This year for Far North Rally,we had agreed to provide 1
(i.e. two crews) start crew under Dale, and finish crew under Warwick.
Brian flew up from Christchurch to help, Dinny came up from
Turangi, we also had Poko from Rotorua, Leigh from Putaruru, and Jesy
and Jamie from Auckland itself. Warwick and Connor from Hikuai
completed the team. Once more we had a 'last minute 'pull out' which
fortunately we did manage to cope with.
The 2 crews did a 'timing crew regroup' at Burger KIng at
Whangarei and proceeded apace to Paihia, in Trannie (the 15 seat
Transit),to be used at the Finish Control, Sunny (the Little Nissan)
and Tele ( the Telstar), to be used at the Start, Alexander brought
his own car up from Auckland too to become the Flying finish vehicle.
So, yes that's right 4 vehicles, 2 for start and 2 for finish.
After settling in to our supplied motel accommodation we
uplifted signs, other gear, instructions for the day ahead etc. The
first 'problem' was that whereas we had orignally been given stage4
(the last of the morning) and then stage 8 (the last of the day) this
had been changed to stage 4 and 7!
This meant that instead of being able to drive straight to
various timing positions via main roads we were now going to have to
drive pretty much the whole of at least 2 stages - a baptism of fire
for Trannie!!! It also meant we would no longer have time for lunch
in Kaitaia,(Or anywhere else for that matter!)
However the advantage of the arrangement was that our Start
had to move only a minimal distance but did indeed have a long wait.
I was also thrilled to be given a rallysafe tablet for Finish
Control (rather than the silly little three line display we have been
saddled withfor the last couple of years) so although its battery
life is still not sufficient to last two stages, our on board 230v
inverter did its job admirably.
The same cannot be said of the satellite phone supplied for
communications, It simply did not work, even when appearing to
connect it simply said 'you do not have enough credit to make this
call'. What rubbish. This meant that for stage 4 we had no
communication in any direction, but at least at stage 7 the Spark
cellphones did work.
In the event what transpired is that stage 4 was o.k.,
shook down quite well, once we had found our spots, but getting to
stage 7 was what can only be described as a 'mission in itself'.
Instead of being in position some 30 mins before road closure, we
were some 30 mins AFTER, but did not drive on the stage during the
Alexander and Connor set up Flying Finish 'in record time',
despite the mud Jesy, Leigh and Warwick did similarly at Finish
But here again, once the stage had started running we were
MORE (just like last year) confronted by a group of BLOODY MINDED
MAORIS, who threatened us (with language and actions that even those
of us of more mature years have probably never heard before). Their
gripe seemed to be along the lines of 'we own all the land around
here and we don't want you here; Sound familiar? Same as last year!!
But wait there is more!
As finish Post Chief I explained that there were cars heading
towards us at what could well be approaching 200 kmh at which stage
they forced me out of the way with their vehicle and said we'll sort
them cunts out, and charged into the stage IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
baiscally attempting to create as much carnage as possible, I managed
to get a message to the Clerk of the Course and the stage was
subsequently cancelled for that and other reasons, I do not believe
we have heard the last of this incident.
Their threats of impending violence certainly scared hell out
of the young spectators there who promptly scarpered (thankfully).
Not a good adverisement for either the region or the perpetraters.
After the cars had toured past us, and we had been cleared by the
sweeper we proceeded back to Paihia 'tired and hungry', no pies to be
had on the way either.
Returned the gear then had our own (Targa) officials meeting.
Fish and Chips for tea and a few beers to wash it down.
Out of the gate 9 a.m. Sunday morning, Warwick Connor and
back to Duck Creek, the others back to Tirau via Auckland.
Our Personell this time was
The next event is 'Targa Main' in the South Island this year less than a month away - we are still short on numbers.
Made by WBS