Southern Rally 2009

Mention of the Merlin Rally has focussed my thoughts on what format next years Southern Rally should take. There has recently been some comment on the forum about changing the date/format. My aim is to provide something that the members want without it becoming a financial burden on the club. To that end I would welcome any comments or feedback and suggestions on how I can improve the rally for 2009.

My own personal thoughts are that we, as a club, should be aspiring to something similar to the Merlin as a showcase for the DOCGB in the South, but it would require both an injection of funding and as many willing helpers as I could muster to lay on something approaching the success of Tony and Paul’s achievement.

If anyone else has any thoughts on this subject or offers of cash, help etc. I would love to hear their input. Previously, when I have made this point to the dissenters, it has gone ominously quiet. :unamused:



Good plan, Chris. Any idea of dates? Obviously, if I’m around, then I’ll be there :slight_smile: September is usually out for me owing to other committments …
If you can get the dates fixed and in Desmo as early as possible, that might help.
I’m currently planning the dates for next year’s Desmos, and I’ll post them as soon as they’ve been approved by the printers and Graham (treasurer).

Really I was looking for some form of debate/discussion on whether to change the date and format or not. Unless someone comes up with a compelling argument I’m not going to change the date it would probably be best to leave well alone. There will always be events that clash during the summer months and that early September date is actually quite good in that respect.

It has been suggested that, now that Beaulieu is no more, we combine the Southern Rally with the Ducati event at the Sammy Miller museum. Any thoughts?

What I would particularly appreciate is suggestions on what I should be providing for the members and how to fund it. Now is the time to finalise the details so that we can get a reasonable amount of coverage in Desmo.

Over to you guys.


By what I’ve heard, the format of the rally seems to be ok - especially as there is the option of different types of accommodation, and the venue is good.
As far as I know Beaulieu is only postponed for 2009, so that could be one idea to tie the rally in with the Ducati event at Sammy Miller’s.
Also, I am in dialogue with various people at the Museum at Beaulieu, and in the process of planning an event for the DOC GB there (I’ve also got the entry discount renewed for DOC GB members until 30th June 2009) - that could be another option to tie in with a rally.

If they can provide some accomodation ie decent camping facilities then I’d be up for that. Does the club possess a marquee? It’s a luxury when the weather is good but an absolute necessity when we get rough weather. It would have come in handy at Beaulieu and the Southern Rally this year.


The event planned at Beaulieu would be a one-day event, but I can ask when I have my next meeting there.

Club marquee … the club had 2 marquees some years ago, very useful, and could be set up in different formats (ie ‘L’ shape, square, or rectangular). These seem to have vanished … and would have been very useful for the Horsham Piazza event too last year. We ought to look at getting something similar for the events in the South? (Horsham rally, Southern rally, Beaulieu, Ace Cafe Re-union, Brightonia, etc) The marquees were around £200 each from Homebase (or similar). Events Co-ordinator would be good too, then an eye could be kept on club equipment …

Bad as the weather was this summer we had an impressive number of Ducatisti out riding to events through the South:

Horsham Piazza Italia, Brighton (twice), Shuttleworth Collection, Goodwood (a few times), Bristol Italian Day, Box Hill (most weekends), Newlands Corner, Alton, Sammy Miller (twice), Beaulieu (splash, splash), Brands Hatch, Team Xerox Ducati Puma launch (I know, I know), combined Branch meets, Motori di Marino and, of course, the Southern Rally.

There’s some London Parade thing coming up as well. 500,000 punters. nudge, nudge, know what I mean?

The point: We suddenly have tons to build on toward a riding season grand finale with the Southern Rally - especially if people know it’s an official, sponsored, oughta-be-there event. It’s an opportunity not to be overlooked, especially when we have Chris offering to run it.

I think the date’s OK. I do miss the big marquee at the Rally and the ride-out needs a little tweaking to beat the traffic but otherwise the facilities are great - something for everyone. Would like to see it thrive!


Hi Bob,

Thanks for your input, much appreciated as ever. One thing is puzzling me though; your comment on tweaking the ride-out to beat the traffic. As I recall, you didn’t come on the ride-out this year?

Definitely think that it would be a big help to have a club marquee and maybe some funds for laying on entertainment. One of the biggest problems that I face is that most people wait until a week or two before the rally (or less) to book. This makes it impossible to forecast the numbers and thus negotiate a discount with the campsite or organise any catering or entertainment. It is a catch 22 situation. Without the numbers I can’t commit to things but without offering much I can’t get the numbers.


Hi Chris,
If you make it plain to everyone that, unless you know numbers, you can’t book various things like entertainment / discount it might gee people up … but, as you say, usually a catch 22 situation!