Posted by: Rebecca | March 16, 2012

Welcome to Melbourne!

OK, so the fact that I haven’t written my blog for around 24 hours says it all. Whether it’s Melbourne, or the F1, I’’m like a chocoholic in Wonkaland. I arrived yesterday and, conscious that my pit walk started at 3pm, I jump on a bus from the airport, dump my bags at the hotel and grab a cab straight down to Albert Park, arriving at 2:40. Coming all the way from York for this, to get to the circuit with 20 minutes to spare is spot on! But the biggest sense of relief has to be getting my tickets – this year we booked through an Aussie agency, rather than F1.com, and a tiny part of me was worried we’d arrive and they wouldn’t have a record of our booking. But all is good – 3 packs waiting for me to collect on the gate – stop the clock I’ve got the treasure!

The walk itself is just 3 minutes of access to the pit lane, where the teams are in their garages working on the cars. A couple of drivers are about too – Kimi and Vitali. It’s just so cool to be so close to the action!

I then wander over to get my first Aussie beer – a pint of James Boag’s, v nice too. Sitting there, a group of 4 guys ask if they can join me (of course) and we get chatting (the Aussies talk to anyone! It’s great!) They’re all in their 40s (I’m guessing?) One pom called Warren (or ‘Wozza’ as the Aussies call him) who’s lived here about 20 years (although he still has a Stockport accent), a kiwi called Jason (who’s also lived here for years) and 2 Aussies. They all live in Sydney and are a hoot! 4 pints later, numbers are swapped and suggestions of further beers after Friday’s practice session. Happy days. They also suggestd I head down to St Kilda for drinks later, the place to be, it seems.

So St Kilda, by night, and in just one bar, but it’s ace! Giant jenga, connect 4, live music, flip flops & wetsuits and flowing beer. I sit at the bar most of the night, chatting to a chap called Adrian, who turns out he works for Petronas and sits on Shumi’s pit wall during the race… nice! Again, numbers swapped etc.

My first night in Melbourne finishes up at 4.30 am – given I’ve been awake since 9am 2 days earlier in Hong Kong, I’d say that’s pretty good going! At least I won’t have to worry about jet lag – I just generally need to sleeeeeep!

It hasn’t stopped raining since I arrived but, like Spa, it just adds to the fun! After a lazy pampering morning and a huge breakfast in my amazing hotel, I head back to the circuit. Today I’m determined to remember to eat something rather than just drink… (famous last words)…

I find our seats on the chicane at the end of the pit straight – great location, close to the track and hopefully we’ll see some overtaking, serious braking and a few bumps on Sunday. Practice starts and our boys do good – a McLaren 1-2, awesome! I then feel like Mrs Popular, as Warren texts to see if I fancy meeting them for a beer after practice (ok then) and a text from Adrian asking if I was at the track.

3 cheeky Boags later and I jump on the tram back into town to head up to the airport to meet the olds. Half way there and dad texts me to say their flight is due to land at 22:55 WHAT? I thought it was 17:15? Dammit, could’ve stayed the whole day at the circuit, instead I’m on the Skybus to Melbourne International, doh! As it happens, it’s probably a good thing, otherwise I could easily still be sinking Boags now and would undoubtedly have ended up sozzled and missed the olds altogether!

So I’m back at the hotel, contemplating grabbing a powernap (could be dangerous) when Mr Petronas text again, so see if I fancy a beer when he’s finished at the circuit. The question is, can I stay awake that ong?…

ttfn /Boxy
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

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Responses

  1. Good to see your enjoying yourself 😉

    • Great to meet you guys this week! Will drop Woz a text when I hit Sydney – beer may be required!

  2. Wow… sounds like you are having and amazing adventure! Keep blogging!

    • It’s great Drea! Can see why you and W had such fun in 28 days 🙂


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