How to be a Good Starter

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David Leikvold
Posts: 955
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Brisbane

How to be a Good Starter

Post by David Leikvold » Fri May 12, 2017 12:20 am

Hello everyone,
My brother and I have decided that after five years as starters we have done enough for the time being. We originally started running the start line in 2013 as volunteers for Trevor Slaughter but he last ran in 2014. We'd like to do something else now. Pete is now a flaggie for the ARDC at Eastern Creek (now known as Sydney Motorsports Park), a whole 15 minutes from where he lives. I will be an official at Morgan Park in Warwick this month for the first time, this is less than two hours from home, not three and a half days. Queensland Raceway at Willowbank is less than an hour. Lakeside is about half an hour. I will return to Speedweek, probably even in 2018 to crew for Peter Hulbert, the timing tech guru, assuming his bike is finished.

So, how to be a good starter:

It isn't a steep learning curve, you should be all over it in about ten minutes. When the heat was kicking me around, others have taken my place quickly and easily. You get to wear a radio headset all week, Bruce Willmot and Peter Hulbert in the timing van can teach you the very simple radio communication with the timing van. Track 2 closes late on Thursday afternoon. You really should wear full whites or you will die. Bring plenty of water and don't let people drink it, everyone has to bring their own. Bring your own lunch and bring your own transport, the start line is a long way from anywhere. You must stay hydrated and as cool as you can manage. Be nice to Dion from Mildura Ice Works and he will give you Zooper Doopers. Seek out shade as often as possible. You will get good volunteers to help you, none of the tasks are difficult. If people come up to you complain about why it's "taking so long" feel free to tell them to get sexually damaged. Track 2 can, when absolutely nothing goes wrong, only manage about 28 runs an hour. Track 1 is about half that.

That's the basics, I will add to this list later.

Cheers
Ex Starter Dave :mrgreen:
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

harky
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:03 am
Location: Adelaide

Re: How to be a Good Starter

Post by harky » Fri May 12, 2017 2:57 am

you two have been class , you will be missed , your advice is worth listening to
hope there is interest ed people in your jobs , and for those who complain there should be some sort of punishment , back of the queue would be a start .
harky
DLRA #643
so far 120mph for$2000---imagine how fast I can go for $20,000

David Leikvold
Posts: 955
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: How to be a Good Starter

Post by David Leikvold » Fri May 12, 2017 10:30 am

Thanks Mr H, the reason we manage so well is good volunteers like your wife Barbara. She turns up every year, knows what she's doing and makes my job so much easier. Claire and Dave Bolger are also champions. This year I was also blessed with the help of Tracy from Triple Affleck. Thanks also to John from the Royal Enfield team who took over when I collapsed on Wednesday. He had it sorted very quickly, he did comment later that he wished he hadn't worn black shorts and T-shirt. Fortunately I was back on deck after after about an hour, so I relieved him before he spontaneously combusted. I don't seem to get whingers on "my" track, we all get on well, even the newbies fit right in.

I felt particularly sorry for my brother this year, even on Monday he was really struggling to cope with the pressure. For that I blame the organisers who let there be a priority line for "important" competitors. This is unnecessary and just causes trouble. These priority people complained that they had to wait for any time at all and seemed completely oblivious to the huge queue of "not so important" competitors alongside them. Those just as important competitors were rightly upset that they had to wait and watch others get undeserved priority. Worst of all, everybody seemed to think it was OK to abuse Peter while he was just trying to do his job. That's why you'll never see him at the startline again. Then we had knuckleheads, some with years of Speedweek experience under their belts, who wouldn't stop complaining about the wait all effing week. I saw the main offender having a whinge to Dave at the ramp about it one day!

I think it's high time all competitors had to do a shift as volunteers every year, somewhere dangerously hot where lots of whingers loiter. And if they don't do it any records they might set are null and void. We also need to reintroduce Pre-Stage to limit the number of people hanging around the start lines, particularly on Track One. I'd like to see the driver of a certain Commodore given the job of running Pre-Stage all day Monday so he can explain over and over and over again all day to his fellow whingers "why it's taking so effing long". Karma can be a bastard sometimes!

Cheers
Ex Starter Dave :mrgreen:
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

momec3
Posts: 715
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Cedar Grove Qld

Re: How to be a Good Starter

Post by momec3 » Fri May 12, 2017 10:54 pm

Thank you Peter and Dave for your years of effort. Cled came before you and me before him. I was handed the mantle by a poorly looking red headed guy who said "my doctor told me not to come out here, I think he was right. My job instructions were' Point em that way. Jobs yours." And I got the job for lots of years and years from 2001. Back then people had some respect and were patient. There were no special people that the 44 degs was hotter for them than others .
I don't blame you guys. I loved working the startline but 44c in the sun for a week with added abuse. Maybe one of the wankers that was handing out the abuse might step up for the job.
Chris

David Leikvold
Posts: 955
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: How to be a Good Starter

Post by David Leikvold » Sat May 13, 2017 12:32 am

Thanks Chris for that phone call in 2013 asking if I could help out on the start line, I think it all turned out pretty well. I just wish we had been able to have a decent camp setup from 2013 so that we could recover better every night. A better equipped start line would have helped too.

In another post I mentioned that we have managed to get most inefficiencies weeded out of the running procedures and can now get a best of 28 runs an hour on Track 2 and about half that on Track 1. For those who ask why it takes so long, consider this; It is always one vehicle at a time, the tracks are long and it takes a long time to get a run done and the vehicle past the All Clear Point. Southern Rescue then radios the timing van with the All Clear and the timing crew give us the call to release in one smooth move. We send the next competitor immediately, there is NO time wasted and NO obvious way to improve the procedure any further. Believe me, I have agonised over this for years. This year was more difficult because of the water on "my" course meant GPS only and so Track 1 was clogged all day, every day. If any of this year's whingers are game enough to put their money where their mouths are, they're welcome to be next year's starters, I'm sure they'll be so much better than us.

There's a special place in hell reserved for people who abuse volunteers, it's bright and sunny and at least 42 degrees.
Thanks again Chris, it was fun.
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

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