TAKING IN the winding hills roads on the way was a bike spotter’s wet dream; appreciating the hot machines was all we could do from the seat of a Corolla rental.
We headed past the massive stage, this year elevated for better viewing, and in the tattoo judging tent we caught up with Shaz who not only had a new set of wings tattooed but also ‘Westdale’ on her forearm in honour of her award winning effort last year. Entrants—with people more-art-than-human to completely newcomers to the scene—came through the tent like clockwork. Jenny went with a stars and ivy theme along with a dedication to her Nan—showing a set of tatts isn’t just what someone else sees but a graphic output of the soul.
From there we made our way to the dirt drags for some messy, noisy fun. We found a good group of girls on the way but couldn’t interest them in a different kind of messy, noisy fun.
Out on the track was everything from kids getting their kicks on Pee Wees (a lot more challenging than it sounds given the big ruts in the track) to full blown dragsters. There was even a rail car in attendance but we missed seeing it run after it sucked through all its fuel in half a day.
The big V8 bangers were hauling arse down the strip, recording low sevens at 90 mph; pretty insane on dirt. It was home to plenty of crazy mechanical ideas and everyone looked like they were having a ball.
We decided to check out the rest of the place. Of course the bikini girls selling their merchandise took our attention. Unfortunately, it was merchandise of the hats, shirts and stubby holders kind. Bugger. Still Jayme and Jessica looked like they were doing a ripper job, and as the night set in, we’re sure they sold plenty of those beanies.
From there it was over to the pits to check out the burn-out junkies.
Yet again it was ideas of the most bizarre reigning, not least of which was two Magnas sewn together by some sick-minded Frankenstein welder. In fact we found it was two blokes, Darren and Clinton, to blame. With engines at both ends and two drivers, taking three days to build, this looked like it would be a contender but it proved a bit too heavy to manoeuvre very well and the pair were left to contemplate their plans for next year, with some mutters about Subaru Brumbys being heard.
Then there was the Merc on display. It had a massive supercharger on the V8 and we can only imagine what that thing would have sounded and smoked like.
Of course it’s a show about bikes and there were some bloody spectacular ones on display. One of the best we saw was actually a trike owned by John. He was the unfortunate victim of a car accident which resulted in him losing a leg, and one which could have cost him his life if not for a passing doctor who helped keep him alive as he lost five litres of blood. He hasn’t let that get in the way of his passion for motorcycles though so he built the stunning trike which featured a blinding amount of chrome and many man hours. This has led him to start up his own business to build trikes for people with disabilities.
Burn-out finals soon began with all comers keen to make an impression on the judges and take home some prizes. It was on from bunkies to a pretty new Holden Statesman. The flame throwing Gemini was back this year with glowing exhausts and a ripper skid keeping the crowd happy.
That same crowd was made even happier when the wet t-shirt competition came on after the burn-outs. Of course the t-shirts were just props as it took skin to win. From some big bosoms to some itty bitty titties there was something for everyone; about 30 entrants stood up there to display their assets.
This is a rock concert after all so music fans weren’t left disappointed.
Grinspoon, the headlining act, rocked to a hard dancing and drinking audience. The Angels were reunited for a show full of old classics; and backing up were V-Delli, Hells Bells, J-Babies, Battlecat, No Way Out, and Switchback.
It was yet again the sheer size of Westdale Rock that impressed along with organisation to be envied by other similar events. If all that shit I’ve written above sounds good, make sure you get along next year to the show—it’s worth it.
pics by Brian White; words by Luke Nieuwhof