Australian Safari-Western Australia-August 2007
After a two year absence, the Australian Safari was again on the off road calendar. The teams were keen to get back in the swing of things, and experience some new landscape as the event worked it's way from Kununurra in Northern WA, down to Perth. The race took place over 9 grueling days and covered around 5500km. This years event was the 20th anniversary of the Safari. The race attracted 103 competitors, with 82 bikes and 21 cars.
Once again the GHR Honda team fronted the start line with two top riders, Ben Grabham and Andrew Coaker. This was Ben's first Safari, but Andrew Coaker was no stranger, having competed in several Safari's as well as the infamous Dakar Rally.
Honda had taken out the previous Safari in 2004 with Jamie Cunningham piloting an XR650 around outback New South Wales to take the victory.
This year Ben Grabham was looking forward to the event, and managed to lead most of the way, despite the odd navigational error. On the penultimate day Ben suffered a major mishap when dodging a kangaroo and cart wheeling his bike at over 140km/h. The accident resulted in his left collar bone breaking into several pieces. Despite severe pain, Ben held on to finish the day. Ben continued on for the final day and pulled off an awesome victory much to the delight of the service crew who were more concerned with his health!
Here are a few shots from the event. There is not a lot of action shown, since most of my time was spent in the service truck trying to sleep before the next nights service. Actually, we only had a chance to view two sections of racing in 5000km and did not even make it to see the podium finish......such is the life of the service crew.