So - how will we sum up Bo and Sam Rowbotham who recently returned from taking part in the Shitbox Rally?
Two champion blokes, championing an important cause pretty much sums them and what they recently did up.
The Ulladulla area-based father [Bo] and son [Sam] team took part in the Shit Box Rally in a Datsun 180 B to support the Cancer Council.
Their entry was called 'Thirst Response Shitbox Rally Team'.
Theirs was a successful rally - with lots of fun, adventures and many highlights.
"Being able to meet a bunch of new people who all just get along right from the start was one of the highlights," Sam said.
"Everyone got into the vibe with dress-ups and offering help, spare parts, tools, a push or support to broken down and bogged cars. It's quite an experience to see 500 people spend an entire week being completely selfless."
Sam had taken part in a previous rally but this marked Bo's first.
"Dad loved it, he enjoyed the driving, roughing it, the small and quirky towns and spending time with a bunch of new mates," Sam said.
"It was a great experience to do it together as a team."
Sam has many stories to share and tell.
"Seeing one of the cars trailered into the start line due to a rusty fuel tank causing issues, then seeing it complete the whole rally and head off home with a 20L jerry on the roof supplying fuel straight to the injector pump was pretty funny," Sam said.
"Convincing my father to take part in the cheerleader dress-up day, although it wasn't much of a sight, was funny and then we formed cheerleader pyramids in front of the Big Bogan at Nyngan."
He laughs now when he thinks about breaking down 30 times in a day, the shortest being two minutes apart.
A few laughs were had when one of the production photographers stood right in the action on a water crossing trying to get the perfect photos.
"It was going well till he tried to get a pic of a road train crossing the water which nearly drowned him with wave after wave of water splashing up," Sam said.
The good old Datto did its job - just.
"The car was rough, to say the least, during the wet weather in Queensland the windscreen, doors and boot leaked like a sieve," Sam said.
"In the red dust of central NSW we were coughing and choking from the dust coming up through the floor. The car was rusty and rattly but it was unique and truly was a shitbox in all sense of the word!
"It did however cross the finish line and get us all the way home."
The Datto suffered a few fuel-related with filters blocking and the fuel pump working only intermittently.
"We also hit a large mud puddle which caused mayhem with our alternator," Sam said.
"This had us doing roadside battery swaps with another one of our group as our battery died each time.
"The fuel problems were mainly due to a bunch of crud being dislodged in the tank and causing blockages and eventually causing the fuel pump to fail."
To fix the fuel issue - they had to think outside the box - or Datto repair manual if you like.
"This was when we decided to put a jerry can on the passenger floor with a marine style hand priming pump to supply the clean fuel we needed," Sam said.
"That night in triage at Tibooburra we were able to remove and flush the fuel tank, install an electric fuel pump in the boot which runs off the tail lights for power and also removed the alternator for a clean up and birthday which solved all our major problems.
"From there on it was only the odd instance of not wanting to start after re-fuelling or getting bogged on the side of the road."
We have not seen the last of the mighty Datto.
"Well it will need some TLC and a few body repairs in the back end after an unfortunate incident at a traffic light in Emerald," Sam said.
"But the plan is to get it back into another rally - perhaps Newcastle to Townsville via Betoota but for the next few weeks I think it can take a well-earned rest."
Sam is looking forward to more rallies.
"I have already been accepted as a support crew for Mackay to Darwin via Hell's gate later this year," he said.
"I think I will be a familiar face on the scene for a few years to come."
Sam sent us some further reflections
"The first few days to Tibooburra were sunny and dusty with some nice desert tracks but from then it deteriorated into wild storms.This rally was a bit unique with the amount of rain received meaning two of our planned stopovers were flooded in and not accessible and much of the driving was re-directed to tar roads to prevent 200 cars being bogged and roads being destroyed the organisers had a hell of a time finding somewhere at short notice to roll out 500 swags, provide meals and somewhere to hold each evening's festivities. The towns of Charleville and Emerald pulled together a miracle to get us all a patch of dry ground and a belly full of food with only 24 hours notice each, even the Emerald mayor came to thank us for spending our money there and told us we always had a place to stay in time of need there. At Thargomindah the teams all banded together and joined what tarps and tents they had together to form mini tarp city's to ensure everyone had a dry spot to roll out a swag. At Charleville and Emerald we were able to sleep in the grandstands at the racetrack and in an indoor cricket stadium to weather the storms."
"Cancer is a sickness that has touched everyone in some way or other, the Shitbox is a quirky and fun way to raise money that Cancer Council uses to fund, what they and the rally organisers deem, the most value-adding research projects. On top of that, the challenge of buying a truly shitty car and taking it where most ordinary people would be loathed to take a 4wd is something that just sparks my interest straight away! Once you've taken part in a rally you become part of an elite club known as the 'Rally Family.' What this means is that on and off the rally you will always have someone willing to give you a hand with anything you need. There is no problem or adversity too big on the rally that isn't overcome by a willingness to help each other and provide any support you are capable of- tools, parts, mechanical repairs, fuel, rum, even a shoulder to cry on for some of those times people are remembering a lost loved one and the most incredible thing is these are strangers from all walks of life that you only met a few days ago."
"The camaraderie is what makes the shitbox special, you are assigned a buddy group at the beginning comprising seven teams who you stick with no matter what for the next week. One breaks down and all stop, one car needs fuel, all fill-up. These tight-knit units will travel and camp together and after a few days become close friends who will do whatever is needed to assure the members of the group have a comfortable bed and a car that is ready to start in the morning. Tools, food, drinks and assistance are shared without the need to ask. But then as a wider group, the entire rally is there in the same fashion, other groups will pull over to help push a stranded car out of 12 inches of mud, when a spare part is needed the word is put out and within no time the much-needed part is being carried into triage, no payment required. The mechanical support crews who do the rallies regularly, without payment, will stay up in triage until 3 to 4am to get a car back on the road for the teams and the only payment which is requested is a few rum and cokes to keep them motivated. The atmosphere is a feeling of great fun and laughter and we can achieve whatever is thrown at us as long as we are willing to help each other. I have definitely made great friends with one of them providing me with this great quote- 'A week on the rally is like living a week the way the world should be'."
"This year we raised over $24K with the rally total exceeding $2.1 mill. The total raised between Thirst Aiders (our sister team) and Thirst Response is now up to nearly $90k in 2 rallies due to the awesome support from Ulladulla and Tumbarumba. The links are still open for another week and can be found on Facebook if you'd still like to donate, or keep an eye out for upcoming rally posts on Facebook."
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