One of Australia’s longest running and most enduring motorcycle events, The SA24 Hour endurance race is revved up and ready for action on July 9 and 10.
When people talk about the history of sport and great traditions , this is the one event that has been capturing the attention of Adelaide’s motorcycle community for almost a century. It is a test of man and machine, a test against the elements, a test against yourself, a mental stress that will almost break your spirit and bring your body to the brink of exhaustion and back.
Despite all this there is something that keeps people coming back again and again to try and conquer the greatest and longest-running motorcycle event in Australian history: the Swann Insurance 24 Hour Reliability Trial.
“It’s something my family have always done. Dad used to compete in the 24 when we were young but he had to give way to three kids wanting to ride it too. This’ll be the first time I’ll compete without either my younger brother Nick, or my twin brother Tristan riding also. I guess I have to keep up the family tradition,” explains two time winner, Sean Throup.
Since its inception way back in 1924, the 24 Hour Reliability Trial or “The 24” as it is commonly referred to, has been run out of Adelaide and had riders travel along bitumen roads out into the Adelaide Hills and beyond towards competitive timed stages. Now run from a closer home base to the competition stages, The 24 rotates its start between the townships of Kapunda and Eudunda annually however the difficulty of the challenge has remained the same.
“It’s more than just a race, it’s almost an addiction and it’s something that is a major part of many people’s lives, part of their inner being,” continues the 28 year old Adelaide Hills resident.
“It’s a tough race, there is nothing else like it in the whole world. I guess the hardest thing though is the preparation. We can’t get any help from anyone for the whole 24-hours so we have to carry anything we might need.
“To finish all of the 24’s I have started is pretty special,” Throup added of his unusual feat as the race has an average attrition rate of around 50%.
The Throup name is just one of many “Legendary” names in the 24 Hour’s history. Names like Haydon, Diener, Long and most recently the name Barry has been added to that list.
Todd Barry is set to take course for his attempt at winning three in a row.
The Swann Insurance 24 Hour Reliability Trial isn’t just about the guys and girls riding in the competition it’s also about the many clubs and volunteers that make the event happen. Competition Points are held on private land throughout the course that takes approximately 6 hours to complete just one lap. There is a “Control Point” to start and finish each stage of the timed competitive trials. This is where all the action is for the spectators. You can find motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life at the Control points and they are always in party mode when the bikes come through as part of their four, six hour laps to complete.
“It’s one of the best parts of “The 24”, when your deep into the night at 3am and it’s 2 degrees and freezing these guys are up with their bonfires cranking with high fives and shouting encouragement, it’s awesome!” Throup enthused.
For any further information on the Swann Insurance 24 Hour head to http://24hrtrial.com/web/ for all the news, maps and links.