report – November 2023

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

The 42nd TSOA Nationals were held in the last week of October, and were very successful, despite the less than perfect weather. The week-long event was at Lady Bay Resort, Warrnambool. The “Shipwreck Coast” as this locale is known, is one of the most stunning parts of Australia. TSOA Victoria organised a great week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

I have done a full report of the event, and this is available on the TSOASA website. Some noticeable highlights were, however as follows:

Show and Shine winners: 1st– Trevor Norris (Dolomite Sprint) Vic; 2nd – Ron Farrugia (TR5) Vic; 3rd  -Dino Vettese (TR6) SA; 4th – Lisa Vettese (Stag) SA;  5th – Geoff Byrne (TR6) NSW; 6th – Alex Smithson (TR5) SA.

Movie watched at Port Fairy’s historic Reardon Picture Theatre – early 1970’s Australian cult classic, “The Cars that Ate Paris”. Reviews mixed.

Ironman Trophy winner – Western Australia. (Controversial as team only comprised two people, Ron and Leigh Marian).

It was a fabulous week of great food, great company, great events, and of course, great Triumphs. There were attendees from all mainland states, with a South Australian contingent of 17 attending. We are now looking forward to Albany next year.

I understand from the WA organisers, that Albany is already fully subscribed, however TSOA members can still place their names on the waiting list. We know, from previous experience, that as the event gets closer, there will be inevitable cancellations and I strongly recommend anyone interested to get their names on the waiting list post-haste, as offers will be made when cancellations occur on a strict order of initial application. Register at: https://tsoa-wa.com/triumph-tsoa-nationals-2024/.

Our Christmas dinner and trophy presentation night was on Saturday at Royal Adelaide Golf Club. Sue Gibson has yet again, done a great job organising this event and the club is greatly indebted to her for her ongoing hard work in making this dinner a real highlight of our club year. Special congratulations to Larie and Kaye Placing for winning the Clubman trophy.

At our November meeting, we also had three cars on stage. Firstly, Peter Bogatec had his TR7V8 displayed.  This car is in great condition, and Peter recently ran it is the Adelaide Rally.  This was not planned, as he had a race car entered, but was not able to use it due to mechanical problems.

Don Richards had his TR250 on display. Don is in the process of restoring two TR6’s and came across this car when sourcing parts for the TR6. Roger Lange commented that Don got it from under his nose, and that he was next in line if the sale to Don had fallen through.

Finally, our secretary, Duane Kaak had his TR7V8 race car on display. This car has had a new motor relatively recently (out of a Range Rover). Duane has had this car for quite a few years, and it has great sentimental value to him. A spur of the moment decision to advertise for a travelling companion to accompany him and share the costs of driving it back from Melbourne to Adelaide all those years ago resulted in him meeting Meranie, who fell in love with the man and his car.

We do not have a meeting in December, and the January meeting will be an informal gathering at the Sporting Car Club. Trevor Hawkins has suggested that we make this a “swap meet” where members bring any relatively small and easily carried parts along to find potential new homes. I will send out an email to all members before the January meeting as a reminder and confirm more details.

Regards

Alex Smithson

President’s Report – October 2023

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

The Day of Triumph (DOT) on Sunday 15th October was a great success, despite the rather ordinary weather forecast. We were threatened with showers through the day, and although it rained first thing, we had a reasonably dry day, and unlike the All British Day, also no serious wind issues. We had, however, tied down our new gazebos to vehicles and trees, so we were ready for any weather event.

We had 33 vehicles on display and around 25 submitted for judging. Congratulations to all winners, and in particular, the overall Concours winner, Trevor Hawkins and his magnificently restored TR4A. Roger Lange was second with his TR7V8, and Dino and Lisa Vitesse came third with their Stag. Our new DOT convenor, Dean Berlemon did a great job in organising the day, although as Dean said, he relied heavily on Ian Rigby, our previous DOT convenor who provided great on-the-job training to Dean and also worked extra hard on the day. Dean was also ably supported by his wife Lisa on the gate, Dean and Marg Bogisch who tallied the results and a plethora of others who helped with judging.

Quite a few of our members took advantage of the $10 breakfast/lunch at Café Primo Tea Tree Plaza. Thanks again to Dino and Lisa Vettese for their ongoing generous support of our club.

