Over the 26th and 27th of August the 2023 SA Off Road Championships round 3 and 4 lined up as a double act with the Australian Off Road Championships rounds 7 and 8 in the beautiful Barossa Valley, presented by the Keyneton Motorcycle Club. With the SA riders joining Australia’s best over 2 full days of racing, it was only a matter of time to see who would stand tall as the 2023 SA Off Road Champion.
WSB Distributors team rider Cooper Sheidow showed absolute resilience after crashing on the first lap in Saturday’s dusty cross country conditions, he fought back making up countless positions each lap to finally finish third for the SAORC round 3 Pro open behind second-place Sean Throup and ex-pat Wil Price in first. Round 4 saw Cooper back in form to charge through the sprints and claim the round 4 2023 SAROC victory in front of Wil Price second and Sean Throup third.
Chloe Barton had a challenging start to the weekend but still came away with a second place round 3 result, behind Emma Haylock and in front of Meg Pitchford. Overcoming and moving past the previous day’s challenges, she put her head down to take the round 4 Open Women sprint race win and overall 2023 SAORC Open Women title. After putting-up a solid fight, Emma Haylock finished second and Meg Pitchford rounded out the round 4 podium.
Shout out and congratulations has to go out to Max Midwinter after taking a clean sweep of wins for the Expert Open class in front of the consecutive round 3 and 4 second scorer placing Max Price. Tristan Throup came away with the round 3 third place and Lachlan Pattullo stepped up to stand on the Expert podium for round 4 third.
Rowan Pumpa lead the veterans class over both days whilst a challenge for the Veterans second and third played out behind him. Matthew Boyle claimed the round 3 silver place in front of Matt Curyer. Round 4 saw the second and third placings change up again with Matt Harkness coming through in second and Matthew Boyle settling for third.
Clubman 1 saw Jet Brien take a full clean run over both days with Thomas Mosey sitting comfortably in second holding off both round 3 third place winner Henry Berkin and round 4 third James Waldhuter.
Todd Muster was the man to clean up the Clubman 2 SAORC round 3 and 4 top spot bragging rights. Thomas Winter managed to hold off Shane Bentley attacks on the Round 3 but was unable to back it up for the Sundays Round 4, finishing behind him in third.
Similar to Clubman 2, the top title holder could not be knocked off the perch. Royden Harrold took it all in his stride to take win both days. Taking the round 3 second step was Matthew Bunnik in front of Daniel Fraser. Unfortuantly Matthew was not able to finish Sunday Sprints, leaving second place open to Daniel Fraser in front of Alex Heidenreich.
It was a clean, perfect weekend to finish 2023 for Davey Gear in J4, showing his adaptability, he rode exceptionally fast and kept his eye on the prize to go back-to-back wins in the round 3 cross country and round 4 sprints. Following Davey’s lead, Will McInnes showed nothing but consistency, bringing home consecutive second-place finishers in both the cross county and sprints races. The standout weekend battle for J4 was between Ethan Alderson and Archer Colwill. After Ethan took out the third-place finish for round 3, he narrowly missed out on the podium step for round 4, finishing just behind Archer but still claimed P3 overall for the weekend. It was not the fairy tale weekend for WSB Distributors Riley Diener after a round 3 fifteenth and round 4 sixteenth place finish.
The success was not shared across the weekend for both Gear Brothers when the points leader Ollie Gear unfortunately had a nasty crash in Saturday Round 3, leaving him unable to line up to fight for crucial points in Sunday Round 4. Taking the lead, Paint Tech SA’s team rider, Jackson Rossi showed exceptional riding to take control and claim not only the J3, round 3 and 4 win but also the 2023 SAORC J3 outright – Well Done!!
Following closely in Jacksons’ footsteps but unable to get a leg up, Lachlan Coppen took the P2 position over both days and held off Zaiden Olsen in third.
The fight for the overall J2 class weekend win came down to the line. Harry Gilbertson held off challenges from second-place Archie Salopayevs and third-place Kye Little to start the weekend off with a win. Harry was unable to continue the winning momentum through round 4 when Kye Little took control and the round 4 win with Harry fending off Archie Salopayevs in third.
Looking to be right at home in Keyneton, Paint Tech Sa’s Levi Rossi brought home the weekend in fantastic form. Both continuing his AORC 2023 campaign and finishing the SAORC rounds 7 and 8 with P1 wins. Following up in second over both rounds, Jayden Miners finished the weekend ahead of Charlie Rayson, who took home fourth place in round 3 behind Riley Throup and third place in round 4.
Charlize Waldhuter kept it clean, consistent and smooth to take the Junior Girls win all weekend ahead of Addison Arrowsmith. We are certainly in store for plenty more competition between these two in the coming years.
It was a back-and-forth tango for first and second throughout the weekend, with Tao Letton showing his strengths in cross country to take the round 3 win ahead of Austin Schulz. Coming to round 4 Sunday the show was on the other foot with Austin getting the upper hand and taking advantage of the sprints to take the round 4 win over Tao second place. Cooper McCully rounded out the weekend in third-place finishes on both rounds with absolute consistency ahead of a stacked field of riders.