1976 George Derrick Memorial Trial

The Derrick was held on 6 March 1976. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:

VRC Round 1 – 1976 CCRMIT George Derrick Memorial Trial


Rally Directors, brothers Noel and Ian Richards set a huge 1,500 km,  2 day event starting and finishing in Hamilton in Western Victoria and running as far west as Millicent just over the South Australian border near Mt Gambier.

The event was a joint Victorian and South Australian Championship round and had attracted a huge field of over 60 crews from both sides of the Border and included three entries from Tasmania.

1974 Victorian Champion Garry Harrowfield had entered a Renault R12 Gordini (the ex Watson / McPherson East African Safari car – now repaired) and had a relatively trouble free run to second place.

Early daylight stages through the forests between Myamyn and Lyons were fully route charted and saw Bob Waterhouse pulling out an early handy lead.

Cars left Winnap in darkness, with fast and accurate navigation required in the run towards Portland. Then a number of short sections through the border forests before the long run back to Hamilton to end the first Division.

Waterhouse / Patterson continued to lead, with strong performances coming from Helmut Goetz / Frank Kilfoyle (Gemini) and Doug Irish / Ian Ellis (XU-1). However Gil Davis had hit a kangaroo, hard enough to cause his retirement.

The second day’s competition initially ran around Heywood, with low points losses. Six gates in a 10 kilometre section through the dusty Rennick forests gave the navigators a work out, then crossing the border to Tarpeena with a service at Wandila. 

Retirements came from John Dixon / Jeff Marsh (alternator failed), Goetz / Kilfoyle with a damaged Prop Shaft and Irish / Ellis with a rocker post dislodgement in their XU-1.

Cars refueled at Millicent, then onto some quick and sandy stages before crossing the border back into Victoria. A few more route charts, then three more competitives for a final sting in the tail and back to the finish at Hamilton, where Waterhouse claimed a very strong victory.

Racing Car News report

Auto Action Report

Waterhouse and Paterson on the 76 Derrick

Results and entry list

Entry List

1Bob WaterhousePaul PatersonDatsun 1600109
2Garry HarrowfieldGeoff BoydRenault R12 Gordini150
3=Bob BirdWarwick SmithLancer153
3=Geoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600153
5Ian SwanGraeme VauxDatsun 1600168
6Alf PearceIan BaldockDatsun 1600175
7Graham TrounceLloyd MinifieDatsun 1600192
8Graham HorsfieldGeoff O’DonnellDatsun 240Z199
9John TaylorJeremy BrowneCooper S215
10Bruce WilsonPeter HaasDatsun 1600217

Detailed results


The two day event was in four divisions, including a daylight division each afternoon, and two long night divisions. Each day started and finished in Hamilton. Each daylight division ended at a refuel in Winnap on the Princes Highway about 35 km NW of Heywood. The first night ventured into South Australia with a refuel at Tarpeena, while the second night went even further into SA with a refuel at Millicent.

These Route Instructions appear to be a draft version so the final versions may differ.

Google Maps trace Day 1

Google Maps trace Day 2

Other event documents

Media coverage

Racing Car News Report

This news item appeared in the local Millicent newspaper, the South Eastern Times, about a month before the event. Not quite the coverage that was desired for a navigational event, complete with a map of the route!