BAJA BEACH BASH Delivers Life-Line For Baja’s Special Kids – race-deZert.com

BAJA BEACH BASH Delivers Life-Line For Baja’s Special Kids

Over 60 American dirt bikers, one charming Spaniard and a crew of 15 just returned from a 4 day odyssey on the Northern Baja coastline to “give back” to the community in a gesture of gratitude and sincerity. For the children of Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage in San Vicente, every one of the BAJA BEACH BASH riders is a hero just for showing up to say hi. Behind the scenes though, the relatively huge cash donation is a well needed lifeline to getting these kids prepared for secondary school as they reach their later teen years.

The whole BBB crew in their Sunday best...on Friday
The whole BBB crew in their Sunday best…on Friday

Every July for the past five years, the BBB crew rides through the gates of San Vicente’s Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage to deliver generous donations of cash and essentials, not to mention the biggest prizes of all: smiles on all faces of the many children who call Santa Marta their home. This years gift: $32,020.00 USD.

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The Frog stands one up at La Calavera, proving his amphibious nature
JCR’s Mitch Ham stands one up at La Calavera

The brainchild of Johnny Campbell, Cameron Steele and Tim Morton, the BAJA BEACH BASH was designed to share the BAJA magic with off roaders looking to make a difference for the kids while having the times of their lives competing in special contests and ripping through some of the more remote and less traveled single track trails hidden in the shadows of the BAJA 1000 course. Mission accomplished.

The new Queen of Baja Laia Sanz (ESP) aka "La Conquistadora" warms up for round one of the hill climb challenge at La Calavera. She would ultimately take the title and the crown.
The new Queen of Baja Laia Sanz (ESP) aka “La Conquistadora” warms up for round one of the hill climb challenge at La Calavera. She would ultimately take the title and the crown.

It’s a scene to behold to see a pack of 60 dusty dirt bikers crossing mountains, valleys, beaches and canyons to reach the orphanage for the ‘big day’ and according to RSM directors Bill and Kay Laurence, “It’s a day the kids look forward to each year.” We learn that it’s the smallest things that some of us might take for granted that lead to the biggest boost for these lucky kids. Many of the children of RSM were previously neglected, abandoned or in some cases rescued from uninhabitable circumstances.

The genuine gratitude this young lady exudes is a testament to the good deeds of Johnny Campbell and his band of Beach Bashers
The genuine gratitude this young lady exudes is a testament to the good deeds of Johnny Campbell and his band of Beach Bashers

Among those in attendance this year:  AMA hero Destry Abbott, Baja Champ and DAKAR vet Quinn Cody, NORRA Champion Justin Morgan and the ever-versatile Chilly White, fresh off his Red Bull Romaniacs finish.

Manny the OG Squirrel surfs the snake run at Rancho San Estevan
Manny the OG Squirrel surfs the snake run at Rancho San Estevan

“We love the Baja and especially love to share her many secrets with fresh fish”, explained BBB co-founder Cameron Steele at the presentation ceremony Friday, “But there’s nothing better than putting smiles on faces of these kids.” The Steel family’s relationship with RSM spans more than 2 decades and Cameron’s addiction to helping the orphanage has manifested into huge donations. This year, through months of effort, he rounded up more than $32,000.00 in cash donations and matching funds to directly from sponsors and donors. Among the most generous are Bullet Proof Diesel’s Ken Neal and Jesse Jones.

"Donors Rule"- RSM Director Bill Laurence holds the big check for $32,000.00 with benefactor Ken Neal of Bulletproof Diesel and Bash Bosses Johnny Campbell and Cameron Steele
“Donors Rule”- RSM Director Bill Laurence holds the big check for $32,000.00 with benefactor Ken Neal of Bulletproof Diesel and Bash Bosses Johnny Campbell and Cameron Steele

Among the several unique features of the BBB besides the custom trails are the daily special tests:

The Circle Race takes place on the beach around 50’ diameter sandy circuit where 4-6 riders start in staggered positions from a dead start. Each rider who is passed is eliminated until there is only one. In the final, it came down to Destry Abbott versus Johnny Campbell and, after and excruciating battle Abbott held his first ever BAJA title.

The peanut gallery looks down at the start of one of the circle race heats at San Antonio Del Mar
The peanut gallery looks down at the start of one of the circle race heats at San Antonio Del Mar
Laia Sanz an istant before making a pass in the opening round of the circle race. The rider she passed fell down on her, thus taking her out of the contest.
Laia Sanz an istant before making a pass in the opening round of the circle race. The rider she passed fell down on her, thus taking her out of the contest.
In 5 years of Beach Bash Circle Racing, Johnny Campbell has not missed a main event. This year he would fall to the hands of Bash rookie Destry Abbott.
In 5 years of Beach Bash Circle Racing, Johnny Campbell has not missed a main event. This year he would fall to the hands of Bash rookie Destry Abbott.
After an excruciating main event that lasted more than 5 minutes, 11-time Baja 1000 champ Johnny Campbell falls to the sand as Destry Abbott earns his first Baja title in the Circle Races
After an excruciating main event that lasted more than 5 minutes, 11-time Baja 1000 champ Johnny Campbell falls to the sand as Destry Abbott earns his first Baja title in the Circle Races

The “Foot Down” competition is a trials type contest where riders must stay on their foot pegs while riding in a virtual mosh-pit confined within an 80’ square corral. When riders touch the ground, they are eliminated and become stone statues, creating an obstacle course for the remaining entrants. It ends up becoming a medieval joist-fest as the best riders balance themselves while trying to force opponents to “foot down”. Again Destry Abbott fought hard but it was Quinn Cody who owned the corral in the end.

