Unlike other profiles, I have never competed in a rally.
My involvement with motorsport began in 1972 when my husband’s membership of the Honda Car Club came up for renewal and I decided I wouldn’t be left out and joined too. I competed in sprints and motorkhanas and left the rallies to Peter.
I was on the HCCV committee from 1972 to 2012 and I organised sprints, motorkhanas and five
Honda Car Club National Meets. I was a member of the Motorkhana Panel and secretary for the
Australian Motorkhana Championship in 1989 and 1994 with Alan Baker as Clerk of Course.
My first Alpine was in 1984 at Bright, manning a control with the Honda Car Club. In the picture I’m reading the instructions meanwhile the rest of the team, having set up the control, are having a game of cricket on the road whilst waiting for the competitors. Who knew then that I’d be churning out instructions for the Alpine myself one day?
I properly came to rallying in 2005, late in my motorsport career. Andrew Roberts (he was a member of the Honda Car Club in its early days) talked me into coming to Lakes to help with the Alpine. My first duty was as a Road Closure official. The next year I joined the HRA and Andrew asked me to be secretary for his Four Pointer Rally. First I underwent a rigorous ‘job interview’ with Stuart Lister. What made me think I could be event secretary for a rally?
In Bairnsdale on the Friday night before the event, Stuart asked, “Don’t you have last minute things to attend to, like most event secretaries”. To which I replied “No, everything is done” which proved to be the case.
For the 2007 Alpine I was lined up to take on the secretary’s role when unfortunately in February I had a stroke and spent the next three months in rehab. When I came home, I needed something to do, so I organised all the documents and prepared the Road Book. Up until then, the Road Book was done on the computer but Stuart used to hand-draw all the tulips at the very last minute (in case anything changed) but I introduced him to computer-drawn tulips.
It wasn’t until 2009 that I took over as secretary of the Alpine and I have done it ever since (except 2015) with my role increasing each year. Most of my work used to take place close to the event, producing all the paperwork. Now I work on the Alpine almost every day all year and I love doing it. I have left sprints and motorkhanas behind and I’m completely taken up with rallying.
In my opinion it’s the most complicated area of motorsport. Unlike sprints and motorkhanas, where all the action takes place right before your eyes, in rallying it takes place out in the forest. For everything to happen as intended, you’d better be sure everyone’s instructions are correct!