There is absolutely no argument that, without the hundreds of dedicated and enthusiastic officials that give up their time to assist in running our Targa events, the events simply would not happen. It would be an untenable commercial proposition.
Mark Perry, Director of Targa Australia, is naturally appreciative of the efforts of the thousands of volunteer officials who come out each year in rain, hail or shine to help run the event smoothly for the benefit of the competitors, most of whom are cosseted in enclosed vehicles.
"Let me tell you, they are indispensable," says Mark. "I am constantly amazed and immensely grateful to the men and women of all ages and backgrounds who come out to play each year.
A couple that has "pretty much seen it all" is Bothwell couple Ron and Marcia Brown, two of Targa's long-serving stalwarts.
Their daughter Samantha was an official in the inaugural event and was so enthused she persuaded Ron and Marcia to get involved. The timing was fortuitous because Ron had just retired from his job as an electrical engineer with Pasminco.
Assisted by Marcia "all the way", Ron took on the very important volunteer role of Support Services Manager, responsible for the safe storage and maintenance of the plethora of event equipment; items such as control and timing boards, clocks, tables, cones, lights, safety tape and so on. At event time, Ron and Marcia arrange distribution of the equipment to the road and stage crews. Then they drive the stages, ensuring that everything is working properly, and replace any faulty equipment.
As if that significant role wasn't enough to keep them busy, in 2000 Ron added Communications Equipment Manager to his Targa portfolio. "It's been really enjoyable" says Ron. "We've met lots of great people and made many friends from all over Australia". After 19 years and at 71 years old, Ron's decided to pull back a little will relinquish the Support Service role but he will still be a familiar and welcome face as he's continuing to look after the communications equipment "for a while longer".
Having seen, up close, the trials, tribulations and evolution of Targa Tasmania over almost its entire existence, the Browns are well qualified to comment on the event.
"Yes, we've watched it grow over the years and seen it become a really polished event," says Ron. "We love it."
To watch what its like to officiate on a Targa Stage have a look here!
The 2017 Targa Tasmania course will go down in the events history as the most unique course ever run due to the presence of Anzac Day falling on Day 2, instead of the traditional opening day of the event, as it did in 2006. With the change to a Monday to Saturday format in 2015, that was welcomed by all competitors, the course needs to be configured around this and the obvious need to respect the Tasmanian public on this important day of remembrance, by not closing a myriad of roads normally associated with a full day of Targa Tasmania.
Macleod and Hunter set winning pace at Targa North West
The Launceston team of Trevor Macleod and Scott Hunter have taken the overall win at the inaugural running of the of the Burnie-based Targa North West, which provides a key lead up event to the annual Targa Tasmania.
Vale- Deirdre Flint- OAM
It is with much sadness that we pass on our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Deirdre Flint. Deirdre was a long-time supporter of Targa Tasmania in her role as Mayor of Central Highlands Council, always ensuring that we had access to the Tarraleah and Ellendale stages along with last part of the iconic Mt. Arrowsmith Stage. Deirdre always made it a point to attend the Targa Tasmania dinner each year and enjoyed the many friendships that she made with the Targa family, including considering competing herself in her own Volvo alongside none other than Ronda Matthews.
Deirdre worked tirelessly for the Tasmanian community, in particular the people of the Central Highlands, and she will be sadly missed by us all.
The Targa Tasmania community were humbled to hear that one of our very own volunteers has been honoured at this year’s Burnie Australia Day ceremony. Terrance (or as he is known in the Targa community,) Terry Ferguson was named the 2017 City of Burnie Australia Day Citizen of the year with recognition for being one of the region’s most hard-working and hands-on community members. As most of you know, he has dedicated his time to every single Targa Tasmania since its inception in 1992, being only 1 of 11 people that have completed all 25 years of Targa Tasmania. We would like to join in the congratulations and extend our thanks to Terry for all of his hard work, dedication and support of the event.