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Desert classic gains traction

Monday, 12th August, 2019

Langwell Station hosted round seven of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championships on the weekend. Some of the best dirt bike riders in Australia cut a path through the red sands of the outback property, about 60 kilometres south of Broken Hill. PICTURE: Michael Murphy Langwell Station hosted round seven of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championships on the weekend. Some of the best dirt bike riders in Australia cut a path through the red sands of the outback property, about 60 kilometres south of Broken Hill. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

Organisers of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championships are hoping the Broken Hill leg continues to grow in stature.

The Silver City Desert Enduro - round seven of the national competition - descended on Langwell Station, about 60 kilometres south of Broken Hill, on the weekend.

Seniors and juniors competed in their first cross-country of the season.

The senior action kicked off on Saturday at noon, in a prologue to determine their starting positions on a tight and technical track.

The real examination came on Sunday, as the riders undertook a four-hour race around a 27km loop.

The Silver City event is the brain child of Dirt2Ride Events’ Lyndon Heffernan, who gets plenty of support from the Silver City Motorcycle Club, and the local Harley Riders Association.

“We love it,” Heffernan told the BDT. “The club here is just amazing, and the Harley Club does the food, the community spirit in this place is amazing,” he said.

“It’s in a fantastic venue, and the conditions are what they are.”

Swirling rain clouds yesterday morning produced little rain to dampen rising dust, making conditions for riders tough as they cut a path through the red sands of Langwell.

“Everyone that signs on understands that it’s a desert race, and you have to contend with high speeds and dust and all of the hazards that come with that,” said Heffernan.

“We keep on improving year on year, and we hope to grow this thing into a major race like Hattah and Finke, which both get about 500 riders.

“That’s the end-goal in a few years time.”

He said they were already planning “tweaks” to the Silver City race to make it better, including a longer track.

“We definitely listen to the riders, even though you have got to take some of it with a grain of salt,” he said.

“The longer we make the track, the less repetitive damage there is ... then they’ll do less laps and so the conditions will be a bit better.”

Local Harley Riders did their part for the event by catering for the second year in a row.

They set up camp on Friday afternoon about 50 metres back from pit lane, erecting a sheltered kitchen and eatery, and a fire to warm hungry punters.

The group came well prepared this year after getting “smashed” with orders last year.

By yesterday morning, they had sold more than 300 egg and bacon rolls, steak sandwiches and burgers.

The wind and dust battered the campsite a bit, but the kitchen crew could see the lighter side.

“That red stuff on your burger is not pepper,” quipped club member Phil Cvirn.

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