After a bit over 2 years of planning, meetings every month, lots of red wine and cheese, several committee members spending hours on the road working out the fine details and getting a plan that we considered the best value for money, the 2016 Nationals have been held and gone.
The Mantra of “Remember, Attention to Detail” (thanks to Roger Lange) stuck with us all the way.
There is far too much to document for the short time I have to get something down to share. The following is a brief report on the week’s events.
We were up early getting the first days plan up and running. Alex had brought a truck load of gear up the weekend prior and had stored it at a friend’s place in preparation. Alex, Rory, Peter and I went on the morning’s quest speaking with the local Coffee shop in Auburn, loading the FWD and looking over the park under a dusting rain that would be covered in Triumphs the next day.
On our return I set up camp on the road leading to the Country Club in readiness for the first arrivals so that parking and room allocations ran smoothly.
This was done while the others prepped the rally bags and put the tea and coffee on and Alex waited at reception to guide our guests.
During the afternoon I was kept company by the local ducks that thought every time I bent down to talk to someone I had food for them. Once all entrants were parked, unpacked and primed for the week, we all met for the first pre dinner drinks at the golf club.
With over 100 people getting to know one another again it wasn’t too long before the first up meal was on us.
This was a fantastic evening with Duane, our anointed MC for the week, opening the night with a brief of the upcoming events and we were then lucky enough, thanks to Peter and Julie Davidge, to have Mayor Aughey (pronounced Or-gee with a soft g) guide us through a colourful conversation of the area and some local history in his very flamboyant way.
He also spoke of his interest in collectable and classic cars.
The “Nationals Display day” was held in the main street of Auburn and thankfully the bad weather held off (although a little cold). Rory, Aaron & Peter lined the cars throughout the park after being presented with more goodies supplied by Penrite by the ladies on the gate, Sue Gibson and Sue Smithson. All this was going on as I stood on the corner flagging the cars in and the start of the Picture parade that was one of my duties for the week. We even had several Adelaide members turn up to the event. Thanks for coming.
This was a great venue with plenty of shade and parking space. We also had the local Primary school with us who provided a BBQ lunch with local produce. We even made a full page in the local Northern Argus paper. Turns out Alex Smithson apparently has a V6 TR6 and Lorraine Mooring with her “Humming V8” There goes the historic Reg 😉
The afternoon was a free time and many took up the opportunity to visit several of the many wineries in the area.
Before the evening meal it was time for the first traditional “Iron Man” challenge. These events are to get each state represented for a bit of fun and test of skill in some instances with the winner taking home the coveted trophy. This was held on the tennis court of the Country Club and I don’t mind saying it was freezing cold.
We held an Autocana of a difference.
During the year I purchased a remote control car “Efigy” (Holden concept car) on e-bay for the event. I had male and female drivers from each state take on the challenge and it was our own member Duane Kaak that had the fastest time around several car components and back to the finish line. The woman just needed to do a dash to the end and back to the finish but had to cross the line backwards.
This proved to be no easy feat for them with several doing circle work first. The poor little car had several mishaps with a touch of paint now missing from the front bumper as it went under the fence.
The evening meal was at the Sports Club and it was here that we found out that Alex, Neil and several others could get into women’s clothes pretty quick but all in good fun. (one of Duane’s challenges)
This was a 2 group day.
Some of us headed to Mallala with 11 drivers and 50 spectators for a full days racing organised by Roger Lange. The day was superb and there was plenty to see, not just the Triumphs, who incidentally had the track to themselves for each of the Triumph races.
We were also lucky enough to have all Triumphs doing a display lap during the break for lunch. Duane being breathe tested was kind of fun too.
The second group had an organised bus tour arranged by Peter and Julie Davidge that had them travel through to the “Heritage gardens” for an arranged tour and morning tea then Lunch at Paulette’s winery.
The evening was topped off with a meal at the Taminga hotel. Taxies were provided for everyone and that took a little doing with the limited service in Clare and everyone wanting the free ride.
