Archive for the ‘National Rallies’ Category


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


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

TSOA Nationals – Barossa Valley – October 2021

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

The 2021 TSOA Nationals is to be held in the beautiful Barossa Valley, South Australia from Friday 22nd October through to Friday 29th October 2021. Accommodation at the Barossa Weintal Hotel in the heart of Tanunda. We cannot control COVID and potential travel restrictions, however we have contingency plans in place to cover as many risks as possible.

Our program for the week is set and highlights include:
• A Show and Shine at Nuriootpa
• Circuit racing at a MSCA race day at Mallala racetrack
• Partner program including visits to Seppeltsfield and Barossa Chocolate Company
• Observation run down the mighty River Murray with lunch at the Swan Reach Hotel
• Visit to historic Anlaby Station at Kapunda
• Visit to the Carl Lindner Collection of Classic Jaguars (believed to be the largest privately owned collection of Jaguar vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere)
• Day trip to Monarto Safari Park (the largest open-range zoo in the world), including optional “Lions 360 Experience” (subject to availability of bookings and at additional cost).
Nationals registration will include a cooked breakfast each morning, including a brunch at The Company Kitchen, Angaston on the Thursday, lunch on three days, and dinner on five nights. There will be the traditional “happy hour” before each dinner.

The all-inclusive price for attending the week is $1,150 per person (twin share). Accommodation is limited, but with changing circumstances for some registrants, there may still be opportunities for other TSOA members around Australia to attend. Please contact the Registrars, Dean and Marg Bogisch (ph 0402 410 635, or email: for more information.

2021 TSOA NATIONALS – click on link below to register interest.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020


Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

The Nationals for 2019 are over and all who attended considered it a resounding success. There were 107 registered participants (40 from WA) with SA being the third largest contingent with 17. A small convoy of 3 Triumphs being driven, (Roger and Cherri Lange, Alex and Sue Smithson and Stephen Wade) together with a further Triumph being trailered (Trevor and Steph Lindsay) set off on Tuesday 15th October for a drive of some 3,000km to Margret River W.A. We met up with Neil Martin (also trailering his TR7) on the way, finally arriving at Stay @ Margaret River resort on Saturday 19th October. We completely booked out this magnificent resort which provided first-class accommodation.

The highlights of our trip across were a visit to the “Head of the Bight” tourist centre near the Nullabor Roadhouse, where we saw two whales with calves at close range, and the fact that unlike the 2014 WA Nationals, all our delegates and cars got there in one piece. We all breathed a sigh of relief when Stephen Wade successfully negotiated the intersection with Port Germain turnoff, the location of his serious car accident en-route to WA in 2014.

The Margaret River region of south west WA is one of the most beautiful parts of Australia with TSOAWA putting on a fantastic week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

Our first event was the welcome dinner at the resort on Saturday which was a great night, and which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the TR6 with a 60’s/70’s theme, bringing out the best of the creativity of the rally delegates.

On Sunday we all washed and polished our cars and headed down the road for a show and shine in the Community Centre car park. Although there were many great Triumphs on display, the winner was our own Trevor Lindsay with his immaculate Mk 1 2500PI Estate.

Monday was competition day at Busselton. Councils in WA seem to be much more amenable to motor sport than in other parts of Australia, and a section of road on the Busselton foreshore was closed to allow a timed sprint competition for our delegates and others visiting for the day. The format was a “there and back” with very tight “U” turn at the end of the track, and various weaving through barriers. There were a lot of quick cars, however a certain red TR7 V8 driven by our own Neil Martin was consistently the quickest vehicle. Roger Lange also drove Neil’s car and although not quite matching Neil’s times, was nevertheless, highly competitive. An altercation with a kerb may have adversely affected Roger’s latter runs, however it was nothing that a wheel alignment would not fix.

Duane Kaak had a borrowed a Mk 2, 2000 saloon for the week and pushed this vehicle to its very limits (with the owner’s consent, I must add). Duane managed to be second fastest to Neil on most of his runs, a phenomenal performance in a borrowed car which on paper did not look like it would have been a serious contender.

We had a sandwich lunch at the Barnard Park Recreation Centre, next to the track, and a chance to look at the Busselton area and northern part of the region, including Cape Naturaliste and the famous and very long Busselton Jetty and aquarium.

