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Nissan Patrol 4WD Club's 'Son of Trials'

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by Anne Dignam (subscribe)
I am a amateur freelance writer from Sydney. My passion is Aboriginal history, Australia and its unusual places. My aim is to share my knowledge to better your experience. Thank you
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Wombat holes to bog holes
The Nissan Patrol 4WD Club of NSW & ACT have hosted the very successful Nissan Trials, an extreme, annual 4WD competition, since the 1990s. From 2007 The Nissan 4WD Club introduced Son of Trials, which are based on the Nissan Trials, offering a less extreme 4WD funkhana-style competition.

Nissan Patrol 4WD Club of NSW and ACT Logo

Its that time of year again for all 4WD enthusiasts to air their camping gear, pack the 4WD, squeeze the family in and head to the "Son of Trials" annual 4WD Funkhana at River Island' and its beautiful Wollindilly River location, just 40km from Mittagong. It's accessible by experienced and carefully driven 2WD or 4WD vehicles. Whether you are a competitor, spectator or volunteer, a fantastic weekend awaits you, with loads of fun, laughter and mingling with fellow 4WDrivers.

This is a family event for novice drivers, experienced drivers, spectators, family and friends. Drivers will have their 4WD capability and every skill put to the test this weekend. It's a timed event with a twist; drivers will be scored on their driving ability, rather than speed or the performance of the vehicle. There will be some unforgettable moments.

Campsite and River Island

The Nissan Patrol 4WD Club decided in 1990-1992 to organise a 4WD event, then known as the Nissan Trials. The idea came from a club member, who had seen a mud and hill climb event in New Zealand. The club's aim was to have an outlet for extreme competition-style 4WDriving on private property while promoting responsible driving in the bush. The Nissan 4WD Club's plan was to run the event for a year and hand it over to the 4WD Association.

Twenty years later, and the Nissan 4WD Club are still hosting these funkhanas-cross-extreme 4WD events. The Nissan Club and River Island over the years have worked together to create a popular event on the 4WD Calendar. Colin, the owner of River Island Nature Retreat, allowed us to create tracks on River Island's property, which I was involved in. I don't know what was more fun, being involved behind the scenes or competing. During the Nissan Trials over the years I have been a competitor, a marshal, and helped set up tracks, so from first-hand experience I know that this is a weekend not to miss. Son of Trials will even have some catering for those hungry tummies.

Compete in the glorious, surrounds of the Wollindilly River

The Son of Trials calendar event attracts drivers from other 4WD clubs, non club drivers and novice drivers. It's a unique opportunity to test their skills on private property and enjoy conversations under bonnets while creating new friendships. Non-competitors, family and friends are more than welcome to come and camp.

For Competitors, the tracks are designed to test your driving skills, not your vehicle's capabilities. All tracks can be driven in a standard 4WD vehicle without sustaining major damage. It's about driving to your ability - man vs track. The event has some hidden surprises, and offers fantastic prizes over the weekend.

Man and 4WD verse the terrain

Son of Trials is held in a beautiful, picturesque location on the Wollindilly River, whose landscape provides a perfect setting for such an event.
Ping pong verse tongs

Son of Trials, is part Funkhana, part Nissan Trials, challenging drivers in a point scored system with "mean time" scoring for each event. Penalties apply for being too slow or too quick, reversing where you're not allowed to, going off the track or too far past a marker. The driver with the lowest score at the conclusion is the winner.

It's a wonderful annual event, which concludes with the famous Nissan Club's, not-to-be-missed, bog hole event; what a way to end a fantastic weekend of 4WDriving. You can stay for the presentation and enjoy the afternoon in the surrounds of River Island.

Bog hole action

If you have a licence and a road registered 4WD, you can compete as long as the vehicle complies with the three vehicle class regulations.

Compete in 31" Standard, 33" Touring and 35" Traction Plus Classes, for the ultimate prize. Drivers' skills will be put to the test by River Island's brushy landscape, dry rocky river beds, tree- ined hill climbs and descents, water crossings, reversing skill testing stages and sand. Every terrain you can think of is covered in this event.

Bog hole hill climb

As you can see can be a bit dusty

There are 8 fantastic events, providing plenty of action over the two days. Come for one day or camp for an action packed weekend with other enthusiasts and fantastic prizes. Please drive carefully on the windy roads and sharp turns.

Anyone for a hillclimb?

The Nissan Club promotes responsible driving and road safety.


Nissan Patrol 4WD Club

Son of Trials
Competitor Queries
River Island

Photos and video used with permission from Nissan Club
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When: 2nd November and 3rd November 2013
Where: River Island Nature Retreat Wombeyan Caves Road MIttagong, NSW
Cost: Costs $40 per day, $55 weekend per person, Under 16 free, Competitors $45-$60
Your Comment
Now thats 4wding at its best
by zanes (score: 1|89) 2068 days ago
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