We looked resplendent in our new hi-vis vests with TSOA logos which we have purchased as part of the SA Car Club Program (SACCP) government grant received in June.

At our October meeting, we also had two cars on stage. Firstly, Steve Ferguson had his TR7V8 hardtop. Steve also has a TR7V8 convertible, and both cars are in mint condition. Steve was previously a member of TSOA SA until about 10 years ago when he moved to Queensland and joined TSOA Qld. He has returned to Adelaide recently and rejoined us. Steve has restored the cars over 15 or so years.

We also had Trevor Hawkins show us his TR4A, fresh from his win at the Day of Triumph. Trevor told us that he bought the car essentially as a “wreck” and took on the restoration as a retirement project. He had previously restored his TR6 and had learned a lot with this first project. Trevor did most of the work on the car himself, and his skills were very much on display at the Day of Triumph.

Social secretary Natalie has a lot of great events planned in the next few months, and we really hope club members take full advantage of their club membership and attend these upcoming functions. The Christmas Dinner is on Saturday 25th November at Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Seaton. This is a club sponsored event with the cost being only $50 per head for members and $70/head for non-members. We keep going back to the RAG because there is always excellent quality food and great surroundings. Pre-dinner drinks are provided by our club, and DOT trophies will be presented on the night. I urge all members to attend if they can, and contact Sue Gibson on 0428 735 960 as soon as possible to book in.

A group of 17 members and partners are about to head off to the TSOA National Meeting in Warrnambool, and I will report on this event at the next club meeting.

Regards

Alex Smithson

President’s Report – September 2023

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

Firstly, I am very pleased to welcome Natalie Farrell to the Committee as Social Secretary. Natalie is a Life Member of the club and has held numerous positions in the past during her long membership. Natalie has always been super-efficient and dedicated in everything she does, and I know she will be very successful as Social Secretary.

We have had a great start to the Club year with two very successful Sunday events. The run to Bethany on 27th August was reported on in the last edition of Fastrak, and was well attended, with a gourmet lunch supplied by the tireless team of Bill and Margie Berlemon.

The Berlemon team was again at the fore with the All-Triumph Observation Run on Sunday 17th September, this time with Dean and Lisa organising a very enjoyable run along the metropolitan coast with stops at Henley Square and Semaphore Road, Exeter for a series of challenging questions, before having another great BBQ lunch (supplied and prepared by Bill and Margie) at Osborne Foreshore Reserve, North Haven. The weather was near perfect, and we had a great turnout of members, with lots of them in their Triumphs.

We have also had a mid-week run to the Aussie Inn Hotel at Hackham, once again organised by Laurie and Kaye Placing.  There are a group of regulars to these lunches, and there is always a convivial atmosphere. All club members are welcome to attend, and I am sure you will enjoy yourselves.

Ian Rigby explained at our September club meeting, the problems he has had in following up members to have their logbooks updated for this year. Ian puts in countless hours in ensuring that TSOA is “Gold Standard” in the Conditional Registration Scheme, and that members do not get in trouble with DIT, the Police or their insurer by being non-compliant and driving a technically unregistered vehicle. We are a club of over 250 members, and the amount of work Ian does to follow up those who do not comply with our procedures is immense. I ask all members to do all they can to make Ian’s job as easy as possible and get logbooks to him next year in a timely manner.

We had two new members, John Watts and David Marlow have their vehicles, a TR7 and a TR6 on stage at the September meeting. Both cars looked great, and John and David were able to tell us about their ownerships. Members’ cars on stage is something I would like to get back to on a regular basis, and I will be asking new and recent members to get involved by presenting their cars to club meetings.

Our next big event is the Day of Triumph on Sunday October 15th at Civic Park. Modbury. Dean Berlemon is convening this event for the first time, although I am sure that previous convenor, Ian Rigby will still be a key part of Dean’s team. It would be great to see a record number of cars there, and I ask all members to make a special effort to have their cars on display. You definitely don’t need to have a Concours standard car, and do not need to enter it into the judging. Please come along however and add to the spectacle of the day. Club members Dino and Lisa Vettese, who own Café Primo at Tea Tree Plaza are offering a super cut-price breakfast at only $10.00 to all club members.  Thanks Dino and Lisa, and please, take advantage of this great offer.

