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Birth of Rattletrap

It’s mid 2015 and after seeing video hype of events such as TROG (The Race of Gentlemen), Andrew McClelland (Drag-ens President) and a few other club members, commenced discussing the idea of running such an event in Australia.

The first thing needed was a beach! In January, 2016, club member, Garry Ward, contacted Andrew to excitedly advise “We’ve found it!” Whilst on his annual family holiday to Foster, he had scouted nearby beaches and come across the Harrington/Crowdy main beach. It looked suitable for such an event, so a trip was organised for closer examination with a view to having a test run. The guys found they could get a permit to drive on the beach from the local fishing shop, now all they needed was a key for the locked gate to get access to the beach. Further enquiry led them to talking with the local Crowdy Head Surf Club, who could arrange to “….. let you in”.

A weekend was then set for the newly formed Rattletrap Committee to investigate further. This was planned so that on the way home from a Valla Rod Run organising trip, held shortly thereafter, the guys would spend a night at the Discovery Holiday Park in Harrington. The next morning they met at the main beach with a representative from the Surf Club, who unlocked the gate to the beach, then watched and asked what they were doing? Now at this point the guys were thinking that they needed to find that ideal secluded beach where there was no one to upset. 

Well, their new friend from the Surf club (introduced as Adam) had a different idea. In his words “Why would you do it here? There are no facilities, no toilets, no food and our beach (right in front of the surf club) is a better beach to drive on. It’s more protected.” So, the team we went to investigate this alternative beach. The next problem queried was “…..what about all the people we’re worried about upsetting?” Adam laughed “In May? There’s no one here!”  He was right! Crowdy Bay Beach it was to be.

On one of these organising trips the committee started to discuss what to call the event. Many ideas were bandied around, such that on the way home from the trip the guys were still trying to come up with a suitable name.  They came up with a mix of words/terms and then Googled these for other associated phrases or meanings. The word Jalopy appeared through this process, which led to finding that Rattletrap was another term meaning Jalopy.

So now the guys had the perfect name, next was to find out how to get permission to close off an entire section of the beach for the event. An approach to the local Council identified the beach was a reserve managed by NSW Crown Lands, who were then contacted and thereafter the lengthy application and approval process was commenced.

May of 2016, saw the guys back to Crowdy Head for another test run, with two Hot Rods and two Bikes. This weekend was to be a year to the day before the first running of the Rattletrap that gave a real feel for what the day would ultimately be like.

With Applications to Crown Lands and the Council completed, liaison and planning with local community groups organised, insurance sorted, event rules and other applications forms done, almost two years later in the planning, the architects of the event are on the Beach to see the  first Rattletrap come alive.

……. And the rest is history as they say!

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