Tuesday was the observation run to Augusta and Cape Leeuwin. We had a couple of stops on the way to answer questions, with lunch divided between two venues, due to the large size of our group. Again, SA did very well, with Sue and me winning the event.

We had a free day on Wednesday although there were two “Ironman” events in the morning. For the uninitiated, all Nationals have a competition of three novelty events between states for a highly sought-after national trophy.
The Stay @ Margaret River resort has a Bocce rink and a 9-hole mini golf course within its facility, and both were used for the events. Peter Davidge was our Bocce rep and looked like he had the event won, only to have a rouge Victorian do a “Trevor Chappell” with the last ball and knock the white ball away from Peter’s, until then, winning ball. Dean Bogisch was our golfer, and did very well, but not quite as well as a couple of other states. Nearly all the Nationals attendees were in the gallery (Dean may have choked a bit as a result), and we believe that this was the largest gallery ever to watch a tournament at the Stay @ Margaret River mini golf course. Team South Australia really stood out in our club-subsidised red polo shirts, and at least made a real fashion statement.

Thursday morning saw the second motor sport event, the “Nannup Sprint”. We all decamped to the picturesque town of Nannup, some 75 km west of Margaret River. Similarly, to Busselton, public roads were closed for a timed “point to point” sprint which was higher speed than at Busselton. Again, Neil Martin, after getting a wheel alignment on the free day, was significantly fastest in all his runs, and did not have the same problems in stopping outside the garage which he had in Busselton. The higher speed course also suited Roger better and his time were also amongst the most competitive. Duane also performed very well, however the 2000cc motor in the saloon he was driving lacked the power of many of the cars on the track, and there were a small number of competitors with times between his and Neil’s times.

The third Ironman event was held on Thursday night before we had dinner at the White Elephant Beach Café at Gnarabup. This was a precision driving event where the driver had to estimate where to stop with wheels on the start line, estimate two full wheel revolutions, and then decide the height to be set of a “limbo” bar at the other end of the car park, and drive under that bar. This last task was made more complicated due to the slope of the car park which prevented the driver seeing the ground level of the limbo bar, so it was a complete guess at what height the bar should be set. Roger Lange represented SA, and in hindsight, was a bit optimistic about how low a 2.5PI saloon can go.

We had a “Dice Run” (described as a navigation run with an element of chance) on Friday, where each driver threw a pair of dice at the start, finish and at two interim stops, finishing with lunch at Cheeky Monkey Brewery. SA did not win this event, however it was purely a game of chance, so we were not overly disappointed at missing this one. There were, however two additional prizes give for the most imaginative “selfie” with the cow statues at the small village of Cowaramup, and the most inventive Triumph-related name for a chocolate, after a visit to a local chocolate factory. Rory and Sue Gibson were the winners of this naming competition with “Gloria’s Renown Chocolates”.

Our final day was a brunch at “The Common” bar and bistro near the beach at Gnarabup, and later our presentation dinner. There was no National Competition trophy awarded this year, as the organisers considered that both events were timed only, however by my calculations, SA would have been the clear winner. We also brought home the Pride of Ownership trophy, courtesy of Trevor Lindsay however we were unfortunately unplaced in the Ironman trophy which was won overall by the team from NSW. The night also had an auction of fabulous TR6 table decorations made by WA committee member Dave Ryder. They are a real work of art, and I am now the proud owner of one of these TR6’s, made of stainless steel on a wooden base.

WA committee member Doug Vanzetti is the drummer in a band that does 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s classics, and although not starting until late, rocked the presentation dinner to the wee small hours, with a packed dance floor.

Breakfasts each day were at the resort (other than the day of the brunch), and we had evening meals most nights either at the resort (two) or at other restaurants/community facilities in the Margaret River area, all of which were of very good quality. On our two free nights, the SA team plus various guests from other states had a BBQ at the resort, with catering courtesy of Dean and Margaret Bogisch.
After the raucous noise the first night, we had people with rooms near the BBQ join us on night two, rather than put up with us a second time.