You don’t need to book or advise anyone in advance of your attendance at the Day of Triumph. Just turn up to Civic Park, Modbury prior to 10.00am on Sunday 15th October.

Dean also asked for judges to volunteer to help on the day. This is a great way to have a close look at a lot of cars and be involved. Judging is not hard, as we are not looking for originality, and is great fun. We need more members to help out, so please contact Dean ASAP.

Lastly the Christmas Dinner is coming up on Saturday 25th November. This is a great night and super value at $50.00 per head, with sponsorship by the club, including drinks before the meal. Please contact Sue Gibson to register your attendance.

Regards

Alex Smithson

TSOA NATIONALS REPORT – VICTORIA 2023

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

The 42nd Nationals (the 2nd after resumption from COVID) which ran from 21st to 28th October 2023 are over and it was once again a great success. There was a drop-off in final numbers close to the event with, in the end, 79 registered participants, with SA being the third largest contingent with 17.  We travelled to Victoria as two convoy groups, all meeting at Tailem Bend, and then with 5 couples travelling via Keith and Naracoorte and staying overnight in Penola, and the others travelling along Highway 1 via Meningie, Kingston and Millicent and staying in Mount Gambier on Friday night.

The week-long event was in Warrnambool, and we stayed at the Lady Bay Resort which provided first-class accommodation. The “Shipwreck Coast” as this locale is known, is one of the most stunning parts of Australia, and includes the Great Ocean Road, twelve apostles and the like, and TSOA Victoria organised a great week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

The centenary of Triumph and 70 years of the TR were celebrated, and these twin celebrations formed the theme for the Nationals. Our first event was the welcome dinner at the resort on Saturday which was a great night, with a “blue and white” dress theme bringing out the best of the creativity of the rally delegates.

We were not blessed with great weather, and Sunday’s show and shine at the nearby Lake Pertobe events area was nearly cancelled due to rain and wind. We persevered however, albeit that not many people washed their cars beforehand, and several umbrellas ended up being blown out and put in the rubbish bins. We all survived, and the adjacent coffee shop did a thriving business as it was a lot warmer and dryer there than at the S&S.

South Australia was not able to repeat its successes of the last few Nationals, however we did take out three of the six places in the S&S awards being 3rd – Dino Vettese (TR6), 4th – Lisa Vettese (Stag) and 6th – Alex Smithson (TR5). In case anyone is wondering how the Vettese’s had two cars on display, they drove the Stag, and had Steve Moule and Geoff Mockford trailer over the TR6 for the event. The winner was Trevor Norris from Victoria in a Dolomite Sprint.

That night, we had dinner at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and watched the light show afterwards. Weather still wet and cold.

Monday was a much better day weather-wise, and we set out in and easterly direction on an inland and coastal tour of some 200 km round trip, to view the Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell, with a coffee stop at the Dairylicious Fudge Farm between Timboon and Colac. Dinner was at The Pavilion Cafe and Bar overlooking Warrnambool Harbour.

On Tuesday we headed north and west to Tower Hill and Port Fairy. Weather had deteriorated, and we had lunch and watched a film at Port Fairy’s historic Reardon Picture Theatre. The film was the early 1970’s Australian cult classic, “The Cars that Ate Paris”. It is reasonable to say that the film was not universally acclaimed by the TSOA audience, with the bad weather probably stopping most of the audience from walking out earlier than they did. Those of us with a dark sense of humour enjoyed it thoroughly.

In the evening, we had a “Barefoot Bowls” night at the Warrnambool City Bowling Club and a BBQ dinner. This venue is fully under cover with heaters, so was perfect for us. As well as having great fun bowling in teams, this counted to the first “Ironman” event for the week. For the uninitiated, this is a novelty competition between states, with a very large and impressive perpetual trophy awarded to the overall winner. Everyone wants to win it, carry it home in their generally already overloaded Triumph, and then proudly store it for 12 months, prior to then carrying it to the next Nationals.

The rules of the bowling component seemed a little haphazard, and somehow WA won this event despite having only two competitors.

