Australasian Safari – Ceremonial Start

Friday the 17th Sept marked the start of the Australasian Safari with the customary ceremonial start at Hillary’s Marina. The competitors were first welcomed by an Aboriginal Elder, and then introduced one by one to the large crowd on hand.

The bikes, quads and cars were on show for the public during the afternoon. The public got to wander amongst the competitors and get a feel for the event. It was also great to catch up with everyone from last year, and once again it promises to be an awesome event.

The event has attracted some big names this year. Brazilian enduro champion Ze’ Helio is riding for the Husaberg team, along with Annie Seel from Sweden. Seel makes her 2nd appearance at Safari after competing last year. But one person has created a lot of interest for the event. V8 supercar champion Craig Lowndes will take to the dirt for the first time in his racing career to take on the desert.

The moto class is going to be extremely competitive, with Jacob Smith looking to retain his title. Smith will have some extremely tough competition with brother Todd and Ben Grabham riding for Team CPW pushing for outright honours. Matt Fish, Rod Faggoter, Michael Vroom and Peter Costello will also be pushing hard.

The Safari heads off to Southern Cross early on Saturday morning for the prologue in the afternoon.

Team CPW.

The line up of some CPW bikes.

Queensland rider Richard Mayfield  has taken a year off from official’s duties to take on the Safari for the 3rd time. Mayfield has paid tribute to arguably one of Australia’s best enduro/off road riders, Andy Caldecott, who lost his life racing the Dakar. Mayfield’s bike has the words  “Andy #1 – Long May you run”

I wish all competitors a safe journey and hope all make it safely to Esperance. Let the games begin.

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~ by Jamie Nicolaou on September 17, 2010.

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