Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter-Glory Days June 2012 Contents Your place with Atmosphere
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[ GLORY DAYS ]
19. Daredevil on
CHAD REED WINS HIS FIRST AMA
SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP: MAY, 2004
When Neil Jameson interviewed Kurri Kurri
supercross superstar Chad Reed a few years ago
he listed 2004 as the best year of his life. “I won a
lot of races, won the championship and got married
(to Kurri childhood sweetheart Ellie Brady),” the
motorcycle daredevil said.
Although Reed was little known in his native
Australia in 2004, after going to Europe to forge
his career at just 18, that breakthrough title helped
him to a $6.5 million income for the year, placing
him fourth behind Greg Norman, Harry Kewell
and Lleyton Hewitt in the Australian sportsmen’s
annual rich list.
His second world title, in 2008, helped him earn
$8.7 million that year, and cemented his position as
the most consistent supercross/motocross racer in
the 2000-2009 decade.
Since he began notching wins in motorcross
and supercross titles 15 years ago, he has
accumulated millions in prizemoney, sponsorship
and advertising deals.
Reed turned 30 in March and has competed in
the gruelling US circuit for the past 10 years. He
missed out by just four points for the supercross
world crown last year, but forged a new path by
creating his own team, TwoTwo Motorsports, and
notched up number ﬁve place on the Hunter’s
biggest earners with $8.5 million.
This year brought bad luck, when he was
involved in a devastating crash at the Dallas
Cowboys Stadium in Texas in the American
Supercross Series. The crash ripped the anterior
cruciate ligament off Reed’s left leg, caused
multiple fractures to the leg, broke two ribs and
cracked a vertebra.
Among Reed’s biggest career wins are 1997
Australian Junior Motocross Champion, 1999
Australian Supercross Champion, 2000 Australian
Supercross Champion, 2003 US Open Champion,
2003 FIM World Supercross Champion, 2004 US
Open Champion, 2004 AMA Supercross Champion,
2008 AMA/FIM World Supercross Champion, 2009
Monster Energy Triple Crown MX Champion, 2009
AMA National Motocross Champion and 2009 AMA
Athlete of the Year.
On June 13, 2011, Reed was named a Member of
the Order of Australia for services to motorsports.
– JANE PARSONS
20. Spanning waters
THE PRESENT SWANSEA BRIDGE OPENS:
It took more than a century to move from the
ﬁrst Swansea Bridge to the present double-span
construction, a vital lifeline on the eastern side of
Lake Macquarie spanning the entrance to the lake
and connecting Little Pelican to Swansea.
The original Swansea Bridge, built in 1881 by
A&R Amos, had a swing-type opening span to
allow boats to and from the lake, and two unusual,
derrick-like towers. It was designed to carry a
locomotive that moved stones across the channel
to build the breakwall on the northern side. Parts of
the bridge, including its lifting span, came from one
built in 1871 at Black Wattle Bay, Sydney. Timber
for the bridge was cut on the western side of the
lake and hauled to the channel via Adamstown by
bullock train. When the breakwall was complete
the rail tracks were removed and the bridge was
opened to public trafﬁc in 1895.
The initial bridge was replaced in 1909 with
another opening-span bridge, build by Peter Callan
and Sons of Newcastle, incorporating a road. The bridge, which
cost 6180 pounds, again used parts from Black Wattle Bay. It was
dismantled in 1956 after being replaced by the channel’s third
opening bridge on December 14, 1955.
The third bridge carried both north and south-bound trafﬁc and
was duplicated in 1989 by a bridge built by Transﬁeld. This set up
the present structure with the old bridge carrying north-bound
trafﬁc and the newer bridge south-bound trafﬁc.
It was a rainy day when the bridge was ofﬁcially opened by Peter
Morris and Robert Webster, but the umbrella-carrying crowds still
turned out. Now more than 27,000 vehicles use the bridge each
day, along with its pedestrian and cycleway paths. The bridge
opens about 2000 times a year allowing up to 4500 boats to pass
21. Raise a toast
FIRST WINE MADE IN THE HUNTER: 1835
It is hard to put a birth date on the Hunter wine industry, but it
seems probable that George Wyndham, at his Dalwood property
on the banks of the Hunter near Branxton, was the ﬁrst grower to
produce wine in the valley.
Whenever the birth was, the Hunter’s wines have been bringing
glory to the region ever since, from gracing Emperor Napoleon’s
table at the Paris Exhibition in 1855 to being named best semillon
in the world at the 2011 International Wine and Spirit Competition
in London – almost 180 years of excellence.
Wyndham established his vineyard on the river in 1831 and made
his ﬁrst wine in 1835, although he admitted it was not much good
and promised to “make good vinegar”.
The next year James King’s Irrawang vineyard on the Williams
River at Raymond Terrace produced its maiden vintage.
The other important date in the history of Hunter wine is
October 16, 1832, the day James Busby, lauded as the father of
the Australian wine industry, arrived in Sydney carrying cuttings
of 543 vine varieties he had collected from France and Spain. A
set of the cuttings was donated to Sydney’s botanic gardens, and
a duplicate set was planted at Kirkton, a property Busby owned
between Singleton and Branxton run by his brother in law, William
These plantings literally sowed the seeds of the Australian wine
industry and are regarded as its wellspring.
The ﬁrst plantings at the Hunter’s most famous wine-producing
area, Pokolbin, came in March, 1866, courtesy of William Wilkinson
at his Oakdale vineyard, now named after one of his sons, Audrey
From these early plantings Australia’s oldest wine region has
grown to produce more than 39 million litres of wine annually,
packaged and sold to more than 50 countries.
There are about 125 wineries and more than 6000 hectares of
vineyards in the valley, and more than 2.8 million tourists visit each
year, estimated to generate more than $560 million in business.
The tourists are catered to by 75 cellar doors, 55 restaurants,
three major golf courses, 3000 beds and masses of infrastructure.
George Wyndham had no idea what he was starting.
Chad Reed, 2010
Swansea Bridge, 1820s
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