This post has no commercial intention other than to pay tribute to Andy Caldecott; one of Australia’s best offroad enduro champions.
Andy Caldecott Overview
Andy was born and bred in Keith which is near Adelaide in South Australia. As a kid, he rode frequently and loved being behind the handlebars and likely more than being in the classroom.
Keith happens to have extensive offroad tracks and one of the best dirt bike riding areas near Adelaide. The entire region lends itself to scrub and mallee riding, and Caldecott was extremely passionate about the sport. This is why he operated a motorcycle shop while loving the offroad racing atmosphere.
After a lot of training, he began entering numerous dirt bike races. After a few years he was into the Australian Safari Rally and won 4 consecutive races from 2000 to 2003.
He then entered the Dakar Rally. In 2004 he didn’t finish, though in 2005 he did come in 6th position. Remember this is a global race with the best riders in the world, which represents an excellent result. Even finishing the gruelling Dakar is a mission in itself.
Andy Caldecott’s Dakar Crash
On Andy’s 3rd entry into the prestigious Dakar Rally, he, unfortunately, crashed on the 9th stage and died from a neck injury. This was a special stage on the way to Kiffa from Nouakchott and represents death #23 after almost 30 years of racing.
Interestingly enough, prior to heading over for the Dakar Rally, he was actually discussing the death of another rider, Fabrizio Meoni. This was in the previous year in 2005.
The news of his death shock not just his hometown of Keith but the entire country. Just about every dirt bike rider knew of Andy as he represented Australia in what is still the toughest race on earth. Letters of consolidences poured in as did a long-term capital investment fun to support his surviving wife Tracey and their 2 children.
In addition, a large memorial was opened in Keith on the 14th of August, 2011. This is known quite simply as the Andy Caldecott Memorial.
Some years later in 2015, Motorcycling SA Inc actually inducted Andy into the Motorcycling SA Hall of Fame. You can actually find some of Andy’s bikes on display at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood if you’re ever near Adelaide.
The Dakar Rally is a dangerous race at high speeds. It’s an ever-present danger despite the soft sand conditions. Even recently, Paulo Gonçalves passed away while attempting to achieving his dream of winning the Dakar Rally. He had reached 2nd place in 2015 which is a remarkable achievement in itself.