Cootamundra Sprints

One of the jewels of the NSW motor sport calendar



What a great spring start for 2015!

No matter where you drove from, Cootamundra appeared to be the serious centre of something special -- and even Cootamundra people came.

The spring colours were splendid: the Cootamundra wattle, the green green grass of the airport itself, the rolling fields of bright gold canola, the sketchy pink and purple newly blossoming trees of prunus and more. It was cold, but only at night.

Our day in the Cootamundra sun was fantastic-- a perfect Spring Start.
The VSCCA's organization matched the day, like the furiously paddling swan all calm and elegant on the surface with all the hard work concealed from our view.

John Lackey's pre event drivers' meeting was a masterpiece, consisting of " First the Bad News: no warm ups after you cross the entry strip. And  the Good News: enjoy yourself. Thank you"  

Tim Shellshear's financial summary was also a masterpiece: " For the first time we made a profit, perhaps $10. We plan to invest it wisely."

Accustomed as I am to some  CAMS events where pain, suffering, boorish official conduct, punishments, fines,  lectures, threats, and other samplings of Losing the Original Message are the norm, the VSCCA showed clearly how Real Motor Sport CAN be done.  

Roll on September 2016 when the VSCCA really does return to its roots and show us 40 years on how Real Motor Sport was done way back then.

The Cootamundra event  deserves indeed demands strong support from all VSCCA members because it is an absolute jewel of the NSW motor sport calendar, and is a worthy project for the
VSCCA's future.

You should be there next time.

The timing equipment failed, but was jury rigged into place without too much visible fuss, and it really was a case of " who cares, anyway?"

We had new visitors amongst us and they didn't fuss either, hurling their hairy legged mainly V8 drag-oriented vehicles down the airstrip at great velocities, with much sound and fury. The contrast they provided was illuminating and I for one enjoyed their presence.

They also added to Tim's coffers. They also implied we need more VSCCA cars on the airstrip. You should be there next time.

As usual we had Victorian competitors cross the border to enjoy the like-minded company and the sport. A Frazer Nash and GN fest resulted, including a slowest time of day record from Brendon Dillon's aero-engined GN with building instructions written on its timber firewall and an owner- cast crankcase, but only narrowly behind Jeremy Morris' marvellous 1921 GN looking the genuine article after pleasing us mightily at Winton Historics last May.

Phil Guilfoyle's Frazer Nash was much quicker, and Grant Cowie volunteered to be maître de start and public speaker, both with commendable success. The GN Aero's day will come.
Vauxhall 30/98 was represented only by Richard Walton, reminding us that next March it will be 100 years since Boyd Edkins in "Fifty Bob" A Type cracked the Melbourne- Sydney record, an event surely worth commemorating by this club. There were other Vintage cars and related cars, but this event needs more in future.

I found lots of fascinating cars and fascinating  people among the assembled : the customary interesting Morgans including that of Todd Hamilton, we explaining to one another that we had first sighted one another a puny 65 years ago, with photo to prove it; Steven Watson's neat little Delta Ford one of three built by Ron Shirley and Geoff Graham the first with a Vincent V twin, Stuart Saunders' Jensen Jaguar Special first sighted by me with its long nose at a Canberra sprint near the Art Gallery when I overheard one onlooker say quietly "Apparently the body was the first done by a surf board builder", the reply being "It shows"; a veritable army of Snapes and in laws, three generations competing cheerily on the day, Alanna close to the Most Runs record in competition not just with Glen Nagy in the family Alfa Zagato,  but with the Lotus Elises of Syd Reinhardt and Ashton Roskill; Tony Caldersmith's neat Amilcar Ford B since last seen has grown guards and very neat little Bleriot head lights; J C Lackey's NZ built yellow U2 with supercharged Cortina power I found fetching; the everpresent Rees McKay had only one Riley present, consigning Sterling elsewhere; longtime competitor (like most of us) and VSCCA member Greg Mackie STILL competing in his extraordinary VW with no improvement to its flat black paint finish but beating big fat engined things from the Southern Highlands; Bentley Powell in his father Ray-built Riley , the lad so named because his Dad wanted a Bentley; and lots more --- enough to make a wisely invested  $10 profit for the VSCCA.

You should be there next time!

John Medley,  with photos by Robyn Mackay