Deus Swank Rally Sardinia - 2024

Deus Swank Rally Sardinia - 2024

If pissing into the wind was a sport, we could be world champions. The ‘Pissing Into The Wind Vice World Champs’ from California. A contingent of the Deus Racing Team, the trio of Ciaran Naran, Nick Lapaglia, and myself. We have accepted the fact that when it comes to racing there is no time like last minute.

Planning for something like the 2024 Swank Rally of Sardinia takes time - time we had spent doing other things, like helping Ciaran quietly win the Baja 500, chasing waves, single track and a cool buzz. These things you cannot quantify into a regimented schedule!

Besides that, we would have had a few minutes to spare while driving home from Baja with a celebratory tequila hangover.

That would be more than enough time to plan a 5 day rally across the Mediterranean.  

A plan which would require rental motorcycles, road book holders, odometers, spare parts, an assistance vehicle, tools, official race registration, mandatory medical assessment, Italian race license, entry fees, flights, planes, trains and automobiles, and Google translate at the ready. 

One week, twenty six phone calls, and a bloated phone bill later, we land in Milan, Italy. Thanks to the ladies and gents of Deus Milan, strings had been pulled, favours granted and motorcycles in tow. It would be my second Swank Rally of Sardinia and Ciaran and Nick’s first. This year we would depart from the mainland of Italy, navigate our way to the port of Genoa, ferry overnight, and race down the western coast of the island. Some loopy loops to the center and back again before making our way back northbound for a night spent camping under the stars. And finally, to finish it off, back to Porto Torres to ferry our sore, unsorry, asses back again.

The island of Sardinia is home to the most beautiful roads, beaches, crystal clear sea, warm people, and coldest beer that exists in the mediterranean climate the world over. No where else can you ascend into the mountainous backcountry, and return to the beach with the simplistic sophistication of Italian culture waiting for you at every village. There are very few places in the world that simultaneously offer modern conveniences and yet feel seemingly unchanged from their old world charm.

The riding here ranges from virgin single track, cow trails, fire roads, farm fields and graded access roads. I admit more than a few kms were spent liaising on the tarmac from trail to trail, but it was a chance to refuel with the petrol of the soul and the machine. Espresso from the bar and E5 Super unleaded from the pump.

We started each day as a group. On day 2 we asked the Italian ladies of Deus, Caterina and Estelle, if they wanted to ride with us. They corrected me - we would in fact be riding with them. Leading the charge elegantly and quietly beating us to the finish each night. We fumbled with our broken roadbooks, and unprepared machines.

Our noble leader Mr. Alessandro Rossi fixed our daily blunders with a friendly smile and a no worries attitude. The team watched on, amused by our two wheeled hedonism fueled by espresso and E5 Super unleaded gasoline.

We borrowed parts from friendly neighbours, and yet - each of the five stages – day after day, we netted out dead last, finishing each day on the podium of fun (the only results we managed to muster).

Five of the best days, and rally stages you could ask for on a motorcycle. Some 1000kms later and feeling inspired by this magical place and steady diet of pizza, pasta and wine.

Grazie mille to Renato and the team at Adventure Riding Italia and to everyone at Deus Italia for hosting us and putting on a brilliant event.

Until next year, ciao!