2011 Nationals – Crystal Brook 9, 10, 11 September 2011

“I’ve had a bloody brilliant meet”

Those were the words used by Ron Tyers to describe the 2011 Australian National Titles, and I believe it was a great meet, well organised and run.  But let’s go back to the beginning, let the rambling commence.

I know that the thought that people from Bunbury might require a visa to leave the city, but did Aaron Matthew have to take his passport, or was it as Allan Mitchell described he thought SA meant South Africa.

I arrived at the track Thursday, greeted by everyone, mainly opening crates and building bikes, I grabbed my crate and began the “simple” task of rebuilding the yammie.  I managed somehow to stir “Team Husqvarna” as I completed the build and told them how slow they were.  Right gear down to the pits, back for the bike, when oops!! opened mouth too soon.  I had to ask if any of the Bunbury boys had noticed my obvious mistake, of course not, I’d put the front mudguard on the wrong way.  Well they came from everywhere, camera’s in hand.  Graeme (yes dear) Taylor ran 50 metres just to get a shot.

Costa (trust me I am organised) had to dash off to make number plates for his bikes.  Wife Alison is so over yellow paint fumes!!   Our South African contingent (Brett, John and Gary), must have come via Christmas Island and didn’t arrive till late Thursday evening, as was the same with Rick Speak.  Finally all accounted for, bikes together and ready to rock and roll.

Race days,  riders brief, then practice, from here on in for some it just got worse, Nick Fitzgerald, dropped the chain on the Husky, no damage though, but was a sign of things to come for some of the Husky riders.  Suddenly Andrew’s trusty CZ, no longer wanted to play.  Racing began.  Darryl Mitchell destroyed third gear on his bike and then used Allan’s 450, which suddenly stopped.  Brian Watsons, 250 seized, split the exhaust on the 400.  Rod Gilchrist reinjured his ankle.  Kris Lindgren, destroyed the backing plate on the rear wheel of his bike and then the 390 refused to play as well.  I was off for my race and suddenly got a flat tye.  I was in deep shock and awe when Rod Gilchrist insisted I ride his YZ,  the camaraderie was beginning to occur.  Steve Dyjack lent Andrew his 380 CZ, oh dear there goes another exhaust.  Meanwhile, Nick (I’m the announcers favourite) Maxfield was starting to get the metisse rolling.  Ben (please stop growing) Melvin with Steve on the spanners was firing up for a big meet.  Kris (Baby face) Lindgren, was showing he was up for it on his CZ.  Nick Fitzgerald started to show his 250 husky was going to have a good meet. Rick Speak was already unable to kick start the Maico

At this point in time the support crews must be mentioned.  Leading the fashion in the field was Gwen Taylor, closely followed by Maureen Tyers.  Mary Watson along with Rebecca was in complete control of the Husky pack and was the only one able to tell the difference between the Watsons, Mitchells and Matthews as they all had animated discussions over the fate and fixing of their trusty steeds.  I was of the thought that maybe a funeral pyre floating down the Torrens River might be appropriate, but thought better of suggesting that.  Though the Mitchell’s, had employed the skills of John Howell.  He was unable to assist as he had only worked on CZ’s and Speedway bikes, the Swedish meatballs were a bit beyond him.  The Godfather took control and all listened intently as advise was given, then went away and did exactly the opposite that resulted at one point with Allan Mitchell having gaffer tape placed over his mouth, while he was told exactly how to fix the bike!!!!Alison (what’s a give way sign) Lindgren and Kerry Dyjack, were right in the thick of things looking after their charges.  Alison Melvin was PR personified.  Elma Jarvis and Val James were also getting involved.  Linda Maxfield arrived Friday I believe all rugged up for the meet, and ready to make certain the Ironman Nick was ready to go.  Saturday night was an organised dinner and presentation of some of the championships.  I got to epileptic fit on the dance floor with Alison Melvin, Rebecca Watson, Graeme and Gwen Taylor, I was not pretty but fun.

I became official ankle strapper for Rod Gilchrist, who was also in shock as he was staying with Ross (do I look good in this) Campbell, who decided to have a two hour spa back in the room, this drove Rod to the bar.  Rods weekend really didn’t take off as he also injured a finger, but he continually got out there just for the ride.  Meanwhile Ross, decided he might injure himself in the spa, no I’m not going to try and describe it, as it’s to painful to even picture!!   I suffered a whiplash (neck) injure from the speed I generated, ok would you believe a bad landing on the table top, requiring copious quantities of drugs, it really is amazing as to the amount of things can be found in a womans handbag!!.  Meanwhile the Matthews (Sean and Aaron) boys were fighting for bragging rights in the family and doing really well.  Graeme Taylor spurred on by wife Gwen was having a great meet.  Vic James was out there having a good go as was Bill Watson.  Brett Arnoldi, John Riley, and Gary Thomas were all circulating and testing themselves and the track.

