Finke – not so bad, St Johns

Emergency services are relieved after another Finke desert race.

As the dust settles and the many competitors of the 2018 Tattersalls Finke Desert Race count their wins, their blessing and their losses, our St John Ambulance Intensive Care Paramedics, Paramedics and First Aid Volunteers were last night recouping and debriefing over the weekend that was.

St John Ambulance NT crews and volunteers have spent numerous rugged nights braving the elements of the Central Australian desert, camping along the track to provide immediate medical attention to those who succumb to the gruelling intensity of the Tattersalls Finke Desert race track.

Two days ago 130 enthusiastic car competitors and 612 desert warrior bike competitors began their history making Finke journey, embarking upon a rite of passage, into an elite group of men and women who have chosen to face their fears and the desert.

Of the 742 eager starters 536 crossed the finish line to claim “there and back” champion status.

With Shannon and Ian Rentsch winning the car section and overall fastest competitors and the awesome Toby Price, winning the bike section for the sixth time in his career.

There was a heavy smattering of "Alice Springs" throughout the minor placings in both fields.

Second only to Rentsch for the total number of victories former local David Fellows has overcome adversity and significant injury to claim 2nd outright, with another local identity, David's brother-in- law Jack Rhodes taking the final place on the podium.

In the bikes local sensation David Walsh put in an amazing effort and brought home the second place podium finish in sheer delight of the Alice Springs crowds. Jack Simpson rounded out the bike category claiming the third place victory.

Incredibly for St John Ambulance crews Day 2 day saw only two race competitors requiring medical attention and subsequent transportation by St John Ambulance to the Alice Springs Hospital.

This was a remarkable result and a number well below the expectations of St John Ambulance medical crews. 

St John Ambulance NT Southern Regional Manager, Andrew Everingham, would like to congratulate the 2018 Tattersalls Finke Desert Race volunteer committee and event organisers who brought together an extraordinary race event and said it was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated and enthusiastic team of people.

“On behalf of St John Ambulance NT a special thank you must go out to all St John Ambulance NT staff and volunteer First Aid crews who provided exceptional, unwavering medical coverage to the competitors and spectators regardless of the adversities faced, not only did they provide support during the race weekend but they also covered all pre-race entertainment activities.

“Without your commitment and professionalism St John Ambulance NT would not be able to provide such a great medical support to this iconic desert race.”