Questions with...

Questions with: Philip Bernadou

Lets meet COT16 Event Director, Philip Bernadou, and get his thoughts as his fifth Classic Outback Trial is just three months away…

Whats your usual role on the COT? What do you do? What do you drive out there? 

Philip Bernadou, at COT 2014 Welcome Function

Philip Bernadou, at COT 2014 Welcome Function

I am the Event Director, and, with the very able assistance of Tom Snooks, Steve Hollowood and Steuart Snooks, I am pretty much responsible for the total running of the event. Our wheels for setting the course has been a rental 4WD, nothing exotic. Continue reading

Questions with...

Questions with: Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett loves the outback and loves rallying… that’s why he comes out as an official on the COT. Let’s meet Bill and find out what he’ll be doing on COT16…

What is your usual role on the COT? What do you drive out there?
I am a Road Official – in other special stage rallies I suppose I’d be called a Stage Commander or Assistant Stage Commander, depending on whether I am at the start or finish. We work as two teams of generally two people.  We head out to the start of the stage, one team stays put and the other will go into the stage and do the “set up” and then, runs the finish control. When Sweep and Recovery arrives, the start control team follows them in and goes through the stage to clean it up. This means is removing all the bunting, retrieving all the signs, putting gates back as we found them and making sure all competitors are accounted for.

Crew around a campfire.

Team E, from COT 2012, hard at work around the campfire. L2R: Ian Barton, Bill, Graeme Hutchinson and Peter Millear. Excellent selfie work by Graeme.

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Questions with: Kaye Kilsby and Lui MacLennan

We usually do these QW posts with a single person. But it never occurred to us with these two COT officials as we always see them as a team. Let’s meet Kaye Kilsby and Lui MacLennan and hear about their plans for COT16…

Whats your usual role on the COT?
We’re one of the Road Crews. Road crews operate in teams of two and the team sets up and runs a stage each day of the event. One crew sets up the stage with control boards, caution boards, bunting etc and then runs the finish control. Then, when the sweep vehicle has closed the stage, the team at the start control clears through the stage, taking everything down and returning it to the pristine state it was in before the COT passed through! Then, we head off to do the same thing the next day. We travel in Trudi, a ’90 Pajero, which competed in the 2008 Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial.

Lui, Kaye and Trudi at the end of COT2014 in Renmark

Lui, Kaye and Trudi at the end of COT2014 in Renmark

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Questions with...

Questions with: Alan Baker

Alan Baker was the COT 2014 roving reporter and master of ceremonies – a he’s coming to do it again in Alice Springs! Let’s meet Alan and get his story…

What’s your usual role on the COT? What do you do?

My role – it’s dubbed “Media” though I don’t work in the media otherwise. The 2014 event was the first one I’d been on, though I’d been keen on it since the first one in 2009 and its’ father, the Red Centre to Gold Coast in 2008.

Bob Watson, Alan Baker and Geoff Hale at Silverton on COT2014

Alan interviewing Bob Watson at Silverton on COT 2014. Geoff Hale doing the camera, err phone work.

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Questions with...

Questions with: Tom Snooks

Tom Snooks is probably *the* most experienced rally organiser in Australia and he’s leading the COT team. Let’s hear Tom’s thoughts as we get closer to the COT in Alice Springs.

What’s your usual role on the COT? What do you do? What do you drive out there?
My role in COT is that of Clerk of Course. It’s different to the usual CoC role in that I don’t go out surveying the course, so I miss out on the pleasures of the course drives to set the event. These tasks are carried out by Phil and Steve, although I do have plenty of Melbourne-based ‘armchair’ input into the broad course philosophy, event scheduling and, in particular, safety aspects. During the event I hold the reins at Rally Control, keeping track of the goings-on while Phil and Steve continue to have a good time driving in the bush! Overnight I handle any issues associated with the competitors, the Stewards, ensure the production of the results and supervise the flow of paperwork.

Tom at the competitor briefing, COT 2014.

Tom at the competitor briefing, COT 2014.

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Questions with: Dr Stephen Gaggin

Dr Stephen Gaggin, from Motor Sport Safety & Rescue,  has been Chief Medical Officer on all except one COT – and he’ll be with us again for COT 2016 in Alice Springs. Let’s hear from him…

What’s your usual role on the COT? What do you do? What do you drive out there?
My usual role is to be Medical Officer on the safety team. We drive a 4×4, kitted out by Motorsport Safety and Rescue with trauma gear. We also add in a “GP” kit for the everyday things that may occur during the course of an event. Ideally, I get to do nothing more than enjoy the event – but the gear is all there if it’s needed.

Dr Stephen Gaggin on COT 2012

Stephen on COT 2012.  

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Questions with: Jim Reddiex

Let’s meet a COT official that everyone likes, but that nobody wants to see during the event – because he drives the sweep car!  Jim Reddiex has been part of every COT, the Red Centre to Gold Coast and much, much more. He’s a member of the Australian Rally Hall of Fame and a genuine rally legend.

Whats your usual role on the COT? What do you do? What do you drive out there?
I drive the sweep car. My vehicle for all the COT’s so far has been my 1999 NL diesel Pajero, which has just ticked over 375000 kms. It has been incredibly reliable but starting to feel its age – which may have something to do with the number of kilometres done on forest tracks and outback roads. Val is pushing me to update, but its like an old pair of shoes that are so comfortable that you hate parting with them. Also seems a shame to take a new car off into the wilds. Continue reading