So how did it all pan out.  Well despite all the problems with the bikes, Andrew was finally able to get on the track thanks to Steve Dyjack lending him his ignition system.  Brian Watson, lent Kris Lindgren a backing plate of his husky.  Brian had the exhaust on the 400 welded, but sorry to say did not last long.  The Mitchell’s rode with a two gear, 250.  I was able to have a ride despite my injury.  Vic James rode extremely well all weekend, only to injure a knee in the last event, which he finished and well done to him.  Steve Dyjack was able to ride his 250 CZ that even took on the guise of a 380 occasionally.  Nick Maxfield was in absolute heaven on the big metisse, Ron Tyers, was just having too much fun.  Sorry to say Rick Speak’s Maico finally had a rest but Gary Thomas lent him his Maico for a ride.  I dutifully strapped Rods ankle every day and he even got serious out there a couple of times and looked quite quick.  Nick Fitzgerald was just going about his job in an extremely professional manner and the results were showing it.  Aaron and Sean Matthews fought right up to the last race, which would decide who would have the bragging rights and they really did race each other hard and fair, to the delight of those of us able to watch.

 

So how did we fare, all did extremely well and I believe we all had a great time:

Nick Maxfield: Pre65 over  263cc, 2nd

                        Pre70 263cc over, 2nd

                        Pre75 four stroke 3rd

Pre70, 250cc Champion, Kris Lindgren,

Pre75 250 Champion, Ben Melvin

            2nd Evo 125cc

            2nd pre75 Under 30

            2nd Pre85 125cc

Pre75 40-49 Champion Paul Copley

            2nd Pre75 over 263cc

Pre75 50-59 Champion, Nick Fitzgerald

Pre75 over 70 Champion, Graeme Taylor

Cost Lindgren, 2nd pre70 over 263cc

Daryle Mitchell,  3rd pre75 250cc

 

The rest of us did extremely well

So how should I finish this, probably by thanking those who went beyond the call of duty to get us all there.  Steve and Kerry Dyjack for the Truck load of Bikes.  Costa, for the building of the crates.  Every single person who attended from WA and we were all part of a great contingent of people, both VMXWA andf Pre85MXWA.   There wasn’t one person who was not there assisting and cheering on the WA contingent.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of it.  If I’ve missed anyone out I am so sorry, and if my comments have upset anyone, i know I’ll be told!!l  I have taken a few photo’s but it has become very apparent that Christine has all the skill in that regard.  So all you others with some good shots send them in, except of course the one of the Yamaha front mudguard.

Mill Farm – Wandering 28 August 2011

Captains Waffle – Wandering Mill Farm Scramble 2011

Well it’s hard to believe it’s that time already but another Wandering Mill Farm Scramble is done and dusted for the year.  Aging machines and riders have again risen to do battle on the fields of Mill Farm and have once more proven their valour.  They can now return home to the shed for maintenance and in the riders case limp home for a stiff drink, a couple of Nurofen and an early bedtime.

As the pits began to fill on Saturday afternoon the track and grounds were looking splendid with various flags and banners flying on the infield not to mention the many manufacturer banners in the pits.  The campers all settled in for the evening festivities and socialising around the bon fire.  We also had an additional treat this year with the projector set up playing motocross videos for all to watch.  There was much appreciation from the males in attendance for one particular video that’s for sure!

Sunday morning saw the early morning fog clear just in time for practice to get underway on near perfect track conditions.  As all who have raced at Wandering will attest the pace is always a little faster at the Mill Farm Scramble and this year was no different.

From the very first A grade race through to the final Dan Ferguson Handicap the old red mist seemed to have descended and all riders were giving it their all.  Wayne Clarke was quick all day and rode with great style along with Rod Gilchrist, Kris Lindgren and both the Speak boys in A Grade.  B grade saw some great riding from Steven Hanson, Mark Steel, Russell George and both Ian and Stephen Brown.  C Grade saw many of the older club members mixing it up with our younger riders such as Mr Narrogin Frank Barron showing the young bucks how it was done.

The Pre 65 guys put on a hell of a show with a great 5 way tussle between Peter Lawson, Gary Johnson, Brook Lawson, Nick Maxfield and Mike Lawrie all fighting for the race win.  They were also showing off some nice power slides and smooth riding on the old Pre 65 beasts and it is just my opinion but the sound from 15 vintage 4 strokes thundering into turn one is one of the highlights each year at Wandering.  Pre 70 class numbers were down a little but Costa Lindgren rode fast and hard all day and in the Over 55’s Stan Read, Graham Taylor and Geoff Davidson showed their class.

The sidecars produced their usual 3 wheeled madness with the team of Gary Johnson and Jason Depiazzi being the team to beat.  They were given a good hurry up early on by Peter and Brook Lawson before an impressive forward roll sent them both tumbling to the dirt and Brook a little worse for wear.

