WHAT IS THE DASH?
The Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash® is a genuine desert race.
It is an awesome challenge across some of the harshest and remote country in Australia. Situated between the seaside town of Carnarvon and Gascoyne Junction WA - the desert by the sea.
The Dash is a motorsport event that pits car against car and bike against bike and then the quickest of each against each other to determine who will be crowned the "King of the River".
Kickstarters is in memory of local identity Neville Brandstater who tragically drowned in the Lyndon River in 1995.
Gascoyne is a mighty river of sand where a lot of the race is conducted.
Dash refers to the first races which were boat events down the flooded Gascoyne River. Unfortunately the Gascoyne rarely flows so move over boats and come in cars and bikes.
Comparison has been made between the Dash and the Finke Desert Race. Both races are a true test of machine and competitor, both are races that promote the unique Australian outback. The Dash is a point to point race over a hugely varied landscape, a cross country course extensively consisting of natural desert and outback terrain. In excess of 500km over two days the Dash is long and tough; it is an ultimate challenge.
Reconnaissance of the entire race track is proposed on the weekend before the Dash; subject to minimum numbers. Reconnaissance will be a 2 day group event with competitors in a 4WD vehicle only (no race cars).
Thursday - Registration and Scutiny Day. Competitor bike and car display
Registration and scrutiny is held at a central location; Carnarvon Civic Centre - Camel Lane Carnarvon. All competitor’s sign on and collect their pack containing important information about the Dash weekend.
Competitors and spectators mingle at the competitor display.
The main street of Carnarvon rumbles with horsepower as the bikes and cars deliver a street parade.
Friday - Prologue
Competitors vie for their fastest time - the favourites are looking for the "dust free" number 1 position on the start line. Prologue is held at the Carnarvon Race Club.
Day One Racing - Saturday
Bright and early Saturday morning the cars are first to leave the Coonatha Race Complex - Gascoyne Junction. The car and bike field is seperated by a couple of hours break. The Day one track is 201km. Day One is across the full range of Dash country; medium and fast paced station tracks, sandy river crossings, red sand dunes, a 10-15km of rocky hill climbs and a fast run to the finish. Competitors’ intent should be to survive day one.
Saturday evening is a night of fun and entertainment; something the Dash is famous for. Full bar, catering and ablution facilties.
Day Two Racing - Sunday
Day two brings another 200 km’s of awesome country and high speed sections. The race starts with a repeat of section one from Day 1 and then drops into the Lyons River and heads downstrem through the junction of the Lyons and Gascoyne Junction and towards Carnarvon and exiting near to the Winnemia Woolshed completing a 90km of river. Once you get out of the river there is a 34km run back to a checkpoint at the town of Gascoyne Junction which will then see competitors embark on the last leg of Day 2 which is an extremely fast flowing section across clay pans finishing into some red sand dune country and dropping into the creek at Coonatha for the short stint past the spectators to the finish line. This new Day 2 course is the reward for completing Day 1 and provides the rush of adrenalin that desert racing and chasing the illusive dust on the horizon gives all levels of competitors
Presentations - Sunday
The presentations which will be held at the Coonatha Race complex and are followed by the after party; where competitors swap stories and a couple of drinks. The After Party is almost as famous as the Dash.
The Gascoyne Dash is a grass roots wildfire...
We thank our volunteers, our stakeholders, the property owners and our sponsors for believing in the Event.
Since its inception as a white water Dash in 2000 many people have nurtured the evolution of the race into a national standard desert motor sport event. They have put in way more time than anyone could fairly expect of volunteers; invested their hearts in the belief of its long term potential. Coupled with financial support from the Eventscorp, Gascoyne Development Commission, Shire of Carnarvon, Shire of Upper Gascoyne, Skywest Airlines and our legion of local legendary sponsors the Dash is made possible each year.
Thanks to Lachlan and Jane McTaggart of Bidgemia Station for their extensive support and access to a world class venue. The 'can do' attitude and passion for the region that emanates from Bidgemia is shared by the Gascoyne Off Road Racing Club and is greatly appreciated. Thanks to the operators of Jimba Jimba Station, Mooka Station, Doorawarrah Station, Brickhouse Pastoral Company (Paull and Rebecca Burt also provide aircraft and radio support) , 26th Parallel Pty Ltd, Klein Corporation Pty Ltd and the Carnarvon Race Club.