The week was absolutely fantastic, and whilst the interstate contingent was comprised mainly of people who are regular Nationals attendees, we met or renewed acquaintances with a lot of people from the WA TSOA club, which is growing strongly and has a very high participation rate. The organising committee, particularly Jeff and Kaye van der Plas did a great job of making sure the week ran very smoothly, and everyone in the club really pulled their weight to make it such a great event. The president of WA Club, Justin Stevens was MC for the week, and did an amazing job of humour and efficiency, which really added to the enjoyment of the week.

On the last night, John Stokes from NSW gave a presentation on next year’s Nationals to be held at the Anchorage 5-star beachfront resort at Port Stephens from 30th October to 6th November 2020. This will be a great program in such a fantastic location. We have already put our names down and are looking forward to attending Port Stephens in 2020. Then of course it is our turn in 2021, and we are already making great headway into planning this event. If it is anywhere near as successful as the WA Nationals this year, it will be an event not to be missed.

Alex Smithson





President’s Report including 2018 Qld Nationals

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

President report November 2018

A big Thankyou this month must go to Alex Smithson.

Alex has been working heavily on getting our club to a position with reporting and logging of club information on a new electronic system. This was discussed some months back and the main reason that subs increased this year to cover this move. We are now into a 2 month free trial but initial view is that it looks very promising.

As the year comes to a close we will have our end of year dinner and Trophy presentations.

This looks to be at risk next year as the numbers have been getting less and less. We need a reasonable number to secure this event. I will be having a conversation with the rest of the committee in the new year to work out a solution for us but if you have an idea that would help promote this please contact any of the committee or our ever pleasant social ladies who would be more than happy to listen.


My Nationals story:

Most may know that I have recently been motoring around in Queensland on what was a fantastic Nationals week, amongst other TSOA members. The Queensland team did an outstanding job keeping everyone entertained, fed, looked after and made to feel very welcome. Knowing the difficulties that a Nationals can present I think it went off very smoothly especially knowing that the team had never been involved in organizing this kind of event before.

Hats off to Queensland for a job well done.


I left Adelaide for the Queensland Nationals on the 2nd November and I’m happy that I took the journey.

I spent the first 3 days travelling across the bottom end of SA, Victoria and into NSW up to Coolangatta to meet up with wife Raelene. She had taken the easy option to fly and spend time with our daughter and grandchildren before I arrived.

Day 1

After spending Sunday night with them we left for Peppers resort at Salt, Kingscliff for the first day and welcome dinner. We were met in the main lobby by the Nationals team, who handed us our information for the week a Nationals gift of Cooler bag, bottle of wine regalia scarfs and sponsorship info.

We had a few initial sorting out details with the room before we met the rest for the first of many well-presented meals and missed the first Iron Man on the beach, but another state kindly represented us in that event. The dinner was a casual beach theme.

There was no shortage of food or drink on any day and the resort also knew how to throw on a great breakfast.

Day 2

This was the show and shine event held on the lawns next to the resort and in walking distance for the days function in support of the Melbourne Cup. We had 40 Triumphs on display and mostly covered all styles. There was a Concours event with a handful of cars presented for this but the black TR5 took out the honors. (Front left in the picture)

I was fortunate enough to win a challenge that ran during the course of the dinner and up to the main horse race. After an intense ending that had 3 of us remaining from a field of 50, 2 of us were left standing after much banter on who would win.  The final prize was shared and we both walked away a little richer. (Just for interest:  turns out my number was the last but we agreed to go 50/50 before the final draw)

Day 3

This for some was Race day at Norwell and an alternate event to Byron Bay by Bus (or car) for the other group. I can’t report too much on the race event but listening to those that ventured that way had a day of fun racing around the track.

Raelene and I chose to take the car on the alternate run and after arriving at Byron Bay we took a tour around the back streets and found a few places of interest to us. Interesting that each time I pulled up someone approached me to either talk about the Triumph or tell me of their own. A really nice couple approached me while Raelene was in a baby shop and he invited me back to his place to have a look at his TR5. Unfortunately, time didn’t allow for this, but I have his card and will call past one day in the future I hope. We then went to meet the rest at the light house for morning tea but with the difficulty finding a park we ventured back down the hill and did a bit of a walk around the main streets. I was told that the morning tea put on was fantastic with again more food that no one could finish. We caught up with everyone at the next stop in Bungalow and spent a few hours for lunch and also tramping through the boutique shops.

