CARVING THE DUNES

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Story and pics by Holtzy

When West Oz FMX rider Shane "Towny" Townsend rang to let me know he was heading to the legendary Lancelin Dunes just north of Perth it didn’t take me long to agree to come along. Visions of those perfect snow white dunes and blue skies immediately appeared in my head and the good news was the weather for the day was predicted to be perfect.

TOWNY
Towny loves the Dunes. Last year we did a trip for Freerider and he set a then personal record 150ft jump (which he has since passed with a 179ft dirt to dirt step up). This year to show how keen he was he left home at 5.30am to drive the four hours to the dunes.

ARRIVING AT THE DUNES
When I arrived at Lancelin it seemed like it had been a day not a year since I was last there. Towny was already set up and riding and Erin Kramer from Lancelin Off Road Motor Bike Hire was there as well still riding the dunes every day and still loving life.

There were a couple of new faces there as well. Jeza Ray made a brief appearance as well as a couple of guys from the desert town of Karratha, a mere 1600kms further north, called Matt Haggerty and Matt Powell. Matt Haggerty especially showed that he has heaps of talent on a dirtbike riding flat out at dunes throwing in big Catwalks and Double Cans and even a Seran Wrap or two. Very impressive considering the jumps weren’t easy to do tricks off and he had never ridden dunes before.

LOCAL TALENT
The real find was 15 yr old local lad Michael Kennedy who was hucking the dunes with fellow local Matt Riley (Three Matts in one shoot! Talk about confusing.) Michael is a big lad and certainly looks a lot older than 15 but his riding speaks of something special. Michael whips it as good as any and has a dune record of just under 150ft all on the big four stroke Yamaha YZ450f. His riding is very smooth and comfortable so there are no prizes for guessing where he spends most of his free hours. In fact Michael is in the very enviable position of being able to ride his dirtbike straight from his house to the dunes.

HELMET CAM
Late in the day I stuck the helmet cam on Michael Kennedy and got some epic stuff. At one stage when they were railing dunes Matt Haggerty fell off and Kennedy cleaned him up and hit the dirt himself all recorded on helmet cam and by me as well for a bloody funny sequence. I also stuck the camera sideways on Kennedy’s helmet and recorded four riders hitting a dune side by side together for a really unique perspective. This is one new angle I will be experimenting with a lot whenever possible

A PERFECT DAY
In the end we couldn’t have asked for a better day. There were no 150ft hits this time but there were still plenty of big top gear jumps around plus a few perfect to whip it sideways over. The sun shone all day and the wind stayed respectable for what is a very windy place. Towny made the most of the day by riding almost non stop until dark before driving all the way home again.

One thing about a day in the dunes is that you always take some of the dunes home with you. Two weeks later and I’m still finding sand in my hair, ears, camera gear, car etc. A couple more trips and I will have enough for a set of dunes in my backyard!
More Photos from The Lancelin Dunes can be found here
Pic Below: Towny and Matt Haggerty share a dune hit

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