I’m really annoyed that for the first time in 19 years I couldnt be bothered making the trek to Bathurst this year for the event.
The do gooders have absolutely destroyed what used to be an Ozzy institution and right of passage with their family friendly rules and regulations. For the past 18 years in a row, me and a group of about 20 blokes have knocked off work on thursday and headed up to our pre booked camp grounds at McPhillamy Park and settled in for 3 full days of raucous partying and fun.This year only 5 guys have gone.
The Bathurst experience has been totally devastated and tamed down to the point that an RSL club is a wilder day out. When I first started going I was 17 and thought I was bullet proof…until I hit the mountain and realised just how far down the totem pole I really stood. What an eye opening experience that was to say the least! Mad buggers running around causing havoc, pissed bogans cutting down telegraph poles with chainsaws, cars on fire, brawls, burnouts, circle work in dedicated donut arenas, totally excessive drinking, massive parties and 3 days of very little sleep…I was in heaven.
People used to walk around filming the whole thing, then making dvd’s that were sold the next year. The series was called ‘go hard or go home’ and only the craziest buggers made it onto film. I made the cut one year when I had a knuckle with a Hells Angels maggot who hit me in the face with a lit dunny roll soaked in kero. This was the motto of life on mount panorama for many years to come. 10 000 + lunatics…mostly men all there for the same reason. To get loose and enjoy the great race. We had a motorised keg trolley complete with tv, barbeque hotplate and esky that was a mainstay up there for at least a dozen years. We’d need one ute for the trolley, one ute for the bags, one for all the food, 3 utes for the camping stuff and another for the 6 kegs minimum that we would take with us. It was a huge logistical effort just to get us there! Other peole were even more adventurous. There were people in hovercrafts, on lawn mowers with v8s running them, motorsied lounge chairs that shot fireworks like cannons, uni cycles powered by lawn mower engines…it was side show alley.
Every morning you’d get up from your couple of hours of sleep and go straight down to the track with the trolley, hit the keg up for a heart starter whilst cooking breakey and watch the convoy of dumptrucks making their way through the crowd to pick up all of the cars that were desttroyed the night before. You would then settle in for another day of craziness. It was like everyone there was on a bux party. i have made many friends over the years with other attendies that we would only run into for the 4 days a year we were there. They are my Bathurst mates.
Then the nazis started coming in. About 8 years ago they tried to put a lid on things when on the friday they brought 100’s of security gaurds in to put a lid on activities. After a very long night for them they packed up and were gone by the Saturday night. That however was the start of things to come. The very next year they came back at least 500 strong with 100’s of coppers as backup. They bashed a few people and word got around which sparked a massive riot that lasted for hours. This was exactly what the do gooders wanted and allowed them to completely sanatise the event from that day forward. Bathurst as it was, was never the same again. Fast forward a few years and just about everything was banned. No more kegs, no more bottles, no more fireworks, no more motor bikes or anything motorised, no more lounge chairs that had been engineered to run off a v6 motor…the lawn mower that ran off a 350 chev were all gone. In their place were families, clowns making baloon animals and grog tents where you had to pay $8 for a beer. Music wasnt allowed to be blasted anymore and people were getting arrested left right and center for drunkedess. They had succesfully killed the last bastion of adult maleness. It has steadily got worse ever since.
What used to be an event attended by a pretty rough crowd was now like a picnic in the park for wankers with gel in their hair wearing designer clothes and posing for the whole world to notice. Gone were the bikies, bogans and scoundrels and in their place metros and families. It completely sucks. The bottom of the hill was for the nancies and was kid friendly but the top was for the nutters. Now the whole mountain is for them.
I will never, ever go back to Bathurst…I barely even watch the race anymore. Such a shame…
I here thee.
It improved last year from the absolute crack down of the first year the riot squad.
One year we watched a guy whose car was mucking up kick the living bejesus out of it and take to the engine with an axe in a drunken fit. Than the hilarity of the next day showing him the video proving he had done it himself.
Our camp ground was at the back of Reid Park. Two years ago a camper van with a family arrived two spots down. It made everyone who remembered the good days a little bit dirty.
FTR I have not watched a V8 event on TV since Seven bought the rights back. The same network who said the V8’s were dinosaurs and that 2l super tourers were the way of the future. The entire reason the v8’s lost the long weekend slot in the sporting calender.
I have mates up there again this year and might make the trek for race day but it is getting harder to justify.
I miss the days of the old bull pen though
Yeah the good old bullpen…there was some awesome stuff happen in there…remember the dunny roll wars at night time lol it was what I’d imagine medieval battles were like.
I remember when the Nissans were up there and there was a cocky lebo fella in the ring with his rotary cutting hoops and then he stalled it. It was hillarious seeing his sheer panick in trying to get it started when a fat truckie burst into the pen with his Kenworth screaming out the window “get outta the way wog!!!” lol.
Oh the memories…
Flaming dunny rolls, shooting fireworks at each other. It was all good.
One year I rocked up on Friday morning and there was a drunk chopping a metal light poll with an axe. Come Sunday night it was being towed through the bullpen behind his old Kingswood.
Memories to last a lifetime
haha yeah it wasnt fully lawless but damned close!
I used to love those blokes that had ride on mowers with 350 chevs under the hood they’d join them up and tow 5 trailers behind them….1st trailer had a bar on it with stools and all, 2nd trailer had a dj blasting tunes, 3rd trailer had 2 daytona machines on it, 4th had a swimming pool and the 5th was a barbeque - all powered off genies…it was like a double prime mover road train.
Then there was mattress man who had his mates sew him up inside a single mattress with only his head, arms and legs poking out. He used to climb up on the dunny blocks with his bike and perform stunts lol.
I am coming over all nostalgic. Great times. What I imagine Lord of the Flies would be like with alcohol and engines.
Makes the corporatism of the sport sadder
Yeah certainly does. I love the old footage of the drivers changing their own tyres on the side of the track as toranas and coupes fly past them.
Were you up there the year Brocky died? The whole mountain was like a wake…a celebratorary one at that! fantastic atmosphere all weekend. That was probably the last good year I had up there. The jackboots let us get away with murder that weekend. I remember we were sitting aroung a fire having a couple of hot ones when some coppers walked past. They must have smelt it because they immediately came over. They sat around and chatted with us for half an hour, reminising, telling jokes etc…then when they left they slyly said rightio boys back onto the grog you’ve had enough of that stuff lol…
They were cool, werent heavey handed and it made for a great party.
Missed the memorial year because of work commitments.
I feel your pain Stryker. I just got home from Bathurst and I think this year will be my last. Been goin since 2000 and it ain’t the same anymore
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Anyone remember the chair of death? It was a lounge chair tied to a tree, you sat in the chair and they spun you round and the tension of the ropes would have you sittin 15 feet in the air. Then they’d let you go and you’d do about 5000 revolutions and when you got off you would have to try and make it into their pool of empty cans while being dizzy as all hell. Ahh the good old days……
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