Geelong Off Road Buggy Association — a journey of off-road racing and camaraderie

Geelong Off Road Buggy Association — a journey of off-road racing and camaraderie

By TC Media
Pics by Show n Go Photography, Downunder Motorsport and Media

In the early days, at a time when off-road racing was gaining popularity, a group of off-road enthusiasts came together to form the Geelong Off Road Buggy Association (GORBA) at a meeting on the 28th of July 1977.

With events like Hatta and the Sea Lake Mallee Rally gaining attention, the nearby Western District Car Club had established an off-road section to cater for the growing interest. Amidst the burgeoning off-road community, another club, the Ford Car Club were faced with the prospect of folding, though had a dedicated group of members who still longed to race.


In their search for a way to continue on track, they reached out to the Western District Car Club, where the two groups agreed to unite under a single banner, giving birth to the Geelong Off Road Buggy Association (GORBA) led by the clubs first President Frank Tammis. The Western District Car Club continued with their auto cross and motorkharna events while GORBA focused on off-road.

GORBA’s inaugural event roared to life at Freshwater Creek in the same year, where fifteen crews lined up at the starting line, eager to conquer the new terrain.

Over the years, GORBA’s passion for off-road racing led them to host events at various locations. From Freshwater Creek to Point Lonsdale, and later at Keith Hearns’ property near Merideth, the club always sought new tracks. It was during the 1980s that the club discovered the Avalon Motor Sports Complex, which continues to host races today, including an event in April won by Brant Knight.


Other notable club achievements was taking over Murray’s property at Moyston, where they hold an annual event, with the latest edition in early May claimed by Paul Meikel. Originally managed by the Wimmera Car Club, the torch was passed to GORBA when the former folded.

Starting with around 50 members, the club’s ranks have swelled to approximately 100 dedicated souls. Among them, a figure stands tall – Craig Dixon. A revered pillar of the association, Dixon has been a member since its inception, his unwavering dedication has seen him serve as secretary, president, and the chief scrutineer – a role he remains in today, leaving an memorable mark on GORBA’s legacy.

Another cherished figure in GORBA’s history is Jim Forssman, who has faithfully served as the timer for their events for nearly three decades. Additionally, Jim held the treasurer position for several years, showcasing his commitment to the club’s success.

However, GORBA’s true essence lies in the bonds formed within its racing family. At least half of the members proudly race as families—fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives. From grandfathers to grandchildren, cousins to uncles, GORBA has embraced the ties that bind them together.

GORBA expresses gratitude to all its past and present members who have contributed to the club’s growth and success. The sense of camaraderie within the club is strong, with everyone coming together to camp at races and support one another, ensuring the club’s longevity.



As GORBA continues its path, it remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of off-road racing, fostering a sense of community, and creating lasting memories for all involved.

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