Our decision to postpone the 2016 Sunraysia Safari Rally was an extremely difficult one, but given the extraordinary amount of rain in the region, it was very clearly the right call. We agonised over simply delaying the rally for 6-8 weeks, but as it transpired, that time was when the most significant rainfall occurred, so had we tried to run then, we’d probably still be digging vehicles out now! So whilst it cost us a little in financial terms, I’m very comfortable that our responsible approach to the welfare of both our competitors and officials, and the property owners and staff, will provide us with a large amount of goodwill into the future.
We’ve been patiently waiting for the water to subside, and only recently we’ve got the go ahead from the property owners to get back onto their properties. Even now there is still a large amount of standing water in the region. Indeed, the Murray River is still in flood, and only peaked earlier this week! Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all effected by the flooding, and also the unbelievable storms that lashed the district a couple of weeks ago. The one upside to all the rain is that the farmers are expecting bumper harvests, which have commenced just recently. We reckon they well and truly deserve it!
We’ve just come back from a very successful two weeks in the Sunraysia region, assessing the course, meeting with property owners and other members of the community. We have to alter some of the original course due to the weather, and subsequent stock movements, but the good news is that we’ve been able to secure additional properties to use, which will result in some sensational stages! We set a new 133km section that really does have something for everyone, and there’s plenty more to come! We’ll head back up to piece it all together in early February 2017, once harvesting is completed.
Rest assured, we weren’t just sitting around doing nothing waiting for the ground to dry out! We used that time to seek additional corporate support, and establish more connections to help us promote the event to competitors. This revitalisation of Cross Country Rallying in Australia depends entirely on the support of competitors and corporates alike, and I’m relying on everyone to spread the word! If you, or a company you know, can help us in promoting and supporting the rally, please get in touch. We can’t do it alone!
The Supplementary Regulations should be available in February, once the Course Survey is complete, so we can add any relevant information. Entries will open as soon as the Supp Regs are published. Some forward thinking competitors have already booked accommodation at the Big 4 Golden River Holiday Park, which is the Event HQ, so I wouldn’t leave it too late if you’re planning on staying there!
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my team for their absolute dedication and support, in what has been quite a difficult and stressful environment at times, particularly when we were deliberating over the 2016 event. The assistance we’re receiving from the property owners and local communities has also been overwhelming, and it is shaping up to be an exceptional event. Make sure you’re a part of it!
Be sure to also check out our 'Events' page to keep updated on Sunraysia Safari Rally news and event information. As always, if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
On Survey! Part of the new 133km section “Mulurulu”, which we set in November