Today will see the competitors leave Norseman and ride a loop covering approximately 410 + kilometers. Norseman is the major center for the Shire of Dundas which covers an area of 92,725 square kilometers. Surrounded by beautiful and unique to the area eucalypt woodlands it is ideal for 4 wheel drive enthusiasts to explore and offers tranquil walks for nature lovers amongst the area’s natural flora and fauna. Visit http://www.norseman.info/ for more info on Norseman.
Today, I have been “Flat out like a lizard drinkin’”! Running around trying to secure people for Rallyradio and getting my ducks all in a row before the last 2 days of the event and then having to fly back to California at 5am on Monday. So far we have had some tough luck with camera’s and the media guys and I decided that Kalgoorlie’s Warren Strange is now banned from wearing a camera. So far this week he wore my EPIC Wide helmet camera for Prologue which was fine during the test and then inexplicably came back with 40 minutes of footage that was blank…… The next day he wore a separate HD helmet cam that didn’t make it to the finish line for the day. Same scenario followed on the next day. Yesterday he had on screwed to the front fender when the section was cancelled so we have some awesome footage of the asphalt road. Today Warren went down hard and unfortunately airlifted out. He is ok but we have not seen the condition of the camera yet.
As I have said, I am not a Rally guy, yet, but I am amazed by how quickly these guys get onto getting a rider out of the bush. The GPS locators they all have work fantastically and the helicopter pilot and crew are there in minutes. This really is one of the safest races I have been to.
This morning was SS11 which has been named the “Woodline” stage as it goes out through the old wooded area that was used to feed the mines around the area. Years ago workers would lay a railway line out to these parts of the shire and use the tree they cut down to support the tunnels in the gold mines and feed the boilers. The course will be littered with old stumps hidden by new growth. This was one of the reason the riders decided against running SS10 yesterday. Riding into the sunset with these hidden stumps could turn deadly very quickly.
As the results stand right now for this mornings section Ben Grabham won it in a time of 3.17.05, team mate Todd Smith was second at 3.17. 58, followed by Rod Faggotter 3.34.01 and Jose Rodrigues Filho 3.37.01. Annie Seel came through that section with a time of 4.14.10 which put her 19th. I will update the overall later today.
I am listening to the radio and the officials are try to convince one of the Chinese teams not to continue after they wrecked their Quang Qi Chang Fen CFA2-31C into a tree. Yes, that is it’s name…….. The back and forth with the Chinese guys yelling half English half Chinese is pretty impressive.
As always you can join me on twitter @maley51, follow my FaceBook updates: http://www.facebook.com/justin.maley, go to the official Safari site at: http://www.australasiansafari.com.au/ and check out http://www.marathonrally.com/ or http://www.bikesales.com.au/ if you still can't get enough.
I will be doing another call into Rally Radio shortly too.
Every rider here has joined in and is helping support my breast cancer fund raiser and if you would like to do the same and get a sticker the same as what the riders are wearing then go to http://www.maleyfoundation.com/ and get one for yourself. Get a shirt too.