On Wednesday we drove some 60km to Cobden, where we had go-karting, mini-golf and mini-train rides. Unfortunately, this was the worst day weather-wise, with cold wind, numerous rain showers and two quite heavy hailstorms. Those on the mini train or on the go-kart track during the hailstorms really did cop a beating. Both the mini golf and the go-karts counted to the Ironman competition. There were only three karts, and the competition was a regularity event over three laps, and separate heats for each state. The rain and hail made the track very slippery, and there were numerous spinouts and karts ending up in the grass.

Our team of Neil Martin, Ian Rigby and Lisa Vettese put on a good performance, however did not win the competition, which was uneven due to rain showers coming and going during each state’s runs.  Somehow, WA with only two drivers (plus one additional ring-in from NSW) also won this event.

The mini-golf was also marred by ongoing rain and very slow greens with numerous unexpected water hazards. This was however won by Team South Australia, highlighted by Dean Bogisch having two holes in one, and Alex Smithson with one.  It is of note that WA did not field a team in the mini golf as their two delegated (Ron and Leigh Marian) were competing in the go karts at this time.

We had a roast lunch at the go-kart track and a free afternoon and night on Wednesday.

Weather improved on Thursday, and we headed west again for another 200km day to Portland, where we did tours of the Maritime Museum, Powerhouse Motor and Car Museum and Cable Trams Depot and Museum. Some of us also ventured out to the Cape Nelson lighthouse. At night, we had dinner at Pippies by the Bay Restaurant in Warrnambool.

Our last full day on Friday saw us drive to Suffoir Winery, Brewery and Distillery in Macarthur, around 80km north of Warrnambool. We learned about this most diverse business from proprietor, Pieter Badenhorst and enjoyed great platters for lunch.

There was a delegates’ meeting where the future of Nationals generally was discussed, and then we had our final presentation dinner at Lady Bay Resort.  The theme for this dinner was “Gold” and almost everyone was dressed for the event. Various prizes were awarded, with our own Lawrie Placing being adjudged the “most creative male”.

Numerous serious and less serious awards were given, the most controversial being that of the winner of the “Ironman” trophy. Team WA (solely represented by Ron and Leigh Marian) won this trophy, despite not having a full team number for any event and forfeiting one of the three events which counted for points. They also did not have room in their Stag to take the trophy back to WA, and so it goes back to NSW yet again (it has resided there since 2019). Whilst the rest of us were perplexed about how this win was possible, in the end, we were all pleased that we did not have the responsibility of transport and storage of this sizable trophy.

We also heard from John Stokes who talked about ongoing planning for 2025 in Port Stephens, NSW (picking up the cancelled 2020 rally) and from Ron Marian who gave us a full run-down on the 2024 Nationals in Albany Western Australia. As always, WA has organised a great program, and many of the attendees at Warrnambool plan to make the trip over the Nullarbor next year to attend this event.

Unfortunately, due to the cold weather for the whole week, we did not have a time where everyone was just wearing shirts, to show off our “Team SA” red polo shirts and get a team photo as a group. We did however get some photos of Team SA in their gold finery (thanks particularly to two avid photographers, Marg Bogisch and Raeleen Rigby).

Victoria had their initial problems in organisation at Warrnambool, including delaying the initially planned event last year due to South Australia running 2022 after we had to cancel 2021 due to COVID. Unlike last year, there were no cases during the week, which was a great relief to all.

Roger Jeary, immediate past president of TSOA Victoria took on the role of Rally Convenor and did a great job, along with his hard-working committee. Trevor Norris was the liaison person with participants, and Barrie O’Shea was the MC. They, along with the rest of the team that put the week together were outstanding. We had a “Have You Been Paying Attention” quiz on the last night, and one question was “which was Barrie’s funniest joke?”. Quite unfairly, I thought, the correct answer was “none of them”. Barrie’s wife, Rose ran the quiz, and could potentially be forgiven as she may have been the long-suffering sounding board for his practice as being MC, before the event.

After a fabulous week of great food, great company, great events, and of course, great Triumphs, we are now looking forward to Albany next year. Thanks in particular to all the South Australians who attended and help make it such a great week.

