25th Australasian Safari gets set for 2010
The 25th running of the Australasian Safari kicks off this weekend in Perth.
2010 Australasian Safari
More than 100 competitors in this year’s 2010 Australasian Safari will take off into the West Australian outback on Saturday, marking the 25th year of this Aussie endurance adventure.
The Australasian Safari began in August 1985 as the Wynns Safari. The first event included several international Paris to Dakar competitors and more than 200 starters. The race was so tough, more than 75 percent of the field retired after the first competitive leg!
The most successful competitor to date is John Hederics – with six motorcycle 1st placings and three 1sts in the auto division. Other competitors of note from the past 25 years include Australian motorsport racing legend the late Peter Brock, rallying champion Ross Dunkerton, AFL star Tony “Plugga” Lockett, past Paris to Dakar winners from around the globe, and even Japanese film stars.
The “moto” or motorcycle category has had its fair share of characters over the years, and one mainstay has been Glenn Hoffman, who competed in his first Safari in 1986, aged 18. After managing teams for the past couple of years, Glenn is getting back in the hot seat, but this time in the auto category.
The Safari has attracted people from as far afield as Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain, Turkey, Italy, USA, Argentina, Taiwan and the Czech Republic over the years, and in 2010 we will see our first Brazilian competitor – the country’s number one offroad moto champion, – experience the harsh Australian outback for the first time. He will be joined by Swede Annie Seel who had her first Australian encounter at the 2009 Safari and is returning for more pre-Dakar training.
The event has survived floods, bushfires, in the days long before GPS navigation when the Royal Flying Doctor Service was the only reliable form of remote communication. Today, the event travels with two planes, a helicopter, satellite dishes, 50+ satellite phones, seven generators, semi trailers, trucks, motor homes and about 560 people made up of competitors, support crew, officials, family and friends, medical teams, TV production crew, and international media.
Considered one of the world’s great endurance events, the Australasian Safari will this year see the auto, motocycle and quad competitors travel through remote Western Australian goldfields, desert, rugged bush and coastal dunes before hitting the southern coast at Esperance.
The event is supported by the Western Australian Government with coverage of the event broadcast into key international tourism markets.