Day 15 for Double Trouble in the Outback Air Race 2001

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Adel's Grove to Mt Isa

Like all good things, the Outback Air Race is also drawing to a close today with the final leg being flown from Adel's Grove to Mount Isa. While the official racing is finished, the race director decided that we should have a fun race nonetheless and to this end had a Race Lottery the previous evening:

Team names were pulled out of a hat with the teams then being able to nominate who they would race against. When the Ashburton Mineral name came up, they were convinced to have another Grudge Match against Double Trouble.

After a leisurely breakfast, we headed out to the strip and prepared our trusty stead for the day's flying. As it turns out, we lived up to our role of Air Race Taxi once again, this time giving Kelly, a radio journalist from ABC Carpentaria, who had spent the previous evening interviewing some of the contestants, a ride back to Mount Isa. Here she is seen talking to Rogooooor:
The Ashburton Minerals really did not want another race and suggested that we give the committee a draw. So with this in mind it was decided that both teams nominate the same race time of 42min 00sec and the GPSs be carried in the one plane - this of course resulting in the same time being recorded. The Temperamental Vintage Nomads, not having enjoyed a great race season, decided to follow suit by also nominating 42min 00sec and entrusting Double Trouble with their race GPS.

This now left us in a bit of a predicament, as it would be difficult to try and get the race GPSs handed in to the officials, namely the Marshal's, without arousing any suspicion. However, a diplomatic solution was found: the Marshal's too had had a mixed bag of success - on previous occasions leaving their race GPS behind, tracking to the wrong points and even forgetting to nominate a time before departure - and thus were in a receptive mind to also being able to post a good result on the final day. So they too nominated 42min 00sec and gave us their race GPS.

The ensuing flight to Mount Isa was fairly uneventful, except for the finish point of the race leg: this turned out to be nothing more than a pump shed at the bend of a river. Jens managed to spot this just in time to give Dirk, who was flying this leg and called out seconds to target, the final visual lead in directions. We were reasonably confident of having achieved an arrival within two seconds of the nominated 42min 00sec.

Following our arrival in Mount Isa, we duly handed our Race GPS in to the Marshals ... as well as a few other's ...

Having gotten back to civilisation - which included the first sealed runway since Townsville - we were amazed to find It's Showtime Again taxi to their parking spot in their red Mooney ... with the rubber contraceptive device still firmly in place over the rotating beacon. From this we concluded that they either We'll give them the benefit of the doubt and will assume the latter.

So overcome were we with being back on sealed roads etc, that we nearly left our costumes for the night's ball behind in the plane. Jens just remembered in time and we got the taxi to wait while he retrieved our suits. Alas, we also left our camera behind in the plane - hence the rather distinct lack of pictures on this page.

Upon arrival in town, we then readied ourselves for the forthcoming festivities at Wild Colonial Ball that was to conclude the race that evening. These preparations entailed trips to the laundromat, buying additional costumes and giving advice to the Temperamental Vintage Nomads, who, following a degeneration of their team name into the TransVestite Nomads early in the race decided, to live up their name. Seen here at the ball are Ralph of the TVNs and Ian Jones of the Worsley Aluminators enjoying each other's company.
The Wild Colonial Ball was held at the Irish Club in Mount Isa. Eagerly awaited was the result for the first place. After the main course we then finally learned that during their three leg Race Off from Undara to Adel's Grove, Thus the official winners of the 2001 Outback Air Race were Ross Scanlon and Belinda Curry of the Whitsunday Wookies

The real winners of the race, however, was the Royal Flying Doctor Service with a total of nearly A$90,000 having been raised by the 2001 Outback Air Race. In recognition of having raised the greatest amount of money the Pilbara Pebble Mouse were crowned Charity Queens:

And very fetching they were too in their regal attire.

Also presented was The Spirit of the Air Race Award to Ken Hocking and Noel Schwarz for their work and time volunteered during the Air Race.

Astute followers of the race will notice that Ken finally managed to front up to a real hairdresser in Mount Isa and is shown here for the first time with a uniformly shorn head.

Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all, particularly once the bands struck up a few tunes. Even Dirk, aka Thornton Powell Smythe III, ventured on the dance floor with his 'wife' Sherrel O'Neil, aka Samantha Powell-Smythe.

Nonetheless, in light of the long day in the air ahead on Sunday heading back to our respective ports of call around Australia, a number of teams called it an early night.

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