Mexican – Crow Eater Challenge

Stawell Motor Sports Club

20 July 2003

As you drive into the lovely small city of Stawell, with the majestic Grampians as a backdrop, and salivate at the nearby granite covered hills it is obvious why Stawell was for a long time a favourite trials venue on the Victorian calendar.  Unfortunately greater awareness and concern for the environment (or a predominance of illogical thought) made access to these pieces of trials heaven harder and harder until they were used no more.  That is until Bryan Anderson come along.  He had a vision.   He had a mission.  He was determined to bring trials back.  And so he did.

Bryan’s imagination runs free and he further envisaged the Victorians welcoming their fellow South Australian trials enthusiasts to a days friendly competition (unlike the unwelcome invasion that will occur in September).  He invited them and they came.

To the disappointment of the old guard who fondly remembered the plethora of rocks at the sites of old, it was not to their old stamping grounds but to the Stawell Motor Sports Club that they came.  The terrain might not have been as glorious but the memories of great sections and even greater feats were made all the more glorious with the passage of time.  The terrain available was good but the made parking area, proper toilets and canteen were excellent.

Bryan and his team of section setters Gary and Tom from TCV and Mal, Tony and Daniel from SMCC used the area of quarried rock to set 4 tight, demanding, precise sections.  A wheel out of line or a little to much twist of the throttle and the foot was down and the points piled up.  Demonstrate skill however and you were through for a clean. 

The devious section setters then assaulted the granite rock strewn hillside.  The rocks and fallen tree trunks were used to set 6 more sections. These too required precision to keep the feet up but they also tested unweighting skills and at times the size of your bollocks as more generous throttle applications were at times called for.

To top off the loop, Tom and Bryan could not resist setting an A only section utilising the speedway retaining wall and adjacent rocks.  The end of the days riding saw some aging B grade riders trying to unconvincingly splat the entrance wall with predicable consequences.

A great day was had by all - helped by the excellent weather, well set sections, agreeable location and great camaraderie.   Through weight of numbers Victoria was triumphant in the Mexican – Crow Eater Challenge (as will be the case in the September clashes).

Thanks to the Stawell Motor Sports Club for the use of their property and facilities and  their hospitality and in particular  to their member Trevor for his assistance in clearing some sections for us on Saturday.   Thanks also to the section setters, in particular the help from Mal Loone, Tony Wild and Daniel Parker who are not members of the organizing club but did a great days work.  Likewise, a big thanks to Jill Loone and Robyn Parker who again are not members of TCV but generously did the booking in and scoring.  It is the lack of club partisanship and willingness of competitors and their family to help all riders and all organizers irrespective of the club they are from that helps make Victorian trials such an enjoyable sport.  It also helps Victoria successfully host the Australian Championship in its turn. Thanks also to the South Australians and those Victorians that travelled from the East of Melbourne to attend and we hope the days competition and fun made the trip worthwhile.

TCV believes the event was a success and will look to organize it again in 2004.  We will search for nearby land that we can access that will provide a greater selection of terrain.  If this is not possible the Stawell Motor Sport Club is happy to manipulate the quarried rock to create new sections and to make their facilities even more available, including overnight camping – so stay tuned.

On behalf of all off the South Australians who made the journey to Stawell, thank you for the excellent event and I am sure more Crow Eaters will make the trip next year. See you all in September.

Peter Arnold