I’ll start by saying this job has had it’s challengers, not being President of a club before and certainly not used to telling people what to do. We started the year the priority being creating a venue with a track that people wanted to come and ride at and a camp area semi level. We achieved one of those. Thanks to those who helped at our first of many busy bees the containers were cleaned out and left in a manner easier to find things that we didn’t even know we had. I spent a lot of time on the phone building relationships with local farmers, community figures and people in the shire which proved to be so valuable in the year to follow. Pat Smyth and I travelled to Paynes Find with the intention of seeing what improvements could be made to the track and after a few hours of walking, riding shifting of markers riding we come up with what we have today although work in progress and will continue to improve as we go. For those who were there at the busy bee they would have seen my phone calls pay off with the arrival of a shire grader and operator Brad, legend bobcat operator Neil Brand and to top that off the local Bush Fire Brigade led by Shaun Brand, the unofficial Mayor of Wandering, put some much needed water on the track.
A big disappointment came after our track, which we had altered and prepared in March, was decimated by heavy rain in the area. I couldn’t believe what I saw on arrival following the bad weather, the track had wash aways in some places, ruts nearly a metre deep. If it wasn’t for the encouragement of Hayes Forsythe at the time I would have been happy to spend that time at the tavern over a pint and a Parmy. So anyway we got the tractor going and did as much as we could to repair some of the damage.
I failed to mention the list of men who were there to get the track and machinery up for the coming season. I very quickly learnt the skills of members who were recently retired and eager to put those skills to work, Kevin Clayden told me of his experience in a loader, also being a mechy fitter, so acquiring a machine from a local farmer and with the assistance of Justin Clayden, Kevin was given the job of getting the track work under way.
During the course of the season a few other members skills and work ethic shone out in none other than the famous Jones brothers, all of whom were always there to get things underway with Dave on the spanners, Paul in the tractor dragging the track and Ron doing what was required to keep machinery running. The boys also organised pumps, repairing hoses for watering and set tanks on the trailers which have proved to work really well.
The first event as usually kicks the season off at Collie which the Classic MX were a part of and kicked off with a Trash and Treasure. I think you would consider that a total failure although I enjoyed the memorabilia Alison Melvin had on show. Club legend Steve Melvin did what he always does and prepared the track to the normal high standard and assisted in the BBQ and the solving of the worlds problems over a few beers and then whatever else was in the fridge into the wee small hours. Having the classic movies, thanks to Richard Hall of the Classic MX Club, the evening had a terrific family atmosphere and was enjoyed by all, even the BBQ packs that my broken car fridge had frozen still went down well. 53 Riders took to the course on the Sunday and enjoyed a fabulous days riding. A big thanks goes out to Classic MX President, Andrew Parker, his members and special mention to Dan Mac in the way they supported the event. That’s one for next year.
Along with our events planned at Paynes Find the committee decided to look at how we could create a bit of interest back in the old bikes so the idea of Vintage Dirt was born and the rest is history. As we know it was a screaming success. Obviously there was a lot of work to be done and it all started with people again showing their different skills set. Pat Smyth and I the Moto Cross, Hayes Forsythe the Vinduro with the support of Vinduro President Paul Barker and Trials was handled by Andy (the Mullet) Hyland with his assistant Mike (Twiggy) Gordon. The show and shine put together by Don McGrath was right up his alley, he made a difficult job look easy, that along with the raffle was probably a highlight. I don’t mind telling you these fellows efforts getting the disciplines up and running were outstanding and went a long way to making this event the success it was. We also are blessed with a couple of new members made a huge impact in a short time. Craig and Tess Follet were big players at the Vintage dirt, Tess was the girl at the sign on table selling merchandise raffle tickets and her efforts over the weekend will not be forgotten.
The next event only had a hand full of riders at Paynes Find and was disappointing but after such a big event like Vintage Dirt maybe it was understandable. It was decided that members wanted to race so future events were going to be that as we are always trying to please, we want as many riders as we can. The next event was the Annual Mill Farm Scramble the Blue Ribbon event. This event means a lot to the club particularly the older members who have had a connection with the Ferguson family over a long period of time. The racing was hotly contested through out the day with a few spills to ad to the excitement, Brooke Lawson took the Dan Ferguson Memorial for the third time and was the outstanding rider on the day. Justin Clayden was never to far from Brooke but the CCM was to just to fast.
With only a couple of events left the general consensus was to have racing, so efforts to please the punters were made knowing how hard it is due to the shortage of officials that are required by MA. Dale James was called upon, and as he has previously, was available to help. The numbers for these events were disappointing but those who rode always enjoyed themselves. One pleasing thing was we saw a few new members take part due to the advent of the EVO and Pre 85 classes, which will be encouraged next year as a feature race. We will certainly be encouraging members to take part in courses provided by MA that will assist us in running future events.
That’s about all I can remember of the season that was my first as President I would like to take this opportunity to thank our previous President
Brian Watson for help he gave me through out the year. I would also thank the Committee for their efforts and taking the time it takes to give the members what was a great track, some great events and an all round quite a good year.
Finally to Rob Dillon, for someone who didn’t want an executive committee position was outstanding in his efforts and continual support which I needed on a regular basis, a big thanks.
(Self elected unopposed)