The Harts Range Races is where townies mix with bushies, once a year, as they've done for 68 years: In fact today's Picnic Day holiday has its roots in an impromptu horse race there. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Camels will be racing for money for the first time on Camel Cup Day in Alice Springs next month, and their owners are loving it. They will be coming from three states. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Trophies won by Peter Hodge on the Queensland circuit. The jockey is Rachael Woodham who lives in Gembrook, Victoria, and will be coming to race for Mr Hodge in Alice Springs.
"Where is the dunny?"
This was the first question asked by Chinese Rally Champion Xiao Fa Guo when he arrived in Finke.
He had to use sign language because he doesn't speak a word of English. He thought the Finke Desert Race would have a toilet stop half-way.
Alice Mayor Damien Ryan later explained, through an interpreter no doubt, that the local custom out bush is to have a dingo's breakfast: a pee and a good look around.
A swag and billy tea were subsequent local discoveries for the driving champion.
Anyway, that's how Alice photographer and businessman Steve Strike tells the story.
Mr Strike has an office in Guangzhou, southern China, and it was his brainchild to invite Mr Xiao and navigator Xie Jin Lin, plus a crew of around 15, to the Finke.
Their performance in the tough race was nothing short of outstanding: driving a 6 litre Chev V8 truck after just 20 minutes of practice they came 29th outright and third in their class.
The vehicle was borrowed from Top End pollie Ross Bohlin, MLA for Drysdale.
Mr Xiao announced he wanted buy a top-of-the-line buggy and was told they go for around $450,000.
"No worries," replied Mr Xiao – or whatever the Chinese equivalent is.
While the visitors finished mid-field, The Centre had a great victory: a TV crew for a Guangzhou sports channel with an audience of 100 million is tagging along, says Mr Strike, shooting not just the race but the competitors' visits to the full gamut of local attractions – including the Reptile Centre, Flying Doctor, hot air ballooning and the School of the Air in town, and Glen Helen, Palm Valley, Hermannsburg and Ayers Rock Resort further afield. Photos STEVE STRIKE. L- R Navigator 46 yr old Xie Jin Lin and 52 yr old Driver Xiao Fa Guo from Gaungzhou in Southern China. It was their first attempt at an international race and said they will be back next year with more experience.
Steve Brown, your article gets the gong from me and many of my fellow land holders. We all have to lobby our local members and the public in general that to close down produce producing properties any where in Australia is going against the philosophy of Australia being a food bowl. The present PM thinks we should develop other industries to take us forward but I assure you that whatever we do, everyone still has to eat. Tony Sanderson
Ok we all love young guns, it’s a day for the boys and girls of Alice Springs to evolve into ladies and gentleman with our frocks and suits, but 40 dollars a ticket that’s outrageous. It wasn’t that long ago it was only 15 dollars a ticket and everyone went, now barely anyone wants to go! It’s a great day for the community to band together and socialize. When the price went from 15 to 20 dollars a ticket the number of people who went dropped. Turf club what are you doing?? The demographic “young” guns is aimed at can’t afford to spend money there, if they used most their money to get in the gate Drop the price back to 20 dollars and you will be amazed how many people come along Ashley Ogden