SWANK RALLY DOWN UNDER
Deus Italy held the first Swank Rally event back in 2017, and with a cult-like following the event quickly spread to all parts of the globe – it was time to give Australia a taste of the event and where better to crown the inaugural event than ….. Dargle.
If you haven’t heard of Dargle, it’s a small town on the Hawkesbury River with a beautiful campground and even better motocross/enduro track.
Friday was spent mapping and cutting the track, collecting firewood for the cold night ahead and readying the sleepy riverside town for the masses. Friday night saw the pouring in of vintage two strokes, trucks, campers and a bunch of swankers ready for a good weekend of riding – even if they had no idea what they had actually signed up for.
A few over the fire arm-wrestles, some negative temperatures and a (kinda) early night meant there was a feeling of excitement come Saturday morning.
The Deus Café team were the first to rise, and the lure of a hot breakfast and good coffee got people out of their own tents and into the rego tent. The event was capped at 80 riders to create an intimate event and ensure everyone got plenty of time in the saddle. We leant on the knowhow of THE JERKYLS who were out in force, plus a great selection of the who’s who of the Sydney motorcycle scene, and a healthy mix of people who’d travelled to be a part of the inaugural event, including Deus ambassadors Harrison Roach and Matt Cuddihy.
Dare Jennings & Robbie Warden kicked off the proceedings at the rider’s briefing to a crowd who’s main question seemed to be … ‘how the hell does this thing work?’
Pretty simple – Line yourself up next to a coloured oil barrel, click the stop watch, take off around the course and come back to the same barrel and stopwatch, scribble down your time and chuck it up on the ‘unofficial’ leader board.
Then jump back in line and see if you can do it any quicker.
Vintage bikes had preference in the line up and Jeremy Tagand kicked the event off on his Deus built Yamaha HL 500. All bikes and rider levels were welcome, so there was a mix of beautiful vintage bikes, inappropriate bikes and costumes, beginners blocking the track for trophy chasers and a guest appearance by Paul McNeil’s ‘Goof Bike’.
What followed was a dusty, 2-stroke fuelled day lapping a mish-mash track consisting of motocross, enduro, rocks, trees, bridges, grass, creeks, 2x chicken tracks, a sketchy merge and anything else we could throw at them – at the end of it all we were happy to have everyone come out of it unhurt and having a good time.
The ‘unofficial’ leaderboard was split into Vintage (pre-90’s) and Modern bikes to keep it a bit fair and by the afternoon some riders had clocked up almost 20 laps – shaving a few seconds off their time with each lap. At the end of the day and keeping with the events roots, both the modern and vintage classes were of course taken out by an Italian, Vivien Jacob. Head Jerkyl Scruff Hamill nabbed 2nd place and Wayne Litzow came out with 3rd.
After a long day of riding it was well and truly time to get fireside and Young Henrys provided a well deserved few beers. Those who stuck around on the Saturday night were treated to a sneak peek of Deus new film ‘Death Rides A Horse’ plus a DJ Joe bush doof that’ll be remembered for some time to come.
A big mention to Robbie Warden, Dargle Motocross, Lyndon ‘Heffo’ Heffernan, Jason Cater, Scruff and The Jerkyls, @aintnofarmbike, Paste Studios, Young Henrys, Vittoria Coffee and all the Deus team.
Til next time.
Pics: Phoenix Naman
Words: Jack Coles