About 30 kms west of Portland, on the Nelson Road, are the Swan Lake sand dunes. These are the only coastal sand dunes you can drive within Victoria, but you are still not allowed to drive on the beaches. They are managed by the Portland Dune Buggy Club, and you need to be a member to access them. A number of our members have joined the PDBC as this is a great getaway, with some different types of driving and a well set up campground. In March this year one of our members, Hugh, who is a trainer, conducted a sand driving course there. There were 5 members from various metropolitan clubs participating, and a couple of our members tagged along. The weather was great during the day with a drop of rain overnight. The PDBC had about a dozen members out for a weekend run, but that was no problem as there are over 18 square kms of dunes. We arrived on Friday afternoon and set up our tents or swags. We had a meet and greet around the fire, and after a meal some more time by the fire swap- ping travel yarns. On the Saturday morning we hit the sand. We had aired down to about 20psi. There is a challenging hill at the entrance to the dunes, We all got up , except one vehicle, which was very basic, with an inexperienced driver. Hugh took another few psi from the tyres and decided to travel with him for some one-on-one training. We spent the morning exploring the dunes and getting into positions where there was a bit of snatching or winching. By this time most of us had lowered our tyres to 15/16psi. Our most difficult recovery was on a soft hill, where we had 3 vehicles linked, winching and using Maxtracks to get up. We then went back to camp for lunch and a debrief and question session. After lunch it was back to the dunes for a chance to put any new knowledge to the test. We covered a lot more of the dunes and mainly just had some fun. We still had to do some recoveries, but everyone got a good chance to put their knowledge to the test. Then it was back to camp, just on dark, for another very pleasant night around the fire. After breakfast, the next morning, we had a training session on recoveries. Hugh had a sand anchor and snatch rope, as well as the snatch straps and winches we had been using yesterday. TRACKWATCH JUNE 2019 5 SAND DRIVING COURSE Club members learn to drive sand at Portland > News