The North West Victorian Motorcycle Club event attracted around 150 riders, Held on Trigg Farms huge Victorian holding amongst the paddocks, this is a wicked Sand MotoX style track
I noticed some ads on Facebook from my mate Luke at Mallee Motorcycles in Red Cliffs about an upcoming Desert MotoX @ Trigg Farms, which was billed as an enduro motocross. The prospect of railing some sand berms was enticing so I gave Luke a call and asked if it was worth the nine-hour drive from Canberra. “My oath!” came the reply. I was hooked.
Located just over an hour south of Mildura, Vic (not far from the Hattah Desert Race venue), is a massive property that is Trigg Farms (desert racer Nathan Trigg’s family base) and on that chunk of amazing country is a small area of remnant vegetation that serves as Nathan’s 6km-long practice track.
The area rises above the thousands of hectares of flat farmland (wheat predominately) and is dominated by undulating sand dunes and desert bushes. We were led around on a practice lap and that really hammered home just how hard it is to ride rutted, deep sand. It required judicious application of the throttle plus momentum to carry the bike around the circuit.
The plant life looks, at first glance, to be some form of grass that you might find at the beach but simply walking through it in shorts quickly reveals its prickly nature, as many found out the hard way! Life out here is hot and dry, and the plants are spiky and resilient like cacti.
The North West Victorian Motorcycle Club event attracted around 150 riders, with about half arriving the night before to camp in a neighbouring wheat field. It was well setup, with a speaker system, food van and ample toilets provided.
Sign on and scrutineering were smooth and straightforward, being done in a large marquee. They were pushing hard to have as many riders through on the Saturday to allow for an early start to Sunday’s racing and avoid the midday heat. Conditions were mild, with blue skies making for excellent racing in the cool morning, with 16mm of rain a few days before making for brilliant traction.
The farm was open for spectators and proved an excellent venue. The high sand dunes provided excellent vantage points to the majority of the track and, in typical relaxed country fashion, spectators lined the track and cheered on the racers.
The 30-minute motos proved hard work, with the sand really draining your energy. The pro, of course, charged around the circuit with much enthusiasm.
The starts were great to watch, with 50-wide grids punching off a sandy start to hit the first corner. Like most motos, the first to the corner had a big advantage. Dust was minimal, so only the sand roost from the riders in front was an issue. The track whooped out pretty well and really worked the suspension. After a few laps the best lines started to appear, but the ruts made it hard to stick to a particular line. Fitness was your best asset.
Factory KTM Callum Norton, who won the event last year, was in attendance but Callum had to bow out after his first moto due to injury. Clearly Nathan Trigg was in his element on home turf and ripped around the circuit at a very impressive pace. I was impressed at just how well he carried corner speed compared to his competitors, noting in my photos just how little roost he was throwing compared to the other riders on his way to three straight heat wins.
The event ran like clockwork, the racing was excellent and there was an impressive turnout. The venue was terrific from a rider’s perspective and as a spectator. I take my hat off to Mallee Motorcycles for sponsoring the event, and I can see it will grow in the years to come.
RIDER’S VIEW: DAVID HARRISON
How did you rate the event? Have you attended previously?
We have attended all three times it has been held and they have been good, apart from last year when it was too hot! There is always some top riders here to see how they go on Triggy’s practice track.
You have ridden Hattah many times before as well – how does this style of event compare? Is the terrain the same, easier?
I have competed at all but four Hattahs. That is a more high-profile event, with three days of activity. The terrain is similar to some sections of Hattah, but (Hattah) is a longer course with more variations in terrain.
This event is held almost exclusively on deep sand. What did you think of the circuit? Good length?
I think that the track could be longer with maybe a couple of straights like the one along the fence to have a rest from the whoops.
What about the format – 30-minute motos x three per class, was that enough or too short?
I like the format as it is different to the usual enduro and it gives you a break. Also the top riders go hard for each moto which makes for great spectating.
What did you think of the organisations and location? Was it well run?
The event has been well organised with plenty of helpers and all aspects are communicated easily. The location I think is good especially as it is within three hours for us to get to.
SPONSOR’S VIEW: Mallee Motorcycles’ Luke Woodberry
The season here in Mildura always started late in the year, end of April usually, and it’s all over by the end of August. The break was too long and everyone that I spoke to agreed. So I thought I might as well do something about it [in February]. Having seen Triggy’s track I knew it could be something great if it was done right. This is our third year now and it’s the biggest yet so we must have done something right!
The goal is to have more racing. We (at Mallee Motorcycles) love it, it’s what we have always done. The profile of the race was always going to be bigger than a normal club day because of the location, the sand is Hattah sand and it’s the back yard of one of the fastest sand riders in Australia.
I think the natural progression will see it grow into a high-profile event. The fact its laps and you can see the whole track from the dunes makes for an unreal spectacle, and it would be very exciting to see more high-profile riders attend.
Unfortunately like many events ran now, there is only a small group that does the bulk of the work. NWVMCC (North West Victorian Motorcycle Club Inc) is the club I have put the event through and together with them, Nathan, Gordon, Sam Trigg and Wayne Woodberry that’s about the grunt of it. We always say we are over it when packing up, there is not enough help etc but we always come back. Like I said, it’s in our blood and we love it. We hope to have the event for many years to come we have 10 plaques to fill so at least seven more!
This article appeared in ADB Issue #490 July 2020
WORDS & PHOTOS // BERNIE DEN HERTOG
ITS ON AGAIN!
If this sounds enticing, then be sure to make the pilgrimage out to Mildura way to attend the Desert MotoX @ Trigg Farms, its well worth it! Details: