Archive for the ‘National Rallies’ Category

2012 Nationals Report – Victoria

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The Nationals have finished for another year and were another outstanding success. There were 20 participants from South Australia, including some who had been to numerous past rallies and others who had their first experience last year but wanted to relive the great experience of our event in 2011.  There were over 100 participants from 5 states, who spent a great week at the Novatel, Creswick, just north of Ballarat.

The first event on Sunday was the Pride of Ownership Show and Shine which was held as part of the Ballarat Springfest Market Sunday on the foreshore of Lake Wendouree. There was a large number of other car clubs with displays at the “Shannons Display Area” where our PoO was held, with some very impressive cars on display.   Despite there being a number of great looking and very well presented Triumphs from other states on display, South Australia scooped the pool of trophies, with 1st prize for best car on display going to Noel Schmidt’s TR3A, 2nd prize to John Frick’s TR4, 3rd prize to Roger Lange’s TR8 and 4th prize to Peter Davidge’s TR6.   Two other prizes were awarded to cars not officially entered into the PoO completion, and these were won by Alex Smithson’s TR6 and Barry Clarke’s TR4A.

Sunday night was another highlight with us having dinner at Sovereign Hill and watching “Blood on the Southern Cross” light and sound show. For anyone who is in Ballarat and has the opportunity to see this show, it is an absolute must. It depicts the story of the Eureka Stockade on the actual sites where major events happened in a spectacular fashion. It really is a world class show that we were very privileged to be able to see as a group.

The observation run on Monday included spending time in Newstead and Maldon, the town that hosts the Mt Tarrangower annual hill climb. We had lunch at Maldon and then spent the afternoon in Castlemaine. The observation run had its share of tricky questions, and despite taking a wrong turn, Roger and Cherri Lange came second in the run.

Tuesday was Melbourne Cup day, and after a visit in the morning to the Tangled Maze at Creswick, we have a great cup lunch at the Novatel, with sweeps and a competition for best dressed. Our own Noel and Cindy Schmidt took out the prize as the most stylish couple. Some were luckier than others on the nags.

Wednesday was a long run to Ararat via Clunes, Talbot and Avoca. Clunes is a town that time forgot, and has been used for various film sets.  Nothing appears to have been painted there in the last 50 years. At Ararat we had a guided tour of the infamous “J Ward” of the Ararat Hospital, which is an early prison which served as a secure facility for the criminally insane from 1859 until 1991. One of our South Australian group who shall remain nameless of reduce embarrassment spent a penny at the end of the tour and came out of the Mens’ room just in time to hear the guide locking up the main building from the outside, and disappearing into the gatehouse building.  He quickly rang his wife on her mobile, however she was on the road outside the gatehouse building by this stage which was also by then locked up. Some frantic banging and shouting on this door finally attracted the guide’s attention, as he was about to depart from a rear exit, and the now somewhat panicked member was finally released from J Ward.

Thursday was track day at the Broadford complex, which is the State motorcycle track, but sometimes also used for motor sport. TSOA SA was represented by Roger Lange in his TR8 and Neil Martin in his TR7 V8.  There were also three non-rally registered members of our club on the track, being Bryan Young (Vitesse), Andy Ansell (TR7) and Rod Carey (Spitfire).  Whilst our guys put in a great effort, they were competing against a number of cars that were specifically set up for racing.

The outstanding competitor of the day was Brian Falloon from Queensland (TR5) who was the fastest car in class and overall in both sprint and hill climb, and as a result also single handed won the state team prize as his points exceeded those combined for competitors from any other state.  Brian and Team Queensland also won the State Ironman competition, despite having only 5 delegates to choose teams from, this being the smallest state contingent. A small truck was required to take all the trophies back to the Sunshine State.

There was a trip for those who did not want to attend the track day to tour and participate in a shopping extravaganza in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Maureen Gold was in her element.

On Thursday night, we had dinner at the Ballarat Turf Club and were entertained by Noel Cutler, the Bush Poet. Noel is a well known entertainer and author of 2 books, and was making his final appearance at our dinner before retiring from public performance.  He is a most entertaining person, who among other skills is also a champion whip cracker.  He recited original works and famous poems such as “The Man from Snowy River”, and finally included several delegates as actors in a most entertaining rendition of his own composition called “The Man from Ironbark”.

There was an optional run on Friday morning to Buninyong and Ballarat, and in the afternoon, Roger Lange organised a visit to the historic Creswick Freemason’s Lodge after a chance meeting with the local taxi driver who is also a past Grand Master of the Lodge, and a very dedicated freemason (he even has the Masonic Square and Compass symbol tattooed on his arm). Grant, the taxi driver suggested to Roger that the Lodge is a highlight of Creswick, having original painted murals walls and artwork from over 100 years ago.  We learned a huge amount about freemasonry, and Grant answered questions for over an hour.   Hopefully no-one was waiting for a taxi in Creswick that afternoon.

The final dinner on Friday was a great night with presentations of trophies and as well as the above, Stephen Wade from South Australia was also presented with a most deserved trophy as the delegate who had made the greatest effort in participation.

The Queensland delegation (once again Brian and Linley Falloon) made an excellent presentation for the 2013 Nationals which will be held at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast between 4th and 12th October 2013. Whilst this will be a significantly further distance to travel than to Victoria, I am sure that after such a great week of fellowship with Triumph lovers around Australia, there will be a lot of enthusiasm from all delegates to get to Queensland next year.

We danced the night away with a two piece band until the wee small hours (well, maybe not quite that late).

The traditional “Blair’s Big Breakfast” rounded out the National Meeting, with everyone then heading home Saturday morning, tired but very happy to attend such a great event. We are all very grateful to Max and Marg Hayes, the 2012 National Meeting Conveners, the hard working committee and the Victorian TSOA for making the week so memorable and so smooth running.

Alex Smithson

2010 National Rally – NSW

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

This year it is the turn of NSW to host the TSOA National Meeting . . . . or as has become the custom over recent years, the TSOA National Rally. Or simply the TSOA Nationals.

The NSW Branch of the TSOA haS set a week long program centred around the Kangaroo Valley area south of Sydney that includes competition events at Wakefield Park, tours of areas including Marulan, the southern highlands and south coast, and jam packed with activities.

For more information, follow the link to and click on the Nationals tab.

Talk to any of your committee if you are interested but may not have done a Nationals before – they are great fun, great value, and a great way to enjoy your Triumph.


2007 National Rally Report

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Wood