Finke adds spectator marshals after 2021 tragedy

The 2019 Finke Desert Race

The Tatts Finke Desert Race has announced the introduction of spectator safety marshals, following last year’s tragic death.

The marshals are a measure which organisers have taken on top of the spectator safety rules which were announced just under a fortnight ago.

Essentially, they will enforce said rules, which predominantly relate to watching the event from safe locations.

“The Spectator Safety Marshals will play an important role in protecting both spectators and competitors by ensuring adherence to the recommended spectating distance and providing safety information to the public in a courteous manner,” read Finke’s announcement, in part.

“The spectator marshals will be located trackside at high-density spectator areas and will be responsible for reporting competitor accidents and serious spectator incidents.”

Finke organisers have also reiterated/made the following recommendations to race fans who will be in attendance:

  • Always stand back from the track
  • In the absence of fencing, stand at least 20m back from the track, when spectating
  • No campsites, vehicles or temporary structures within 30 metres of the track at all times
  • Obey all directions of Spectator Safety Marshals, signage and bunting
  • Do not fly drones at any time
  • Know where your kids are at all times
  • Do not take pets, recreational vehicles including UTVs, quads or motorbikes

A man in his 60s, Nigel Harris, died when he was struck by a stray vehicle around 35km from the Alice Springs finish line during the return leg of last year’s event.

A coronial inquest will be held into the fatality in Alice Springs Local Court from August 23, this year.

This year’s Finke Desert Race will feature the most recently crowned Kings of the Desert in both Cars and Bikes, Toby Price and David Walsh respectively.

Scrutineering takes place on Friday, June 10 before the Prologue on the following day in the Alice.

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