Rick Hatswell to challenge the Baja Rally 2019 for his 4th time
The Baja Rally starts again on September 30th at the San Nicolas hotel in Ensenada Mexico for another exciting Rally Raid. This full road-book navigation rally will challenge the racers with no GPS points to follow, only a compass heading and odometer. The race covers 5 stages on the Baja peninsula for some of the most breathtaking scenery. From desert cacti to the Sea of Cortez at San Felipe there are some tough stages to complete before returning on October 5th to the finish line back at the San Nicolas hotel pool for the awards ceremony.
Rick has competed here 3 times in the past with many successful days. In 2015 he led the rally for a short time before being overtaken by some of the top riders in the world. In 2016 Rick placed 5th overall on the bikes at the Sonora rally on the other side of the Sea of Cortez in the huge dunes of the Sonora desert.
For 2019 Rick is looking for a strong finish again with his new Rally bike, a 2018 KTM 500 EXCf outfitted with the latest rally gear from MotoMinded and upgraded suspension from Konflict Motorsports. It will be another exciting event.
Next week I will be competing in the Baja Rally based out of Ensenada Mexico. Just getting there is a feat in itself. 4 Canadians from BC and Alberta are all converging in Vegas to convoy down to Mexico through the Tiajuana border. It should be half the challenge.
Then after scruteneering on Monday the fun starts in the dunes and roads around Ensenada on a Dakar style navigation rally. You can follow my progress through the Baja rally website or click Here.
I want to thank my sponsors for all of the support over the years to get me to three major rallies this year including the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina. It has been a wild ride.
The course was a long one today. The special was 436km but the riders had to ride over 100km to get to the start of it and then another 40 to get back to the bivouac. Rick took one fall that broke the foot peg on his bike (not to mention bent his handlebars) which meant he had to spend the entire 8+ hours sitting on his bike seat. Which doesn’t sound too bad right??? Well it is extremely tough. And he’s extremely sore. But at the end of the day, he finished relatively unharmed and exhausted. He’s spending the rest of the evening preparing his road book for tomorrow and getting lots of rest. Tomorrow is a stage going from Catamarca to Tinogasta. Good luck, we all know you can do it!!!!!
Rick has an early start tomorrow tomorrow which is a stage that starts and finished in Catamarca. We should have an idea of how the day has gone around lunch time tomorrow (or maybe later … )! Exciting!
Rick is settled in, the bike has all its proper decals on it and scrutineering is complete. Now he’s just having a good dinner, getting some rest and preparing for the start of the race. Tomorrow he will be doing the final touches, the mandatory meetings and ceremonial events. There are several days of work onsite to do for these races before the racing begin.
Here is the list of competitors in the moto, quad and car divisions (http://www.desafioruta40.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Listado-Inscriptos-DR40-20154.pdf), I have to admit I was happy to not see the big rigs on this list! Go #25!!!!!
Prepping the bike for The Desafio Ruta 40
Race bike ready to go for The Desafio Ruta 40
Rick placing the race # in just the right spot!
Rick’s bike along side David Casteu’s (in the background)
It’s been a long 24+ hours of travelling, but Rick has made it to Argentina. Made it to Dallas without much excitement but then the current string of bad luck with flights continued. Although relatively minor … the Dallas to Miami flight had mechanical issues that required them to turn around on the runway (deja vu), but only ran him an hour late. Although, when you time the next three flights just perfectly, an hour late can be a nightmare. Made it to Miami with 40 minutes to catch the plane and he was very concerned that his gear wouldn’t, it but finally the bad luck with travel kind of turned into good luck …. another delay (due to a damaged part) = all the gear made it! Next up … 9 hour flight to Buenos Aires! Great sleeping arrangements! Finally … he made it to Catamarca. Most of the riders were on the plane. Pretty cool! The top Honda Team is there so lots of elite riders. What a great experience. – Bonnie (if you have any questions please feel free to email me at email@example.com).
This year I have been training hard with my wife in preparation for the 2015 Ironman Canada in Whistler BC, A 4 km swim, 180 km bicycle, and a 42 km run in July. This is to get me in shape for the next big rally the Desafio Ruta 40.
This race is part of a series of races that lead up to the big event in January 2016; the Dakar! Earlier this year I raced the Rocky Mountain Rally in Utah. This was an unsanctioned 3 day event that was a blast and a great start to the season. The next big event is the Desafio Ruta 40. For the event I thought I should upgrade my old stinky helmet, Madeleine approves!
The best part of the Desafio is that I will be with Caballero Rally Services, and their top rider is David Casteu a French rider who has placed highly in the Dakar. There are also other top riders who will be announced shortly and I will be able to learn a ton from all of them.
The Desafio will challenge me throughout the 6 stages riding a KTM 450 RR rally. I have never ridden this bike before but it is the best equipment for the job and I have the most experienced mentors so it should be amazing. Keep watching the blog page for updates.
The adventure started in 2007 with the dream to race the worlds toughest rally. This video shows the trials and tribulations to reach the start of the Dakar Rally and the amazing days of the race by amateur Moto rider Rick Hatswell.