YAMAHA-mounted Daymon Stokie has won the 2017 Gascoyne Dash, despite racing almost 200km with a broken hand.
The 24-year-old Alice Springs veteran desert racer added another trophy to his cabinet, taking the event by four seconds from Honda rider and Carnarvon local, Cody Upton.
The Gascoyne Dash is a two-day desert race out of Carnarvon, comprising five laps of a 70km course across Gascoyne cattle stations.
Day one saw the field roar off into the wilderness to cover the 200 kilometres set out for the day. Stokie was in good form on day one, and had a trouble-free run to end the 200km with a one minute advantage over the rest of the field. But it wasn’t long into the second day when Stokie fell awkwardly and injured his hand. With just 10km covered, Stokie still had nearly 200km to race and a hand that was not in a good shape.
Upton mounted one last charge as the pair entered the final few kilometres, but Stokie finally stopped the clock at 3.41:50 ahead of Upton with a 3.41:54 in one of the closest finishes to the event. Stephen Mitchell (Yamaha) finished third with 3.53:25.1.
“I’m glad that is over,” said a relieved Stokie. “I knew Cody was coming and I just tried to keep calm and hold my position but things were pretty intense inside my helmet.
“My hand was swollen and sore and I tried to just put it out of my mind but every time I hit a decent bump or hole, it jarred through my body so it was just as much relief as it was joy to cross the finish line. Winning it was almost a bonus but I’m glad I toughed it out and won.
“This is a unique event and with thanks to the Active8 Yamaha team as well as Scope Building back in Alice Springs, it was made much easier for me. Also, a huge thank you to event organisers as arranging desert and adventure events is a lot of work and again they have done a great job.”
Event organisers are reportedly planning a change in format next year, with a point-to-point format from Carnarvon to Gascoyne Junction and return.
Stokie will be back on the start line for the Finke Desert race in June.
Gascoyne Dash – Results
1st Daymon Stokie – 3.41:50.9 (Yamaha)
2nd Cody Upton – 3.41:54.5 (Honda)
3rd Stephen Mitchell – 3.53:25.1 (Yamaha)
(See full results here.)