We thank Motorcycling Western Australia (MWA) and Confederation of Australian Motorsports (CAM) for their guidance.
Catchin’ the flame, our past winners - The "King of the River"
2003 Stephen "Duck" Mitchell, 2004 & 2005 Vern Strange - Bike, 2006 Jason Hill – Bike, 2007 & 2008 Vern Strange - Bike, 2009, 2010, 2011 Travis Robinson/Paul Currie – Car, 2012 Rod Faggotter - bike, 2013 Ben Grabham - Bike, 2014 Daymon Stokie - Bike, 2015 - Cody Upton - Bike.
2003 Troy Schoen, 2004 RayYaksich/Matt Fong, 2005 Peter Jecks, 2006 Brian Robinson/Beau Robinson - Outer Bounds Racing, 2007 Brian Robinson/Travis Robinson - Outer Bound Racing, 2008 Brian Robinson/Matt Fong– Outer Bounds Racing, 2009 Travis Robinson/Paul Currie - OBR, 2010 Travis Robinson/Keith Rance - OBR, 2011 Travis Robinson/Paul Currie, 2012 Bat Racing, Brad Cooper and Mal Yeardley, 2013 - Shane Elphinstone and Curt Elphinstone, 2014 - David McShane and Daniel Villanova, 2015 - Brett Renton and Kevin Renton
2003 Stephen "Duck" Mitchell, 2004 and 2005 Vern Strange, 2006 Jason Hill, 2007 and 2008 Vern Strange, 2009 Todd Smith, 2010 Warren Kempton, 2011 Ben Grabham. 2012 Rod Faggotter (who went on to be the best placed Australian at the 2013 Dakar), 2013 Ben Grabham, 2014 Daymon Stokie, 2015 Cody Upton.
2003 Shayne Paton, 2004 Baden Griffin, 2005 Richard Paull, 2006 Kirk Williams, 2007 Richard Maxted, 2008 Ivan Abreu, 2009 Kirk Williams, 2010 John Iuliano, 2011 Brad Smith, 2012 Kirk Williams, 2013 John Iuliano, 2014 John Iuliano, 2015 John Iuliano.
Dash Legends To be a Dash Legend a car or bike competitor will need to have won at least three Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash® events (in either the car or bike divisions or both). Our Dash Legends are;
Vern Strange - bike winner and overall King of the River 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008
Brian Robinson - car winner 2006, 2007 and 2008
Travis Robinson - car and overall King of the River 2009 , 2010 and 2011
Winning is something finishing is everything
Whilst the winners will not agree, most of the field of competitors will, our competitors set their challenge to finish this massive race.
Anybody can join the Dash as a competitor, a reasonable level of fitness, a thirst for adventure, a dose of commonsense and a suitable machine and you could be ready to race.
Want to become involved as a volunteer? please click here
Come as a spectator, enjoy the vastness of the country and watch the extreme edge of desert racing.
The Suzuki Cup
The humble Sukuzi Sierra and its variants has a special place in Dash history, this was a car type that many of our early competitors ran and lit the offroad flame in them. The Sukuzi racers remain a very strong and valued section of our car field and year in year out many great battles are fought within this group of cars. To recognise this group of competitors we have instigated a Suzuki Class and we thank Kim Epton and Niaz Ali for presenting the Club the Suzuki Cup Vehicle Regulations.
The Club has implemented a Sukuzi Cup Class that is open to all vehicles that meet the Class Regulations click here. These regulations will be self administered by the competitors in that class and their majority decision will stand. All vehicles in that Class will need to also meet all CAMS regulations for their specific CAMS class.
The 2010 Gascoyne Flood
The 2010 Gascoyne Flood caused dreadful damage to the community of Gascoyne Junction and surrounding pastoral stations including the Dash's home Bidgemia Station.
Our "local pub" the Junction Hotel was destroyed by the flood. The Junction was home to many a Dash meeting, a place to retreat to from the heat and flies for a couple of beers or sports drinks.