Albany Poker Run
Albany Poker Run and Hill Climb • 3-4 November, 2018 – Albany WA
We had a different lead up to this year’s event because of the art installation in Memorial Drive. A new location was required and likely paces were discussed at club meetings. An application was lodged in March with the City of Albany for Marine Drive to be the venue. The club knew this to be the best option but a few alternatives were suggested and rejected during the first meeting. However, after a few false starts the events approval officer, Anna Kiddle came on board, and she was extremely helpful and enthusiastic so it was all go.
The paper trail started with the businesses on Stirling Terrace all signed up, stakeholders at Middleton Beach were approached and 99% were all for it and signed up. Plans were drawn up for road closures and permits issued by the council and these all went to the traffic department at WA Police. Days went by without any feedback after many visits to the local cop shop. A few hiccups had appeared but these were overcome and approval was granted by the Minister of Transport. Saturday morning on the Terrace volunteers turned up at five thirty and barriers were put up in steady rain and it was looking gloomy, but by nine o’clock the sun was breaking through eventually giving us a beautiful sunny day. Bikes started to roll in and the public were out in force to admire the diverse selection of motorcycles spanning almost 100 years. The coffee shops were buzzing and it was a carnival atmosphere in Albany’s historic precinct. Phones and cameras were busy capturing the marvellous display against the sunlit harbour with live music adding to the ambience from the band in the historic 1897 rotunda built for Queen Victoria’s silver jubilee. Registrations for the Poker Run were a bit slow (probably because of the early rain) but over a hundred paid up and were sent off on the two courses to collect their cards at the five designated stops and continue to the rifle club for afternoon tea supplied by Dylans on the terrace. ‚
On Sunday morning volunteers started arriving for the five o’clock start at Middleton Beach, roads were closed and barriers erected on Adelaide Cr, Flinders Pde on Marine drive. Entrants for the hill climb stated pouring in and the whole area was a hive of activity in preparation for the seven thirty briefing. Approximately 85 bikes and outfits were lined up either side of the road and the time trial was under way. With the good weather and the spectacular backdrop of Middleton Beach it turned out to be a huge success with the entrants who travelled from far and wide giving it the thumbs up. So much so that one of the entrants commented “it is the most fun you can have with your pants on”. The spectators who were out in force at the start line and the vantage points on Marine drive also commented on the excellent venue. The club was well supported by members volunteering on both days, and all those who helped deserve a big thank you. Without the team of helpers throughout the organisational period right up to the end of the event on Sunday it would not happen.
Albany Historic Precinct taken over by Historic bikes.
Stirling Tce Albany Saturday morning display. Getting ready to set off on the Saturday Afternoon Poker Run.
LEFT Christine Rees takes her 1951 BMW R51 3 up the hill. RIGHT Bernie McCormack on his 1927 AJS 500 waiting for the start. Old speedway riders Bob O’Leary (1962 Japton 500cc Special) and Rod Chessell (1927 BSA JAP 500 Special). Alan Lewis on his 750cc Triton. It’s all uphill from here.