Navigation Car Rally Whiteman Park to Wilbinga

Trip Leader: Martin & Karen Archer

When: 24th February  2008

Location: Whiteman Park to Wilbinga

Participants:

We commenced at the Visitor’s Centre Car Park at Whiteman Park at 9:00am on the Sunday morning. With 3 no-shows out of the list of 20 vehicles the gathering amounted to 17 vehicles, 2 of which were visitors.
Vehicles were sent on their way in the order that they had arrived. Pat O’Dowd and Tasha were first cab off the rank and headed off determined not to repeat last year’s performance of losing their way. Pat was followed at a timed interval (more or less) by Richard and Helen who had mustered up two friends. Then followed Terry and ace-navigator Liam. Then Jim’s mowing mobile, driven by Carol and navigated by Paul who were destined to verti-mow any green stuff that got in their way. Then followed Team Three Taps with Jason driving and Jane navigating. Guy and Wendy accounted for the 6th vehicle. Then came Stamps and Viv in the ARB on wheels. 40 minutes past the hour Trevor and Rachel tipped into line. Peter and Denise prescribed a winning formula bringing along 5 extra navigators. The Kennedy’s, Russel and 1st lady Jenny headed off hoping not to get assassinated. They were quickly followed by their friend’s Alphabet Andrew and Jody Schostakowski in their SWB Pajero. Peter Johnston (or was that Tony?) and friend Gordon soon followed. El’Presidente with side kick Steve was the penultimate vehicle, with Matt and Amy sailing up the rear just before the hours end.
 
After a few of stops through Whiteman Park to answer questions on park attractions the vehicles were sent on a circuit around Malaga and Alexander Heights. This was so they approached the Gnangara pine plantation from the West. It would have been quicker to access the plantation from the Whiteman Park end; however this was thought to be a little dangerous having the vehicles crossing approaching traffic on the Gnangara speedway.
 
Each contestant was provided with a running sheet of directions to follow and questions to answer along the way. An emergency envelope was also provided for anyone who may have got lost.
The course headed north through the pine plantation, which at places looked like more of a rubbish tip than anything else. The track started off on very rough limestone and eventually became soft powdery sand. The plantation is used heavily by off-road motor bikes and as such, drivers had to be alert at the many track crossings along the way.
 
The tracks followed various powerline systems for about 11 kilometres before crossing Neaves Road into the next section of pine plantation and Wandoo bushland. This section of sand tracks was more user-friendly having been graded for the large logging trucks. After meandering around the various forest tracks the route eventually exited at Ziatas Road, Pinjar.
From there the route travelled along the Old Yanchep Road to Yanchep where it then headed north along Wanneroo Road. Eventually reaching Wilbinga Road, the route once again became an off-road exercise. Wilbinga Road is a very rough lime stone track. It is a good idea to reduce tyre pressures at the start of the track to ease the vibrations from the corrugations and rocky surfaces. Once the coastal reserve is reached the tracks become sandy with a few nasty rocky outcrops here and there. Due to the multitude of tracks crossing each other in the area, it was thought easier to place directional markers for vehicles to follow, rather than attempting to explain the route by way of distance and direction. Several vehicles found themselves on the wrong beach but soon recovered their route to head in the right direction. Also along the route were a couple of scavenger points where participants had to find hidden locations of items to collect for extra points.
 
There were several hill climbs over rutted out sand dunes that posed a challenge for some, but all made it through. That is except visitors Andrew and Jody whose short wheel base Pajero developed engine problems and decided it didn’t want to play anymore. 

Russel and Jenny attached a snatch strap and proceeded to tow them over the dunes and along the track until they met a hill that was too difficult to negotiate. At that stage Paul attached another strap to the front of Russel’s vehicle to form a 4WD daisy chain. This succeeded in pulling the disabled Pajero over the hill. When they eventually found the meeting place, it was decided to leave the broken vehicle at the top of the dunes leading to the beach, rather than tow it down and be burdened with getting it back off the beach later.

