Appeared in the Dimboola Banner 09-August 2017
Rainbow played host to the 2017 the inaugural Rainbow Desert Enduro in cold and wet, and typically wintery conditions over the last weekend.
Competitors came from all over Australia to take part in the gruelling race. There were 59 teams entered in the race, however by Sunday only 28 race cars were able to compete, owing to a steady stream of casualties on the Saturday.
The main and final race on Sunday saw only 14 competitors, from the 28 starters finish the race, emphasizing that this was an endurance race.
Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings won the event outright in a time of 5:23:05.146 beating rivals, Chris Browning and Chris Clarke with a time of 5:38:45.949.
On Friday night, Rainbow’s Federal street was abuzz with locals volunteering their services, as the scrutineers inspected each vehicle for race worthiness, however the rain did not dampen the spirits of the teams, as they continued their preparation for the weekend events.
Both hotels reported a busy trade, with the town packed with visitors.
Rainbow volunteers received accolades from the Victorian Off Road Racing Association for the work they had done in preparation for such a national event.
Not only was the GrainCorp receival site prepared with a viewing hill constructed for spectators, but many district resident jumped in to do such tasks as marshaling on the track and for vehicle recovery. One team was made up of the Mayor Cr Debra Nelson and Cr Ron Lowe.
Hindmarsh Mayor Cr Debra Nelson said, “the event went well despite the cold and wet conditions. While this is the first time we have hosted this event, there is always room to improve on things. We can only get better at doing this event with experience.”
Not forgetting that the food stalls put on by the local volunteers, was all one would expect from country hospitality. Hot potatoes , roast rolls and the Lions barbeque were all a part of the flavour of the event with the food prices being exceptionally reasonable for such an event.
The vehicles arrived shining clean and sporting corporate sponsorship branding all over them, but by the time the racing had ended, they were all painted in the same colour from the mud. The vehicles all looked like they came out of a Mad Max movie.
Drivers were excited about the challenge of the Rainbow circuit saying it is what the sport is about. The mud and the rain just made the race a lot more enjoyable for the drivers and their crews.
Hindmarsh Shire Councilors Ron Ismay and Ron Lowe were the driving force behind making the event possible. The 80 kilometre track was made up of farm land, state owned and council roads, and took quite some work by the councilors to put it all together.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy visited on the Saturday to support the event, and as one would expect from Ms Kealy, put on the fireprooof suit and helmet and headed out for a hot lap.
Both the organisers and the Rainbow community are excited to mark this on the calendar as an annual event again next year.