Are you continue to umming and aahing about whether or not to have a crack on the 2023 Transmoto 8-Hour at Stroud on March 11-12? Properly, with just a few entries left earlier than the 500-rider cap is reached, let’s mirror on the ‘Standout Tales’ from the memorable Stroud occasion again in 2019 – the final Transmoto occasion earlier than that world pandemic arrived! These tales should get you throughout the road…


Stroud doesn’t do regular. It’s simply not an possibility for a city referred to as the brick and rolling-pin throwing capital of the world. And that additionally applies to the joint’s climate. Ask anybody who lives within the area, they usually’ll let you know that weather conditions for Stroud are both dry as a chip or biblically moist, and infrequently something in between. And the driving situations on the previous 4 installments of the 8-Hour on this 1300-acre property within the Decrease Hunter Valley have solely served to strengthen that binary equation. Two years have been ridiculously moist (one so sodden {that a} sequence of tractors and fourbies have been wanted to scull-drag entrants’ autos again to the entrance gate) and the opposite two have been drier than a nun’s … humour. So we have been due some prime, loamtown situations for the fifth installment this 12 months, proper? Proper! Didn’t occur, although. Regardless of 100mm of rain within the 10 days main as much as the 2019 occasion – and an encouraging downpour on Saturday night time – a sequence of 30-degree days and scorching westerlies desiccated the property, prompted a complete fireplace ban within the better Hunter Valley area, and assured the all-new 16km race loop dusted the bejesus out the five hundred riders who took it on. Someway, that didn’t appear to wipe the grins off individuals’s faces. In reality, the venue’s excessive situations by no means have. They simply appear to make for a extra memorable weekend.


For a few years now, we’ve run a comp that grants one fortunate staff a free entry (or their entry payment refunded) and a ‘Pimped Pit’ – a pit plot improve that sees the staff camped subsequent to the Professionals in ‘Sponsor Alley’, the place they will share a Saturday night time beer and BBQ with a few of Australia’s best-known riders and business figures. Sure, it’s all due to our V6, turbo-charged companions from VW Amarok. For Stroud, the Pimped Pit was awarded to a Victorian couple, Sid and Ang Sorrell, who’d entered the Pairs class and have been celebrating their seventh marriage ceremony anniversary on the occasion weekend. By their very own admission, Sid and Ang have been a bit out of their depth within the dry and dusty situations (primarily by means of lack of motorbike health), however they positive appeared to lap up the salubrious ambiance of their well-shaded pit plot and Saturday’s night time’s sponsor drinks soiree.


Shot-putters and discuss-throwers are usually giant clients, and so are the characters who can huck a tyre additional than anybody else throughout Saturday afternoon’s Dunlop Tyre Toss comp on the 8-Hour – all in a bid to win a free set of ‘black gold’. For the second 12 months in a row at Stroud, a strapping huge bloke known as Gordon Wallace took residence the free set of Dunlop hoops for his rubber-hurling efforts. However his footrace win (the operating race – in moto boots, with transponder in pocket – which is used to determine the primary 50 positions for Sunday’s beginning grid) was a little bit of a contentious affair this 12 months. Why? Properly, it was later revealed that Gordon was sporting a set of low-cut street boots for the grassy sprint; a flagrantly unfair benefit, based on some. That’s okay, cos we plan to place the massive fella in a pair of brand name new, super-stiff moto boots, kneebraces, and three pairs of denims for subsequent 12 months’s footrace, and see how he fares.


