January 8th, 2006 at 06:47pm
One thing I have noticed over the last week or so is that the people who think that Summernats is a good idea generally belong in one or both of the following categories:
- People who don’t live in the inner north of Canberra.
- People who think the only way to have fun is through loud noises, preferably whilst intoxicated.
I’m sure they enjoy this event and it’s inherent noise, smoke and pointlessness, in fact I’m sure they enjoy it, because they carry it out of the venue at the end of each day and continue it on suburban streets. The lovely loonies who bring their high-powered vehicles into Canberra each year aren’t content with watching others perform unusual activities in an enclosed environment, no, they feel a need to keep everyone else awake for many hours afterwards.
It is the general attitude of this group of people which becomes very annoying, they tend to think that the best way to drive a car is with a flat foot, especially when on a suburban road, couple this with the loud vehicles that these people generally drive, and suddently you will understand why I was still awake at 3 o’clock this morning, despite attempts to go to sleep.
I’m sure there are some genuine car enthusiasts who can behave themselves and not feel a need to wake up northern Canberra, and I’m sure Summernats does wonders for the local economy (especially the petrol stations), but it has a rather negative impact on those who live anywhere near it.
Organiser Chic Henry was on 2CC a couple weeks back telling us all that the people who don’t like Summernats don’t like noise and generally have something wrong with them…well sorry Chic, but you’re wrong. I don’t mind noise, but I’d rather not have it outside my window at 3am, I also don’t like the undesirable element which are generally attracted to your event, the ones who manage to drag Canberra’s road safety level to record lows (no pun intended).
Whilst Chic maintains that Summernats is a fantastic and safe event, reality shows it is anything but safe. For example, last night a ute in one of the parades managed to lose control and plow into a crowd, injuring four to six people, depending on your news source. Watching the footage it is quite clear that the driver was a goose and the fencing was completely inadequate.
According to Channel Ten, Summernats organiser Chic Henry says there’s always an element of danger associated with motor sports. Chic is right about that, but there is a vast difference between most motor sports and Summernats, the fencing. Most motor sports have a proper concrete barrier or similar with proper fencing above it, Summernats has a puny little fence that could probably be pushed over by an average grown human.
Add to that the fact that it was possible for a semi-streaker to get onto the arena under the location where a crane was about to drop a car on to a caravan (proper fences would fix that) and then they missed the caravan anyway, and you really have a very unusual definition of “safe” in Chic’s dictionary.
When Chic was on 2CC as previously mentioned, he was talking about how Summernats almost didn’t survive when they had to find a new location a few years ago…wouldn’t it have been brilliant if it hadn’t survived? Absolutely fantastic in my view. According to the ABC Television News, crowd numbers were down this year, which is fantastic as it might be spelling the beginning of the end for this strange annual annoyance.
News reports indicate that Chic will review safety procedures, well I’m going to give him some free advice. The best way to make the event safer is to not have it…there! Problem solved! Alternatively, move it to the middle of nowhere…that will, at the very least, make Canberra’s roads a bit safer…and let the loonies make as much noise as they want with nobody getting annoyed…won’t stop the injuries though.
If Summernats leaves Canberra I’ll be pleased, if it disappears altogether then I’ll be over the moon, as the world will be slightly more sane!