We split into 4 groups on this day with team leaders coordinating the day as we needed to rotate through several arranged tours at different locations throughout the day. This also had us leaving at different times in different directions with our designated number of entrants. The event was widely discussed leading up to the week and at many National meetings during the year. The day took some working out due to the timing needed of each group but thanks to the “Attention to Details” by the group it went off without a hitch.
We covered several areas of the valley starting with Burra Mines, then onto Knappstein Brewery
And finally to Bungaree Station where one of the family members, Mark, gave us a very detailed history lesson covering how the station started and what changes had occurred over many years.
The evening meal was provided at the Golf Club by the local Clare Butcher “Days Quality Meats” who cooked us a gourmet BBQ shortly after one of our sponsors “Kilikanoon Wines” held a wine tasting. We also had our first of 3 Theme nights and tonight’s was “Red and White night” and a colourful night it was.
The Café Primo Observation Run”
Challenge was set by Sue, Rory, Peter and Julie.
This was a great run through much of the country side around Clare with a few easy questions and some not so simple. Lots of photo opportunities and it was difficult staying ahead of the group and trying not to let them see what I was catching.
Lunch was arranged at Seven Hotel then from here we were onto Sevenhill Winery for a guided tour.
We spent time in the church and then split into groups again for a yard walk through the vines, through the crypt and also another informative wine tasting. No problem there. 😉
Tonight was a self-catered evening and several of us caught up in Johnny Fricke and Shan’s room with takeout, cheeses and wine watching some of the pictures that had been taken during the day.
Today we took a run through Jamestown, taking in the local area and history then onto
Peterborough where we enjoyed a light lunch at the “Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre” before our organised tours started.
It was an interesting place with plenty to see looking over the historical exhibitions as well as finding a Morris 25 on rails fitted with a Holden straight six for reliability.
We then went back to Clare before we left for the evening meal at the Bowling club and for our second theme night “Club Regalia” We also held another “Iron man challenge” and the task was to open and fold a sun screen that we provided as part of the rally bag. Sounds easy don’t it, but it turned out to be a great laugh. It was interesting to see how many variants that the screen could be bent into.
Our final day and the morning started with the usual early morning walk for some.
Another traditional start to each day known as “Amble with Alex”
Today was a brunch at “Gallys Meeting House” I think the wind this morning came from Antarctica. As they were not open when we arrived some people chose to sit in their cars while others either sat under the veranda or roamed the streets until we were able to move into the warmth for a well laid on breakfast / brunch of mixed sausages rolls and pancakes.
The afternoon was free time where some chose to do a last minute wine tour or just laze about the club.
I took a side trip with Johnny Fricke to take a look at a Saloon that someone had told us was for sale for a small amount of cash. We thought “possible barn find” or possible “track car”. So off we went back to Burra. What an adventure. It turns out that my TR6 can now make it with the FWD club. The road that the Johnny’s Phone led us to was a rolling hillside with what can only be described as a goat track with ruts.
After doing a double check of the address it turned out that we had travelled across the country side for a few kilometres heading away from the car. Our concern now turned to starting a fire from the hot exhaust and being cooked in the middle of nowhere. Once we eventually turned around and found the right place it was less of an excitement as the car was well past its use by date and would only be a parts car. Good if you want running gear and a few body parts or glass. A 1976 white 2500 TC Saloon automatic. If you’re interested call me for the number but get ready for an adventure.
The Car. Rego papers He was not sure!!
Once we returned back to Clare I ran an Ambrose Golf event that had 4 groups walking the very well maintained back 9 holes at the golf club. The sun had turned up by then so it was a very pleasant afternoon.
The final meal tonight was back at the Country club and also our final “Iron Man event” This was a chip and put competition and each state was represented by a male and female.
Males led the charge with the chip and the women did the put. Just to help with the scoring the men had a go at putting from distance. The rest of the group watched from the club balcony during the last pre dinner drink session.
We then moved to the dining room of the country club for the last meal. “Dress to Impress theme”
With the trophies delivered by Raelene Rigby and laid out ready, the presentations began.