 Day 4

After another big breakfast the groups were divided into 2. Team one went in one direction and Team 2 driving in the opposite direction. Some roads were, at times, bumpy but the scenery and meeting places made it well worth the drive. I quickly worked out that the little TR4 I was following was not standard as it kept disappearing around the bends. However, the driver and owner Graeme Spender, one of the Nationals committee, did well by always waiting for the rest of the field and we mostly travelled in a line of Triumphs that were welcomed in all the little towns as we drove through. This level of effort to keep the group together worked really well and made for maximum impact throughout the day.

The evening was an Ironman barefoot bowls event with a well-organized BBQ at Kingscliff bowls club.


Day 5

Today was a relaxed drive / Observation run to Murwillumbah and some took in the planned movie while others looked around the town. The evening meal was a really special one held close by at the Margaret Olley Gallery where we were met with platters of food (on top of the planned meal) while we enjoyed the happy hour and amazing sunset looking out over the hill view.

Day 6

This was the second day run and alternated across the groups through another well thought out drive across a great variety of roads that eventually took us to a little pub in a place called Uki (for our group) then back to the resort for the final dinner and presentations for the racing and also for others that were caught out for different reasons but winning them a bottle of wine. There were several auctions also held during the evening for items supplied with the main event for a dinner and accommodation that was given to the group from the owner of the restaurant at Margaret Olley. Proceeds went to Charity.

WA then made their pitch for next year at Margaret River and pretty much straight away Raelene nominated that we would be going.

The info can be found on their web page with all the current details

Note: Next year is the 40th anniversary of the Nationals and the 50th anniversary of the TR6. Not one to be missed I think.


Day 7

This was our final Nationals morning. After another great breakfast and catching up with the groups for the final time Raelene and I headed back to our daughter’s place to spend some more time with them before I hit the road home. Looking at what my little TR needed to fit in it for the drive my boot rack had its first ever use.

Yes it all did fit!

The road home

I left Queensland on Thursday 22nd late afternoon having spent some time with the granddaughter at her school. It was only a short drive the first day as I didn’t want to challenge the Roos at night.

The next day I called into the Parks Observatory then onto Forbes motor museum. I was fortunate to spend a bit of time with the owner again looking over several newly placed cars amongst the older ones he has.

My final day on the road was a long one and I arrived home after covering 5,436 Kilometers in total and burning 508 liters of fuel with a final average around 30Mpg. 800 Kilometers of the trip was done during the week of the Nationals so a fair bit of ground covered with them and no hint of any trouble with the TR6.


 The Next experience.

This last weekend Duane, my son Adrian and I helped out a lady named Georgia with her wedding. She contacted me after talking with Power tune and asked if we had cars that she could have for her wedding. After an initial contact with her she was going to speak with me at the display day but had dental surgery so could not make it.

                       So, what have you been doing with your Triumph? Tell us your story.

On another note.

You never kow when a classic is going to turn up or where. I have seen stories of old bikes being removed from between walls when renovations being done have exposed it. Or a classic Ferrari being uncovered from an underground grave but never one 200 feet below the surface in a lake.

This 1927 Chev coupe was found on the shipwreck Mansoo that went down in 1928, Found 200 feet down in Lake Huron Georgian bay.

They won’t raise the ship but are considering bringing up the car.


Regards Ian Rigby



Monday, March 13th, 2017

21ST Oct to 28th Oct 2017

Saturday Arrival and Registration

Welcome Dinner at the Gateway

Sunday Pride of Ownership at Apex Park

Free afternoon

Dinner at Jubilee Golf Club

Monday Scenic tour Ovens, Happy and Kiewa Valleys

 Lunch at Boynton’s Feathertop Winery

Tuesday Competition at Barnawartha North circuit, or Coach trip to Benalla

Lunch Provided

BBQ ‘dinner’ and karaoke evening at the Gateway

Wednesday Boat trip on Lake Mulwala & the Ned Kelly Last Stand Experience  at Glenrowan

Lunch at Byramine Homestead

Thursday Observation Run, Eldorado, Yackandandah, Bonegilla and Hume Weir

Packed Lunch at Bonegilla

Dinner at the Pre Vue restaurant

Friday Beechworth, including a guided walking tour

Lunch at Bridge Road Brewery

Presentation Dinner at the Gateway

Saturday Check out and head  for home

2016 Nationals Clare SA

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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.
Day 1
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.mayor-orgee-with-peter

Day 2.
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)

Day 3
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.
mallala-grid-for-trak-report triumphs-on-the-grid duane-behind-humphrey
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.

