Photos and story by Kendrea Rhodes
Pictured: Damon Hill and Kurt Waterman.
You don’t have to go far in Springton to be on a dirt road. The people who live there love that relative isolation and many have moved in search of a more peaceful lifestyle. In summer the countryside is dry, but after a wet winter, the grass lays in mats of green, pooling around the weathered stony outcrops like perfectly lain carpet. The odd gum tree, surrounded by grazing livestock, adds to the utterly ‘paintable’ scene.
Angela and Tony Hill, with their children Damon and Lauren, moved from the commotion of the big city to their piece of serene landscape in the Springton district. Tony, a carpenter by trade, built the house they live in; and I mean ‘he built it with his own hands’ and the helping hands of friends. The house looks down to a valley with a long horizon and rolling hills, dotted with the many sheep on agistment at the property.
It’s in that valley that Tony created a motocross track using the land’s natural terrain, a front-end loader, a good deal of experience and hard grafting.
He used elements from other motocross tracks and incorporated them into their home track; tight corners, slow corners, jumps, whoops, deep sand and more. Tony has been a motorsport fan all his life and even named his son after a brilliant Formula One World Champion.
His son, Damon, has been racing motorbikes since he was 4 years old. Living in Adelaide at the time, they had to attend specific motocross tracks: they couldn’t simply ride in their backyard, not like they do now. Damon practices on the Springton track a couple of times a week now, and often with a mate from Birdwood High School, Kurt Waterman. They’ve been mates since year 8 and have been competing against each other throughout Australia, on the motocross circuit, for the past 11 years.
Last week, Damon and Kurt competed in the South Australian Junior Motocross Championships in Adelaide. As they are both 15 years old, this will be their last year as juniors, so they’re giving it everything they’ve got. This year’s State Junior Motocross Championships, in the 250cc four stroke class, has seen a really close competition with over thirty contestants for the season. Kurt and Damon have been vying closely for top spot all year. After 16 races the series ended in a tie last weekend. A count back on placings was held to determine which of them actually was the winner.
Motorcycling SA could not separate their achievements, so, this year there are two Junior State Champions! Damon also competed in the 125cc two stroke class and was a standout taking the State Championship for this series too.
Damon rides a 144cc Yamaha two stroke and a Yamaha YZ 250F cc. He is sponsored by the Yamaha Junior Race Team, Ciscos and Yamaha Pitmans. Kurt rides a Honda CR 250F cc and is sponsored by Honda, BCP, Fox, Unit and Spot on Motorcycles.
The boys train hard – lifting weights, cycling, aerobics and core exercises. They eat properly (which might seem foreign to other teenagers) and take their sport seriously. These are the attitudes of true champions. Kurt and Damon now have their sights set on the Australian Junior Motocross Championships on the 1-8th of October, in Murray Bridge. You can follow their progress on www.mxjuniornationals.com. We wish them well for the National Championships – maybe South Australia will achieve two top places in the competition! Good luck lads.