Shit Box Rally News – Update 1

My old mate John Connolly has taken leave of his senses and is roughing it on his trip from far North all the way to Tassie. No, I am not insane enough to participate. My idea of roughing it is drinking non vintage Moet.

However, enjoy the progress or lack of there off as they make their way to their destination and pray to Virgin Mary, Satan, Krishna and anything else they can think off to even make it half way.

Shit Box Rally – Boîte de Merde Ralley

Rally Preview – Ráli Preview

Hullo sports fans around the globe

Hüllő opadoús tou athlitismoú se ólo ton kósmo

(As you can see, we are going multicultural because of the large number of Greek fans we have this year.)

Greetings from Mackay the Monte Carlo of Australia minus the wine, millionaires, fashion, super yachts, super cars, food, style and sophistication.

For those of you who have never been to this great country or who have never ventured past the eastern suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, Mackay is 1200 miles from Sydney and 3,000 miles from Hobart. It is in North Queensland which many Australians regard as the deep south of Australia. This year we will be driving what passes for a car, our historic Ford ute/pick up/roofless estate the 3,000 miles from Mackay to Hobart. Hobart is actually in Tasmania, that funny looking island that hangs off the bottom of the real Australia. Because we have so many Tasmanian followers (Paul and Joe you know who you are) I won’t make any of those sort of jokes. But let me just quote the Tasmanian Police handbook. “How do you know how many people are taking part in a riot in Hobart? Count the heads and divide by two”.

But don’t worry co-driver, navigator, builder and tinder professional – Jay, has used the North Queensland Michelin guide to book our restaurant tonight. It’s called Wilkie’s and it has a catchy slogan in the manner of Per Se and the Savoy Grill, ‘Cold Beer, Hot Girls’.

Our mechanical mentor, Michael McMichael (so good they named him twice) who is once again taking a BMW (this time a seven series he bought for $500) on the rally sent us a telex with a photo showing he and his daughter Libby having their first beer at 9am this morning. If that doesn’t capture the spirit of the SBR I don’t know what does. You remember Michael from last year’s reports – he’s the one who, when his fuel tank started leaking at night, tried to slip under the car to have a look. Luckily we pulled him out before the gas cigarette lighter he was using as a torch made contact with the petrol.

Well things are off to a great start thanks to the efforts of our car carrier who said they would deliver the car on Wednesday but due to scheduling errors still haven’t found it. But we don’t little things like no car worry us. No siree Bob and Bobette. (political correctness is our top priority). Last year we didn’t have a car after the third day and we still got to the finish.

Once again subtly and sophistication are the hallmark of the participants. Entries include: Chariot of Thunder (see photo), Piston Broke and Where the Falcon Hell Are You (for Greek and other international readers this is a play on the word Falcon and a common Australian expression regarding horizontal folk dancing). Then there is the fully equipped Ford hearse (see photo) which comes complete with coffin that slides out to become a truly awesome sound system.

Tomorrow we start on the misleadingly named Brisbane Street which is near the equally misleadingly named waterfront given it’s one of the largest cargo ports anywhere near Mackay and environs. We are expecting a huge crowd (which is also a comment on the size of many on the fair citizens of this great city) or should that be a huge tattooed crowd, given the locals seem to put tatts on their kiddies from birth. Anyway it’s only a short 640m cruise to the picturesque town of Blackall, the Positano of Queensland’s North West. Attractions include Town Bore No.4 (and haven’t we all met a few of them) and a fossilised tree stump (ditto).

Anyway Antío to you till tomorrow.