Not ready to bite the dust

By Georgia Smith

The idea of riding close to 2000km across red dirt for five days isn’t for everyone.

But for Swanpool local Michael Burgess, it is just another day in the office.

Burgess recently competed in the Sunraysia Safari Rally where he experienced the highs and lows of racing in one of Australia’s biggest navigational off-road events.

After a mechanical issue just 7.5km into the first day, Burgess was allowed to restart on day two on his practice bike but fate knocked him down again.

On day three, Burgess started at the back of the 40-rider pack, showing grit and determination to rise through the clouds of dust to ninth position, clocking the fastest time through a section in stage three.

Day four appeared to start in his favour, before a freak collision with another competitor resulted in a hole in Burgess’ motor, signalling the end of his safari adventure.

Burgess said despite the woes he faced during the event, he was still keen to give the dirt track another go next year.

‘‘It’s an awesome event with a very laid back atmosphere,’’ Burgess said.

‘‘Unfortunately for us things didn’t go to plan but that’s racing.

‘‘The week was not a complete loss, we learnt a lot and it was nice to show we have the pace to match it with the best in Australia.’’

Burgess is now in the process of preparing to compete in the Dakar Rally in 2020.

To aid his chances in getting there, Burgess will be holding a goods and services auction in Benalla during November to raise funds for the Michael Burgess Destination Dakar Team.

Twenty-five per cent of the auction profits will also go towards drought-affected farmers.

You can follow Michael’s journey through his Facebook page Michael Burgess — Destination Dakar.