The Hunter Safari was held on 14 August. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 5 – COCCV ‘76 Hunter Safari
This turned out to be a very competitive event, attracting the best crews in the State.
Starting at Chadstone Chrysler’s showrooms, the crews transported 200 km to a competition start at Kingower Forest, just north-west of Bendigo.
A series of short sections followed, then another long transport to Rifle Range, south of St Arnaud.
Then a 57 km blast saw Portman fastest from Waterhouse, Fury and Dixon, followed by the Brad Boyden Datsun of Chris Power / Mike Mitchell.
The central control at Rifle Range saw crews loop out six times on short, sharp stages with Fury / Suffern dominating.
At the halfway break, Harrowfield had retired his R12 Gordini with suspension issues. Portman / Runnalls led, from Waterhouse / Paterson, Fury / Suffern and Gil Davis / David Long.
The pressure was on straight after the break, with Ian Swan / Graeme Vaux , Roger Bonhomme / Tony Walsham and John Coleman / John White going well. But then Chris Power broke his Diff and Bastow lost his electrics.
The run through Kingower Forest and Burkes Flat saw Portman / Runnalls miss a passage control (uncharacteristic), whilst Fury had serious electrical issues and Bernadou / Rainer and Swan / Vaux were putting up good times.
Bob Waterhouse had driven very well and kept this 1600 on the road. With Paul Paterson finding the right roads, this crew now has a commanding lead in the series, with just one round remaining.