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Some 50 Bashers play a friendly game of "Foot Down" inside the corral at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage. Quinn Cody went on to win the event. His first BAJA win since his B1000 title in Nov. 2011.
Some 50 Bashers play a friendly game of “Foot Down” inside the corral at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage. Quinn Cody went on to win the event. His first BAJA win since his B1000 title in Nov. 2011.

Then there is the big one: The hill climb title is a multi-day progressive elimination where, each day Cameron and Johnny pick a steep hill to climb. Call it the “Widow Maker” of Baja, with the climbs getting harder each day until the final.  This year was crazy and it came down to the final 4: Johnny, Quinn, Chilly and World Trials Champ & X-Games gold medalist Laia Sanz.

Trenching a grove near the top of La Calavera
Trenching a grove near the top of La Calavera

The BASH crew rode out to a dry waterfall formerly known as Chilly’s Challenge from the first BBB in 2009. It’s hardly ridable going down and seemingly impossible going up. The final 4 played “rock, paper scissors” to determine the running order while the BASH crew took their spots lining the walls of the narrow canyon. Up first was Quinn who made it up the 18’ waterfall on the first go and then pig dogged his 310 up the unstable hill climb, spewing rock and dust onto the gallery. After five minutes he reached his mark.

Freaky Frank crests the top of La Calavera to qualify for the next stage of the Hill Climb Challenge.
Freaky Frank crests the top of La Calavera to qualify for the next stage of the Hill Climb Challenge.

Next was Laia, who owns handfuls of World Trials Championships, 3 DAKAR finishes and X-Gold. Her trials experience showed as she surveyed and previewed the climb beforehand, which is customary in her primary discipline. This paid off as she “swooped up” the solid rock face to the sound of the screaming gallery before lining up her borrowed ROCK STAR ENERGY JCR CRF 450x for a final climb towards Quinn’s marker. She did it with over a minute to spare, thus schooling over 50 “boys” and staking claim to the newly dubbed hill-climb known as “La Conquistadora”, according to Enduro 360’s Chilly White, who wisely conceded after Johnny faltered on his attempt.

When she flew to California last week to attend the ESPY’s, Spain’s Laia Sanz had no idea she would take a constellation prize and venture south to discover and literally conquer Baja’s pristine coastline. So much for the “glass ceiling” and the gender gap as “La Conquistadora” Sanz broke through the altitude barrier to win the seemingly impossible hill climb final. Video can’t do this scene justice, as only those 50 in attendance will attest: you had to be there. It all culminated in a secluded canyon only 200 meters away from the typical BAJA racecourse.

The big picture for this new “Queen of the Bash” is that she didn’t win the popularity contest known as the ESPYS, so she went straight to the border to taste the BAJA magic and actually earn the title, which she may in fact hold more personally dear. She will stay in California training for Enduro-X with Johnny Campbell Racing for whom she will represent in August. The charming Spaniard made a touching acceptance speech after the final and finished by saying, “It was very special for me to share these moments with all of you.” Needless to say, she just picked up at least 75 new loyal fans.

$10,000.00
Bullet Proof Diesel
$5,000.00 – 2 contributors
Jones Motorsports #76 – Yokohama Tire Corporation
$2,000.00 – 2 contributors
Wilson Motorsports-COPS Racing

$1,000.00 – 4 contributors
Robert Murray/Murray Family – Kryptonite Industries
Corona Motohome Rental – Anonymous
$500.00 – 5 contributors
Baja Bound Insurance – Dan’s Motorsports outlet
Parkhouse Motorsports – King of the Motos-SonicPool Post Production
Up to $499.00 – 3 contributors
Blue C – Mitch Martinez – Leatt

Media partner Race-dezert.com – T-Shirts Metal Mulisha
Welcome lunch Bajatested.com – Trail assistance The Baja Rally
RSM Lunch Sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink
Catering services Horse Power Ranch – Legal expert Oscar Ramos
$32,020.00 TOTAL