Alex Smithson

TSOA NATIONAL MEETING 2022 – BAROSSA VALLEY SA – 21st TO 28th OCTOBER 2022

Sunday, November 13th, 2022

South Australia hosted the 2022 TSOA Nationals after a two-year hiatus due to COVID. The 2020 event was scheduled for Port Stephens, NSW but was cancelled due to lockdowns and border closures, and similarly, the 2021 event, scheduled for the Barossa Valley last year, had to be postponed for 12 months due to COVID lockdowns.

The 2022 event had many challenges thrown its way, including a refurbishment of our accommodation venue at Barossa Weintal Hotel (BWH), Tanunda, which resulted in 20 rooms being unavailable. The committee worked closely with hotel management and secured all other available rooms in reasonable proximity to BWH for the first weekend.  We had replacement rooms at the Wine Vine Motel (around 300 metres from the BWH) as well as in Nuriootpa for the first two nights, as the Wine Vine was also fully booked over that period.

As well as ongoing COVID concerns, we were hit with near record rainfall and flooding in eastern Australia which severely disrupted travel for our eastern states visitors. A small number of our registrants either chose not to leave due to flooding or turned back en-route. Those who came via the Barrier Highway had a tough time of it, including some being trapped by flood waters between Wilcannia and Broken Hill on the Wednesday night prior to the start, and having to sleep in their cars.

Although we had over 110 registrants a few weeks out, a total of 89 managed to get through to Tanunda for the event.

We had a particularly successful display day, organised by Ian Rigby on the open paddock next to the BWH.  A large contingent of local members attended in addition to Nationals entrants, and there were at least 70 Triumph cars on show for this event. The rain held off for the duration and this was probably one of the largest Triumph displays we have had in SA for many years. Congratulations to all the winners, with South Australia dominating the winners list, and best car on show being awarded to Noel and Cindy Schmidt for their magnificent TR3A.

We had a lot of heavy rain after that, and the paddock was partially under water for the rest of the week, so it was very lucky we had our display on Saturday.

Around 12 brave drivers headed to Mallala on Sunday, in quite heavy rain conditions, and somehow managed to get their cars onto the track. There were some spectacular spin outs in the wet conditions, but no-one damaged their vehicle or got hurt.  The event was run as a Regularity, and Bruce Pollock from WA was the overall winner.

Monday, was, however the start of people testing positive to COVID, and unfortunately, quite a few of our interstate guests succumbed, and ended up spending most of the rest of the week in their rooms.  Some others decided to go home early, but most stayed the distance.

During the week we had an observation run to Angaston and Mannum with lunch at Swan Reach (winners Ken and Vera-Ann Hannaford from NSW), a trip to Monarto Zoo, and visits to the Carl Lindner Jaguar Collection in Tanunda, and Anlaby Station. This trip to Anlaby was delayed due to flooding of the access road on the scheduled Tuesday, but this flooding had subsided by Thursday. The partner program on the Sunday of the motorsport at Mallala included wine and chocolate pairing at the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, and visits to Seppeltsfield and the Barossa Bush Garden. Despite the rain every day, we were still able to do all these activities without major disruption.

No-one went hungry, with great meals at BWH, the Clubhouse Tanunda, Greenock Tavern, Vine Inn Nuriootpa and SA Company Kitchen Angaston, as well as a catered meal at Nuriootpa Rovers Football Club.

The Ironman Competition is always a highlight of the TSOA Nationals, and Stephen Wade did a great job of organising two challenging events. South Australia were the proud winners overall, and thanks go to Roger and Cheri Lange in the “Catching COVID” competition, and Noel and Cindy Schmidt in the “Waiters’ Walk” competition, who between them, blitzed the other states.

Thanks to the organising committee of Duane Kaak, Rory and Sue Gibson, Peter and Julie Davidge, Ian Rigby, Roger Lange, Dean and Marg Bogisch, Stephen Wade and Sue Smithson, for their tireless work over more than 3 years work on the cancelled 2021, and very successful (particularly for those who did not catch COVID) 2022 Nationals. Thanks also to everyone who attended and got into the spirit of everything we did. We also had a great turnout of SA members of TSOA at the display day, which really added to the success of the week.

Despite all our problems I think everyone left keener than ever to see this annual event continue, no matter what the obstacles.  Bring on Warrnambool, Victoria in 2023.

Alex Smithson

Convenor – 2021 and 2022