Bigger than ever, the fourth edition of the Swank Rally di Sardegna is wrapped. We got on board the ferry with 350 people from 10 nations including pilots, assistances, and staff; that’s an unbelievably huge crowd.
We really want to thank all the sponsors and partners for helping us make this edition so great: Grandi Navi Veloci for ensuring us a way back to Genova; Yamaha for keeping on believing in us since the very first Deus Swank Rally.
Motor Bike Expo for hosting us every year at their great event and bringing such a nice and friendly team; Metzeler for letting us experience a lap in the exclusive Campo Prova Pneumatici in Vizzola and providing us extra tires; Breitling for sharing the same enthusiasm and for the amazing prizes; Garmin for always showing us the right way and Olitema for keeping our engine lubricated.
On top of everything, a special thanks goes to Adventure Riding for setting up everything from A to Z with so much passion and professionalism.
Among all this edition’s records, we’re really proud of the amounts of girls we had within the ranks of the participants. As for many other participants, for most of these girls, this was the very first rally of their life. So, we’ve decided to let Caterina tell us how her experience was, as the first time has always something special:
“I have always said that if I had done a motor rally, it would have been the Swank Rally of Sardinia, and so it was.
I had the fortune and the honour to be part of the Deus Women Team which had become my family for 5 days. I must admit, I was a little bit scared. The Swank included 4 stages and more than 1000 km starting from Malpensa (Milano) to Genova and finally to Sardinia. It was the first time I'd come this far and there were many worries, of course: is my bike gonna be ok? Will I have physical endurance? Will I measure up? Well, the answer is yes, I’m.
All the 220 participants met at the Malpensa motocross track at 1.00 pm for registration and were ready to do the night prologue: one single lap as fast as you can. But the real experience would have started the day after. That’s where we met some of the pilots and fellows we were going to share the path with.
Wednesday 28th September, 8:00 am. I dressed up, selected the first track on my GPS (kindly provided by Garmin, thanks again for the support!), I turn on my bike, and after a deep breath and a look at my teammates, I’m ready to go full throttle through this experience. I’m not staying here telling and describing every single detail of the stages. Every track was simply amazing, steep single tracks in the wood, beautiful descents, loose rocks, special stages, and breathtaking landscapes. I’m here to describe the Swank Rally as an experience.
Unfortunately, everything was perfect. I say unfortunately because it was one of those experiences that make you want to leave again before they are even finished. The tracks were long: always more than 220 km, but with the right alternation of asphalt and off-road. What I noticed with great pleasure, is that the Swank Rally is first and foremost "helping each other”. A single gesture with a hand to know if everything was ok when passed by a stationary rider was the rule. The Swank is also sharing passions, moments, and sometimes even motorcycle parts (inner tubes, clutch levers, and more). It is a challenge to yourself: along the way I also met people who had never done enduro in their life (crazy from my point of view), but who reached the finish line with a smile twice as big as when they left because let's face it, the satisfaction is priceless.
Swank Rally is inclusion. I personally experienced a great “openness” toward girls. This year we were about ten, always a few, but still more than the previous editions (as I have been told). More than "openness" it is perhaps more correct to say admiration. I think that, often, by attending purely male environments, we ladies feel obliged to always demonstrate the double, just for the fact that we are women. At Swank Rally, I have never had this feeling. I have never felt treated as a female rider but only as a rider. The Swank was also a moment to meet people I already knew and a moment to meet other bike enthusiasts who have taught me so much. Along the whole rally I kept on being surprised by how friendly and easy everyone was: you could find yourself chatting about the routes with champions like Gio Sala (5 times world enduro champion) or sharing the table with a Olympic MTB champion such as Marco Aurelio Fontana.
It was an experience made of heart, joy, dust, and full throttle. A trip where I learned to always keep my head up, looking in the direction I wanted to go.
Thanks, Deus Family.”