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CITTASLOW LIONS GOOLWA GOPHER GYMKHANA, 2011
Report by Edward Booth
The 2011 Cittaslow Lions Goolwa Gopher Gymkhana was run on
Saturday 5th March 2011 from 11:00 to 3:00.
The weather was fine and warm (around 25C). About 250 people
attended as spectators, although a number came and went during
The day was organised by a dedicated team from Lions Goolwa
Peter Goers of the ABC compered the day, with Edward Booth
calling some of the obstacle events. Glen Dix, the legendary
Grand Prix Flagman added colour and spectacle, while Peter
Cannon ran the music on equipment supplied by Roxy Sound of
There were 19 contestants, of whom most were local gopher
users. There were enough to run every scheduled event, and two
events ran to two heats.
The obstacle events were well contested, with nearly every
entrant having a go. There was enough time for each of the
contestants to do up to three runs to try to improve their
performance. The older riders acquitted themselves well, and
spectator interest was high, with cheering and high spirits.
Hedley Freundt set a blistering time of 20.36 second to win
the 75+ section, and also the fastest lap overall. He was up
on two wheels a few times to do it. The crown was gasping. The
fastest under 75 went to Christine Ingram with a lap of 22.30
seconds, which was the second fastest of the day.
The relay event had four teams of three, who competed to carry
their bags of shopping around the circuit without bruising
tomatoes or breaking eggs. The Team of Carol Coventry, C
Sheriff and Patrick Kennedy won in 2 minutes 0.75 seconds, a
full 31 seconds ahead of the runners up.
The flag race was taken out by Ted Bird in 31.76seconds for
the 75+, and Patrick Kennedy won the under 75 with
The drag demonstration was over a very short course of about
50m, and achieved 30kph as measured by the Police laser.
The final race was the F1 Gopher Grand Prix. There were 3
machines, a Fiori, a Renno and Merciless McLarry with
appropriate colouring. The Renno driven by Bob Jennings came
home in a blistering 59.82 seconds or an average of 26.3 kph!
The Merciless came in several seconds later, but the Fiori
suffered partial burn-out of its motor and Carol Coventry
limped home. The Constructor's Prize went to Edward Booth.
The Hospitality tent was ably run by Jane and her team. It was
particularly encouraging to see teenagers assisting. Likewise
the Pit Crew and Track Stewards performed very well, with no
Food for staff and contestants was supplied by the RFDS South
Coast Support Group, while the Cittaslow Garden Group sizzled
sausages, and RFDSSCG provided tea, coffee and cakes.
The Lions Club marshals kept the whole show ticking along with
no hitches, and the crowd was good-natured and happy.
There were commercial stands displaying aids for the elderly,
and a bouncy castle for the young. St Johns and SA Police came
Additional entertainment was provided by Auntie Mary and Uncle
Harry, who arrived for the afternoon with their light-hearted
The show came to a close at about 3:00pm, and Edward thanked
all the sponsors and volunteers, plus the celebrities,
participants and audience.
All in all, it was a relaxed, low-key event on a beautiful day
in a perfect location. You can't ask for more than that.
This report is available as