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SQTA's JGI Event Report

7th Jul, 2014 | Ian Rogers

SQTA held the Jeff Gough Invitational trial on Sunday creating a 20 Section 6km Loop for something completely different.  No need to say that everyone had a great days riding under perfect Southern Queensland winter skies finishing the day with a free feed and full compliment of trophies.........for a change!

With over 70 “Expressions of Interest” received by the closing date, and after subtracting the predictable no shows that a noncommittal event like this sadly brings, we still topped out with a manageable and close knit 60 entries for the Jeff Gough Invitational this weekend with a touch over half a dozen non-members included in the mix.  Held at the ever popular and excellent Hinchcliffe property in one of the many scenic hinterland valleys south of Canungra and with near perfect winter weather, albeit chilly mornings, those very same 60 riders arrived having no idea what a treat they were in for.

There were five hardy souls who tested the Friday night conditions and who were rewarded with torrential rain early on Saturday morning plus a pea soup fog blanketing the property until the sun hit the yardarm at 7.00am. By 9.00am the early arrivals started filtering in and by dinner time we had over 2 dozen folk all dressed like Michelin Men fighting for a spot around the fire, not to mention a piece of Denys Reed’s 55th Black Forest birthday cake.  He doesn’t look a day over 63 to me.

For this event the decision was made, maybe a little hastely in hindsight, to create a 20 Section loop, as this property lends itself to, and with the grateful help of over 17 helpers over two weekends, and a great deal of effort, we managed to achieve it and with great success.  The 6km loop stretched over three valleys which included a smorgasbord of terrain types offering everyone more variety than they have ever had before, from slippery creek sections, rocky outcrops,  dusty banks, spaghetti sections and last but not least our ever popular rainforest Sections.  The loop was made that much more interesting with the inclusion of a black diamond white knuckle downhill shortcut track from Section 14, for those after a challenge.  There was even an easier track back for the fainthearted that added to the loop length but was nonetheless as scenic as everywhere else.

Before I get ahead of myself, Sunday morning broke clear and sunny and we had pretty much everyone Signed Up by 8.30am, bar one heavy sleeper, and to all our surprise even Tim English was front and centre!!!!!  By far the hardest issue we continue to deal with is getting riders to Rider Briefing but after much haranguing and horn blowing we finally had the bikes corralled and a captive audience by 8.45am ready to be briefed and right acted before our traditional 9.00am start.  The deal with this event was to have one lap completed prior to our 12 noon Lunch Break, which did a few heal dragging heads in, but with three hours to achieve it everyone had plenty of time to take their time and enjoy the journey and in fact all made it quite comfortable, even Les & Frithy surprisingly!  There were even a couple of groups, who shall remain nameless, who managed to complete two laps before lunch, so the jury is still out over the heal draggers and the time needed to get them going!

With 6 Sections within easy walking distance on the Mountain Bike/Park Ferme side of the property, and 4 others only a couple of hundred metres away, fully Observed and the other 10 over the far side Rider Rotated it made for a diverse 50/50 days riding, doing your bit on one half and being treated on the other, and many thanks must go to all the Observers who never seem let us down, with special mention required for Russell Flack who performed above and beyond the call of duty observing all day only six weeks after open heart surgery.  That one’s going to be hard to beat!!!  He even witnessed the only incident of the day when Johnnie Barwick disembarked his bike in front of him injuring an old road bike injury from years ago and needing medical treatment from our medico Darren.  At least he helped us get our monies worth for Darren’s services and we hope he mends quickly.

With proceedings ceasing at 2.30pm, and while the sections were being pulled in and scores tallied, the Barbeques were fired up by Kris & Bootet in readiness for the influx of hungry riders, Observers and associated family members.  That kept everyone busy while the finishing touches were being done to the scores and Trophy Presentation took place just as the sun was setting over the western hill making the temps drop dramatically.  It was extremely rewarding for the committee, and especially yours truly, to see 98% of everyone hang around for the Barbeque and Trophy Presentation and by doing so you make all the hard work that goes into these events worthwhile for those that put their hearts and souls into them and just maybe making us all the more motivated to continue doing it, so thanks.  Speaking of Trophies thanks to Steve Schneider for the excellent Camphor Laurel bases and JB for the acrylic, they were certainly some of our best to date.

There is no doubt that everyone involved in this unique event had a memorable weekend, as was evidenced by the number of riders waxing lyrical about the format at the end of the day, and based on that feedback, just maybe we’ll do it again someday soon.

Thanks to Noel Elliot who arrived unannounced and took some sensational photos in the process. Click on the following link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106804906375834009288/posts/JJ6smt9ufB8

 

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