On the 2019 12-Hour at Batemans Bay and 8-Hour at Wangaratta, greater than one-third of the entrants got here from interstate. And at this 12 months’s 8-Hour at Stroud, the Yeehaa Racing boys drove all the way in which from Rockhampton, which must make them the furthest travelled (by street, anyway). “We raced the 8-Hour at Mackay again in Might and cherished it, so we thought now we have a crack at one other occasion this 12 months,” defined staff captain, Brett Donaldson. “Me and my teammates, Aaron Hutton and Scott Behrendorff, met Josh Inexperienced up on the Yeppoon Endurocross a couple of weeks again, so we determined to drive down and spend a day’s driving at Greeny’s place simply up the street right here at Stroud, after which have a go at racing the 8-Hour this weekend. And I’m so glad we did. The entire occasion is big. It’s bought such ambiance and I reckon you guys are doing a fantastic factor for the promotion of the game.” Placing his cash the place his mouth is, Donaldson was the very best bidder in Saturday arvo’s Pole Place Public sale. His profitable $1500 bid was donated to the Booral RFS, and earned the Yeehaa boys a two-minute head-start on the sector in Sunday’s race. For the document, the Rocky lads ran twenty sixth in Groups and thirty third Outright.


There’s at all times a few jokers who don’t respect Saturday’s 10pm noise curfew; merrily kicking their bikes into life and holding the issues towards the rev limiter. In the event that they aren’t shut down by neighbours reminding them concerning the ‘No Dickhead’ coverage, the reclaiming of their staff race transponder usually places an abrupt finish to the shenanigans. However when some peanut(s) determined it’d be a good suggestion to steal two of the PA system’s audio system, and the generator that powered the issues, we have been all of a sudden coping with a complete new stage of disrespectful buffoonery. Fortunately, threatening that the race begin could be delayed till the lacking objects have been returned did the trick, and the 8-Hour bought underway on schedule at 7.30am. However significantly, what have been these idiots pondering? Truthfully, they’re fortunate they weren’t lynched by a 500-strong indignant mob who’d paid good cash to race the 8-Hour and didn’t just like the prospect of some thieving goons depriving them of track-time. Maybe we should always submit a reward for data that results in the identification of the speaker-stealing perpetrator(s)…


A number of years again, we’d hardly ever see the identical rider at a couple of occasion every year. Extra not too long ago, loads of riders enter two and even three Transmoto occasions in the identical 12 months. However a few blokes, Rob Dummer and Jackson Hordern, truly raced all seven occasions in 2019. Yep, Batemans Bay and Mackay and Coffs Harbour and Nabiac and Conondale and Wangaratta and Stroud – which quantities to a hell of a dedication and plenty of driving! “Initially, the concept was for me and my son, Marcus, to race all seven in Pairs class – and we did that for the primary couple below the ‘Dum and Dummer’ staff title,” defined Rob Dummer. “Then when Marcus couldn’t make an occasion, I teamed up with another blokes, together with a man who works for me and who I see as my son, Jackson Hordern. And Jacko had already raced all of the occasions. Then, for the finale right here at Stroud, me, Marcus and Jacko bought collectively on a three-man staff. The seven occasions have been a complete lot of enjoyable – except for busting my collarbone at Mackay and having to get it proper earlier than Nabiac, simply 5 weeks later. And for the Transmoto crew to recognise the actual fact we have been apparently the primary to race all seven of their occasions by giving us the Jeff McLeary Memorial Award at Stroud … properly, we felt extremely honoured by that, particularly after studying how influential and revered Jeff was as a person and bike vendor within the area,” Dummer went on to say. Every year, the Jeff McLeary Memorial Award is given to the individual or staff who finest displays the three character traits Jeff McLeary thought most vital in life: fearless, devoted, spirited. We couldn’t consider extra becoming recipients, and it was nice to have Jeff’s spouse Maree and son Brock available on the occasion at hand over the particular award.

Reflecting on the standout stories from the memorable Transmoto 8-Hour at Stroud in 2019 – the last before Covid struck!


