Each year we’ve grown our little pretend rally with first-timers joining the fun that is the Rylstone Classic. The following Freqently Asked Rysltone Questions has been designed to help everyone catch up on the last 9 years of fun and build an understanding of what to expect over two glorious days in August.
Q: What is the Rylstone Classic?
A: The Rylstone Classic is a “pretend rally” which means we have lots of fun zipping about the country side, without the speed component and seriousness of a real rally.
Q: Who is the Rylstone Classic for?
A: The Rylstone Classic has been designed to cater primarily for Classic Minis with other classics “accepted” upon application.
Q: What is the Classic all about?
A: The reason for the Rylstone Classic is to indulge the desire of event director, Evan Redman, to see as many Minis out on the road as possible!
Q: Why Rylstone?
A: The spiritual home of the Classic is the Globe Hotel in Rylstone in New South Wales’ beautiful central tablelands. For Evan it’s a special place having visited the Globe regularly for the last 20 years for car club runs with his father Jeff, who passed away in 2018. Rylstone makes a special central location to run the Classic to, offering stunning driving roads from the north and the south, taking in some of New South Wales most breathtaking scenery.
Q: How much does it cost to enter?
A: The Rylstone Classic is and always will remain completely free. Competitors are encouraged to donate any amount to help support the event, which has grown each year based on this model. With 200 cars attending in 2019 our costs have grown, but thanks to the support of our sponsors and donations from roughly 1 in 6 entrants, we manage to keep the lights on and put on a good show.
Q: What to I get as part of my registration?
A: Apart from entry into one of the biggest Mini events in the Southern Hemisphere, you will receive a grill plaque, a windscreen sticker, a logo sticker, name tags and red lanyards - all so you look like you’re part of a real rally. You’ll also receive in your pack, route instructions so you can find your way to Rylstone and questions for the Observation Challenge.
Q: What is the Observation Challenge?
A: Each year we put together a list of sometimes obvious, sometime cryptic questions for you to answer along the way. With no timed events, this is the main competitive element of the Rylstone Classic.
Q: What other competition elements are there?
A: Each year we award a range of trophies and prizes to our event winners. We include the Observation Challenge and a People’s Choice award - a prize for the car you’d most like to take home - in our Outright Award. We add the scores in the Observation Challenge and multiply the results by a factor of the People’s Choice to determine our outright winners for each year’s Classic.
Q: What other awards are given?
A: Over the years, new awards have been spawned creating the character of the event we’ve all come to know and love. Each year we award The Rylstone Cup, which is given to the team who display a willingness to get involved, help out where necessary and generally contribute to making our pretend rally fun. Following the passing of long time “Clerk of the Course” Jeff Redman in 2018, support crew stalwarts Duncan MacKay and Roger Fortune commissioned the Jeff Redman Memorial Award. Known affectionately for his love of a red wine or four, Jeff was a true brand ambassador for the event and loved nothing more than holding court at the Globe Hotel to tell tall tales of motoring exploits of years gone by. The Jeff Redman Memorial Trophy recognises tellers the tallest tales that can be told each year, all embellished over wines by the fires of the Globe Hotel.
Q: What prizes are on offer?
A: Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, each year we give away a range of prizes. In 2019, thanks to the good folk at Kaboodle Finance, our outright winners will receive a fabulous weekend in Port Stephens, while throughout the weekend we’ll give away mini parts, hampers, vouchers and other goodies?
Q: When are the winner announced and awards given out?
A: In recent years we have been able to announced our winners on the Saturday evening over dinner. Given the size of our field it makes sense for us to announce all winners on the Sunday morning. We’ll do this at 10.00am in the main street of Rylstone just before we leave for Bathurst. We ask everyone to assemble in the main street, which makes for another amazing photo opportunity.
Q: Can I still buy raffle tickets on the weekend?
A: Yes, our raffle prize this year is a stunning framed print. You’ll be able to buy tickets up until Saturday evening either online or through our support team. The raffle will be drawn in Sunday morning.
Q: Tell me more about the route.
A: Each year, we alternate between our north and south routes, each time with tweaks to add the twistiest and visually spectacular roads we can find. Our northern will take in the Hunter Valley’s world renowned vineyards, followed by the Bylong Valley. Our southern loop meanders through the awesome scenery of the Blue Mountains and offers an entirely different vista.
Q: Where does the Rylstone Classic start from?
A: Our main start point is the Central Coast of New South Wales, with 2019’s event starting from Mingara Recreation Club. A smaller field leave’s from Edgeworth in Newcastle to meet the main group of cars for the mass start.
Q: Tell me more about the main starting point?
A: The field will depart from the Legends Carpark at Mingara Recreation Club at Tumbi Umbi. The entrance to the carpark is just past the McDonalds via a small roundabout to the right. We ask you all the get there as early as possible and park as close as you can - within reason - so we can all fit in. Our starters leaving from Edgeworth should be on site from around 8.30am so don’t plan your arrival for the last minute.
Q: What time do we leave each start point?
A: From Edgeworth we leave at 7am sharp. From Mingara recreation club, we leave at 10am. You MUST be at each start point no later than 30 minutes prior to departure.
Q: Are there lunch and fuel stops planned?
A: We’ve got around 400 kilometres to cover this year so lunch is very much “on the go”. But as the Rylstone Classic is not a race, we encourage you to take time. If you see Minis stopped at a cafe or refuelling at a service station, feel free to join them.
Q: What happens if I break down?
A: The good news is that we have a support crew sweeping the course in the unfortunate event of a breakdown. You can contact Roger and Duncan on 0416 598 710 or 0408 447 940. If you need urgent assistance raise your hand and someone from within the field will stop to help out. It’s the Mini way! However, if you are just stopping to stretch your legs or to have an argument about the route or the last cryptic question, give any oncoming cars a thumbs up to wave them on. This keeps us all moving and helps keep everyone safe.
Q: What do we do for dinner?
A: Each year the focal point of our trip has been the Globe Hotel. In 2019, with just under 400 people registered for the event, we’ve worked with the team at the Globe to streamline dinner service. One of the best parts of the weekend is sitting and enjoying a fabulous meal with the warmth of the many fireplaces and the sound of laughter filling the room. This year there will be four main slots available for dinner. For those who like to get in and get fed early dinner service will open at 5.30p, followed by 6.30pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm. We want everyone to have a relaxed evening and a chance to enjoy a nice meal, so plan your evening to order dinner and then find one of the many places within the pub to enjoy the tall tales of twisty roads. We’re also planning a fire pit in 2019 so we can spread out and truly enjoy all aspects of the Globe Hotel.
Q: What is the Biannual Bathurst Blat?
A: Every second year we organise a Sunday run to the holy grail of Australian motorsport, Mount Panorama. Leaving the main street of Rylstone at 10.30am - enough time to take plenty of photos of the massive field, we start a short 1 hour trip to Bathurst for laps of the track. Lunch usually follows with locations left up to you, but rest assured, you’ll see hundreds of Mini’s scattered about town! More info will be available shortly on some secret squirrel aspects of this year’s BBB.