Tuesday, April 05, 2011

7:30pm, Albert Park Lake, Melbourne

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags goes up,
Churning and burning, they yern for the cup.

They deftly manouver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank,
Wreckless and wild they pour thru the turns,
Their prowless is podent and secretly stern.

Cake, 'The Distance', Fashion Nugget 1997

This was the sunset over Melbourne's Albert Park lake two Sundays ago. It's taken six floors up but the perspective looks much higher for some reason.

Some 30 minutes before this photo was taken, the air was filled will the piercing blasts of Formula 1 engines changing gears. This is one of the prettiest race tracks on the F1 circuit. The cars race around a lake and you can walk into the city, head to the beach or pop over to bustling St Kilda in less than 30 minutes.

For four days in March, echoes of engines drift across Melbourne and you know you're not in a regular city, you're in one of the few towns that has the privilege to host one of these races. And it is a privilege.

The Melbourne Grand Prix has always been controversial. If it's not the residents of Albert Park complaining about road closures and the noise, it's a general outcry about the profitability of the race. There's even opposition from the northern hemisphere against our time zones because people don't like getting up early to watch  our race.

Personally I think we lose sight of the bigger picture; the spectacle of the sport. It is steeped in history, difficult to get and even harder to hold. Why would you want to give away something that puts the eyes of the world on your beautiful city? It makes no sense to me but what I do know is that as long as it's on I will continue to appreciate and support it any way I can.

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