First up we handed out small token prizes for the Ambrose winning group, several other prizes for Smokiest car and several to entrants that had a few sessions of bad luck during the week. It was then time to announce the winner of the “Iron Man trophy” and this year it went to NSW.
The three Observation run winners were then announced by Peter Davidge who confessed to a re take on some questions that several people put into dispute. Prizes for First, Second and third were a mix of Penrite Oil with Bottles of mixed wine.
Rory then handed out the winners for the Show and Shine.
First place went to SA’s Dino and Lisa Vettese for their Red TR6. Second place winners from Victoria Ron and Josie Farrugia with their Blue TR5. Third place also went to Victoria to Trevor and Lee Norris for their Red TR7. Geoff and Rhonda Byrne from NSW scored 4th place with their Red TR6. Our own Peter and Julie Davidge for their newly acquired Green TR8 and the final sixth place winners also from SA with their Blue TR4 were Tony and Phyllis Rutter.
The more formal presentations were handed out by Roger for the Mallala day events and Neil Martin took the top prize for the day. Humphrey Hale form WA came second after giving Neil a full afternoon of challenges on the track sitting just off his bumper for most of the race. Third place went to Duane Kaak.
The Regularity Trophy went to Andy Thompson also from WA.
The National Challenge cup went to SA’s Neil Martin and Duane Kaak for their team racing efforts.
Here we see Neil out front with Humphrey car 14 hot on his tail.
After what was a tiring week there was no end of interstate people approaching all of us during the week and on the final days thanking SA for the National event held this year. All were impressed with the “Level of Detail” and the events that we presented on a daily basis and they all stated that they had a very enjoyable time.
It all came together in the end with a very comprehensive guide provided by Sue and Rory Gibson, several sponsors of wine from Kilikanoon, Claymore, Knappstein Brewery, St John, Alber Whisky, money donations, Neutrog Fertilisers, Café Primo, Sa Life, Penrite, NHP, RM Williams, Jurlique skin care, Bellis Fruit Bars and lots of effort by the committee to get what we could to each entrant in a full rally bag. Thank you to anyone else I may have missed that supported us on the way.
We also rose over $1600 for Prostate cancer through several auctions and a large amount of club regalia was sold during the week. The cold start worked well for us.
Several donations were made in good faith one in particular suggested by Graham Goode. He allowed the group a tour of his restoration business (restores old timber framed vehicles and more)
And would like our club to donate to “Epilepsy Association” rather than pay him for his time.
All the committee wanted during this week was to have good weather and each planned day to run a smoothly as it could. All involved from the local suppliers, the country club staff, traders in the area and the commitment by all entrants made this a very enjoyable week.
There are always things that you notice that could possibly be tweaked a bit but all in all a very successful 2016 Nationals considering we were responsible for over 100 people each day and keeping them interested as others have done in the past.
There are many more photos of the week that were taken, far too many to add here and I will be getting some sent from others prior to us loading a few sticks to send out to each state coordinator for that club to enjoy. In time I will upload some more of the interesting ones to our photo files on the web.
That’s it from all of us on the committee and hope that in the future, we as a club can provide the same level of effort in 5 years’ time where??? Who knows where and who wants a rewarding challenge??
Next year’s Nationals were presented by the Victorian group during the last nights meal and details can be seen on their web site but in brief they will be holding their event next year in Wangaratta. They will be taking in tours around Ovens, Happy and Kiewa Valley. The Competition racing will be held at Barnawartha race track. There is a boat trip on Lake Mulwala. Observation run will be through Eldorado, Yackandandah, Bonegilla and Hume Weir. Towards the end of the week there will be a walking tour and lunch at Bridge Road Brewery and lots more I’m sure. The cost will be $1100.00
Best Regards from the 2016 Nationals Committee.
Ian Rigby, Sue and Rory Gibson, Peter & Julie Davidge, Sue & Alex Smithson, Johnny Fricke, Roger Lange, Mike Temby and our MC Duane Kaak.
Also like to thank Shan for her chocolate cakes and use of their home during the early stages.
Regards: Ian Rigby.