Age Group Winners
|U40 F||2||Katarina CERVIKOVA||587|
|U40 M||28||Ron Whitehead||587|
|U50 F||8||Kathleen Moylan||571|
|U50 M||1||Alan KEENLESIDE||587|
|50+ M||9||Lynton STRETTON||587|
Overall Placings & 100% Riders
|18||William [lou] Mclaren||50+||288||18:03||23||49%|
To download a printable copy of the 2010 stage results Click Here
Race Report 2010
In 2010,ongoing flooding rains in Central Australia left the low-lying areas of the Simpson Desert resembling a swamp. Reports of vehicles getting bogged or leaving the desert with mud on the roof, sent shockwaves through the committee. Only two weeks prior to the race the decision was made to move the event to an alternative location in the Great Victoria Desert. To do this we had to get three sets of permits (on extremely short notice) to allow us to stage this year’s race along the Anne Beadell Highway from Mabel Creek Station (west of Coober Pedy) to Anne’s Corner and back.
All but four of the competitors were able to make it to the start line, leaving us with a field of 24 riders. Most riders had no idea what the course would be like, and assumed it could only be easier than the Simpson Desert and so they had expectations of a 100% finish. Some expected a fast stone track and were not ready for the pounding that awaited them. The corrugations and sand resulted in half the field being swept on day three. The riders were not the only ones to be pounded as their support crews also bounced over the track and a few of the vehicles were damaged.
Regardless of where we hold this event, it’s great to see that the friendship and camaraderie that makes this event so great, still remains. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the committee for all their help setting up the event and the riders, crews and officials for making it so memorable.
I would also like to thank the Department of Defence, Maralinga Tjarutja Council and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SA) for allowing us to stage the race on such short notice, plus Dirtworks Australia (and Wayne Chapman for his work) for sponsoring the event.
The event raised $14,823.90 for the RFDS. Congratulations to everyone involved. Top effort to those raising funds through the mycause website.
- Alan Keenleside $3,845.00
- Kathleen Moylan $1,290.00
- Clancy Murree $810.00
- Mark and Debbie Greene $700.00
- Andrew Koop $630.00
- Robert Dall $570.00
- Andrew Hellier $220.00
- Lynton Stretton $1,290.00
Other major contributions, thanks to:
- Alan Keenleside $461.00
- Andrew Griffiths $500.00
- Dr Eric Fairbank $500.00
Race Director 2010
Stage by Stage
In light of the changes to the event, the convoy met at Coober Pedy and drove out to the start of the race as a group. We assembled at the pre-race campsite which was about 32km from Cooper Pedy on Mabel Creek Station. With the registration over, the pre-race briefing outlined the changes to the course. The regular routine of an 80km morning stage and 50km afternoon stage was thrown out the window to allow us to utilize the designated camp grounds along the route. Unlike the Simpson Desert, heavy vegetation was going to make finding campsites difficult.
Day 1 (Tuesday September 28th)
The cooler weather played a big part in this year’s race. The race started with a very easy first 40km across Mabel Creek Station before hitting the corrugations in the lead up to the dog fence. Ron Whitehead completed the stage in a very fast time of 3hr 5min and looked in top shape. As the other riders bounced their way along the dog fence into the lunch stop, the complaints about the track increased.
The afternoon course saw the riders continue along the Anne Beadell Highway to Tallaringa Well, 56km west of the dog fence. The corrugations increased and the sand deepened but it didn’t seem to make much difference to Ron, who completed the afternoon stage in 2hr 30min. As the convoy made its way into camp, the track was starting to take its toll on the vehicles with the power steering failing on one vehicle and the fuel tank coming loose on another. This presented an opportunity for some of the bush mechanics to put their skills to good use.
Day 2 (Wednesday September 29th)
Today the race continued west out of the National Park towards Emu Ruins where the riders and vehicles would both be battered by the monster corrugations. Trees lined each side of the track making it impossible to escape the battering.
For all the riders who invested in fat tyre bikes, thinking they could cheat the desert, the track was proving difficult. With no suspension and minimal soft sand, it was hard to make up time on the standard mountain bikes. Ron made good time taking out both the morning and afternoon stages in 3hr 24min and 1hr 56min respectively.
Whilst the riders battled the corrugations, the crews weren’t coping much better. Crews reporting several flat tyres with one totally shredded.
Day 3 (Thursday September 30th)
The track took us parallel to the sand dunes west of Emu Ruins, out to Anne’s Corner. While the dunes are no-where near as big as the ones in the Simpson, they would prove to be the downfall of half the field. The riders rode 10km passed Anne’s Corner before turning around and coming back. It’s not often that you see the Sweep on the finish line before the stage is over.
After lunch, the riders returned to Emu Ruins along the same track. As the vehicles pounded over the track and the heat dried it out, it quickly became much harder to ride. By the afternoon stage the track was wearing down the riders leaving only 13 riders on 100%.
A new contestant joined the race at waterstop two, racing in ahead of Simon (#24) who was in hot pursuit ( see photo). Simon went on to take out the afternoon stage in a time of 2hr 32min.
Because we stayed Emu Ruins for two nights we were able to leave our camp set up and crews took advantage of the abundance of fire wood which allowed everyone to enjoy a few drinks around a comforting campfire.
After the briefing, the convoy was treated to session of classical guitar, courtesy of Dylan Malzinskas.
Day 4 (Friday October 1st)
The riders had to make the return trip from Emu Ruins back to Tallaringa Well, knowing that the worst of the corrugations were still waiting for them again. The toll of riding for three days was starting to show, forcing several below Sweep speed.
Ron took out both the morning and afternoon stages in good time completing them in 3hr 26min and 2hr 15min respectively.
Ron may have been doing extremely well on the bike but his vehicle was not doing as well. Ron’s Triton was the second vehicle to break the fuel tank mountings.
The track was starting to take a toll on all the vehicles with several reports of damage coming in.
Items such as tie down straps were in high demand by the end of the day as several crews were trying to hold their vehicles together by any means.
Not to be outdone, Dr Cara (Medic 1) destroyed one of the tyres on Chris’ car.
Day 5 (Saturday October 2nd)
The Last riding Day. Because of the vegetation on the course making it impossible to do an 80km morning stage, the riders had to ride back to the Dog Fence gate (56km), then take a short break before resuming the race to the finishline at the Mabel Creek outstation (38km).
With the finishline now in sight, the riders made good time, to stay ahead of the sweep and make it through the the finishline.
Overall, 12 of the riders were able to complete the 587km course. A top effort considering the battering they were subjected to. Congratulation to Ron for taking out nine of the ten stages. He not only won the overall first place but also won the lucky draw for a $600 Dirtworks voucher.