Day 8 for Double Trouble in the Outback Air Race 2001

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Bourke to Charleville

The day started out with congratulations to Heather on reaching the big three oh. This was followed by breakfast in plastic chairs in the airport carpark.

Crunch time! We are up against the points leaders (at 8 points against our 6 points) today. The race leg, is from a township called Enngonia to a place called Mangalore.

We had every confidence in beating them, not having to divert out attention to details like in-flight refreshments any more more. Heather proved to be a capable attendant.

This time we did manage to start at least one of the clocks on time and we trundled along to Mangalore. Halfway there we heard a local pilot, who was intrigued by some 20 aircraft heading to Mangalore exclaim "Why are youse goin' to Mangalore? There's nuffin' there - The government took the railway siding away years ago!".

Great! Just what we needed - no way to cross-check our position on arrival. And indeed that's exactly what we found: nuffin'

As luck would have it our arrival was well timed. The local horse races were on and we all went off to place our bets with bookies. Placing a quadrella or quinella did, however, prove difficult as none of races had more than six nags trotting along:

Needless to say, we left our money to help with the local economy.

The night's dinner was put on by the local Lions club at the Skywatch Centre, with everyone required to dress up as aliens or something related to UFOs.

Dirk and Jens represented AERO the Alien Elimination & Removal Organisation.

Heather was the most whistled at alien of the night

The Dummy award, which by now consists of: Was awarded by proxy: The bus driver in Bourke did a major dummy spit because he had had to do more trips than anticipated and was worried about being paid.

The committee cannot give the award to people who are not part of the air race, but we do have a bus driver of sorts. Ken Hocking of The Marshals team has a full truck and bus licence and spends the afternoons driving the contestants from motel into town and vice versa. For all of these efforts the race committee decided to make him wear the paraphernalia on the other bus driver's behalf:

PS: Ken has promised not to drive the bus again.

As to the results: The Farcawee increased their lead and left us in their wake!
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