It’s that time again —- 25th running of the “Targa Tasmania —
Biggest geeday to my M8’s all over the World :-):-):-)
It’s Targa Tasmania Time Again !!!!
Well I’m only 1 week away from the greatest “physical and mental” challenge I’ve ever faced in my life (post disability) — The Targa Tasmania — “The Longest , Most Gruelling , Most Dangerous Tarmac Rally in the World ;-);-);-)
We (the car , self & navigator) will (pray) to do @3000kms in 7 days on some of the trickiest and most dangerous roads in the world – and ? With this year being the 25th Anniversary we have the largest field of competitors ever in the events 25 years – and the biggest field than any other Tarmac Rally — in the World — (sounds better when Clarkson days it) in fact entires closed in August as some of the overnight stops simple can’t provide accommodation , even within a couple of hours from the finish / start line – with well over 300 cars entered – last year was @250 of which less than double digits finished – with 300++ that means 600 drivers and navigators – prolly up to 1000 team and support crew (we have none – just my 15 year old son and self) and then well over 100 cams officials and volunteers – (God bless and thank them – without their help and generosity no one would be racing – kudos and big up’s to them) – could be closer to 1500 people traveling through Tasmania that week with the event and ? we should put @@$10-15 million dollars into the Tasmania economy , which is badly needed – heck it’s the only place you can drift a car sideways at brake neck speeds in a small town tearing up the streets , making one hell of a noise , burning rubber and ???? The Police ? Are just giving the thumbs up and clapping ?
Now I ask you ??? Where else but down under haha :-):-):-)
It was a dream for well over 20+ years to compete and FINISH a Targa Tass (TT) – but life had other plans for me – almost 10 years ago now on that fateful day in 2006 I sustained a complete high level spinal cord injury , my spinal cord was severed just below the neck – and as a result I can only move 2 arms and a head – caveat – the head is not the sharpest in the shed – that day saw all life as I knew it , end – I always thought the (TT) was on my bucket list box – but after the injury I was forced to consider this box would never be ticked even though , somehow , I believed , one day I’d find a way to make this dream come true – Never gave up on that dream – just couldn’t see how I could ever do it the way I would be for the rest of my life ?
Living in a hospital for the best part of a year after an injury like the one I sustained I found myself stuck in bed for months on end – and when mates would come to visit often they would leave me DVD’s to watch – and BAM like a bolt of lightening – one day when I’d just got word that the staph infection that had entered the wound where by back was sawn open had transcended into my spinal cord itself , and I’d be having my 3rd spinal surgery (in 2 weeks) where they would have to remove all the rods and metal work and also cut through the spinal cord dura and open to remove some bone fragments still embedded into what was left of the cord to try to cut and scrape away the infected areas , it was a BIG surgery and it came with many risks and worries – so the night before I couldn’t sleep ? Go fish ? But I put in a DVD to the small DVD player my mate got me – remember back then they had just come out with those small mini tv DVD players – it was called :
Love “THE BEAST” – staring Eric Bana – now this movie / documentary shows just what a targa is and all what comes with ?
Personal journey of Eric Bana – and his love for his PASSION – Love The BEAST !!!!
I challenge you to watch this movie ASAP its on iTunes and I think @$3 AUD – to rent – it’s an incredible movie – you won’t regret watching I think – I hope if your reading this you can find 1 hour and 20 minutes free to see this amazing movie that totally changed my life – you see it was whilst I was watching this movie that night that a flash bulb went off in my head – KaKa – the desire that was ignited hit me hard – and that the burning desire and dream to one day finish in a Targa Tas – seems like it would be just that – a dream that may never come true – Again – I never gave up on that dream – somehow some way I always thought ? I’d find a way ?? Enter – Fadiel satellite accelerator (details on it under the Tech page of this site and also in some early journal posts) and Pual from total ability – now with this remote control I could finally drive with BOTH hands on the wheel ? Safely and FAST , where is that bucket list now ???
If there is one thing I’ve learnt after all this is that with Dreams ? You just can’t sit back and wait for your dreams to come to you , you have to get up , go out and make them happen , dreams are what we live for , dreams are what make the everything else worthwhile , dreams are what makes the rest of life just that bit more exciting and , and last year at TT 2015 that dream came a reality – and we raised well over the $100,000.00 which was perhaps the real metric of success for us !!
