Harbour City Rally 2002
The Wharf 8 Harbour City Rally started out by a few of us reading about a meeting for the new rally to be held in Sydney on the rally e-group and deciding we should go along and see what it was all about. At that meeting they were after volunteers for every job that needs to be done to get a round of the Australian Rally championship off the ground. Coal and myself decided that we should put our hands up and volunteer to run the spectator points. Putting your hand up at that meeting was nearly as watertight as putting your hand up at an auction!
A few weeks later we met Graeme Rosser out in the forests behind Wyong to start preparations for the spectator points, drawing up maps, looking for areas for food stalls, toilets etc. Every fortnight we were off to meetings to keep the preparations on track for the big day(s) in March.
On the Tuesday before the event Coal, Hot Dog and myself headed to the forest to start setting up (yes it does take that long). Rain and long days made it very tiring and the rally was still days away.
The weekend finally came and it all started with the first motorsport event to be held in the centre of Sydney, the "paperclip from hell" special stage around the wharf 8 complex. The turnout of spectators was a surprise to everybody, a rainy night and not a spare seat in the house. Entertaining runs by all the crews, and it was noted that the drivers that still competed at club level motorsport were right on the money for this stage, which was very much like a Khanacross course.
Saturday morning saw us up in the forest at Wyong running 4 spectator points with a lot of help from the Mini Car club of NSW. The usual problems were encountered with Media not wanting to go where we told them and smallish crowds of very well behaved spectators. We had organised buses to transport spectators from large car parks up to the vantage points and this worked extremely well. No more parking cars on the side of single lane forestry roads for miles in either direction. The spectator points were all very well received by those who saw them and this in turn pleased us no end.
Saturday afternoon and Coal had to head to Sydney for the second running of the "paperclip" so I was left to look after the points in the forest. After all the points had finished we had organised a party for the officials at the largest point, with camping available, so we set to work re-arranging the point for the Officials to have a good time. The disco was set up and the Barbie fired up for what turned out to be a very entertaining night. Coal and crew called in at about 11pm on there way back from Sydney and it was still going strong.
Sunday morning and we awoke early to start all over again. Only 3 points today and they were already set up so it was fairly easy. Much the same as Saturday with no real problems encountered. Is this getting easier or are we just getting more used to the problems? Sunday afternoon and it was all over for the first year of this event. The red army had beaten the blue army and they were all heading off to continue the battle in W.A. We only had to clean up the forest and we could all go home and relax.
Special thanks must be extended to the Spectator Point Managers, Flash, Buggsy, Phil, Big Al and Straight who made this such an easy time for both Coal and Myself.