We felt it was a particularly significant year, being the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, just days from Easter. Auckland Branch was thrilled with the level of support for the Rally. The team was buzzing for days afterwards!
The team was in preparation mode for three years and canvassed lots of options. We would have liked to have received more inherited wisdom from previous Rallies. We have documented our experience which has been passed on to the next Rally organisers and National Committee.
It was a bonus to have both sand and farm runs available. The Club was officially booked in with the Defence Department but as you can appreciate, with recent publicity, access is a political hot potato. The aim was to reduce the “hurry up and wait” during runs and focus instead on keeping moving.
We were fortunate to enjoy fine weather except for a torrential downpour on the farm run, which added interest to the driving conditions.
We appreciated that most of the registrations came in promptly, which helped our preparations. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, which is a reflection of the MV family and community. It was helped by most members choosing to join us by camping on site.
This year, we tried some things that were a little bit innovative. These included:
- Making registration available online and simplifying the form – with mixed success
- Creating a Rally website – this started as a necessity due to the Club website being down. We saw this site become a really helpful portal for the Rally
- Publishing a Rally Handbook
- A convoy system breaking the vehicles down into March Orders
- Involving re-enactors to add to the military camp atmosphere. We thought the guards at the gate were awesome!
- Complementing photography with aerial drone footage, then using the photos for a slideshow in the evenings
We were pleased to have 133 at the War in the Pacific dinner and appreciated the support, especially those who dressed up for the theme. The Club is in great health when we get this level of interest, especially with the Young Guns. Overall attendance was 149 people and 63 vehicles.
We had some funny things happen, like borrowing a forklift from a Russian guy in a local business at 7pm to move the 500lb dummy bomb. Having the police come through at 11.30pm on Friday night after bringing a couple of our re-enactors home was also interesting, as we explained that all the guns, armour and bomb were safe!
We are sure that you will all have your own great memories that inspire you to support future Rallies. Thanks to everyone who participated!