Day 11 for Double Trouble in the Outback Air Race 2001

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Hughenden to Shute Harbour

The racing for day was a real show down affair - Double Trouble were teamed to race against the Saratoga Saracens. A win against them would ensure that we would climb up the ladder to match their points, while a loss on our behalf would see them pull four points ahead of us. The finish line was the Burdekin Dam Wall and while we were reasonably sure of having achieved a good time, we were not going to claim this one until the result came out.
After being the first departure, apart from the ever early The Marshals, we initially tracked north to have a look at Porcupine Gorge from the air. This extensive gorge extends for many kilometres and is very pretty to look at
The arrival into Shute Harbour is spectacular not only for the magnificent scenery, but also for the fact that the approach to the air strip that is nestled between two hills.
A long final is best culminated in a steep descent profile and even then the mountain to the right seems awfully close. Click on the picture at left to see what it looked like from the cockpit

Upon our landing we awaited the arrival of the remainder of the fleet from the relative comfort of the "Airport" lounge before transferring to our luxurious accommodation in Airlie Beach.

Tonight was set aside for a Red Faces night.

Double Trouble and a half's skit was Engine run-up. Pictured here are: An unsuspecting Ian Jones from the Worsely Aluminators as the starboard engine, Heather as co-pilot, Dirk as Captain, and Jens as the port Engine.

The performance culminated in an engine fire on the starboard engine, necessitating a serious dousing of this engine with lots of water.

The best performance by far went to the Kalgoorlie Goldwings, Michelle and Justin, who payed out on Double Trouble by appearing as Lookinfa Trouble. They went through a protracted pre-start procedure that actually was very close to the truth. And they paid close attention to their costume.
Judge Bow's sitting of the night included a joint hanging for the female parts of the Saratoga Saracens and Double Trouble.

Word had reached the judge that the lengthy delay he encountered waiting for the bus to take him to the hotel was caused by a "young lady" on the first bus telling the driver not to rush back for the next trip as "the rest were all having lunch."

When the race results were finally announced, we found out that we had indeed beaten the Saratoga Saracens.

They had arrived ahead of time and circled to loose time, doing such a good job of it that they then fell behind. Even pushing their plane into a steep dive and approaching VNE (Velocity never exceed) did not allow them catch up.

So we now join the Saratoga Saracens in second place on the turquoise ladder. The Facarwee team is still firmly ensconced at the top.

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