How do you win an all-expenses-paid journey to compete in Morocco’s 2020 Merzouga Rally, full with a factory-backed KTM 790 Journey R to race? You enter KTM’s Final Race Qualifier in one of many six nations world wide the place it’s now run. That’s how. The Australian qualifier was run along side the 2019 8-Hour at Stroud – a two-day affair that kicked off with a 250km navigational route on Friday (which included sections of the close by Stockton Dunes) and completed up on Saturday on the 8-Hour with a sequence of on- and off-bike assessments: each enduro and grasstrack particular assessments, together with wheel-change and bike-lift challenges. After an in depth contest, Simon Arthur and Graham Cheeney claimed the fitting to characterize Australia at KTM’s Final Race in Morocco, the place the race winner can even take residence a 790 Journey R for his efforts. And who will ever neglect the sight and sound of those blokes pushing KTM’s huge journey machines by means of that tight, tree-lined bushland that was subsequently used for Sunday’s 8-Hour race loop? As one eager observer mentioned, “All of them pedal these huge bikes so quick, they sound like a herd of rhinos charging by means of the scrub!”


Some bosses do a number of pointing. Others lead by instance. And it’s truthful to say that the Basic Supervisor of KTM and Husqvarna Bikes in Australia, Jeff Leisk, sits squarely within the latter camp. Teamed up with a few good mates who flew in from WA, Leisk was within the thick of all of it weekend. He took half in Saturday arvo’s festivities, risked hamstring tears within the footrace to safe his staff beginning grid place, unleashed some ripping yarns on Saturday night time, after which anchored his three-man ‘Jeff & Co’ staff on Sunday to second place within the Clever Wizards class, operating twenty second Outright in a discipline of 167 groups. “Mate, the mud was nowhere close to as dangerous as I anticipated,” mentioned a dirt-stained Leisk, wanting resplendent in his thongs on the presentation. “You simply needed to experience to the situations and bide your time for the monitor to open up earlier than making passes. Me, Willie and Huge Nuts all had an absolute ball. And that’s primarily as a result of these Transmoto occasions have helped transport us all again to our driving roots. They’ve put the enjoyable again into driving and racing.”


A brand new characteristic movie name Finke: There and Again is but to make its cinematic launch to the general public, however Transmoto minimize a cope with the movie’s distributors to run a particular screening at Stroud’s 8-Hour. And if the response of Saturday night time’s crowd is something to go by, the movie will likely be a roaring success when it hits screens across the nation in November. Primarily based on the occasions of the 2017 Finke Desert Race, and narrated by Eric Bana, Finke: There and Again cleverly intertwines the backstories and race experiences of a number of characters – from Professional riders to punters to a paraplegic intent on creating two-wheeled historical past. It’s superbly shot, each heartwarming and gut-wrenching, and cleverly captures the dependancy that Finke has grow to be for therefore many riders because it kicked off approach again in 1976, when it was merely known as, ‘There and Again’. It’s sort of like a mix of On Any Sunday and Mud to Glory, however with far more authenticity, due to a wholesome dose of inimitable Aussie humour and larrikinism.


Transmoto Enduro Occasions have been conceived as participation-based, teams-oriented races for the on a regular basis rider, which is why the Weekend Warrior staff class was formally launched earlier this 12 months; to recognise and have fun nearly all of entrants who pay for his or her bikes, components, gear, journey prices and race entries in chilly laborious money, and like nothing greater than getting on the market and tearing round on their bikes with their mates on the weekend. At Stroud, 55 of the 117 groups have been entered within the Weekend Warriors class. So, to strengthen the actual fact we see these Weekend Warriors as the guts and soul of our occasions, the rostrum place-getters not solely acquired trophies, but additionally a swag of drugs from the fellows at MXstore and Ballard’s OffRoad. For the document, the Shaw-X foursome of Stephen Phillips, Wayne Campbell, Rodney Phillips and Josh Newling took the Weekend Warriors honours, with every teammate taking residence a trophy plus a Ballard’s gearbag, hydration pack and bumbag, and a custom-printed jersey from MXstore. Yep, about 300 bucks value of moto bootie apiece!