David To Dakar 2013

Written By: The Lowdown - Dec• 31•12

As we go to print David’s KTM 450RR is sitting either in Parc Ferme in Le Havre, France about to be loaded on the ship to head to Lima Peru, but I jump ahead in our excitement to get to Le Dakar. Since our Navigation Tour of Namibia in September David has been training with a vengeance and is now at the peak of his fitness for Dakar. The bike and kit was flown to Holland, final orders for the essential tracking equipment were made and paid for, final insurance cover taken out, both medical and equipment all at a high cost but it has to be covered.


Training Programme

David has taken to pulling, with straps attached to his shoulder, an old Land Cruiser tyre and a Bike tyre lashed together around the farm for up to 20 kms a week.  He does 2 to 3 “Enduro” type technical rides for 3 hours or more a week; he is lucky he has one of the best technical areas to ride in at his back door.  He then does anything from 150 to 300 kms on his KTM 690 Rally bike which has been fitted with Rally Raid tanks to give him the ability to travel 300 odd kms without refueling. A week ago there was a “panic” Blackberry message – “The 690 has died!!” – it was rushed to Zambian KTM Agent Ray Wilson who pulled out the Diagnostic tool and determined it was not the Injector, replaced the Spark Plug and the bike is running just so schweet again so no major break in the training. CB Racing’s Husaberg 390 – CB1 has also said “enough is enough David” and it has been taken to Ray for repairs. David’s new KTM 350 has arrived in Zambia and is being Customs cleared. David has collected CB3 and the Enduro training continues. All this bike riding chews up tyres, especially the Enduro training, but we feel the cost will be worth it. He has a regime to maintain this fitness till Dakar in between running the farm. Yes, he has to farm as well.


Shipping Of Bike

The bike eventually got a berth on Emirates Airlines toAmsterdamviaDubai. Unfortunately the promised sponsorship did not materialise and we had to dig deep into the coffers and use money earmarked for other costs to get the Bike and kit to Holland, 513 kgs in two crates, where we found another unexpected cost – Dangerous Goods inspection – the Inspector was very good and gave us a substantial discount for which we are grateful. The Bike arrived inHollandin time for Jan Hut, David’s Mechanic at theDakar, and his wife Jacqueline to show it at a Fund Raiser for a School inSenegalsponsored by Cyril Despres so the next we knew, it was on Dutch TV News. The bike and spares have been packed and delivered toLe Havre,Francefor scrutineering and approval. To pass this pre-registration one has to have all your GPS, Irritrack and Sentinal brackets fitted, these have to be purchased from Approved Suppliers, another cost, you also have to lodge huge deposits with these suppliers and they will then deliver the essential Irritrack, Sentinal, and GPS to you in Lima for fitting, if you return them in good condition at the end of race you get your deposit back, some in Santiago, the rest a few months later. The Irritrack and Sentinal sends, via Satellite, your position to the organizers. Any sudden stop or prolonged stop, the organisers know where you are and can if need be mobilise a helicopter to recover. This expensive piece of technology has the capability to speak to the rider to determine the extent of the problem. So this all paid for and waiting.


Riding Number Allocated

Read on Facebook that the riders Racing numbers has been allocated; mad search on the Dakar page, nothing, back to Facebook to find that a fellow rider at the Navigation training had phoned the organisers and was given his number. In desperation we phoned ASO’s Chloe who very efficiently gave me David’s Race no.  IT IS 102, this is good, it means he starts middle of the pack and not way back having to battle through 219 peoples dust to get to the front, he only has 101 riders to pass.  Our fellow African riders are slotted at 37 – Darryl Curtis, 40 – Riaan van Niekerk, 89 – Brett Cummings and 91 – Glen Grundy, David’s teammate Ingo Waldschmidt fromNamibiaattempting his thirdDakaris 101. 102 is meant to “Represent the unity of the self. Going it alone, but in balance!” that bodes well.


New Sponsors

A big thank you to Ginty Melvill who has chased sponsors and brought SEEDCO International on board who have sponsored David with a return Air Ticket to South America and also Zambezi Riders who have contributed some cash. This all goes a long way to making this trip possible and once again a big thank you to all our sponsors who have made this dream possible, we are still short of some funds and hope and pray as the year closes friends and new businesses will be able to look at their budgets and can contribute to putting Zambia on the sporting map in another discipline. Any amount, no matter how small helps towards the fulfillment of this dream.


Pledges/Contributions can be made to David on 0966 519-516, Charles 0966 860-459 or dropped with Helen Chipoma at Honda who will issue a receipt and deposit into ZMSA Account.


David can be followed on his Facebook Page David to Dakar   and Dakar news.


May we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – we will be having New Year in Peru.


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