I guess you’re wondering who I am and why I have built this site. My name is Phil Hall and I’m presently 61 years old (March 2010).
I live in Wollongong on the beautiful south coast of NSW and have been a motorsports/motorcycling enthusiast since I was a teenager.
I started out following car racing, but became disenchanted with it in the early 1970’s: the whole thing got a bit too money-focussed and less sport-focussed. So one day, completely by accident, I attended a motorcycle roads race meeting and I was pretty much hooked.
The friendly atmosphere, the closeness of the racing, the accessibility of the pits compared to car racing were all features that I was missing and it didn’t take long for me to switch my attention to bike racing.
I started out photographing the races, firstly from the spectator stands and then, as I got to know race organisers and officials better, from trackside with a photographer’s pass. And it was during this time that the zenith of Kenny Blake’s racing career in Australia was taking place, although I couldn’t have known that at the time.
The first major meeting I attended was the Australian TT at Laverton and it was there that I first met Kenny while wandering through the pits. Something about him and his operation just “clicked” and I determined to watch out for him in future. Little did I know that I was about to witness one of his most famous victories the very next day.
From that point on I was a Kenny Blake fan.
Living in Canberra at the time I became instrumental in starting the Canberra Road Racing Club and helping organise and promote the Road Closure meetings on the streets of Macarthur in the late 1970’s. I was always disappointed that Kenny’s racing schedule didn’t allow him to compete at any of the road closures; that would have been neat.
At around about this time I eased out of photography and, with the encouragement of friends, moved into the commentary box, eventually parlaying that into an enjoyable pastime for many years. I have been privileged to have commentated a Castrol Six Hour Race (1979), the Coca Cola 800 (1981), the Canberra Road Closures (1978-81), Bathurst, (1980 and the last-ever race meeting in 2000), and numerous state and club level events over the last 30 years.
I have also commentated at the speedway, calling the 1981 Australian Sprintcar title at Tralee Speedway in Canberra and many other prestigious events on tracks ranging from Tralee, Goulburn, PCR, Newcastle and Kembla Grange. I am presently the course commentator for Nowra Speedway on the south coast of NSW. I headed the commentary team for The Six Hour, the final motorcycle road race ever held at Sydney’s Oran Park Raceway in November 2009.
If you want to follow up all the things that I’ve done and the places that I’ve been and the wonderful memories that this life has afforded me, you can do so on my own personal web site, www.halfofmylife.com