The 1981 George Derrick Memorial Trial was held on 8th and 9th August.
VTS Round 6 – 1981 CCRMIT George Derrick Memorial Trial
At midnight on Friday 8 August 1981, Ross Runnalls sent 42 crews off from Horsham to embark on the adventure through Victoria’s Wimmera and Mallee that was the 1981 George Derrick Memorial Trial.
The area had enjoyed 40mm of rain during the past week and that topped up a wet July.
The tone was set in the first competitive in the Wail Forest where the field was bogged and most crews scored minutes lost in numbers that most Australian batters would have been happy to achieve on Boxing Day.
Over the next 20 or so hours the crews experienced everything: desert country, forests, sand dunes, grasslands, lake beds (both dry and wet), superb landscapes and essential team work.
The event concluded at Murrayville. This was one division short of the plan, possibly by crew mutiny, after two divisions and 800km. The final planned division was to re-cross a very soggy Sunset Country from west to east, but that was not to be.
It was one of those events for which recollections improved over the years (not for all) and eventually achieved legendary status.
There were many stories to come out of the event, some published immediately, others later. Scroll down to read the first hand accounts.