HELL OF A WIN Davie ends his hor­rific year on a high note

G R E AT S P O R T S I N C E 1 8 6 3

The Riverine Herald - - SPORT - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

SAM Davie has over­come a ‘‘year from hell’’ to win the Black Di­a­mond Drilling Kal­go­or­lie Desert Race.

Com­pet­ing against 85 bug­gies and mo­tor­bikes from around the coun­try, 27-year-old Davie won the three­sec­tion, 125km race with a time of 3hr, 47min, 54 sec­onds.

Davie’s time was nearly five min­utes faster than sec­ond-placed Ja­cob Charles Smith.

It is the Echuca-born Husq­varna Desert Race Team mem­ber’s maiden win of 2018.

Ear­lier in the year, Davie suf­fered a race-end­ing in­jury in the Finke Desert Race in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory in June; and a 19th place fin­ish at the Hat­tah Race in Mil­dura a month later.

Davie said he felt it was just deserts for his gru­elling ef­forts and de­ter­mi­na­tion in what had oth­er­wise been a hor­rific year.

‘‘It has been a year from hell for us (Husq­varna Desert Race Team),’’ Davie said.

‘‘I’ve been bat­tling with a cou­ple of in­juries, and was wit­ness to one of my best mates dy­ing in a race ear­lier in the year.

‘‘To have this win has been a bit of a re­lief; it’s been small things that have been our down­fall in so many cases this year,’’ he said.

Get­ting out to the Kal­go­or­lie race was a mis­sion in it­self for Davie and friend Darcy Chap­lin, who drove the nearly 2800km each way.

‘‘Driv­ing over last week, we had a day out rid­ing in WA just to give the bikes a shake­down, and then it was into scru­ti­neer­ing on Fri­day and the two-day race on Satur­day and Sun­day.

‘‘We’ve been in desert races be­fore — and they are re­mote — but thank­fully this time we had he­li­copters cir­cle around and fol­low you just in case.

‘‘On Satur­day morn­ing I was first out at 6am and came across a cou­ple of groups of cat­tle and kan­ga­roos along the way.

‘‘You kind of just deal with it as it hap­pens, you just have to be aware and know that it can hap­pen,’’ he said.

Chap­lin fin­ished 17th over­all af­ter com­ing off his bike dur­ing a sec­tion, and man­aged to fin­ish the race rel­a­tively un­scathed.

‘‘(Kal­go­or­lie) we’ve had down as one we wanted to win for a fair bit. 1 North­ern Hwy, Echuca Ph: 5480 7150 We’ve known it’s com­ing all year, and af­ter the Finke and Hat­tah we started get­ting back into train­ing about three or four months ago,’’ Davie said.

‘‘I knew go­ing into the third stage that I had about a three or four-minute lead, so I knew if no one passed me I had it in the bag.

‘‘I pushed a bit at the start and made a few small mis­takes but got away with it and rode it home from there.’’

The Kal­go­or­lie win marks the end of Davie’s 2018 sea­son.

He will now rest and re­cu­per­ate un­til mid-Jan­uary when train­ing for the Finke will be­gin once more.

Luke Hemer

DESERT STORM: Sam Davie clinched his first vic­tory of 2018 at the Black Di­a­mond Drilling Kal­go­or­lie Desert Race. Photo:

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