Graeme Sharp has made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean motorbike rider to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia which was held form the 5th to the 17th of January 2020.
The rally, which is the second-largest motorsport event in the world, had 137 competitors from 60 countries.
Graeme, who had always dreamt of completing the rally since 2013 when he attended the rally in South America, said it was a dream come true for him.
He completed the rally on KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA bike which cost US$40 000. He was part of the BAS team.
After qualifying for the rally Graeme sought sponsorship to help him compete at the event. His total budget was US$135 000. Corporates like Isuzu, Trentyre, and Blue Water came on board and helped him.
Sharp spent his childhood on a large cattle ranch in central Zimbabwe near the town of Mvuma where he was introduced to motorbikes at a young age.
After moving to Lake Kariba in the north of Zimbabwe, Graeme was introduced to the off-road trail and enduro riding where, at 14 years old on a Yamaha WR 400, he began to explore vast swathes of the Zambezi Valley. These regular forays into the wilderness fuelled his love for adventure and ultimately a career in the outdoors.
The Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance event organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The rally is open to amateur and professional entries, amateurs typically making up about eighty per cent of the participants.
The terrain that the competitors traverse is much tougher than that used in conventional rallying, and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than modified on-road vehicles.
Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–560 mi) per day.
This year the total distance of the rally was about 7500 kilometres.
Congratulations and well done to Graeme Sharp for this historic feat!
#Dakar2020 #MyDakarSafari #Zimbabwe
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