The Dakar Rally has been dominated by Giniel de Villiers in South African media, but in the past few years the South African numbers have increased. After the 2013 Dakar Rally we chatted to Darryl Curtis, a man who finished the Dakar for the second time, not in the comfort of a car, but on just two wheels!
All Things Jabu (ATJ): Darryl thanks for taking the time to chat to us. How was your Dakar experience?
Darryl Curtis (DC): My Dakar experience was again an “experience of a lifetime”, I was having a great Dakar until my crash on stage 11, where I fractured my back and tore ligaments in my shoulder. I rode the last 2100 Km’s over the next three days in agony and my objective went from finishing well to “just finishing”.
ATJ: Having finished the Dakar twice now, was finishing the Dakar the highlight of your career so far?
DC: The first Dakar was the highlight, winning the Elf trophy and finishing 2nd in class, this time was Riaan’s (Van Niekerk) turn.
ATJ: Last year you finished 22nd bearing that in mind, were you happy with your finishing position?
DC: No I was disappointed as I finished 32nd after the crash, but of course I was happy to make the finish line at the end and stand on the podium with my team mate Riaan van Niekerk.
ATJ: After the heart break this year with the crash, will we see you going back to compete next year?
DC: I am not sure about this, it’s time to rest up and we will make this decision as a team.
ATJ: Is the Dakar rally the toughest race you have competed in?
DC: Yes, I have ridden all the most brutal extreme enduro’s in the world, but the pain only lasts for a few days, the Dakar is two weeks, it’s easier, but it slowly wears you down, physically and mentally.
ATJ: There was a large South African contingent at the Dakar this year; did the guys spend time together in the evenings?
DC: No, we visited each other when we could, but the reality of it is that there simply isn’t any time to visit. Once you have done your road book, had supper and been to rider briefing its already 10 o clock.
ATJ: We know that getting to Dakar must be very expensive; who are the sponsors that have helped you realize your dream?
DC: Our proudly South African sponsors are Broadlink, Grindrod Logistics, MTN, Leader Tread and Emperors Palace.
ATJ: Which did you enjoy more? Dakar 2012 or 2013?
DC: Dakar 2012, the crash in 2013 left me in absolute agony; I just wanted it to end.
ATJ: What keeps you busy the rest of the year apart from Dakar?
DC: I have two businesses, Bandit Signs and Bandit GPS. They keep me busy, I am lucky to have a great staff compliment that pull together and help me realize my dreams.
ATJ: Where can our readers see more about you?
DC: At www.broadlinkktmrally.co.za and on twitter @DarrylCurtisSA
ATJ: Thanks so much Darryl! We hope the recovery goes well and that if you race again next year you are able to make it your best!