Kamfari: A Mud-Do Event!
Some dirt bike races come and go. Others stand the test of time; underpinned by their infectious atmosphere, challenging terrain, slick organisation and regular media coverage. The Northern Territory’s Kamfari is a perfect example of the latter. First staged in 1972, the Kamfari has cemented its reputation as one of Australia’s toughest – and muddiest – enduros; a race where simply finishing the gruelling course remains most entrants’ primary objective.
Held on April 30 this year, the 2017 C&R Constructions Kamfari will be the 46th running of what has become Darwin’s largest annual off-road motorsport event. Admittedly, when the Darwin Motorcycle Club (DMCC) spruiks the fact their Kamfari course will feature “swamps, billabongs, lovely black mud and the ever-present spectre of crocodiles”, it might not sound like your average sales pitch. But the Kamfari regularly attracts a heap of local riders and an increasing contingent from interstate, many of whom want to tick the infamous Darwin-based race off their bucket list.
So, challenging conditions aside, what can riders and spectators expect at the 2017 C&R Constructions Kamfari? As always, Friday night’s scrutineering will be accompanied by beers and a BBQ. Then, in keeping with the NT’s reputation as Australia’s lawless northern frontier, Sunday’s race is started with a shotgun, and continues for four hours over a 10km loop. Like an old-school enduro, riders have got to be self-sufficient – in other words, they must carry their own tools and spares and can’t accept outside assistance from friends or the public. That said, the course and staging areas are set up to be spectator-friendly, with food and drink and plenty of (croc-free) vantage points to watch the mud-slinging action (and carnage) unfold.
Sadly, 10-time and reigning Kamfari champ, Brad Williscroft, has been forced to sit out the 2017 installment to pursue business interests. But reigning and two-time Transmoto 12-Hour Ironman-class champ, Kye Anderson, will be back for his second crack at the Kamfari, where no doubt some of his toughest opposition will come from the bloke who came second to him at the 12-Hour, Darwin’s Chris Warwick. “I haven’t done any riding since the 12-Hour,” Warwick told Transmoto, “but the predicted conditions look to suit me and my NT Power Sports/Gibson Tyres Sherco 450SEF-R. The new location for 2017 has lots of chaotic-looking mud sections with very little dry trail, so I reckon it’s likely to be one of the toughest Kamfaris ever. I’m on home turf this time, so I hope to be able turn the tables on Kye.”
“After the third wettest wet season on record in the NT,” confirms DMCC’s Alastair McCorkelle, “there should be no shortage of challenging conditions this year. So to accommodate the ongoing rain, our course-building team has modified the track a fair bit. And with the dry season on the way, we’re hoping for bright, sunny conditions when the race gets under way on April 30.
“The new property we’re using for 2017 will allow us to make the race bigger and better over the coming years, including the 50th Kamfari in a few years’ time. And with the ongoing sponsorship of C&R Constructions – who are onboard this year as our Gold Sponsor for the fifth time – and companies such as NT Motorcycle Centre and NT Power Sports, we’ll be able to grow the event and attract even more riders from outside the NT. It’s not just about racing the Kamfari, but also being part of the incredible atmosphere and entire NT experience,” McCorkelle went on to say.
For more information, check out the DMCC’s website.