The following article originally appeared in the Citroenvie magazine, published by Citroen Autoclub Canada.  You can access the CAC website from the links section of our site.  Thanks to George Dyke for permission to use this article.

Ottawa Citroën Club – Perth Gathering
by George Dyke

This year marked the 12th anniversary of the Ottawa Citroën Club’s Annual Summer gathering and the 2nd year it has been held in Perth Ontario. A charming town about an hour west of Ottawa, Perth is a thriving community that has a park on the edge of town perfect for the Club’s needs; a gabled eating area, on-site camping, clean washrooms (with showers no less) and an area large enough to stage what has become the highlight of the weekend, the “Citroën Olympics”.

The gathering always attracts a diverse crowd. This year from the Ottawa region there were Christian and Fabienne T. (in their DS), Michel Landry (DS), Sam Holman (CX), Werner Seigrist (SM), Volker and Mary Jane Volrath (SM), Ian Craib (2CV), Bruce and Diane Grant(2CV), Jim and Beth McCollum (2CV), Jacques and Ray Charpentier (2CV), Bob and Claudine McLeod (2CV) and Neil Bova.

Traveling from Montreal were, Michel Larouche (2CV) and Stephane Palumbo (SM). From Toronto were Jeff Teerlinck (2CV), Roland Voegele (2CV), Steve Loria (2CV-AK400 Truckette, and yours truly (in my DS). Also from the Kingston area were Angus MacDougald and K. MacInnes (SM) and Neil and Ruth Bryson. Brenda and Jean-Jaques Sanfaçon made it all the way from Quebec City in their 2CV. The longest distance travelled however, was by Paul Riccardi who once again came from Massachusetts in his Sprinter van to camp at Perth before heading west for a trip to Toronto and Pittsburgh.

The meeting officially kicked off on Friday. Saturday mid-day we gathered in downtown Perth to display the various Citroëns in a special cordoned-off section of the Farmers’ Market. Hundreds of enthusiastic people mulled about and those of us with Citroëns got to talk with each other and get caught up on news since we last met.

Perth Farmers’ Market Citroën display

Mid-afternoon we returned to the park where Bob McLeod with the help of Beth McCollum had set up the pylons for his Olympic Slalom course. Bob staged it for 2CV’s but asked me to run through it in my DS to see if a larger car could actually make it or if the pylons needed to be spaced further apart. The trial run proved that the course was fine as is, and the games began. It wasn’t just a straight line slalom though. A three point U-turn was required to travel back trough the pylons and at the end of the course you had to nudge a pylon with the bumper of your Citroën. The pylon had a dish precariously perched on top with a ball balanced on that and a flag sticking our of the ball. Knock any of it over and you had to back-up 10 meters, reset the ball/flag and try again.

The tension was high. It was a game of millimeters.

 

Jeff Teerlinck and Roland Voegele (driving) dodge pylons on the Citroën Olympics course.

Surprisingly, of all the cars that took part, 2 DS and 1 SM claimed the top 3 spots, and I, along with Stephane Palumbo as passenger, managed a first place win! Here are the full results:

  1. George Dyke and Stephane Palumbo – DS – 0:40.6
  2. Stephane Palumbo and Danny Galcso – SM – 0:45.0
  3. Christian and Fabienne – DS – 0:48.3
  4. Jim McCollum and Neil Bova – 2CV – 1:00.1
  5. Jeff Teerlinck and Bruce Grant – 2CV – 1:06.1
  6. Ian Craib and Neil Bryson – 2CV – 1:14.5
  7. Roland Voegele and Jeff Teerlinck – 2CV – 1:36.2
  8. Bruce Grant and Jeff Teerlinck – 2CV – 2:08.4
  9. Michel Landry and George Dyke – DS – 2:11.5
  10. Angus MacDougald and Neil Bryson – SM Demonstration run –> 3:35.8

The “Spirit of the Games” award was given to Neil Bryson, who was co-pilot for both Angus MacDougald and Ian Craib, and never lost his radiant smile the whole time.

This year’s venue was once again organized by Neil Bova who brought full cooking facilities with him on a trailer that included a fridge, grills and a giant cauldron to cook fresh corn. Neil also brought along enough food for the weekend to feed us all. Saturday dinner was a spectacular affair with delicious salads, chicken, sausages and, of course, the corn. Merriment abounded!

Beth, Ruth, Claudine, Brenda, and Jean prep corn for the big meal Saturday night

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The hospitality and camaraderie of this annual Ottawa Club gathering is something to behold. A charming weekend, centred on Citroëns, that’s as relaxed and laid back as your going to find anywhere. That probably explains why many make the pilgrimage year after year.