Team NSW does NatMeet

13 March 2016 / Words by Bryan Shedden, Photos by Peter Hilkmann, Tom Wilde, Josh Fitzgerald & Grant Webber

Two years ago when it was announced at the end of NatMeet XI at Caloundra, Queensland that the next National Meet of the MX-5 Clubs of Australia would be held in Tasmania, it left many of us nervously wondering how it would turn out. On the one hand, the temptation of Tasmania's fabulous Targa roads, wine and food would attract many MX-5ers. On the other hand, the high cost of travel, ferry, accommodation and food would make this the most expensive NatMeet ever, despite the best efforts of the organisers to minimise all costs. Plus the event was held in mid-February, outside of Easter and school holidays for the first time, which prevented many from attending. We need not have worried because NatMeet XII at Launceston, Tasmania attracted a record participation of 184 people and 106 MX-5s. They even had to turn people away after reaching capacity!

The MX-5 Club of NSW was represented at NatMeet XII by a very keen group of 63 people, every one of them resplendent in their "Team NSW" polos and caps. By Chapter, we had 7 from Canberra, 25 from Hunter, 7 from Illawarra, 10 from RPM, and 14 from Sydney. Our Hunter contingent alone almost matched the total from Queensland! The attendances from other states were Victoria 36, Tasmania 32, Queensland 28, Western Australia 15, and South Australia 10.

NatMeet X11 Launceston

NatMeet XII was based at the Country Club Tasmania on the outskirts of Launceston, with most staying at the Country Club Villas. Somewhat resembling a retirement village in layout (and yes it backed onto a golf course), the villa parking areas were a hive of activity with some putting in the final preparations for Concours d'Elegance and Show & Shine, while many went from door to door to socialise and mock those who "missed a spot".

Day 1 on Saturday 13 February commenced with the NatMeet track day at Symmons Plains Raceway. Click the following link to read Peter Barnwell's story about the event. NatMeet - Symmons Plains track day

Day 2 on Sunday 14 February (Valentine's Day) tempted many of the motorsport devotees to drive 2 hours each way to Hobart for an extra track day at the historic Baskerville Raceway. Click the following link to read Phil Donnelley's story about the event. NatMeet - Baskerville track day

Day 3 on Monday 15 February saw the start of the main program of events at NatMeet. After a rather chaotic assembly of MX-5s in the carpark at the Country Club, we made our way in convoy to Josef Chromy Winery, where MX-5s were set up on the lawn before the vines, in order of NAs, NBs, NCs and NDs. All 184 attendees crowded into the restaurant for a scrumptious lunch, before heading back outside to watch the judges do the judging. Click the following link to read Craig Morrison's story about the event. NatMeet - Concours at Josef Chromy Winery

Dinner was at the Country Club Ballroom with informal finger food and plenty of time to mingle and chat with friends from all around Australia.

16-02-15 - Concourse - 05

Day 4 on Tuesday 16 February was the first of the drive days. We were split into groups of about 10 MX-5s, plus a Tasmanian run leader and tailend Charlie, and armed with an excellent set of run notes in a booklet. Over the next three days, we cycled through three different runs. Click the following link to read Peter Hilkmann's story about the Targa roads touring.  NatMeet - Targa roads touring

Tuesday evening was the Theme Dinner in an auditorium at the Country Club, with Steve Maciver from Mazda Australia as guest speaker. The fancy dress theme was "In the garage with your MX-5" which proved to be quite challenging, but everyone got into the spirit of it and had a fun night. Check the link to Peter Hilkmann's photos for all the costumes and debauchery.


Day 5 on Wednesday 17 February was the second day of touring Targa roads, and we had a "free night" to entertain ourselves. I organised a group dinner for any/all of "Team NSW" at The Metz Cafe Bar in Launceston, and 47 people decided to join in, including a few ring-ins. After "happy hour or two" in front of villa 175, most caught the public bus for the short ride to/from town, which was a lot of fun. Click the following link to read Maree & Steve Ecclestone's tale of the evening. NatMeet - Team NSW dinner

Day 6 on Thursday 18 February was the third and final day of Targa touring, followed by the Gala Dinner in the Country Club Ballroom. Serving of the three course dinner was split up with the presentation of trophies, and our Club members claimed many of the awards - see below for photos of all our trophy winners. Four more of our members narrowly missed out on Concours trophies, finishing second in NA Standard (Craig Morrison by 2.89 pts), NA Modified (Dave Perin by 2.91 pts), NC Standard (Rachel Crawford by 1.48 pts), and ND Standard & Modified (Jen & George Boyko by 1.07 pts). Phil & Helen Mayo won the Individual Champion award for NSW. We thought we had a good chance of winning the National Champion State Club trophy for the third time running, but we were pipped to the post by Queensland.

Full competition results from NatMeet XII are here



Finally came the announcement of the destination for NatMeet XIII in 2018, which will be held in the Barossa Valley of South Australia. It will surely be another good event that will be exceptionally popular.

And with that NatMeet XII was called to a close. Some stayed on for an optional two day extension to Hobart, while others began the long trip home the very next day. Thank you to the MX-5 Club of Victoria & Tasmania for hosting yet another successful NatMeet!


Motorsport Champions

Class 2
Standard MX-5 SE & NC
Bryan Shedden

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Class 3
Standard MX-5 ND
Peter Barnwell

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Class 5
Modified MX-5 1.6L
Phil Mayo

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Class 6
Modified MX-5 1.8L
Warren Hotz


Best regularity factor
Bryan Shedden

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Encouragement Award

Lindsay Green & Helen Green

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Concours d'Elegance and Show & Shine Champions 

Show & Shine - NA
Amy & Romeo Perin


Show & Shine - NB
Warren & Blake Hotz


People's Choice
Lindsay Green & Josh Fitzgerald

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Concours - NB Standard
Peter & Maureen Hilkmann

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Concours - NB Modified
Diann Miller

NatMeet X11 Launceston

Shannon's Choice
Craig Morrison


Individual Champion - NSW

Phil & Helen Mayo

NatMeet X11 Launceston