Day 4
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,burra-mines-for-trak 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.

Day 5
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.

Day 6
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.

Day 7
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.
Not me!!
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!!saloon-drive-way
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.

2015 National Meeting – Bathurst NSW

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The TSOA NSW has released information about the 2015 National Rally.

TSOA 2015 National Meeting will be held in Bathurst NSW, 30th October til 7th November 2015.

Staying at Rydges on Mount Panorama, Concours, scenic runs, gourmet food, competition on the famous mountain, plus lots more.

2014 National Rally – WA

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

The Nationals for 2014 are over and all who attended considered it a resounding success. There were 106 registered participants although some of the 56 Western Australians were part time, and the full timers numbered about 80. The South Australian contingent was 10 registered participants, although due to the serious car accident that Stephen Wade suffered en route, there were only 9 of us Croweaters at the rally.

The Nationals were held at the Swan Valley, Novatel Vines Resort, a fantastic location less than 25km from the centre of Perth, however in a beautiful semi-rural setting surrounded by vineyards and wineries and with two championship golf courses and several hundred kangaroos at the resort.

Our first event was the welcome dinner at the resort on Saturday which was a great night, only soured by the sad news of Stephen’s accident.  All the participants signed a card for Stephen which I have hand delivered to him at the RAH.  It was however still a great night with a spring theme, bringing out the best of the creativity of several of the rally delegates.

On Sunday we all washed and polished our cars and headed south to the historic town of Guildford, where TSOA and the Triumph Car Club of WA for the “Quit All Triumph and Standard Day”, a show and shine with around 100 Triumph cars on display. Although there was light misty rain most of the day, there was still a great turnout of spectators looking at the cars on display and a fabulous range of Triumphs of all types, including a TR7 and a Stag both fitted with new 6 litre Holden V8s.  These would not appeal to the traditionalists (Stephen W, you would be horrified) however both were engineering marvels.  Even though Noel Schmidt wasn’t there, Peter Davidge stepped up to the plate in Noel’s absence and won the P.O.O. trophy with his TR6 for the best Nationals car on display as well as the People’s Choice and Triumph Car Club awards.

We had the first “Ironman” challenge at Guildford.  For the uninitiated, all Nationals have a competition of three novelty events between states for a highly sought after national trophy. This first one was moving plastic bottles into a bucket from outside a rope barrier using three ropes and a rubber band (you need to have been there to understand it).  Our team of Peter Davidge, Sue Smithson and Neil Martin were creditable performers in this event which attracted a surprisingly large crowd of spectators from the general public.

Monday was competition day at Barbagallo race track, which was around 45 kilometres from The Vines Resort. There were 54 cars competing including 34 TSOA members in Triumphs and a range of other vehicles including several Datsun 240Z’s, a Falcon GTHO, a Monaro, a couple of Mini Coopers, a couple of Clubmans, and sundry other vehicles. There were 16 Nationals registrants competing at Barbagallo.  There were some seriously quick cars including a TR7 with a 5-litre Rover motor with 4 dual-throat Webers that must be one of the quickest TR7’s in the world (luckily not a Nationals registrant).

The morning was taken up by racing on the “short course” with a very sharp Turn 5 whereas in the afternoon, participants drove past this sharp turn for the “long course” which increased track length from 1.76km to 2.41km.  The fastest rally registrant for both courses was perennial winner Brian Falloon from Queensland in his flying TR5, however our own Neil Martin in his TR7 V8 won both events in the eight cylinder section for rally registrants.  Bryan Young in his Vittesse started well but stopping was another matter as he ran out of brakes and ended up in the gravel in the morning, and did not compete in the afternoon.

Those not going to Barbagallo were given the option of an escorted trip to Kings Park in Perth and a guided tour of the gardens.  The feedback from those attending was very good.

