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Broadcast production of TARGA Great Barrier Reef will continue unabated and distributed to its huge national and international audience ahead of the Cairns-based tropical tarmac rally thanks to TARGA TV boss Ben Sale going to extraordinary lengths to get himself to Cairns.
The third instalment of the signature North Queensland event from September 4 to 6 has involved massive logistical challenges for organisers and competitors in the wake of lockdown and border closures during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Sale is the key to the show being produced because of his long background in covering TARGA events and his understanding of the course, the competitors and the logistics involved.
To ensure he can be in Cairns in time to produce the show, the Victorian-based Sale has gone to incredible lengths in order to keep the highly polished TV, media and online broadcast of the event on track.
Sale is currently in mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Howard Springs facility about 30km south-east of Darwin after recently arriving from his base in Melbourne.
The owner of Other Side Productions developed his passion for TARGA events at a young age watching the event off old VHS tapes. Now he has the job of bringing all the action to TARGA fans, young and old, here in Australia and right around the world.
“It’s been an interesting journey,” Sale said.
“I had to get out of Victoria and arrive in Cairns COVID-19 free. So I worked out the best way was to travel via the Northern Territory to complete my compulsory quarantine and then travel to Cairns from there.
Crucially, Sale will oversee a team of seven staff, all from Queensland, who are essentially new to TARGA competition.
“The crew that we are using is predominantly local with two guys from Brisbane and the others (six in total) from Cairns.
“It’s essential that I’m on the ground in order to ensure the usual quality of the show because tarmac rallies are such a challenge logistically compared to any other motorsport event.”
"It'll be a long trip... first to Darwin for the two weeks, a few extra days here and then a flight to Brisbane and then Cairns. All up its about 7,400 kilometres"
"I can’t wait to get over to Cairns for the start of TARGA Great Barrier Reef - it's an amazing event in a really special location. I love seeing how the people of Cairns and Tropical North Queensland get behind it. It doesn't get much better than seeing some of the world's best cars competing on what have to be some of the most scenic and challenging roads in Australia.
"The great thing about what we do is that it showcases TARGA and Tropical North Queensland to the world. Last year the show was aired locally on Channel Nine and FOX Sports, and in 189 other countries."
The only tangible difference with the coverage will be that renowned rally commentator Colin Clark, who is affectionately known globally as ‘the voice of rally’, will not be travelling from his UK base, but he will still be doing the voice-overs for the vision.
Sale will be permitted to leave Howard Springs when his quarantine period ends on August 28.
For all the latest information on TARGA Great Barrier Reef including stage and road closure information, click on targa.com.au
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