Also fast and showing off some classic slides were the teams of Wayne and Adam Fanderlinden, Adam and Ben Fanderlinden and Cliff Cook and Neal Fletcher.  Sarah and Robert Dillon were absolutely riding the wheels off their 2 stroke Kawasaki outfit and pulled off some of the more impressive passing moves of the day.  Andrew Irving and Robert Harron were riding well but unfortunately had to pull out late with a collapsed shock absorber.

In the day’s biggest shock yours truly managed to pull out a win in the sidecar class.  My foolhardy co-pilot Russell George and I managed to use a bucket load of luck, the tiny thimble full that is my actual riding talent and not a small amount of questionable line choice/cheating to hold on for the win.  Even so, no-one was more surprised at the end of the race than me and I am now off to buy a warm jumper and some rock salt because I think hell might have just frozen over.

In the feature event “Best of British” Wayne Clarke was brilliant in both races riding away from the pack for the win. In the  Dan Ferguson Handicap Simon Gibbins held the lead early on before being passed by Russell Speak who came storming through a good chunk of the field to take the final chequered flag of the day.

The weekend’s festivities wrapped up with a gathering at the Wandering Brook Estate Winery to wind down, boast about the day’s activities and hand out a few awards.

As we all know these events don’t happen without the tireless effort from the many club members who give up their time and resources to bring it all together. Thank you to all those who helped set up the track, made the many trips back and forth dropping off gear and even gave up their own rides so that others could continue to enjoy their day.

Also a huge thank you to Estuary Motorcycles, Motorcycle Pit Stop and the Wandering Brook Winery for their donations for our awards giveaways.  Thanks to Hazelmere Free Range Eggs and Rod Chapman Imports for their support also.

Lastly, massive thanks to the Ferguson family for their hospitality and again letting us come out and play on their beautiful property!

So alas, Wandering is done for another year but don’t get too downhearted as we still have at least 3 more events to go before the year is done.  Next up on the race calendar is on the 18th of September at our home track at Narrogin.  The feature race is the 125 Two Stroke and 250 Four Stroke so drag out your small-bore machines and bring them along.

Good luck also to our contingent of club members who are heading over to compete in the 2011 VMX Nationals at Crystal Brook.  Have fun and stay safe!

See you all at Narrogin!

Captain Luke.

“Real riders like a bit on the side!”

Narrogin 24 July 2011 Race Report

The wet overcast conditions that greeted riders on our most recent visit to Narrogin was a welcome change to the dry dusty conditions of our two previous visits this year. The track was prepared to perfection thanks to the usual stellar efforts by Mr Narrogin with a big assist from the Narrogin shire. Much appreciated as always!

The numbers in the A grade class were quite low to start the day. Wayne Clarke returned and was immediately riding his Montessa with great style and speed. Gary Johnson was also showing some good pace before a flat tire brought his day to an end. We also had a good contingent of riders make the jump up from B grade to bump up the numbers which was good to see.

B grade was well supported with a full grid plus some lining up for the early races. Ian and Steve Brown were having some good tussles up front with Mark Steel, John Riley and Lewis Mogg keeping them honest throughout the day.

We had close to 20 riders in the C grade class line up to start the day which certainly made for a packed starting grid. It was great to see the final C grade race of the day where both Asry Bizar and Hannah Dillon nailed the hole shot into the first bend. The girls showing the boys how it is done drew cheers from those watching from trackside. Sadly Hannah then had a slight coming together with another rider which left her with a fractured leg. Get well soon Hannah!

The sidecar brigade were attacking the smooth muddy conditions with gusto with Wayne and Ryan Fanderlinden racing hard up at the pointy end of the field with Peter and Dave McDonald. Gary Johnson had young Brad Green making his first appearance in the chair and judging by the skill he was showing I am sure we will see Gary and Brad at the front of races soon enough. Brad was not too shabby on the solo to boot! I also have to give a big shout out to Russell for filling in on my sidecar again. Sadly, swinging for me does mean you tend to spend the largest portion of your time choking on dust and mud at the back of the field.

The final All-In race of the day saw Vice President Hayes Forsyth work his way through the field to take the win followed home by Simon Clarke, Ian Brown and Rod Gilchrist.

For the next race we will be heading back to Dyback Ridge on August 7. The feature race is Pre 65. We have had requests to run the Pre 65 class at each race day so it will be good to see what sort of numbers we get at the next meeting.

Also I have been keeping an eye on the numbers in each class over the last few meetings. It would be good for the faster riders in both C and B grade to move yourselves up a grade before we have to tap you on the shoulder and ask you to! You will be surprised that the next grade up isn’t as fast as you think and if it proves to be a bit fast you can always move back.

See you at Dyback Ridge!

Luke B.

“Real riders like a bit on the side!”