2018 12-Hour: The ‘Special’ Awards

2 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Donat O'Kelly, Jarrad Duffy, Andy Wigan

Transmoto’s Enduro Events were conceived to encourage participation from riders of all ages and abilities. So it’s only fitting that, in addition to the trophies for the Ironman and Team classes, we also hand out awards to those who deserve recognition for other, more obscure reasons.

So, let’s pay homage to the Special Award winners from the 2018 Transmoto 12-Hour…


Back in 2011 at the inaugural Transmoto 12-Hour, the typical 6x12m pit plot featured a box trailer, ute and/or van, a bunch of well-worn swags and an old beat-up esky. These days, however, it seems everyone’s intent on ‘doing’ their 12-Hour in more comfort and style, with many plots bursting at the seams with fancy RVs, custom trailers and caravans, and elaborate tents and cooking gear. All of which has made the task of singling out one pit set-up for the Primo Pit Award more difficult.

For 2018, though, it was impossible to overlook the character-filled artistic flair of ‘The Flying FourSkins’ pit set-up. Aside from the bodacious big “Flying FourSkins” sign that used an eye-catching ‘dick’ font (which, ironically, didn’t have any foreskins), the pit also contained the world’s shittiest ute whose flat tray was used for an elevated tiki bar that was adorned with a hilarious array of moto paraphernalia. The fact the team was made up of the illustrious Bushy, Brownie, Goba and Wonka only added to its appeal. And the boys’ appearance in rubber masks when they rocked up to the presentation to collect their award was priceless. Yep, the old FourSkin band is back together. And on song!


The combined KTM and Husqvarna pits at the 12-Hour housed a total of 27 staffers over the 12-Hour weekend, all of whom mingled with Pro racers, race team personnel and their collective friends and family. While some changed nappies, others changed tyres or transponders. For all your money, it looked like a Sunday picnic cum crèche in a picturesque grassy paddock, but one that just happened to be slap bang in the middle of an off-road endurance race. The KTM and Husky race teams comprised everyone from the country’s top Pro off-road racers, right through to inexperienced riders and downright dirt-bike virgins. On the less experienced end of that rider spectrum was KTM staffer, Renae Pascoe, who by the end of the day had earned the respect of each and every one of her colleagues for her never-say-die determination. Despite losing count of the number of crashes and bruises she’d racked up, Pascoe simply kept getting back to her feet and chugging on. She teamed up with fellow KTM staffers Kyle Blunden, Lewis Landrigan and William Thornton on the ‘KTM Group Australia Staff’ team, who ran second in the Mixed Teams class and 136th Outright.


At Riders’ Briefing, we invited the inimitable Sandy Watkins up to the stage to demonstrate where the benchmark had been set for the ‘Best Outfit Award’. Resplendent in his rainbow, tie-dyed jump suit, notorious silver helmet, and handlebar moustache that he’d cultivated to “bring the Mardi Gras to the 12-Hour”, Watkins cut a fine – though somewhat minceworthy – figure. Sadly for Watkins, another bloke materialised in a classic Batman suit on race day and completely upstaged him.

That bloke was an Ironman called Stuart McWilliam who, after coming across the finish line in 10th position in the Ironman class, hugged his young family and promptly busted out a shoey – a classic image that’s now immortalised in the 12-Hour’s official highlights video and Image Gallery .


Seeing as KTM Off-Road Racing Team’s Daniel Milner is the reigning champ of the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), it came as little surprise that the 26-year-old set the fastest lap time of the event. What was a surprise, however, was just how ridiculously quick that lap time was – 17 minutes and 14 seconds – and the fact he set it not aboard his full-blown KTM 500EXC-F race bike, but on a stock 2018-model 250XC-F cross-country machine that was sitting around in the KTM pit plot. Never one to squander a PR opportunity, KTM’s marketing team jumped on the 250XC-F’s achievement by running a dedicated social media post in celebration of it. And why wouldn’t you? Seriously, is there a better way to reinforce the brand’s ‘Ready to Race’ mantra?


Unlike some events or series where sponsors pay their coin, hand over some signage and let the promoters make it happen for them, a key part of the success of Transmoto Enduro Events is the fact the sponsors act more like proactive partners. They collaborate with the Transmoto team to create a memorable experience for entrants, and use their own channels to help ensure the video and imagery we create at the event is showcased to as big an audience as possible. It’s one of these partners that the ‘Proactive Partner Award’ was originally intended for, but we just couldn’t overlook the efforts of an operational partner at this year’s 12-Hour; a bloke called Darryl “Mal” Mallam and his mates, Adam Sanderson and Stuart Sanders. In addition to their efforts with traffic marshalling and track marking on Saturday, the boys performed sweep riding duties all day Sunday, and then made legends of themselves by joining the Buckenbowra Billygoat posse to salvage the first creek crossing once it became virtually impassably by lunchtime. To transform the creek’s muddy exit (which featured three waist-high rock shelves after six hours worth of dripping wet, wheelspinning traffic), Mal literally got in there on his hands and knees with a pickaxe and fashioned a revised exit route. Without it, the creek-crossing bottleneck threatened to bring the entire 12-Hour to a halt. Needless to say, we all owe you blokes a beer!


The Start Ya Bastard Award materialised a couple of years back as a kind of hole-filler; as an award we could dish out to person or team who deserved acknowledgement for reasons not covered by the other awards. And at the 2018 12-Hour, the Stace family was long overdue. For several years now, a bloke called Peter Stace has teamed up with his three sons – Jarrod, Rohan and Lincoln. The cool thing is that, because the boys all live in different parts of the state (or country) these days, they use the Transmoto 12-Hour as an excuse to get together, share some family time, and indulge in their long-standing passion for dirt bikes. As Peter said, “It’s not often that we all get together for a ride because they all live in different towns these days. Rowan and I have both ridden the NSW state enduro series for a few years now, but the atmosphere at those events just doesn’t compare. The 12-Hour venue is magic to camp at, plus the track was superb. And I always run into so many people from the race scene who I haven’t seen in years.” The Stace boys are no slouches, either. Their ‘Stace 4 Racing’ team punched out 31 laps and finished 21st Outright in a field of 160 teams. See you next year, lads!

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