Musings of a Beverley Race Director

On the day, all will be OK.

The Beverley. SPR are the caretakers of this historical events’ revival. For three years, we’ve hosted this Handicap format race through the rolling fields of the Wheatbelt and Wandoo National Park. Fifty Seven km’s out, turn around, come back. Simple enough, eh?

This thing started as an idea from Mr Vesparazzi – to add a road race to the existing Beverley Heroic weekend. Within weeks I’d found myself newly on the SPR Committee, and a Race Director of a Race that didn’t yet exist, with little experience. She’ll be apples, Mate.

Year 1 and we were 80-odd entries deep, borderline hurricane-categorised weather, two Track World Champs and one Col Tierney on our podium. Year 2 doubled the entries on a scorching heatwave 36 deg October day.

Vollies. Working hard? Photo: Paul George

2018 saw a drop in entries – only two thirds of last years’ entries overall and also for Women. What we also saw was tighter racing, much more accurate handicaps, epic weather conditions (The Beverley in October is a bet-each-way kind of thing) and a great finish punctuated by many moustaches. But we’ll get to that in the Race Report.

Everything we have now has taken the past three years to build. We now have plans, processes, documents, relationships and knowledge in place.

Photo: Paul George

On race day, on course in the Race Director car, it’s a view back to front hitting the road after Scratch group. It’s a lesson in which groups work, which egos break a group apart and tactical sit ups waiting for the next group. I find it really interesting to watch from here, as opposed to racing like at Collie-Donnybrook – a different perspective seeing everything happening and not just your groups’ movements. For me, On Course time is also a meditation on everything it takes to get to this point. Of which there is bloody plenty.

Organised and taking no s*$t. Photo: Paul George

There are a small army of loyal volunteer contributions that make the day run. Most of these SPRouleurs and Ring Ins have been on board previously and keep coming back. Club Community, indeed. These are the Crew that make The Beverley Happen.

Our Rego Desk and Marshaling Crew were:

  • Sarah “Poster Girl” Smith
  • Tracey “The Organiser” Hassell
  • Michelle “B-Train” Bonner
  • Greg “Super-Sub” Jones
  • Al “Curly” Cook
  • Neil “New Face” Gerace
  • Dermot “Man in Black” Blackweir
  • Phil Edwards & Steve Dodd, PDCC “Bondi Rescue” – coming in very late to help us out on Traffic Management.
  • Daniel O’Donohue – MyLaps timing system

The Beverley Convoy was:

  • Lead Car 1 – Bill Darby and Cathi Dixon   #angryduck
  • Lead Car 2 – Adam and Arletta Ralph   #ralpha
  • Lead Car 3 – Eamon Doricott   #ramon
  • Lead Car 4 – Callum Stott and Audrey Xie   #dizzy
  • Lead Car 5 – Paul George and Liam Donley   #georgyboy
  • Lead Car 6 – Andrew and Fiona Williams   #bigwillie
  • Lead Car 7 – Julian Johnson   #vp
  • SAG Wagon – Rob Ramsden   #crumpet
Crumpetvagen, SAG Wagon. Photo: Paul George
Hands inside the car at all times…. ur. Photo: Paul George






In the wrap up post-event, we had run to schedule, on time to the absolute minute, we had no crashes, a record 56 SPR and Dome Team entries registered (half the field!). Some good handicapping resulted in the mix of groups in the leading bunches across the line. SPR as a Club had a smattering of members finishing through the top 20, but the first SPR jersey across the line was David Menarry in 11th. Awesome ride, Dave!

These IKEA instructions make no sense. Photo: Paul George

Despite the EPIC weather, what I saw were massive smiles, generous back slaps, awesome tales and a great vibe. It’s…… it’s just the vibe. There was a palpable galvanising of riders out on the road for this one, working hard in their groups for a poke at glory.

This thing has been a near one man show up until Race Day for all three events. For all the stresses, frustrations and challenges thrown up external to SPR, it has been a very patient, supportive and actively assisting Partner at home that keeps this rolling. I don’t think Rebecca’s contributions rate enough of a mention. She has allowed a lot to be put on hold for me to make the time to do this and has done huge amounts of work herself. So Babe, for the many hours I owe you, thank you.

Now, I’m going to have a sleep.

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