Rich River Trial route takes shape
- 3rd June 2008, 8:26am
Surveying has commenced for the 2008 Rich River Trial, scheduled for Saturday, July 12.
In the same way that last year’s highly popular event followed the theme of the 1977 Riverland Rally, this year’s event will follow the theme of the of the 1978 Readyplan Rally. The 1978 Readyplan was a four-day event covering nearly 2500km over six divisions. Starting in Echuca, it travelled as far west as Renmark in South Australia and north to Pooncarie, before returning to Echuca via Mildura, Balranald, Swan Hill and Deniliquin.
This year’s Rich River commences with a 130km afternoon touring section to the west of Echuca, stopping at Cohuna for a one hour dinner break. This encompasses much of the first division of the Readyplan, which was never actually run, due to wet weather. So, for those who entered the Readyplan 30 years ago, here’s a chance to finally contest these sections!
After the dinner break, crews will contest two stages in the red gum forests of Gunbower Island, used for the first time since the 1982 George Derrick. From here, the event crosses the mighty Murray River into New South Wales and picks up on the fifth division of the Readyplan with some long sections in the Koondrook and Pericoota Forests as the event heads back towards Echuca.
Initial surveying has found stages of 54km, 37km and 35km, or perhaps the organisers will combine these into a single stage of over 100km!
With a wide variety of driving surfaces and conditions expected for the Rich River, including earthen roads, creek crossings (could be dry or wet), sandhills, cattle grids, dust (or mud!) and lengthy sections, the event will be an ideal ‘shakedown’ for crews entered in the Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial just eight weeks later. In fact, vehicle eligibility for the Rich River has been expanded to allow most of the same categories as permitted for the Red Centre Trial.
The Rich River finishes back at The Bridge Hotel for the post event social function. The social event was a great success last year that ended all too soon for most. This year, The Bridge has applied for an extended licence to accommodate the event until the wee small hours.
Stay tuned for more news at www.hra.org.au/index.php?q=node/413
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