ON THE ROAD: Route co-ordinator Leigh Staunton is tight-lipped about this year's Dunga Derby route, with the only clue being that the 50 teams will head west after leaving the Hervey Bay RSL car park today.
ON THE ROAD: Route co-ordinator Leigh Staunton is tight-lipped about this year's Dunga Derby route, with the only clue being that the 50 teams will head west after leaving the Hervey Bay RSL car park today. CONTRIBUTED

Teams head west on quest to raise funds for Bay charity

WITH the ability to read the typography on difficult maps and the curiosity to find out "just what is down that dirt track", Leigh Staunton was the perfect fit as the Dunga Derby route co-ordinator.

The Hervey Bay resident from Surveyors@Work has had the title for five years, spending over 100 hours in the car each year testing the fun, yet challenging, route ahead of the four-day rally, which leaves the Hervey Bay RSL car park at 6.30am today.

The Dunga Derby is the biggest annual fundraiser for the charity Rally For a Cause, and in the last four years has raised more than $750,000 to provide equipment and financial support to families that have been affected by life-limiting medical conditions or personal tragedies.

Mr Staunton said the difference the charity was making in the community was the driving force behind why he volunteered his time each year.

"It's knowing what the charity is achieving in helping out those people that need assistance through the charity," Mr Staunton said.

"There's been about 72 families so far that the charity has supported in one way or another and knowing that we are making a difference there, just keep the drive going."

Just where the 50 dunga teams are going is tight-lipped, but Leigh said the Coast to Country theme won't disappoint.

Each team will be given kilometre-based directions before leaving the RSL.

And only those who take a wrong turn will clock up more than the expected kilometres.

"What I can say is that we are heading west this year... we are not going south down to New South Wales; it was a bit cool for the participants last year so we're going to be a bit kinder this year," he said with a laugh.

"Everything going according to plan the route should be about the 1300km mark, unless they start taking wrong turns - then they could blow out from there if they get the instructions wrong."

The entrants will experience something new every day, with water crossings, hill climbs and mud races being some of the biggest challenges in past years.

Adding to this year's adventure will be an afternoon out at a country race day, with the location yet to be disclosed.

"It's a lot of fun. You see see country that you wouldn't usually see and it's a good opportunity to socialise with people who have a common goal," Mr Staunton said.

There will be limited boot space, so entrants will be "roughing it" by sleeping in a tent, swag or under the Dunga, with only limited access to showers.

Fraser Coast residents are invited to head down to the All Abilities Playground on Sunday, August 4 and welcome the Dunga Derby teams home from 3.30pm.

To find out more, visit rallyforacause.org.au.

DUNGA FAST FACTS

  • All the "dungas" are mostly over 10 years old and valued at less than $2000
  • The charity has raised about $750,000 in the last four years, with an aim of hitting the one million mark this year
  • All funds stay on the Fraser Coast.


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