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Discussion in 'Australia' started by GodSilla, Nov 5, 2020.
Be there or be envious.
Yeah..... this year it 'was' at the end of March.
2021, closer to the start of the month.
Im booked in for a Tassie ride, wont be back in Melb till the 8th. :/
That's a bit of bad luck there, I do understand the perils of scheduling though.
One year I went with the late great @Gwilli and BoySilla to Phillip Island for the World Supers, with the plan being to leave on Sunday arvo and share driving duties to the lake for Speedweek, we were all packed and prepared eh.
Sitting in the trackside campgound on the Saturday afternoon GWilli found out online that Speedweek had been washed out due to rain and cancelled. Some years you just can't win.
just as well theres nothing to hit out there.....
.....I wouldn't disagree.
Me and a couple of mates will be there again after our first time in 2019. We were going to be there this year, but covid........
It is quite addictive being there. Once bitten it is impossible to shake the bug.
I always feel empty and a little bit depressed when the event winds up, and I then begin to think about the next one on the way home.
On our first visit in 2019, we had an absolute ball! We would get onto the salt about 7.30, set up either at the start line or in the pits, cook bacon and eggs for brekky, go for a wander and talk to some fantastic people and check out some awesome machinery. The highlights for me in 2019 were chatting with Magoo and Ben Felton, seeing Valerie Thompson, and checking out Target 550, but also talking to the Aussies who were there to see how fast they could go on what they brung!
Leave the salt about 4 for beers at the Canteen, followed by dinner there, then back to the campground for a few more.
Bed and repeat for a week! Awesome!
Unless one has been there and done it, it is difficult to understand or appreciate the venue and the event itself.
"Awesome" is a heavily-oversused word these days, but it definitely applies to SpeedWeek.
My bike has been sitting on the bench for 2 years, give it a start every so often just to stir up the neighbors.
Looking forward to getting out on the salt
I have been four times now over the years, my favourite event. It would have been seven but three times got nearly there and it was rained out. Was heading there this year too but? Best part, closest thing to security blockades is a witches hat every hundred metres or so. Everyone is friendly, walking the pits you can actually see the vehicles up close and talk to the entrants. Same at the start line. Amazing how people follow the rules if you trust them to.
One funny story, I am at the start line with the wife and this official looking blokes walks quickly up to me, points to the machine next to me, some home made buggy looking thing, and says very abruptly "do not let that start". I calmly looked at him and said "OK, I will try but you know I am just a spectator". I got a "sorry, thought you were the official starter, I will keep looking" and away he goes. I did see the thing run later so whatever the issue they obviously sorted it or official old mate never found the starter.
Rain is a bastard eh. I've got to the turnoff at Iron Knob myself to find the signs of road closure and cancellation, frustrating but it is what it is.
I worked on the startline, checking the drivers immediately before they launch, verifying seatbelt tension (loose belts eh...), checking for nerves and say calming stuff, check they can still point to the fuel cutoff, etc., it is interesting stuff.
The utter lack of pretentious security is one of the big attractions to me, just like Observed Trials you can get right up close to the riders as they are entering the competitive sections, and wander the pits at will.
Here is a piccie of some rain that dumped 6 inches (150mm) down the road towards Kimba and 4 inches (100mm) at Mt. Ive station in the space of around 30 minutes, it absolutely pissed down HARD, but the lake stayed dry miraculously.
3 inmates from here got caught in it and 2 of them required medical evacuation from falls within 200 metres.
When you have a sec.
I'm sure there's plenty here who would love to hear a run down on your rig... what/when you started building, various mods to engine/chassis, speeds set along the way, what youre now aiming at? A bit of a timeline, condensed to a few paragraphs?
Ive seen various posts from time to time, I think the last one was around moving the footpegs and rear brake mods?
Not disagreeing with the spectacle or the event - but: I've been to hundreds (maybe more) of riders and driver's briefings over the years, from club Karts to Le Mans, from 50cc short circuit to F1 across many disciplines, in several countries and in various capacities - and having a Clerk of the Course wandering around in fluoro jocks and littering his ego-stroking tirade with F-bombs set an absolute low point - particularly since several crucial points of safety weren't addressed. It is literally the worst such event I've ever witnessed in over 40 years of competition involvement. Luckily there are other, more eloquent, better informed and wise officials available to provide info which is not conveyed at the Competitor's briefing.
As a fun club event for a few blokes in a tight circle of mates, it's great - but it's grown beyond that - and with Bonneville all but done for and more International competitors investing huge money to come here, do we really want our country and this unusual sport portrayed thus?
Too much stuff breaks down and halts proceedings for too long, too often: I know it's "all volunteers" - but they've been doing it for a long time, and charge a lot of money to enter, so you'd think they'd have the experience and could keep timing equipment, radios and printers either running or have back-ups. That's over and above what it costs to actually get on the start-line: even with a production bike, it's not a cheap exercise.
Hear what youre saying Precis.
I reckon Finke cost me around $7,000- race entry, club membership, MA race licence, compulsory insurance, fuel there and back, fuel for the bike, food, camping, accom and beers.
Not a cheap exercise.
If entrants are coming from interstate or even overseas, they want bang for buck.
Could imagine the debacle if the timing checkpoints at Finke crapped out on everyone. And that's only over two days there and back.
At least Speed Week has a week......
Still. Just to sit on the salt, drinking beers, is worth a trip away.
My addiction continues,,,The honey pot is getting empty though
Easy to sit, type and criticise. If you think better can be done i am certain all involved would appreciate the input to be shown the way.
I have had my criticism of many aspects of the event but sincerely hope those involved don't just say stuff it, we give our all for no personal return only to be bagged by those who have contributed nothing but words of scorn. It would be a devastating result if the event ended for any reason.
My comment was only in regard to 'if' there was a timing gear complete failure.
Never been previously, but heard the clerk of course is some character.
"Club Animal" is a rather unique individual, and I agree with your sentiments re: the drivers briefing, it is the one thing that makes me cringe. I don't have a problem with him being in his undies though.
Other than that, he does a pretty sterling job.
Here he is modelling the latest in Race Director fashion-wear. Stylish.
There has been a decent timing failure in the last 2 or 3 years, where lightning on the course zapped one of the pickups and it fried a bunch of stuff in the timing van (a photographer got a photo of the strike eh!). That kind of thing is pretty hard to avoid. It took 2 days to resolve completely, as once the on-course components were diagnosed and replaced the other dodgy components back at the timers began to surface randomly, so it wasn't an easy or quick process to diagnose, but it did get fixed, and ultimately they dropped the timing for the last mile as the parts were needed for further back.
The club also relocated the entire 9-mile course, mid-week overnight, a few years back, as a wet patch appeared between the start of the timing and the 400m mark. That's quite an undertaking in the dark.
I have heard a lot of people complain about the delays, but from an insider perspective they are all about safety, every time. Cross winds, a real biggie at high speeds. Crash debris. Lost parts on-course that need to be located and retrieved. Idiots wandering about on the course, lost or just dumb as rocks. Bigger vehicles needing recovery can take time. Stranded vehicles. You'd be surprised at the crap that has to be dealt with, it's a bit like herding cats sometimes.
Animal is Animal until shit gets serious then he transforms into an absolute professional like when a life threatening incident occurs, eg. 200+ mph crash with driver having to be revived many times before getting on the RFDS chopper.
Yep he can be a clown but we all trust him with our lives, at least i do. But i can see that people see him and think WTF.