2017 National Rally Report

The afternoon of the 14th of February saw 36 entrants reporting to the VCC club rooms at Blenheim to register for the 2017 Riley Rally of New Zealand. There were 4 from the UK plus others from Australia. Everyone then checked into their accommodation and caught up with old friends.

Wednesday morning all assembled behind the clubrooms on a field for the gymkhana/driving tests followed after a picnic lunch by the concours event. This year the judging was by the people's choice system. The evening meal was a group event at the Combined Clubs of Marlborough in Blenheim.

On Thursday morning we visited the Peter Jackson aircraft museum which had a very elaborate display of WW1 and WW!! aircraft, not just static exhibits but set out as in flight with fantastic backdrops and videos. Some of our group took a flight in a Stearman biplane. From there we had a run through the countryside to a vineyard for lunch. 

Friday saw the group checked out. fuelled and on the road to Westport, via the Buller Gorge, a distance of some 165 miles , with questions to answer along the way, a winding and very scenic run. After checking in we all assembled at the Buller Club for the evening meal.

The next day, in glorious sunshine, we headed down the coast  to Cape Foulwind where we first visited the seal colony, then a picnic lunch was followed by a trip further south to Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, a spectacular sight. 

Sunday morning saw us refuelled and heading back eastwards via Reefton and a picnic near Springs Junction before arriving at Hanmer Springs , our final destination of the tour.

The next morning most of us headed to the thermal baths and picnic lunch then the Riley Club AGM in the afternoon. During proceedings we had four earthquakes - didn't think the motions were that earthmoving!. The final dinner and prize giving took place in a local hotel.

Tuesday morning dispersal, 14 members headed south for a tour of the South Island including Stewart Island, and an Intrepid group (mainly pre-war cars) set off north via the Molesworth Track ( a gravel road through the 182.000 ha estate that links Hanmer and Blenheim, a run of approximately 5 hours.)   The rest of the group dispersed homewards or other destinations.

A very enjoyable and successful rally with no major car problems.

Next year's event will be held in late February, north of Auckland.