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2010 Safari Blog

2010 Australasian Safari Blog - Leg 7

Esperance - Ceremonial Finish

Nothing like a bit of a shake up on the last day, Colin left the bivouac first, as he was the fastest on leg 6, on the first of the loops that the field would be doing through the sand dunes of Esperance. but Colin never returned for the morning service at the bivouac, Smitty came back first with tales of the crashed riders and as a precaution we gave him a new set of front tyres to go out on for the last 2 stages of the event, John too returned to service with no problems having had a great time in the dunes with his big 850. After hearing the rumour from the returning riders and drivers that Col couldn't re-start his Renegade there was nothing that anyone could do but wait and see if the recovery truck pick him up and brought him in, this was proving to be a small problem as the recovery crew's were having trouble getting through the dunes themselves. Smitty said that if Col was still there on his next trip round that he would tow him in, which he did with the assistance of Moto division rider Richard Mayfield to get the Renegade out of the sand, the big TRX having some overheating issues as a consequence but the pair finally joined John at the rider re-group for the ceremonial finish and all three of the quad division crossed the line (even if Col had to push his.....) with the officlal finishing order being Paul Smith in a total time of 34:42:42 with 06:29:05 back to John Maragozidis at 41:11:47 and Colin Lawson with 41:55:48

It was a monumental effort for all three of these quads to get through this event and a Safari first for all the riders in this division to finish, even with some penalties and i will go on record as saying that this was not the easiest one that I have been involved with. Getting everything together to win this event is like herding cats, hard to keep them all moving in the same direction but it really does look like we got most of the bugs worked out of the TRX over the course of the week and Smitty kept his head when it was necessary. No doubt it will be time to start getting ready for next year soon enough.

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Me sitting on the Safari winning 700XX

2010 Australasian Safari Blog - Leg 6

We had the last service on the road today, Colin needed coolant, Smitty took tyres and John needed only fuel. John was the tradgedy of the day DNFing the 2nd selective, the first time for the whole event that a quad has DNF'd a stage, which has given him a maxium penalty for the day of 8hrs, when his quad came in though it only took half an hour to get it sorted out and running again so that he can complete the event. Colin again needed diff oil and also a new CV boot at the bivouac in Esperance.

Tonight was the easiest night of service for the whole event with Smittys 700xx, just general service with 2 new rear tyres and all done by 9pm, an early night in preparation for tomorrows final leg.

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Young Adam unloading the spare Renegade

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Lisa helping to get Col organised

2010 Australasian Safari Blog - Leg 5

Norseman - Norseman

Today was set to be the toughest of the whole event with a 250 km selective and a 200 km selective, Smitty has puled up a bit sore today with his back and neck playing up. Having torn the fuel connector of the bottom of one of the sub tanks we had to do some make shift repairs at the lunchtime service to make them safe for the 2nd selective stage, blocking off all the lines and being able to just take the tanks out and fill the top tank by pouring them in. This resulted in a complete rerouting of the fuel lines tonight and a new fuel pump having to be fitted, plumbed and wired in, coupled with the regular service, fitting a new chain and sprocket, getting the nav tower mounts welded up where he has hoit a tree with them as well as a few tyre ball replacements made for a late night though (three in a row for me finishing at 2am) so hopefully we get an easy service tomorrow.

John had another CV boot split but other than had had a good day, Colin had some dramas today though with overheating and losing coolant, needing to keep running Col had to fill his radiator using less than conventional means.... ( he pissed in it) and also he is still having trouble with his diff seals too dropping a significant amounts of oil, with no spare seals left the boy have no option but to try and tighten the spring behind the seal to keep it going.

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John doing some sort of traditional Greek dance with rubber gloves

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Colin checking in with the Mrs

2010 Australasian Safari Blog - Leg 4

Coolgardie - Norseman

Leg 4 looked like it would be an easy run for the service crew, a short hop down to Norseman with the lunchtime service resuming today though we need ed to get there and set up early. With a call from Kim ( out refuel crew) filling us in on what damage the riders were bringing us to fix we were able to be prepared for their problems as they came in. Colin had his new muffler come loose (and almost lost it) and a fault with his power steering unit, but with no flat tyres today once again set the fastest time for the division.

Smitty had a different story however, a loose wire rubbed through and shorted on the nav tower and started smouldering, luckily Smith caught it in time and stopped it before it got out of hand but, as a result his sub fuel pump (the one from the side tanks to the top tank) stopped working which meant he had to take the side tanks off to tip them into the top tank. On top of this had had ripped the ICO sender cable out and so had no trip meter to be able to navigate with (the 3rd day in a row with out full nav gear) and a swaybar link broke on the right hand side which fliped over and tore open a CV boot. The only saving grace was that Smitty too had no flat tyres as we had a long enough night repairing everything else.

John managed to not only lose a CV boot today but smash the joint completly leving him with only one wheel driving, that wasn't his major concern though as he had hit a tree and jammed a stick through his finger. He got patched up at the refuel stop by the medical crew and after the pain killers had worn off a bit was allowed to continue.

The second selective stage was cancelled today due to hold ups caused by a rider being airlifted out of the first stage (Jacob Smith) which was fortunate for Smitty and John as Colin was the only one of the three who would have made it to the begining of the stage.

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Checking on the CV's and Diff

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Spot the broken swaybar link.....

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The 700xx up on its side to do the oil filter.

2010 Australasian Safari Blog - Leg 3 - Marathon Day

Leonora - Coolgardie

The second marathon day in a row took it's toll on the Quad division, Smith had had his roadbook roller break down yeasterday and has had to do a whole day with it not functioning properly, we organsised to get another one from the GHR Honda team though and fitted it up at the Coolgardie Bivouac, the only other problem for today has been tyres, all the quads have had flats today and there were a few flat tyre balls in Smittys wheels when he came in for service.

Colin has done another belt in the Renegade, and is still plying with the set up of his CVT clutching but other than that has had a trouble free day, setting the fastest stage times of the Quad trying to make up for his 5 hr penalty from the day before.

John's hybrid is holding up well also with his only drama's being a broken swaybar link and a torn CV boot which were quickly repaired at bivouac.

One of todays selective stages was cancelled due to a rider being airlifted out with serious injurys so all the competitors were re-grouped after the frist selective and sent on a road section to bivouac.

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set up and ready for service at Coolgardie

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Birds nest under the Honda's skid plate.

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