Growing up on the massive 7222 square kilometres that is Stirling Station, in the dead centre of Australia, James was hardly without his own sand pit to play in. Just one of the dozens of tracks that I know of, extending from the Stuart Highway to a little place called Mud Hut Swamp, is 50 km as the crow flies with more washouts, deep sand plains, and blind bends than you can poke an Allen Key at.
There are no coaching clinics out this way. David Walsh
and the late Damon Stokes
fine-tuned the man over the most recent years, but for the most part, James has risen in the morning, ridden, crashed, healed, woken and ridden again and again. As the signage on his bike attests, Jamie may ride alone but he never rides lonely. Sponsors include Australian Vanadium-Titanium-Iron project developer TNG Limited (tngltd.com.au), Complete Construction (completeconstructionsnt.com), Aileron Roadhouse, CNS Transport and Araluen Plumbing. James is indebted to Andrew Nocera
, who has provided massive assistance with bike set-up and mechanical jiggery and pokery and he shouts out loud to Matt Bell
, the step father of the late champ Damon Stokes, who he also thanks for ongoing support and mentoring.
Jamie is about to destroy his fourth Finke. At the time of writing he had just completed the Prologue finishing a staggering 18th fastest OUTRIGHT, from 600 riders. He is running in the same class (Class 2) as the great man himself, Mr Toby Price
and both are on the same breed of steed: the KTM500 EXC-F, though this writer suspects Toby‰Ûªs might have one or two slightly ‰Û÷go-faster‰Ûª mods attached (just guessing).
James is no longer playing in his own sand pit; he is playing with the big boys now and I am dancing around, clutching my privates and pointing at the updates on www.finkedesertrace.com.au
as I most eagerly await updates. Jump on the pillion seat with this lad because he is going places. But you‰Ûªd better hold on because, at Finke, he only knows one speed and that is FLAT OUT!