Tuesday saw everyone driving around 105 km north to the Monastery town of New Norcia, an absolutely fascinating settlement completely owned by Benedictine monks and having been established in 1846.  We had a guided tour of the various buildings and gained a fantastic insight into the history of the settlement, followed by an excellent lunch at the only pub owned by Benedictine monks in Australia, if not the world. This is a place which anyone passing through should spend time touring and finding out about its history. This was a definite highlight of the week.

We had a free day on Wednesday although there was the second “Ironman” event in the morning.  This was a creative golf putting event which the course pro was so impressed with that he plans to use the format in the future.  Our team of Peter and Julie Davidge, Alex Smithson and Neil Martin unfortunately did not set the world on fire, with a motley group of honorary “Tasmanians” out-putting all comers.  There are so many interesting places in the Swan Valley that the rest of the day was easily filled.  On Wednesday night we had a great wine and cheese night at the longest established winery in the Swan Valley, Olive Farm Wines.  Wines and food were excellent together with a very informative talk from the winemaker and owner, and the most impressive cheese platter most of us had ever seen.

Thursday morning saw the second motor sport event, the “Zig Zag” hill climb. This is an amazing course in the Perth Hills at Kalamunda, with views of the Perth CBD but in a bush environment.  The course is normally a public road which was originally a railway line which scaled Gooseberry Hill, with a series of switchbacks, one so sharp that some contestants needed to do a three point turn.  The road was closed for the event and each contestant had three runs, driving back through residential streets to the bottom each time to start again. Spectators were able to walk through the bush to watch various parts of the track.  Again, while Brian from Queensland was the fastest Nationals participant, Neil Martin won the trophy for the fastest eight cylinder, and Bryan Young’s Vitesse also performed very well.

After lunch we had the last “Ironman” event, where two cars from each state had to drive around a series of cones with a football balancing on the bonnet.   Our two teams of Bryan Young and Peter Davidge and Alex and Sue Smithson both unfortunately had a ball drop during their heats and did not finish in the top three.

Friday was the observation run, a challenging course of around 90km through the Perth Hills and ending up for lunch at the Parkerville Tavern. The run had a range of challenges and we travelled through some spectacular countryside with clues all being whilst driving along the way.  Our teams did quite well however we missed the skills of Roger and Cherri Lange and Ian and Raelene Rigby who between them seem to win these events whenever they are competing. WA teams took out all the places, with the winners being the rally conveners, Ron and Leigh Marian who, we were assured, had no prior knowledge of the course or questions.

Our final day was a brunch at “The Mallard Duck”, a very attractive restaurant overlooking a lake where the TSOA Nationals choir once again sang the Greg Bird (from Queensland) composed and conducted Nationals Theme Song, and later our presentation dinner.  As well as Neil Martin being one of the standout trophy winners, he and Bryan Young were able to get SA to 2nd place in the motor sport combined total, behind WA which had a team of six participants. Peter Davidge also took away all the Pride of Ownership trophies on offer however we were unfortunately unplaced in the Ironman trophy which was won overall by the team from NSW.   We danced the night away to a surprisingly good Neil Diamond tribute singer who was originally from SA and clearly was a very keen Norwood supporter.

Breakfasts each day were at the resort (other than the day of the brunch), and we had evening meals most nights either at the resort or at other restaurants in the Swan Valley area, all of which were of very good quality.

The week was absolutely fantastic, and whilst the interstate contingent was comprised of people who are regular Nationals attendees, we met a lot of new people from the WA TSOA club, which although relatively small in number of members has a very high participation rate.  Everyone made us feel very welcome and we all made new friends over the week. The organising committee, particularly Ron and Leigh Marian did a great job of making sure the week ran very smoothly, and everyone in the club really pulled their weight to make it such a great event.

On the last night, Peter Wards from NSW gave a presentation on next year’s Nationals to be held in Bathurst from 30th October to 7th November 2015. Again this will be a great program in such an iconic location, and we are already looking forward to attending.  Then of course it is our turn in 2016, and under the leadership of John Frick, we are already making great headway into planning this event.  If it is anywhere near as successful as the WA Nationals this year, it will be an event not to be missed.

Alex Smithson