Rally of the North 2017

I really didn't think we would be asked back to help with this event,
after we had let them down so badly in 2015 - see my write-up of
Rally Of the North 2015 - which I believe let indirectly to the 2016
event being cancelled.

Also our Rally Whangarei this year was not our best effort, but a
month or so before the event we were asked to provide either a start
or finish crew.
I settled on finding a finish crew (surprise, surprise)

I managed to get the (reduced) numbers 2 people from Whangarei
itself, another from Turangi and the other from Putaruru.
With me this would have the five we needed, and with a full Rallysafe
operation (with only Targa Style paper backups) this should be enough
- yeah right!!

Dale is having a well deserved rest from rallies for a month or so.

Four days before the event we had one of the Whangarei Team pull out
which created (another) problem.
As not only were we a person down but also a flying finish vehicle,
eventually we settled on taking covered trailer on the back of
Chalkie for the FF team.
As the Rallysafe beam has its own battery, we were able do do without
actually having a vehicle there.

Denise put her hand up at this very short notice and obtained
permission to join us - little did she know the abuse she would cop
later on - see below obnoxious Locals'

Dinny and Leigh bussed to Bombay, where I collected them, then
collected Denise at Manukau.
We did not do our usual 'Timing Team Regroup' at Dairy Flat, but
headed straight to Whangarei to collect Alexander.
We arrived at Paihia just before 8 Friday night.

Although be knew we were doing SS2 (and SS6) it was not until we got
maps, schedules etc and the other gear that we found we had to be 'on
site' by 6 15 am, and this was some 1 1/2hrs away!!!
Oh joy a 4 am rise, and an out the gate time of no later than 4.30 !!
Let me repeat an out the gate time of 4.30 AM.
I had had one small victory though. I have been exceptionally
critical of the silly little Finish Control Rallysafe display we had
had at Whangarei and Hawkes Bay, and expressing this (politely of
course) at gear pickup, Buck said 'you can have a tablet if you
prefer' I MOST CERTAINLY did prefer - a small but highly significant

We arrived at our appointed spot in sufficient time, settled the boys
in the trailer and set up in the usual way. No problems (and the
Tablet/Rallysafe worked pretty well)

But once more see the item below under obnoxious Locals'.

Partly because of them the stage did run late so we were late away
and again had 'lack of fuel issues'.
Chalkie is thirsty anyway, having the trailer doesn't help. and
driving stages makes it even worse!
We did therefore have to detour for fuel and got to SS6 late 'with no
time to spare.
We did the job nevertheless and once we were cleared we headed back
to Paihia to drop gear, then Fish and Chips for tea (then the Maori
All Blacks on TV and, of course Coronation St for afters).

Sunday morning - out the gate by 9 am, dropped Alexander at
Whangarei, the rest of us Happy Days for lunch, bus for Dinny and
Leigh and home for me.

Dinny - Flying Finish (Trailer Based) SS2 and SS6
Alexander - Also Flying Finish SS2 and SS6
Leigh - becoming another Toby at Finish Control SS2 and SS6
Denise - Road for SS2 and log writing for SS6
Warwick - Board and Post Chief for SS2, Road and Post Chief SS6
Although only five of us SS6 worked best with Leigh doing cards and
Denise doing Log Writing.


I am not sure what is up with residents of this area - in 2015 a Boy
Racer, driving an unwarranted, unregistered BMW tried to make use of
the 'unexpired' road closure time, and managed to completely write
off our best van. This time it was worse !!

Shortly after setting up SS2 and with the Road Closure in effect we
were visited by what can only be described as a 'big fat Maori
bloke', probably drunk (at 7.30 in the morning) and with language
that had to be heard to be believed.
To say he was threatening would be an understatement!!
He was driven in a car (Rego HDA 64), and was determined to cause as
much mayhem as possible.
From what I can gather he claimed ownership of 'all the land around
here - and we don't want you here.'

I tried to defuse the situation by saying 'just go away' but he then
tried to kick our door in,

I intimated that I might have to get the Police to which he replied
'When they arrive I'll smash all their fucking windows'.

He then picked on Denise for associating with 'these fucking whities'.
It seemed obvious that it was a pre-planned attack.
He waited till we were all set up ready to go, when he manoeuvred
Past the chicanes for his morning fun. How obnoxious can you get????

He was EVENTUALLY driven away and I reported to Rally Base that the
situation was resolved.

But WAIT there is more !!!

Just before the first Rally Car was due to enter the stage (but with
official cars already en route) we encountered a 'bloody woman'
driving Rego JLZ177 who claimed to be going through to the marae!

From what I can determine this just an intimidatory 'password' to
cower any officials she encounters.


I explained that the road was closed!!

I explained why the road was closed - namely that she could well
meet an oncoming car at 180 km/h who was not expecting anyone coming
the other way.

Unlike the occasions when residents have wanted to just 'go to my
house up there' she was determined to create as much havoc as

Sure there was a possible option for me to lie down on the road in
front of her car but the rest of my team felt that she would probably
quite happily driven right over me and carried on.

This time Rally base stopped the stage (well in reality held the cars
back) warned the officials already on stage and despatched the
When the police arrived they gave me to understand the 'her car has
been neutralised and she is helping the Police with their Enquiries!

The Police also gave me a copy of the Road Closure Permit - but I am
quite sure that waving this in front of her would have made no

I do consider that this too was preplanned, and could have created


The next event is Gold-rush on 26th August and then Targa NZ 24th
October - Starting at Hampton Downs, finishing in Wellington the
following Sunday.

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