From tears of generous pride to tears rolling down faces from side splitting laughter. It really was a hilarious night. Especially when RB pulled off a very funny stitch up with a make believe Surfboard raffle. Long story, but trust us when we say it was a scream.
From a night of glitz and glamour to the colour and noise of the start line this morning. With the sparkling water of the Gladstone Harbour in the background and the weather perfectly warm, it was a fantastic way to start the day and get our show on the road.
The guys at GIVIT (Kayla and Ash) have done an amazing job with the media this year and it all showed through this morning with radio, television, newspaper and magazine journalists, photographers and camera crews buzzing around and thriving off the spectacle and excitement. We certainly went off with a BIG BANG, that’s for sure.
The region had quite a bit of rain during the night and although we very nearly had to revert to our Plan B for the day, we made a few finely tuned adjustments and managed to save everything and keep our plan on track, literally. We have an amazing group of volunteer officials that always shine through when the going gets tough. Just like our entrants, they too Never Say Never and do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Not long after leaving the start line we had cars in the bush and tackling their first taste of the RBR. Although only six kilometres long, the first little wacko section proved quite a challenge to get everyone into the groove. There were many roads and tracks to navigate around and we are sure that some cars did thirty kilometres by the time they found their way out. Talk about wacky races, it was quite a humorous sight with navigators laughing and drivers pulling out their hair.
The rest of the day was given the big thumbs up by everyone. Fantastic drive up through the mountains and ranges with spectacular views, very tricky and challenging terrain to negotiate and a sensational lunch stop at Cania Gorge with real wood fire pizzas. All up, a ten out of ten for day one.
Cars are now rolling into our first night’s camp at the Baralaba Showgrounds. This morning they were shining and brilliantly clean, this afternoon they are now starting to look like rally cars.
Great day tomorrow and with a nice seven hundred kilometre course, we will certainly have everyone knuckled down and into our daily rally routine by the time we get to Aramac tomorrow night.
All cars and crews went well today with the only notable happenings being:
Car 62 drove to the start line, but then would not start again. Our second highest fundraiser from Goondiwindi sat flooded and cranking before eventually firing up. Off to a flying start!
Car 012 the Odd Couple had battery problems before making it outside of the Gladstone CBD. Quick trip to a local business solved that dilemma and they are wired for sounds once again.
Car 82, the Lyre Bird Rally team got 500m into the first bush track only to break a front suspension part. Towed backward to the start check point, the workshop boys got in and fixed it in no time flat.
Car 18, Jurassic Park all the way from Roxby Downs in South Australia rode around the whole day with wet squishy seats. They have a soft top Suzuki 4WD and with all the heavy rain last night, discovered it is not quite waterproof. We guess it’s not dust proof either, which they will probably find out in the next few days as we get further west.
That’s our quick report and update from day one, Gladstone to Baralaba.
Our update might be a little later to deliver tomorrow night, depending on how our day goes. Long tough day ahead, just the way we like it.