Rob Sayle will be heading off to Dalby for the start of the Variety Bash in his old Holden this August, finishing in Mackay 10 days later. Photo: Claudia Baxter
Rob Sayle will be heading off to Dalby for the start of the Variety Bash in his old Holden this August, finishing in Mackay 10 days later. Photo: Claudia Baxter

Rob treks for a great cause

IF YOU'RE going to travel along some of the most unforgiving outback tracks in Queensland, you might as well do it in style.

Ipswich businessman Rob Sayle's 1979 Holden Statesman may have a bit of a dodgy starter motor, but once that big 308 gets rumbling, it will take a lot of stopping.

Mr Sayle, his co-driver David Harris and their bright yellow Holden, nicknamed The Fruity Statesman, will set off for Dalby on August 2 to begin a huge journey in the name of charity.

This year's Variety Bash will zig-zag from Dalby to Mackay over 10 days, taking in small towns such as Kilkivan, Moura, Tambo and Clermont along the way.

The route will avoid bitumen wherever possible, instead taking dirt and gravel tracks. The aim is to raise money for Variety, which helps improve the quality of life of special kids.

Mr Sayle said the bash provided the perfect opportunity to mix adventure with a noble cause.

"I did the bash for the first time with David in 2010 and I just loved it that much that I wanted to do it again with my own vehicle," he said.

Mr Sayle then purchased the beautiful old Statesman from a former Variety Bash entrant in North Queensland. The car was complete with all the necessary modifications when he bought it, making it a lot easier to get it past the event scrutineers.

Each competitor must raise a minimum of $8000 to enter the event. Their vehicle must be two-wheel-drive only and at least 30 years old, without any modifications designed to make it go faster. Vehicles must be fitted with items including a UHF radio and various lights, skid plates and stone guards to ensure they can survive on harsh dirt roads.

The Bash is not a race and participants are encouraged to dress up to get into the relaxed spirit of the journey.

Since the first Queensland Bash in 1990, more than $15 million has been raised to help Queensland kids.



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