Early and Mid 911 Register Run to Mornington Peninsula Sunday 19th April
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Story by Ken and Harriet Anson
Melbournians are fond of saying that “if you don’t like the weather now, just wait a few minutes and it will change”. But after the coldest and the windiest April night for eight years, the weather hadn’t changed much for the better for the Mid 911 Run down the Peninsula. A huge front with heavy showers was completely covering the area. With our SC’s propensity for “stepping out” when accelerating out of even slightly wet corners, and its recalcitrant windscreen demisting system, this run was always going to be interesting, even without taking into account the slippery road conditions and the single digit temperatures.
At the meeting point while I was complaining about my demisting system to anyone who would listen, the organiser, Graeme quietly advised me that I was actually quite fortunate compared with him, because his 1969 911S did not even have a heater or demister. Apparently during its previous racing life the heating system was removed, and never replaced!
It was also going to be an interesting day for Yannick. For the first time in ages, she was driving Graeme’s manual 964 C4, and she usually drives an automatic. And with her she had her Aunt, Jeanine as her navigator. So what, you would think. Well, Jeanine, who lives in Noumea, doesn’t read or speak English. And no prizes for guessing in which language the notes were written! Apparently the language barrier was overcome by directional hand signals, so the navigation side would still have been interesting in that car. But they still got to morning tea and lunch on time!
The cars included Graeme’s bright yellow 1969S, Julian and Sarah Cress had their ivory 1973E, a number of Mid 911s, a Cayman S, and a couple of 996s including Colin and Margot Templar’s 996 GT3. Now under the conditions on the day, driving that car could have been exciting.
A heavy shower pelted down as Graeme completed his introduction and briefing but we departed Hallam in bright sunshine. A gentle cruise south in loose convoy down the South Gippsland Hwy followed by an attention holding drive with rain and a fogged up screen took us through Dromana and Red Hill South and brought us to our morning tea venue at Merricks General Wine Store where Graeme had thoughtfully reserved the elevated open outdoor patio just for us. But, rugged up, and with the heaters going, and quick service of hot coffee and cakes, morning tea was good.
After morning tea, we headed west down to the coast to Martha’s Point, and through Dromana where we looked forward to the second gear corners and curves of the 1000 foot climb up Arthurs Seat. At least in the SC it was second gear. We found ourselves guiltily, but unnecessarily, checking our speedo as we passed the almost permanent police presence at the bottom, before some hard work at the wheel as we powered up the hill to the top. Then good roads with some tricky turns took us in an anticlockwise loop through Main Ridge, and Flinders, back past Merricks, and then into Terre restaurant at Dromana Estate.
Terre Restaurant at Dromana Estate turned out to be a bit of a hidden gem for us. I doubt whether we would have even heard of it if had not been for this Club Run. The Restaurant has been refurbished, has nice gardens, and plenty of good parking. Lunch was ordered from an a la carte menu, followed by a selection of desserts. The meals were of a very high standard. The drink service was quick and well organised. This is a must revisit place for myself and she who navigates for me.
Lunch completed, it was time to draw the raffle. Tony Stevenson’s son, Christopher was invited to draw out the first winner’s name, a job he performed with credit. Ken Ellaway and Jeanette Sampson each scored a bottle of wine, and Justin Reed won half a dozen stubbies of boutique lager.
This was a run against the odds. Saturday night the weather was atrocious, in fact so bad that one member elected to bring his Golf instead of his very nice 1968L, and I think I would have done the same if it was mine. But not a single person dropped out.
And with Graeme selecting interesting roads that kept the navigator and the driver on their toes, a good place for morning tea, and a lovely lunch venue which served up an outstanding meal, I feel all the participants enjoyed the day regardless of the road and weather conditions. Well done, Graeme and Yannick.