So, the second round of the ARC is now complete, and I am preparing for my trip overseas. Before I start posting about my trip, I’d like to finish up my visit to Western Australia and the QUIT Forest Rally.
Following on from my previous post – after recce, Nigel and I managed to nut out exactly where we wanted to go for the weekend. As I mentioned, this round gives us ample opportunity to reach quite a few spots. Based on our plans, on Sunday alone, we could each get to 6 different spots. More on that later.
On Fridays the ARC hosts the Power Stage, being one run, 1 chance to make the final cut to gain a few extra bonus points that can be crucial at the pointy end of the year.
The Busselton Jetty area has hosted the Super Special Stage as well as the Power Stage for 5 years. It’s also the official ARC photo location. Unfortunately, this year we didn’t have a great number of teams competing in the outright component of the series. None the less, the teams lined up, to prepare for an exciting long weekend.
Nigel and I decided to have a night off from chasing the light. Instead we decided to work on our plans for the weekend, get an early night, and recharge for a long couple of days.
Heat 1 results were of no surprise, Brendan Reeves and Scott Pedder led the charge with team mates Adrian Coppin and Tony Sullens swapping positions all day. Unfortunately for Mick Patton and Bernie Webb (Repco Rally Team) their weekend was over pretty quickly, after suffering an electrical fire, after two stages. Local competitors, Razman Vlad and Daymon Nicoli, had an unfortunate rollover, which not only ended their weekend, but also landed Nicoli in hospital. Thankfully, he was later discharged with no serious injury. Alan Roe and Steve Glenney performed well in their Focus having only rejoined the ARC this year in their new car.
David Adamson (Mr iKopter) was hovering around this weekend. This guy has flown the Dakar Rally and more WRC rounds than you can count. David is regarded as one of the best helicopter pilots in the world, and will feature heavily on Sunday afternoon :).
Heat 2 began with a bright start for me. Being an early start, meant I would catch the sun rising as I drove towards the stages. With low level clouds, and the fog hovering, the bright yellow light blasted its way through, creating a bright yellow glow over the country side. I pulled over and grabbed a couple of frames. It was an awesome sight. Prior to the shot below, there were over 100 kangaroos all watching my moves. If only they hadn’t moved …
With the Repco team out of action, they were spectating at one of the spots I was covering. Mick Patton decided to play photographer, and grab one of my cameras. He had me do the obligatory duckface pose for his first photo. Yes, I am a dick 🙂 (written by Brenda).
As I said David would feature heavily on the Sunday, as would I.
David and I had a chat early Saturday morning, about the possibility of Nigel and I getting up in the chopper, but it went no further than that. Come 1pm Sunday and with just two stages left, we got the call that David could take us up – WOW!!! HOLY CRAP!! WOW!! Having never been in a helicopter, let alone harnessed in and hanging out on the skids, I was slightly apprehensive. Luckily, I didn’t have too much time to think about, and just went for it. Exciting stuff!
David is as professional as they come, however being Scottish, he is a little bit cooky, but I had faith. It was AMAZING, to get the different angles, was the best rally experience I have had to date. I really have to thank David and Nigel for the experience. Make sure you check out Davids website and some of his work – http://specialisthelicopters.com.au.
Below are shots by Nigel, of me preparing for the ride, then the images from the chopper follow.
And so that ended a successful round 2 of the ARC, and one of the most rewarding and enjoyable photographic weeks I have ever had. The entire trip rekindled my love of photography, not that I had lost it, but the excitement you get as a photographer chasing the light can sometimes fade as you get caught up in the business side of things.
The next couple of weeks will be fairly intense as I finalise my plans for my upcoming trip. Make sure you are following ‘Behind VM’, my instagram feed and my facebook page where I will be posting daily during my 51 day adventure around the world.