Perhaps the greatest feeling I’ve ever had crossing that final finish line after @60+ races with my son – Targa Tas is down unders version of la mans in many ways !!!
You can check out the FINISH post on my sporting wheelies and disabled fundraising site , where the journal shows and tells of every step (roll) in the journey from start to finish – just google : hammer targa and spend some time looking on my site – especially with the journal diary – I knew the sporting wheelies and disabled association (where I train everyday) was in some trouble and needed money so it seemed a perfect fit – not only would I attempt a targa – a personal challenge for me , a father and son legacy started and ? I’d also try to raise $100,000.00 for them to help get them over the hump –
The “Journey” begins :
Posts on my SW site YEE HAA we did it and the first time anyone like me , doing it the way we did with remote satellite controls , in the 24 year history of the event – we even finished top 10 in class (just) beating many able body teams .
Hammer’s Journal |
Well it’s that time again – Sensory deficit – here’s where I so TOTALLY SUCK –
My head is spinning with the thought of not being able to feel what the car is doing. The physical limitations I can comprehend but the sensory deficit is mind-boggling to me. It’s what ALL racers drive and trade on , and something I probably take for granted before the accident ??
Thing is that with last years car I would brake pretty hard before the corner so NO way would loose grip – mostly oversteer (which I can’t feel or sense only using millions of “line of sight points” as a basic baseline to tell me if the car is loosing grip – and last years car had such massive torque and HP – I could just wind her up after I passed the corner apex – O/S was always the issue for me in that car but in the new car – it’s the reverse – under steer is a bitch on it – for corners I have to keep the rev’s over 3K (2 litre turbo zone) and thus try to carry more momentum through the corner as trying to wind it up after the apex was kinda ?? Well let’s just say – Not so pleasing – and I already got plenty of that at home – haha – BTW – I tell everyone wherever i go if the subject of speed comes up I recite the mantra I have now embedded in my brain sensory systems —
If you want to go faster ? 1st Slow Down –
I’ll take that one to the grave – just a bit lost in the little car as only done 1.5 stages during the 2 Targa events at MB – in November – I’ll just have to slowly work it out – it’s all GOOD – :-):-):-)
I’m never going to be able to compete with able body drivers who can sense and feel the car through their legs bum and body – and also have use of peddles , feet & legs – that’s reality – I just want to try to get the best — I can do — that’s my metric of success & DOH don’t crash , don’t kill son , (can’t go home if that happens) finish – that’s all I care about not the placings !!
We all take gifts for granted at times everyone is guilty of that – I try to maximize what I have and make the best of it rather than spend a single second , emotion of feeling on the things I’ve lost – that’s my challenge and I’m bloody lucky – I can still communicate and move 2 arms – I got nothing to be complaining about it could always be worse (I could have 2 wife’s haha) anyway when I’m driving I have no feeling of my body , it’s totally disconnected from my head – same when I fall from the chair – I see my legs getting ground on the road or steps of gravel – and my waist hit une chair in the way to the ground. I see it and think ? Ohhhhh that looks like it would really hurt and now look at those legs bleeding ? That’s gotta sting like a mofo – I just am not connected !
Poor analogy – it’s like going to the mall and putting a dollar in one of those virtual games – and you sit in front of a large TV screen and watch a roller coaster ?
You kinda get the feeling your there – but not really – that’s exactly how it feels I see my body but it’s as if I see someone else’s as I can’t connect in any way – just have to keep the old river skippers navigation to control and know what the car is doing by plotting course up a river – you pick in line of sight of 2 items outside the car looking forward and keep inline – and if a gap appears either from right or left I know the car is sliding – first sign I get and I have to take 1000’s of these every stage – but hey ?
What else would you ever want to do ? I LOVE it – let her rip potato chip !!!
Now to the relevant part – as it’s an endurance event and I’m in my older age – ha ha – I need to get as much rest and so many things to get done before I leave I won’t be able to post much or answer ANY emails so if you can please wait till I’m back @21st April.
Thank you for your consideration and understanding – counting the sleeps you bet !!!
Oh and pls do click on the association icon on the sporting wheelies site and see some of the member profiles of people the money raised has helped and here their story !!
TT 25 here we come >>>> BOOYAA !!!!