FROM THE MUD 1 By Keith Mitchell back
Writing this shortly after the John Pryce Trial and still on a high from all the activity, I'm trying to collect thoughts together of our past three great trialing events. The New Zealand team has now returned home winners despite conceding victory in the ANZ Cup, infact I think everyone finished up a winner last weekend, not least the sport of trialing and those associated with it.
The ultimate success of the past fourteen days is a real credit to OST Chairman Andrew Stritch and his committee of helpers. They have freely given a considerable amount of time and effort over these last six months with endless hours of planning, organising and carrying out the one hundred and one tasks that were needed to pull the three trials and the New Zealand team visit together.
The trials themselves surpassed expectation. Starting with a very well attended, technically difficult and keenly fought Dale Shaw Trial, then the ANZ Cup who's final fate and new address was decided on the last section, to the John Pryce Trial which again left everyone speculation on the outcome until the very end
A favourite personal reflection of just one of the many highlights of the 3 trials would have to be when both Grant Campbell and Sidney Hirst emerged from the final dam section with equal top points. To see arguably the best trialists that both countries have produced share the John Pryce Trophy together at presentation time was a very fitting finale to a great weekend.
FROM THE MUD
20th October 2001
FROM THE MUD back
Towing the car home from our last event of the season at Murrindindi, there was time to reflect on the past 7 months of activities, the highlights, the competition, the comradeship and also the work that we all put in to attend and make it all happen.
The highlight of the season for me was the New Zealand visit and their inclusion in our John Pryce Trial. To see Australia and New Zealand's finest drivers standing together after a long day of great trialing both holding the winners trophy was a very satisfying and significant moment in our sport.
The pioneers of this sport, some of whom are still active members of the club, 52 years ago undertook their first Observed Section Trial and created what is arguably the longest consecutive running motorsport event in Australia. Although in 1950 the cars were Austin 7s or similar vehicles, now replaced with build your own specials, the basic sport hasn't changed to its present day form, being:
Rule number 1 - drive to pre determined section of ground, (usually selected because of the amount of mud present), navigate through that ground whilst being observed, gain points for driving, manoeuvrability, traction and navigation skills, count up the points at the end and declare the results.
Rule number 2 - have the maximum amount of fun whilst carrying out rule number 1.
It's this simplicity, and the fact that it's also a safe sport to include all the family in, has attracted many others including myself. Its relatively cheap, it's a day out in some of Victoria's finest country spots and the people involved, competitors, officials, family and regular crowd members are second to none.
As you can tell, even before I'd arrived home there was already much lamenting of the passing of the season!
The OST Committee of John Cox, Fred Undy, Mark Taylor, Greg Cox and Keith Mitchell, lead by Andrew Stritch put in an enormous amount of work this year. Running 13 events means lots of pre planning and behind the scene commitment. Every event has to be set up the day before, regardless of if it's at local Wandin or a couple of hours away at Leongatha, permits and properties secured, trailers and pegs cleaned, sorted and transported etc. The two day ANZ Cup Challenge and 52nd John Pryce Events alone took 6 months of focussed planning, with weekly meetings for the final 2 months.
Congratulations to Grant Campbell on another consistent season with his 11th winning of the John Pryce Trophy and overall winner of the Geoff Taylor Season Aggregate Trophy. We often wonder what Grant's secret formula for success is but there's a growing suspicion throughout the trialing ranks as he always arrives at an event with a large bag of jelly beans which he munches throughout the day.
Here's food for thought - the average 250gm bag Beans contains 78 jellybeans, Grant has trialed since 1974 and attended on average 12 trials per year - that's 324 trials excluding Motorkhanas.
Average rate of Bean consumption per trial allowing for occasional dropping and generosity would be 70, which means 22680 Jelly Beans have passed between muddy finger and mouth over the years, or a staggering consumption of 2061.81 Jelly Beans per John Pryce Trial Win!
All I've won in the past 5 years is a Rolling Pin - hope the wife never starts to calculate how much that cost!