Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

The Biggest Don Yet

2023 Don River Dash Is Ready To Race

Motor cross and endurance drivers get ready, the Don River Dash is upcoming and set to be one of the biggest years for the event.

Still in its infancy, the event has seen an unprecedented explosion in its popularity, with hundreds of keen competitors flocking to Bowen for the exciting competition.

“You see all sorts of different classes, different machines, with different engine capacities,” explained Wanita Sparr, Don River Dash Event Secretary.

“It’s a unique course with a reverse grid format, meaning the smaller engine capacity cars are first, with the big machines at the back, which make for a more exciting and thrilling race.”

This two-day competition sees participants take to the Don River, completing three loops of the track on Saturday, and another three on Sunday.

But don’t forget, the motorcycle race happens after the 4-wheeled machines take on the course, making for an unpredictable ride!

“It’s a mix of enduro-long range racing and motor cross,” said Wanita.

At this stage, the Dash has almost 250 bikes nominated, with only nine racers from Bowen.

This is much the same with the car nominations, with 108 nominations, 6 from Bowen.

And don’t forget the Ironman Challenge, where competitors take part in both the car and bike competitions.

With only one nomination at this stage, with more sure to sign up, the weekend is building up to be a thrill seekers delight.

“This is like Mad Max, with great jumps, natural sloops and the bikers just have to hang on!” said Wanita.

“It’s a very technical course, and the Sunday course is next level!

“The bikers are the gladiators of The Don, having to take account of the sloops, the ground, and especially the shifting density of the sand.”

For spectators, “It’s best to just come in blind and just go ‘holy shit, these people are courageous!”

“It’s an incredible event and amazing for the region.”

In 2021, Tourism Events Queensland reported that The Dash brought in an estimated 1.138 million in economic and tourism expenditure.  

Manager of Bowen Tourism and Business, Leanne Abernethy said the Don River Dash provides a great boost for the economy.

“People book accommodation months in advance for this event which continues to grow each year,” she said.

“The competitors and their support crew often come a few days prior and then stay on after the event, so they support many types of businesses in town.

“It is also a great spectator event, enhancing the experience of our visitors as well as locals.”

Over 300 competitors expected to cruise into town and Bowen will be a hive of activity, fun, and excitement – make sure you head down and check it out!

WHAT: Don River Dash

WHERE: Bowen Showground

WHEN: Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September

The Don River Dash is expecting hundreds of competitors and spectators for the exciting thrills and spills of the Dash

With an increasing motorbike division, the Don River Dash is amping up for 2023. Photo supplied

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