 
Upon arrival at the beach four other vehicles, not in our group, had found themselves bogged in the very soft sand. In one instance, a couple of young men in a Suzuki had come ploughing at a rate of knots over the dunes and headed straight for the water. It wasn’t until the last minute they tried to turn…however found themselves sliding deep into the wet sand on the edge of the water. They sat there for half an hour getting washed by waves while their friends reduced their tyre pressures before snatching them out. That will be one rusty Suzuki in a few months time.
 
At that stage we had erected the house of eleven blue bags while the other participants slowly rolled in one by one. The weather was ideal for the beach with just a slight sea breeze. Many made use of the cool ocean water.
 
The benefits of experience were demonstrated by our club participants, who upon recognising the soft sand conditions drove appropriately. Some got a little stuck, but not enough to require snatch recovery. Perhaps the incentive may have been the deduction in points for assisted recovery.
It was about 1:30pm when all but one participant had settled down for lunch on the beach. Peter Johnston was no where to be seen, and a call on the UHF and mobile phone failed to raise him. Radio silence was eventually broken just after 3:00pm when Peter reported in saying he was having difficulty finding the right track. He eventually appeared on the beach some kilometres away, and upon seeing us, knew where he had to be. However, upon trying to drive along the beach he found it was too soft and soon became bogged. He called for assistance, and Terry kindly offered to go and pull him out. But before Terry got there, Peter had recovered the vehicle himself (desperate not to lose those points.). 
Unfortunately for Peter, by the time he got to the destination, it was 4:00 O’clock and things were getting packed away for the trip home. Despite this Peter and his friend said they had had a good day.
 
Russel, Jenny, Andrew and Jody decided to leave ahead of the group just in case they had trouble towing the Pajero to the main road. After a short delay digging his Nissan Ute out of the soft sand, they headed off.
Eventually everyone was packed up, and with Keith leading the way, they headed for Wanneroo Road. Martin, Karen, Richard, Helen and their friends headed back in the other direction to collect the navigation markers and other items that were placed along the track in.
The following is the final scores for the rally. If you don’t agree with the scores, please refer your dispute to www.youtube.com where you may find someone that cares.
CAR RALLY RESULTS
Name
Kilometres
Distance + 15% – travel dist
Questions
Bonus sticks
Recovery bonus or deduction
Total
 
91.7km
 
31
2pts each
 
 
ODOWD
94
35
22
4
 
61
KINGSTON
94
35
30
6
 
71
KEESING
93
35
27
6
5
73
REDDINGS
94
35
26
4
 
65
McCARTHY
99
35
21
0
 
56
LEHMANN
100
35
24.5
2
 
61.5
STAMPALIJA
92
35
30
4
 
69
THEUNISSEN
86
35
31
4
 
70
BELCHER
94
35
29
6
 
70
KENNEDY
93
35
30
2
5
72
JOHNSTON
152
-11
19
0
-5
3
RYAN
92
35
29
0
5
69
SHIPTON
97
35
31
4
 
70
SCHOSTAKOWSKI
 
Withdrawn
 
 
 
 
 
The figures show some interesting results.
Considering the route was a total of 91.7km, it’s amazing that Trevor and Rachel only clocked up 86km. Must be those over sized tyres. They couldn’t have taken a short cut because they managed to get a perfect score from the questions along the way. Matt and Amy were the only other team to obtain maximum points for the questions.
 
Paul Ryan didn’t climb a certain hill to obtain the bonus sticks from a can at the top. He instead plucked a fig from the tree at the base hoping that would suffice. Sorry Paul, no points for that one.
Guy and Wendy lost half a point for spelling Michelin incorrectly. Not bad for a couple that used to run their own service station.
 
Paul and Russell gained an extra five points each for their assisted recovery of Alphabet Andrew. 
I think it may be the first time a ‘daisy chain’ recovery has been performed by the club.
 
Terry Keesing earned another 5 points for volunteering to help Peter Johnston who was stuck on a distant beach. He didn’t get to recover Peter, but I gave him the points just for the effort. 
Those few points gave Terry and Liam the win for the day.  The recovery points made the difference, otherwise it would have been the Kingstons taking the honours.
 
Thanks to all those that participated and to Keith for assisting in pre-tripping the event and helping out on the day.
Martin

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