The other day at work it was mentioned that some of us might be lucky enough to get passes into the V8 Supercars race down on Phillip Island. It was decided amongst the team that as we have a car in the race, a car which SueZ and Vedran designed, we may as well take the 3-hour drive down to see the race.
Turns out driving was not the way for us to travel. Jarrod, one of the company directors, pulled us into a meeting room and told SueZ, Vedran and me that we WOULD be going to Phillip Island, he had organised tickets, he had also organised for the company helicopter to take us!
We were wrapped. This was to be Vedran’s first time in a helicopter, my second in the company helicopter and SueZ’s fourth or fifth time. But regardless of what Jonathan our Pilot said, I can’t see how anyone could get over that rush you get when you’re high above it all.
The big day was yesterday, Saturday, we met up at Crown for a quick coffee (well me not being a coffee drinker had mineral water) and we were over at the helipad on the yarra river (in the middle of the city) by midday for our saftey check and instructions.
At 12.30 we left and after a fantastic flight were touching down on Phillip Island in just 30 minutes.
After circling the track and coming in to land we could see that others also enjoyed to travel by helicopter, there were six or seven others parked in the nearby paddock where we set down.
We were given our passes and a T-shirt and headed off for a couple of hours of rev-head madness.
First stop was to visit the Burbank Car, which was to be driven by Luke Youlden. Sue and Vedran created the initial design for the car, which was altered a little due to certain restrictions that were unknown at the time of creation. The car looked great. Luke and his crew were very welcoming and showed us around the car.
After this we all headed out to look around and see what we could see. Of course Vedran and the other guys who came with us (Shane and Tas) were interested in finding every “Grid Girl” they could and having their photos taken. Some of those chicks are crazy, some way too thin and very funny when they try and walk down stairs that are made from grates; in high heels.
I’m pretty sure by the end of the day the guys all had photos taken with all the Grid Girls. Me not really being into that sort of thing, lamented that there were no Grid Guys.
Watching the race was kind of cool, I’m not usually concerned with such things as cars going round and round but have a little more interest when you have a car in the race.
With our passes we were allowed to go practically anywhere we wanted to, it was sweet. I spent most of the race on the top deck running from one side to the other to get shots over the hill and down the straight. I wish I had done a few cool panning shots, but I didn’t really know how long the race was going to be. Still I’m happy with most of the photos I’ve decided to keep. Of the 650 taken on the day (at the race and during the flights) only 295 remain and of those only 64 made it to the Trip to Phillip Island set on my Flickr account.
On our return flight Tas asked Jonathan, the pilot, what the most he could turn on the side was. When Jonathan answered 90 degrees I looked at him like I didn’t believe that a helicopter could turn completely on its side and still remain in the air. The pilot quickly explained that your centre of gravity remains in your seat and proceeded to show us by turning on the side! It was a weird feeling, but he was absolutely correct (as you would expect him to be).
The remainder of our flight brought us through the city over most of the tourist attractions, like Federation Square, The Arts Centre, The MCG and entertainment district.
It was a great day and the 1 hour in the helicopter sure beat the traffic and 6-hour drive it would have been, had we driven. Huge thanks the guys at work for giving us the opportunity and thanks to Jonathan too for a great flight.
David met us at Crown and Sue, David and I ended the day with a trip to Myer for some shopping.