OST 10 Wandin 3 9th September back
Towing through the gates of this new property we were met by a couple of inquisitive Lama's and an even more inquisitive property owner who had consented for us to use her property despite never seeing an OST before.
Steve Mason had spend the day before preparing the trial in mostly dry conditions, however overnight heavy rain had transformed the ground conditions somewhat from "interesting" to "you ripper!.
Each of the mornings sections were pegged in what turned out to be a water run off area, so we were soon axle deep in mud and constantly on the ropes pulling cars out of holes.
From the very first section Grant had a full head of steam and a bag full of revs (making up for Panton Hill) which saw him only drop 2 points on the first six sections. Equipped with his own unique driving style, Steve Mason also managed a series of good morning sections along with Graeme Moyle and Nigel Newman.
The very muddy conditions didn't suit everyone including Craig Hansen whom at times sunk further than most with the extra wheelspin from his mighty horsepower Toyota powerplant. He later discovered a punctured rear wheel accounting for a loss of inches of ground clearance under the rear end. (It was only flat at the bottom).
One highpoint of the morning was the first 10 of the season for Joanne Stritch. Joanne, driving Dale Shaw's Elastic Flyer really had the ubiquitous bungie cords that hold up the suspension working overtime as she bumped and grinded her way through section 3 to the applaud of the surrounding competitors and crowd. (Please read - the car not Joanne!).
The afternoon's trialing centred around a heavy wooded track and dam area. We first made our way through a couple of bush sections before being confronted with a very disarming leap of faith down a sheer bank onto a claypan and then up the other side and around a large gum tree (section 7).
Steve Mason had really excelled with the setting of this section as if you didn't get over the bank at the right angle the number two peg was laying in waiting for the unsuspecting. This couldn't be seen from the number 1 peg due to the amount of drop to be negotiated.
Nigel Newman and Joanne played see saw over the drop before conceding their rear wheels were in no condition to provide forward motion and even if they could have done so, the front wheels were flapping about in clean air also!. Keith Mitchell had a navigator who closed her eyes even before the drop and got sucked into the 2 peg, whilst other learned that you needed a balance of speed and angle to get it all right if scoring was what mattered. This had to be the section of the year - well done Steve!
We played around this area for a further couple of sections before moving onto the dam.
By this time Andrew Stritch had got back in touch with the leaders after a couple of good sections in the bush and Nigel had dropped a few points after his experience on the claypan. Geoff Taylor wasn't having the most successful of days but in contract Graham Moyle had quietly worked his way towards the pointy end. Craig, once out of the morning's mud, had started to recapture his normal form.
The dam sections were not through water however as the depth was prohibitive, but the nearby steep banks provided a couple of great sections to round out the day.
First in was Kevin Hossack who managed to get as far as the 4 peg, which was quite a feat considering the degree of difficulty, Nigel could get no further and it took Grant to show everyone the way out of the ditch and where the 8 peg was. Once the secret was out, a few others managed to keep within Grant's tyre tracks for similar scores.
The last section was pegged as a reverse of the previous one, which turned out to be easier to navigate. Grant however had the trial won prior to running this section but 2nd and third place was still open.
All the leaders managed to clear this final section for a well deserved 10 points which left us with Steve Mason on second place with Graham and Andrew sharing third spot.
Back in the pits the Lamas were still inquisitive but a little mud splattered by now, the property owner enlightened with OST knowledge confirmed we are welcome back next year and the cars were the dirtiest we've had them all year - roll on Wandin 3 2002.
Our final two trials of the season will have been run by the time of this Lightshaft but we still have the Club Funkhana to look forward to at Panton Hill on Sunday 21st October.
See you in the grass!