Back in the day, tens of thousands of bike race fanatics would descend on the rural township and do what bike racing fans the world over do, watch their heroes put their balls on the line at the notorious widow making track, get on the piss and have a fucking party . . . . that lasted three and more days.
Trouble had been brewing between the bike race 'blow-ins' and the local cops for several years prior to 1981, a total absence of any facilities at the 'Mountain' where the throngs of fans gathered was cited as one significant reason, along with a feeling of being 'cheated' by the town who gladly took their hard earned but seemed to give fuck all back . . . . but at the bottom of it was a nationally prevailing headspace within the police force that all those on bikes were beneath contempt and should be treated as such, typical old school, southern fried pig thinking, or lack thereof as the case in hand turned out to be.
The non-thought processes went something like, lets not bother trying to work anything out with the masses, lets invent a brand new bunch of bacon boys called the Tactical Response Group, arm them with latest in riot gear and 'crowd control' tactics and we'll send em on in and bash the cunts, that was how it went down . . . . just writing this shit down sets my hand trembling, I was wrongfully arrested twice in Queensland during that period by pigs with the same Nazi mentality and it sucks arse !!!
The 1981 races were the beginning of a series of confrontations between the fuzz and the crowd that would come to one ugly motherfucker of a head in 1985, and I do mean 'ugly motherfucker', leading to the event being permanently moved to Phillip Island . . . . where, oddly enough, the Victorian force got together with the various bodies representing the bike riding element and successfully avoided any drama at all, a substantially more diplomatic approach yielded instant results that have remained in place until the current day . . . .
Anyway, I should stop now before I wind myself up any further . . . . the video here is number three in a six part series and covers the entire '81 episode pretty well, my advice is watch number three first, then let it auto shift onto number four then go back and take in the whole bloody lot . . . . some great footage of the racers wrestling those monster supers of the day around one of the toughest circuits in the kingdom of racing, some equally honest and insightful vision of the first of five years of full on rioting and then the tranquil and dazed going home stages . . . . file this one under "lessons learnt"