You may not have heard much from me for a while, but let me assure you we've been working flat out on this year's event since not long after the 2018 Sunraysia Safari finished! We've already made significant progress on accessing all new properties in new areas, which should add an exciting new dimension to the rally, with a wider variety of terrain, and hopefully some more challenging tracks as well. My biggest challenge is always finding the balance between too easy and too hard, too rough and too smooth, too long and too short, and then on top of all that, working that in with the property owners to access the tracks in the first place, and utilising what they have offered for the rally.
The dates for the 2019 Sunraysia Safari have been set as September 11-14, based again at the Wentworth Showgrounds. It's a month or so later than we ran in 2017/18, and there's several reasons behind the move; to avoid clashes with other events, to work in with the Wentworth Show (to allow us greater access for our service park), and it will be just that little bit warmer, with a bit more daylight, and hopefully the ferocious wind storms will have blown away by then! We've reverted to a 4 Day Rally (Wednesday-Saturday), as we felt that worked better for everyone, and we've got some pretty big plans for interactions with the local community on the Tuesday, with documentation and scrutineering set for a revamp! The pre-event briefing will again be on the Monday evening at the Coomealla Club, so everyone should aim to be in town on the afternoon of Monday September 9, and be heading for home again on Sunday September 15. A great week of rallying, camaraderie, and adventure!
I'm heading up again this weekend, to continue meeting with farmers, and sourcing the best tracks I can find, often the ones that others can't!! We're pretty excited about what we've got planned for this year: at least 1200 competitive kms over the 4 days, with some very long stages a possibility. In fact, we're looking at reaching those kms with only 3 stages a day, with a couple of stages being "marathons", so competitors will be working hard from start to finish! For those that have competed in either 2017 or 2018, it will be a far greater challenge, and for those new to it, you're in for a great experience.
On the subject of entries, we had a 50% increase from 2017 to 2018, and even at this early stage, we expect a big increase again for 2019. The reality though is that we can only accept another 20-30 entries above last year's numbers (due to scheduling and safety considerations), so it's probable that we may exceed the number that we can allow to enter. So if you're really keen, I strongly suggest you keep an eye out for the Supp Regs, they're currently being finalised and once approved, we'll release them and entries will open at that point. As we did in 2018, you will need to nominate to enter prior to regs being released, so we can give priority to the competitors who've supported us previously. Further details on registering for nominations will be available when we've revamped and updated the website.
OFFICIALS AND CORPORATE PARTNERS REQUIRED!
Like all events, the Sunraysia Safari relies on our team of volunteer officials to keep the rally rolling along smoothly. It's never too early to start planning, so if you're interested in being involved this year, please contact me ASAP, and no doubt we'll find you a suitable role. We've already got most of our road crews sorted, and some of our control crews are returning for another week in the NSW outback, but there's lot of positions still available! It's a great way to be involved, and see what Cross Country Rallying is all about, in a spectacular part of Australia.
The same applies for anyone interested in getting their business involved as a Corporate Partner of the Sunraysia Safari. Our profile and exposure are growing at an unbelievable rate, and the opportunities we are able to offer are truly unique, and represent excellent value for money. On top of all that, you'll be supporting the ongoing viability of the event; we don't require a huge investment, but we certainly need some assistance in covering the costs of staging the rally. For further information please contact me directly.
2019: New Year, New Classes!
We've been inundated with enquiries regarding vehicle eligibility, and as a result, we're introducing a class for Sidecars, and expanding the Classic Rally Car\PRC Rally Car Class. So for everyone with a "conventional" rally car, you're more than welcome, and capable, of competing in the Sunraysia Safari. It's the largest rally in Australia (in terms of competitive distance), and in terms of value for money, it's also the best in Australia, by quite a margin! The course will be able to be completed, probably with less wear and tear (definitely better on tyres!) than you'll experience in a normal forestry type rally. Come and experience a real long distance event, with diverse terrain and stunning scenery, amazing people and an unforgettable adventure! You really won't regret it.
SEPTEMBER 11 IS NOT FAR AWAY!
We're going to be making some exciting announcements regarding the event's future in the coming month or so, and we're working flat out to make the 2019 Sunraysia Safari the best yet. We're redoubling our efforts, and our commitment to the rally and the community, and we're hoping everyone will get on board again for an epic adventure! Competitors, Officials, Corporate Partners, Landowners, and the local communities all play a critical role in the overall success of the rally, so get involved, and get cracking, because it will be September before you know it!
Keep an eye out for further updates, and as always, if you have any further queries, please contact me at any time.