If the Snowy Mountains Trial was a large undertaking, the Black Stump was mammoth. Incorporating two rallies in one – the Road Runner Sprint and the Barry Ferguson Classic – was super ambitious.
Yet it all went off remarkably smoothly. As officials working the event we had several tasks to perform, ranging from set up, manning day and night controls and road closures, to a 6am start on Saturday to check the 105km section through Dingo Tops, Comboyne, Bagnoo and a control outside Bagnoo. This drive was undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend for us, even travelling in an old Outback there was fun to be had.
One again the Victorians were ultra-competitive, but the Battens were determined to keep them honest.
My overriding memory of this event is the extraordinary effort Dave Johnson and his team put into making it happen – all for a dozen competitors. It deserved far more.
Who knows why more people didn’t enter. Too far north? But if you didn’t run it here, how else could today’s competitors get a chance to drive these amazing Southern Cross roads. Too hard for working competitors given that it effectively meant taking Wednesday to Friday off work for Sydney siders and a whole week for Victorians? Perhaps. There could be many reasons, and no doubt those who know far more than me will attempt to answer the questions.
But from a control freak’s point of view, we enjoyed it immensely. And we’d particularly like to thank the competitors who were unfailingly polite and grateful when they visited our controls.