The Finke Desert Race is an amazing adventure, 230km each way from Alice Springs to Finke and return the following day. If you complete the race a polished old Ghan railway spike engraved Finke Survivor is your reward.
Recently my son Logan was able to obtain a spike due to the assistance of many people in the local community.
Our trip has been well documented in the local media with the bike being stolen at Coober Pedy on route to the start at Alice Springs. A huge effort by SA Police based at Coober Pedy recovered the bike within 24 hours, an amazing effort considering the lack of information they had, it was just missing out of the ute between 10pm and 5.30am that’s all we knew. We were back on track to get to the start line and had only lost one day of pre-running practice.
Logan completed the race finishing 221st out of 500 starters, a great result as our plan was just to finish, only possible with the assistance and support of many local people here in Canowindra and surrounding areas.
Firstly thanks to the SA Police based at Coober Pedy for recovering the bike.
Alison and Tom Stephens from Canowindra Tyre Service for their sponsorship and endless enthusiasm towards the event, Tom and Alison and their amazing family were in Coober Pedy and trackside at approximately the 120km mark to support Logan.
RTK Auto Electrical – (Sydney Based) Jason Caliby, an old mate of mine who sponsored Logan assisting with some of the many race expenses and fees, Jason was in touch the entire trip watching the events unfold.
Townsend Rural – Rolls and Megs for their sponsorship and allowing me time off to get the adventure organised, also their ongoing assistance during the entire event especially when things did not look good. The entire Townsend family and fellow employees, constantly in touch as the story grew and offering any assistance they could.
The Middleton Family for their advice gathered last year at this event, also along with the Harrison Family for allowing Logan to test and practice with Bill Harrison on their properties, running long hours tearing up turf and paddocks all over to gain gearing speeds.
To Nick Commins and the Westlime Crew, these guys had their own race to run with a Trophy Truck a lot more involved than our small entry. Within 2 hours of the word getting out of the bike theft Nick called me and offered the use of another bike already set to go at Alice Springs, I did take up the offer at the time but as Logan’s bike was found we did not have to use this bike but an amazingly generous gesture from a local business, a huge thanks.
My old school mate and lifelong friend from the Blue Mts, Joe Woods who assisted me as my pit partner, keeping Logan and bike on track including the long drive from Alice to Finke via the main road to camp at the Finke end to get him going for the return leg the next day then rushing back to Alice ourselves in time to see the finish.
To the local community for hundreds, yes hundreds of support and well wishes on social media and phone calls after the theft and recovery of the bike. Truly heart-warming feeling from Canowindra locals that got on board and supported a local competitor. Support from Logan’s fellow students and teachers from Canowindra High School – thank you.
Finally but certainly not least, my amazing wife Diana. She has supported the event from sign up day, had to put up with 5 months of dinnertime conversations of what tyres, gear ratios, suspension modifications, fuel tank capacity and horsepower requirements. In fact anything that we thought would make a KTM 350 handle better or go faster. She is amazing, thanks babe.
Logan – well done mate. Head out of the clouds, back to school and books HSC next year so you had better get into it. That was our deal remember!
As for the spike – “Straight to The Pool Room.”
Cheers and thanks all,