Over the June long weekend, ten Brush Park Rovers and their car, “Black Betty”, made the long trip down to Mafeking Rover Park in wet and windy Victoria to represent NSW at Mudbash 2005. Mudbash is the world’s largest Rover Scout motorsport event and has been running for over 30 years.

Many hours of hard work had been put into transforming what once was a beaten up, green, Datsun 200B into “Black Betty”- a race car that complied with all the necessary CAMS regulations and had a brand new coat of paint! All this was completed in record time due to the fact that this year’s Mudbash was only given the go-ahead a few months prior, after a lengthy battle over insurance issues.

Arriving late on Friday night, we were greeted by the beautiful Victorian weather (pouring, drought-breaking rain) and around 700 other Rovers. This was by far the biggest event that our Crew had ever participated in and we were all extremely excited. We took “Black Betty” down to the pits where she was scrutinised by CAMS and we took a look at our competitors. I have to say that at this point I was slightly nervous about our chances of doing very well as the Victorian Rovers’ vehicles were pretty amazing. It was obvious that most had taken years to build up and our car looked extremely standard in comparison. Our excitement however wasn’t dampened – although our clothes and gear were!

Early the next morning the events started with the Triple Challenge and Hill Climb, in which Ralph and Scott drove extremely well. After watching many bigger and more powerful cars fail at the hill climb – an event which required driving up a twisting, muddy mountain track – we didn’t hold much hope for our little car. We all stood nervously waiting as Scott took the wheel and headed off. To the chants of “BAM BA LAM” (which I’m positive the whole of Victoria heard) our car made it past nine out of ten markers and finished a remarkable third out of at least twenty cars. Later we were also informed that Ralph also managed to secure third spot in the triple challenge which was one mean feat!

After a quick lunch it was back to the events where Carol took the wheel in the Fillies’ event – she got bogged but put on a very fine show. Danny competed in the giant Motorkhana circuit – he spent more time going side-ways than straight! Ralph again took the wheel in front of a huge crowd for the night-time event where he finished respectably considering he was driving in a muddy bog with standard tyres. With the help of the mixed crew of other NSW Rovers representing Platabeen, Mona Vale, Baulkham Hills, Forest and Razorback Crews, the “Black Betty” cheer squad also made a name for themselves as being the loudest, most excited bunch of them all!

Sunday brought with it finer weather and more success for “Black Betty”. Tim competed well in the NSW-marshalled Mafeking Mile along with Scott in the second Triple Challenge. Nick took on the Obstacle Course which saw “Black Betty” in a strange position – nose down in several inches of muddy water – and with more of a brownish colour. He then took on the Tug-of-War later that night and competed well in the last event of the weekend – as did the cheer squad! A band played late into the night as we all celebrated a really great weekend.

A huge round of applause has to go to the Victorian Rovers who took on the responsibility of running such a large and successful event and to all the extra helpers who gave us a hand at various times. In the final results, we were placed 4th overall – but regardless of the competition we had a brilliant time along the way!

Louise Craft
Brush Park Rover Crew

For more information about Mudbash visit www.mudbash.com