A Few Photos from Opening Weekend at Gopher Dunes

By Billy Rainford

Photos by Dawn McClintock

After the winter we’ve suffered through here in Ontario, opening day at Gopher Dunes was a little later than normal. Truthfully, it was looking like it would be a struggle to have a snowless track for round 5 of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals…in July!

We spoke with Gopher Dunes’ Derek Schuster this morning and he said they were pleased with the turnout, adding there were 170 riders Friday which was the busiest day of the weekend. The weather took a turn for the worse Saturday and then they decided to remain closed Sunday to prepare things for Monday. Overall, he said it was a “pretty good” weekend that started “later than in past years.”

While I had him on the phone I asked a few questions about the Honda Canada TLD GDR team riders:

#1 Colton Facciotti: He’s home in Ontario recovering with his fractured pelvis. He’s probably a couple weeks away from getting back on the bike. Derek guessed he’ll be riding the last week of April. They are still very “optimistic” for the coming season.

#21 Jeremy Medaglia: Jeremy is still down south. He’ll head out to BC mid-April to shoot a video with new sponsor Hitcase.

#30 Kyle Keast: Kyle made his way back to Ontario this past weekend and stopped into Gopher Dunes Saturday afternoon. He’d driven through the night and wasn’t up to hitting the track.

#34 Westen Wrozyna: Westen also made it home to Ontario on the weekend. Both he and Kyle will race the season opener at Gopher Dunes in two weeks.

Derek also said they are looking into what changes they can make to the track to make things interesting. I told him a big ‘wall jump’ would make for some great ‘sand-in-the-face’ photo opportunities like they had back in 2008. Make the place look like the Weston Super Mare beach race! We’ll have to stay tuned to see  what they come up with.

I love a good wall jump! - Weston Super Mare photo

I love a good wall jump! – Weston Super Mare photo

Dawn McClintock made the short drive from her place over to Gopher Dunes over the weekend and sent in a few photos. We don’t have all the names of the riders so I won’t say much about each photo. Seriously, we’re just happy to be able to see the grass around these parts!


Opening Day at Gopher Dunes. PS Some say that could read ‘Home of THE WORLD’S Toughest National.’


Things are still a little ‘soupy’ in these parts…even on the sandiest track in Canada.


Axle deep.


Extra tank space is always a good idea at The Dunes.


Every hour of the day, every day of the week, baby!


Grabbing a handful of throttle in the perfect sand.


Kudos to this young rider for lending a hand with the flagging.


That’s the kind of thing that could cause some 1912 damage to an unsinkable ship! It’s been a harsh winter.


The obligatory ‘berm blast’ shot. If you can’t lay it out here, you can’t lay it out anywhere!


Kind of a cold and bitter scene but at least we’re riding!


Memories being made along the bank in Courtland.


After a long winter, taking flight feels great.


Pink Powder Puff PW perched in the pits. Don’t say that while eating crackers…


I’d ride that on the street…and then be buried in a piano box. (Google it, Bowker!)


In every interview we do, ‘hanging out with my moto family’ is always the favourite thing about going to the track.


Motocross is a sport for all ages.

And that's the start of another busy year at Gopher Dunes. Thanks, Frank. See you at the races...

And that’s the start of another busy year at Gopher Dunes. Thanks, Frank. See you at the races…