Barry Ferguson Classic 2016

2016 Barry Ferguson Classic
1960’s style navigational touring assembly with something for everyone

Dates: Saturday 30th April and 1st May 2016
Start: Ibis Styles Albury Lake Hume Resort VIC
Overnight: Club Mulwala Resort, Mulwala NSW
Finish: TBA (possibly Tarcutta NSW)

The BFC, with its navigational format and mix of bitumen and fairly good gravel roads is one of the best events of its type currently on offer anywhere in Australia.

The event starts early Saturday morning but most people will arrive on Friday to enable leisurely registration and a sociable evening dinner. The Saturday sections will finish in time for dinner from 7:30pm. This is a focal point of the event when everyone gets together to socialise and hear some tales from old times by Barry Ferguson and other invited rally legends of the era - last year it was Bob Watson from Victoria and Bob Riley from NSW.

This year will be 7th in the series of Barry Ferguson Classics. Dave Johnson ran the first Barry Ferguson Classic (BFC) navigational rally under the auspices of the NSW Classic Rally Club in 2010. Dave’s intention was to run an event that in most aspects replicates events as they were run in NSW during the 1960s, prior to the advent of fully route charted events.

Given the reluctance of NSW police to embrace timed events on public roads, the BFC has been run as a Touring Assembly every year (except 2014 when it was a TRE). So far the navigation alone has been sufficient to create pressure on crews and determine a winner with no clean sheets to date.

The first event ran out of Raymond Terrace on the NSW Central Coast but subsequent events moved west of Sydney. The next 3 years started from Goulburn with overnight visits to Cowra and Wagga Wagga and the last 2 years have started from Cootamundra.

This year’s event will be run as a 750-800km Touring Assembly with the first 380 kms being set completely in Victoria by Steuart Snooks of the HRA and the rest of Saturday and all Sunday (about 380 kms) on the NSW side of the border by the usual team of Winton Brocklebank and Dave Johnson for the CRC.

The Victorian sections will travel through the scenic north-east when the autumnal weather will provide some truly wonderful vistas and visit townships such as Beechworth, Chiltern, El Dorado, Kiewa, Myrtleford, Rutherglen, Stanley, Tallangatta and more.

There will be 3 Categories of competition plus a non-competitive social run;

  • Trial - will be run on a mix of bitumen and good quality dirt/gravel roads with a small percentage of lesser quality dirt/gravel roads. There will be a Masters and an Apprentices division, both using old, 1960s era maps. The Apprentices will have the same course as the Masters plus a few extra clues and constant reminders to measure distances and compass directions.
    Apprentices will have the same course as the Masters and some extra information to take away some of the pain that they encounter.
    Masters and Apprentices will be using old maps.
  • Tour - will have the normal high percentage of sealed surfaces with as short as possible good gravel included. Mostly route charted with questions and with some basic map reading included.
  • Social Run - using 100% bitumen for those who would like to be part of the event but without the competitive element and/or if you simply want to enjoy a scenic drive. An opportunity to use a special car without risk of running on any dirt/gravel roads.

A one-day only option is also available for car club members in the local area, with a reduced entry fee and option to attend the Saturday night dinner.
For those in the Trial section of the event, the navigational challenge in the BFC is;

  1. to plot the course correctly on the maps provided and then
  2. make the correct choice of road(s) as they now exist or not, as the case may be.

Dave takes crews back to the way things were by providing only maps “of the day” and expecting them to translate the course to the road system now in existence. He has also been willing to adapt ideas from other events (including the Olde BPs) to add to the BFC experience and to try and keep both members of the crew working throughout the event. The instructions are relatively straight-forward, using traditional methods to deliver the instructions. Crews can look forward to;

  • a great mix of adventure, exploration, touring, camaraderie and socialising with as much or little navigational competition as you want.
  • old 1960 or earlier maps
  • BP style navigation (as much as the road layouts allow).
  • ‘Advice to Navigators’ document (desigend to help reduce the gap between the front and back end of the field)

The event will have little bit of competitive ‘spice’ as the NSW (the Cockroaches) and Victorian (the Mexicans) Trial crews will be competing for the ‘State of Origin’ Challenge Trophy.

Further updates will be released over coming months. In the meantime, any questions can be directed to Steuart Snooks on 0413 830 772 or steuart@optusnet.com.au