Rich River - a letter from the Clerk of Course

Thank-you!

Thanks to all those who contributed to making the 2007 Rich River Trial such an enjoyable and successful event.

Thanks to all the local authorities who readily co-operated to allow the event to be staged in a very special region – Campaspe, Moira & Murray Shires, Parks Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water, NSW & Victoria Police, Department of Sustainability & Environment, Forests NSW, Echuca-Moama Tourism, Port of Echuca, Murray River Paddlesteamers and our event headquarters, The Bridge
Hotel.

Special thanks to Carlie Bell, Tourism Development Officer at the Shire of Campapse who was a magnificent resource full of the right contacts, great ideas and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. I wanted to name the afternoon division as Carlie’s Tour in her honour but she wouldn’t hear of it.

More special thanks to those who came ‘on board’ as key officials:

- to Anna Trevorah who took on the officials co-ordinator role and did a magnificent job in the limited time available;

- to Steve Farrar who made himself, his vehicle and his experience available to help put the event together ‘on the road’;

- to Mike Foreshew who quietly and calmly attended to the event secretary roles prior to the event and then performed such a key role interacting with crews throughout the afternoon and evening of the event (putting aside considerable turmoil in other areas of his life) ;

- to Matt De Vaus who was a wonderful source of energy, experience and ideas and then stepped up to add the Course Checking duties to his other activities on the day;

- to David Johns who provided the voice of reason, caution and accountability in his role of Course Checker, especially as he was battling what turned out to be a case of pneumonia which eventually prevented his involvement on the day of the event;

- to Stephen Coutts-Smith and Scott Spedding for their input before the event and then their tireless running around to ensure set up and any unforeseen difficulties were attended to on the day;

- to Gary Hodgkiss who found that the scoring involved probably more than he’d ever had to handle before and laboured uncomplainingly while playing ‘catch up’ on the run during the event and going home without a full posting of scores on the board for the f irst time he can ever remember. Gary then immediately fell ill with a very serious bout of the ‘flu that delayed completion of the results considerably (much to his chagrin) but which not a soul has complained about knowing the magnificent job he regulars fulfils as scorer for many events every year.

Thanks also to the much appreciated contributions from Rob Upstill (PR), Russell Opie (Equipment), Bruce Chisholm (Safety), Jim Webster & Mark Dettering (Radio), Angelo Curic (Scrutiny), Geoff Portman & Ian Koestsveld (Recovery), Trevor & Kim Woods (Zero car), Jodie & Paul Kuhne, and Stewart Lister, Stephen Horobin (across from Canberra) and Carol Latta (Stewards).

We seemed to have achieved all the major objectives for the event – a positive impact in the local community, a sense of adventure, an element of endurance, the introduction of some fresh faces to HRA events, some interesting 'twists' to the competition and, most importantly, a vibrant social atmosphere (at both the start, dinner break and especially at the finish).

continued . . .

2007 Rich River Trial Provisional Results

The weather was glorious (even including an afternoon sunshower with full length rainbow), the terrain was fascinating and the atmosphere of camaraderie was magnif icent! It has been most pleasing to hear so many crews enjoyed the Rich River as an adventure and an experience, regardless of the results. Many appreciated it as a weekend away rather than just another rally, which is just what we were aiming at.

The feedback received so far indicates that we seem to have got the 'big picture' and conceptual aspects of the event just about 'right'. However (and almost inevitably), for a first time organising team and a brand new event, we had a number of issues with some of the smaller details - I'd like to apologise to all those competitors and to officials who may have been inconvenienced.

The afternoon touring stage proved to be quite different from what was intended. The tight timing probably exacerbated the difficulty of the navigational aspects and made the afternoon a mad rush when it was meant to be a pleasant, leisurely tour with short ‘bursts’ to keep the drivers interested.

The night stages seemed to run very well (apart from a couple of delays) and the high proportion of route-charted stages was well received. However, as many discovered, route charts are a considerable navigational challenge in themselves and many have commented on just how busy they were keeping up with all the calls. We were surprised at how much the sandy sections had deteriorated and can only imagine the challenge this must have presented for most of the field. We’ll try to minimise such conditions next time.

Congratulations and thanks to all those who nominated to ‘have a crack’ at the optional Challenge section. However, the social atmosphere back at The Bridge was obviously far too inviting and only 7 crews were able to wrench themselves away from the BBQ, bar and braziers to contest this stage.

I’m sure other would have joined them if they had known just how close the section was to the event HQ – just 1.03km to the first passage control and then just 1.03km (again) from the last passage back to the finish.

Explanations of the challenging via points will follow once the results are finalised, as part of the ‘Director’s Cut’ report of the event. I suggest a leisurely trip back up to the magnificent Echuca region over the summer would be an ideal way to investigate those vias that you may have missed or struggled with, especially the last via of the Mail Run touring section that so many seemed to
struggle with.

We look forward to you joining us for this event again next year, when we’ll look to head into the Gunbower and Perricoota Forests to the west of Echuca for some more great Rich River roads.

Finally, we invite you to the 2007 Rich River Trial Presentation Night which will be held at the next HRA General Meeting at the

East Malvern RSL
Stanley Grose Drive
East Malvern

Dinner is available from 6:30pm and we’ll be running a slideshow from about this time. The meeting proper commences at 8:00pm.

Steuart Snooks
Clerk-of-Course
on behalf of Organising Team, 2007 Rich River Trial

see more at Rich River Trial page