Day 14 for Double Trouble in the Outback Air Race 2001

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Undara to Adel's Grove

This day had originally been set aside by the race committee as a Race Off between the leaders of the tangerine (Whitsunday Wookies) and turquoise ladders (Facarwee) to determine the overall winner of the Outback Air Race - however, at the whim of the race director, it was decided to also have a Race Off between the other respective place holders on either ladder.

In order to determine the third and fourth place, the second team on each ladder, Double Trouble and the Ashburton Minerals in their homebuilt RV6, were pitted against each other.

While our race was the typical time trial between two points, the race leaders, fighting it out for first and second place had been given the more difficult task of having to race over three legs, with the overall leg overlapping the other two.

Click for movie (535KB)Click for movie (2.6MB) Seen here is the gorgeous view of the approach over Lawn Hill Gorge National Park and the arrival at Adel's Grove:

Click on Images to see the movies

Sherrel O'Neil of In Like Flynn was left without an aircraft as her other team members, Lindsay the instructor and Roger the student had to carry out some forced landing practice along the way. No passengers may be carried during these operations.

So today Double Trouble once again performed in its role as taxi (having already carried Koos Roets and the intrepid Heather). Here Sherrel is seen emerging relaxed and refreshed from the Bonanza at Adel's Grove:

Unfortunately the Double Trouble team had to forgo a tour of the gorge, including canoeing etc, as this was scheduled to coincide with the refuelling operation.

As can be seen, out here is not exactly a drive up bowser service, but service with a smile nonetheless:

Good news also reached us that the Saratoga Saracens had managed to have a spare alternator flown to Townsville from Perth overnight and have it installed there in time to get to Adel's Grove before dark to rejoin the race.

This was a brave decision, particularly in light of the welcoming committee awaiting them at the strip. At this lovely sight of the Marshal's Ken Hocking, most other pilots would have applied full power and climbed out again.

While we did not get out to the gorge, Dirk at least did manage cool off in the creek by the campsite. Despite a distinct lack of the advertised fresh water crocodiles, the water could still be described as being nippy.

Tonight's accommodation was in tents, albeit with stretchers, sheets and sleeping bags supplied.

The evening agenda saw a large number of awards being handed out, some of them being:

While the results of the fly off for first place were being withheld that night - to be announced the next evening at the final ball in Mount Isa - we did learn that we had beaten the Ashburton Minerals, according to the race director, with only a second between us.
Finally most of the competitors retired to their stretchers and tried to get some sleep despite the cacophony of snoring emanating from the surrounding tents.

While they were enjoying the sleep of the just, some less than generous souls sneaked out to airstrip to roll one of the aircraft. Usonion readers will know what we are talking about, for the rest of you here are some pictures:

Reliable sources indicate that a total of nine rolls of toilet paper, two rolls of decorating tape and one rubber contraceptive device were used in this artful installation.

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