Spectating 101 – tips for Spectating at The Alpine

Never been spectating before? Even if you have, James Nixon has a few things for you to keep in mind while planning your trip to spectate on the Alpine.

Be a great neighbour

Getting the use of these forests relies on us, all of us, behaving perfectly. Each resident we pass must give us their approval. So please drive quietly, and slowly, to and from the Spectator Points. One bad apple can ruin it for all of us next time.

Park carefully, with a view to leaving.

Like US Navy who got caught out in Pearl Harbour, who now park their ships stern-in, it’s good to always park for a fast getaway. Do your three-point (or, like me, nine-point) turns when you arrive — so you can jump in your car and drive straight-out afterwards. It also makes sense in case we have to evacuate the area in a hurry.

And please always follow the directions of the officials at that point.

Take your rubbish away

Take a rubbish bag (and some gardening gloves if you can). We need to leave these areas in pristine condition, if we wish to be invited in the future. Take any rubbish you find with you. And thank you. We mean it.

No Drones

It’s a condition on the organising permit for the Alpine Rally from both DELWP and CAMS. The use of drones by unlicenced and/or unauthorised operators is prohibited. We have an authorised media crew who employ a licenced pilot and have obtained a permit from DELWP to operate a drone.

Take sunscreen and a hat

Regardless of the cloud level, if you are watching The Alpine Rally, you’ll be needing sunscreen and a hat. The UV level is always high. If the cars are coming-back later … time to reapply beforehand.

Take water

Not enough water = headaches. Take a big bottle for each person and sip constantly. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Our recommendation is drink at least two litres of water per day.

There are no public toilets…

…in the forest. Plan ahead. In fact, between spectator point, don’t go past one without thinking about stopping!

Take food

You won’t die of starvation, but why take the risk? Pick up a couple of salad rolls from the morning’s cafe or petrol station. Always have a few bananas, and a bag of barley sugar for instant energy.

Be prepared for weather

It’s Victoria. For those of you arriving from overseas, you can recognise Victorians by looking in the boots (trunks) of our cars: puffer jackets, scarves, beanies, bathing suits, beach towels, tee-shirts, shorts. Lots of hats. And some chairs. And a blanket.

Be prepared for blistering heat and sun, followed by a cool change, sharp heavy shower, then cold wind straight off the Antarctic. After lunch, sunshine and roasting heat. It’s The Alpine! The snow won’t come until next winter.

About snakes

We’re not in Queensland. We don’t have: salt-water crocodiles, blue-bottle, box or irukandji jellyfish, stone-fish, or deadly funnel-web spiders. But we do have snakes. Happily though, they are allergic to noisy footsteps, so should have left the Spectator Area well before you arrive.

If you are lucky enough to spot one, stand still, and they will probably go away. They only attack if cornered or stood on, so look where you are walking. Like sharks, they are majestic creatures to watch, so enjoy the moment.

Two things to remember: most people get bitten trying to handle snakes, and not all snakes inject the venom when they bite. However, we treat all bites as venomous. In your case, you are more likely to be bitten in the lower limbs.

The experts at AustralianHiker.com.au state:

  • Do not wash or clean the wound, do not try to suck the poison out or discard the clothing. Identification of the snake will be drawn from these areas and will assist with the provision of anti-venom.
  • Stay calm and still until help arrives. Movement will just shift the poison around the body.
  • If the bite is on a limb apply a broad pressure immobilisation bandage along the entire length of the limb from top to bottom. Immobilise the casualty and keep them very still until help arrives. Everyone who bush-walks should have training in First Aid training and should know how to apply pressure immobilisation to themselves or to others in addition knowing how to manage shock and other issues that may arise.
  • Call for help either through your mobile phone (000) or activate your Personal Locator Beacon*.
  • Many websites also suggest marking your skin where the bite occurred to make it easy to identify the bite area.

* At a spectator point notify the Spectator Marshall. They will have radio contact with Rally HQ and instant access to the Medical Intervention Vehicles and ambulances.

About Fires

Can can wreck lives and stop rallies. Big time. The fires around Coffs Harbour recently had massive impact on residents, the region and on Rally Australia.

If there is a Total Fire Ban, or restriction by the Forest Authorities, our rally may be stopped. At any time.

Please calmly follow the direction of our Officials. They are in contact with Rally HQ, but may not be aware of the big picture, so don’t waste their time. If they are asked to clear a Spectator Point, please help them do their job. Each rally car has special fire protection, sadly, not so for each Spectator.

Regardless of whether it is a day of Total Fire Ban, East Gippsland is in a declared High Fire Danger period. Note that if there is “Code Red” fire danger declared our rally WILL be cancelled for the day.

NO fires may be lit anywhere in the forest at any time.

The Disclaimer

This is some legal information you need to read.

Our Officials

The Alpine Rally Of East Gippsland is only possible because of the work of hundreds of our unpaid, over-worked, officials.

There are areas that are off-limits to the public, where rally cars can be expected to be, or end-up during a misadventure. These areas have been selected by professional safety experts. You will be prevented from entering, or remaining-in, them. The rally-stage will be cancelled if deemed unsafe by the Clerk Of Course.

Some of our Officials have just joined-us, are brand-new to the role; and are only doing what we have asked of them. So please be kind to them.

It could be you next time. After all, what better way to see The Alpine Rally up close?

Sergio Automotive

In Bairnsdale is your European car specialist. They are sponsoring our Spectator Instructions and are worthy of your custom. Have your own factory-trained expert work on your car, without having to drive to Melbourne.

Sergio Automotive
21 Campbell Drive, Bairnsdale
0498 003 550

And Importantly, have fun…

After all, that’s why we’re all here. Enjoy your time spectating on the 2019 Alpine.

James Nixon