#43 climbs out of a remote canyon on the Kayak Trial
#43 climbs out of a remote canyon on the Kayak Trial
Squirrel candidate Robert "No Reason Passer" wheelies out of the canyon at the end of the Kayak Trail
Squirrel candidate Robert “No Reason Passer” wheelies out of the canyon at the end of the Kayak Trail
Scotty B hangs a "shaka" near the "T" on El Ramal
Scotty B hangs a “shaka” near the “T” on El Ramal
Chinese tire in Mexico. You do the math. The economics of gnar come back to bite the frugal Basher in the butt.
Chinese tire in Mexico. You do the math. The economics of gnar come back to bite the frugal Basher in the butt.
PAB checks a rider's cognitive reflexes heading north toward the Oculto Trail.
PAB checks a rider’s cognitive reflexes heading north toward the Oculto Trail.
Szabo pops one for the camera at Santa Cruz
Szabo pops one for the camera at Santa Cruz
Roasting pig spins on the spit at Acambaro
Roasting pig spins on the spit at Acambaro
This rider assess a front flat high atop Radiator Valley in the heart of the Erendira Triangle.
This rider assess a front flat high atop Radiator Valley in the heart of the Erendira Triangle.
Another bike lets off some steam at the edge of town near Erendira
Another bike lets off some steam at the edge of town near Erendira
A regular Jack Hanna, Bryan Bergey aka the "Owl Whisperer" assesses an ailing owl. (Try saying that 5 times fast)
A regular Jack Hanna, Bryan Bergey aka the “Owl Whisperer” assesses an ailing owl. (Try saying that 5 times fast)
BASH Bos PAB launches off the beach at a secluded bluff south of Cuatros Casas
BASH Bos PAB launches off the beach at a secluded bluff south of Cuatros Casas
The crew heads out of San Jacinto en route to Cuatros Casas
The crew heads out of San Jacinto en route to Cuatros Casas
The Bash Crew re-groups at Punta San Jacinto
The Bash Crew re-groups at Punta San Jacinto
The Ship Wreck at Punta San Jacinto
The Ship Wreck at Punta San Jacinto
The peanut gallery looks down at the start of one of the circle race heats at San Antonio Del Mar
The peanut gallery looks down at the start of one of the circle race heats at San Antonio Del Mar
Unidentified Speed racer stands a power wheelie en route to the circle races at San Antonio Del Mar
Unidentified Speed racer stands a power wheelie en route to the circle races at San Antonio Del Mar
The COPS Racing crew showed up to Rancho Santa Marta with 20 Benjamins in hand, thus helping the BAJA BEACH BASH break the $30K barrier
The COPS Racing crew showed up to Rancho Santa Marta with 20 Benjamins in hand, thus helping the BAJA BEACH BASH break the $32K barrier
Squirrel candidate Robert "No Reason Passer" wheelies out of the canyon at the end of the Kayak Trail
Squirrel candidate Robert “No Reason Passer” wheelies out of the canyon at the end of the Kayak Trail
"Brap Brap"...This Bash Rider launches out of a ditch near Cuatros Casas.
“Brap Brap”…This Bash Rider launches out of a ditch near Cuatros Casas.
Coastal fog creates a mystic backdrop as the Bash Crew heads south at San Antonio Del Mar
Coastal fog creates a mystic backdrop as the Bash Crew heads south at San Antonio Del Mar
Each of these kids has gone from very unlucky to really blessed with help from Rancho Santa Marta and its generous donors.
Each of these kids has gone from very unlucky to really blessed with help from Rancho Santa Marta and its generous donors.
The consummate professional Destry Abbott hands out freshly autographed posters for some of the girls at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage
The consummate professional Destry Abbott hands out freshly autographed posters for some of the girls at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage
The ever-so-charming Laia Sanz relaxes with a few locals at the Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage
The ever-so-charming Laia Sanz relaxes with a few locals at the Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage
The notorious Rodrigo from Todd Clement's Horsepower Ranch serves up the goods for the kids of Rancho Santa Marta
The notorious Rodrigo from Todd Clement’s Horsepower Ranch serves up the goods for the kids of Rancho Santa Marta
Some 50 Bashers play a friendly game of "Foot Down" inside the corral at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage. Quinn Cody went on to win the event. His first BAJA win since his B1000 title in Nov. 2011.
Some 50 Bashers play a friendly game of “Foot Down” inside the corral at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage. Quinn Cody went on to win the event. His first BAJA win since his B1000 title in Nov. 2011.

Baja-Beach-Bash-sponsors

PCI's Rhiannon Freiley is smiling from behind her facemask. The eyes are a dead giveaway
PCI’s Rhiannon Freiley is smiling from behind her facemask. The eyes are a dead giveaway
"Lobby" displays his commando training tactics at his makeshift llantera on the Cerro Solo road.
“Lobby” displays his commando training tactics at his makeshift llantera on the Cerro Solo road.
PAB points in the general direction of the Mary Jane Trail
PAB points in the general direction of the Mary Jane Trail
JCR's Mitch Ham (2nd from left) doesn't even know who Arthur Fonzarelli is, but his 2-thumbs up transcends 3 decades of sitcom TV down on the rocky and weeded out shores of Puerto San Ysidro
JCR’s Mitch Ham (2nd from left) doesn’t even know who Arthur Fonzarelli is, but his 2-thumbs up transcends 3 decades of sitcom TV down on the rocky and weeded out shores of Puerto San Ysidro
Silt and dust became a problem for some but not for this Basher who strikes first on this trail
Silt and dust became a problem for some but not for this Basher who strikes first on this trail
A man of many talents, Bryan Bergey plays a ceremonial tune on Destry Abbott's busted radiator before deploying the 'ol "black-pepper-in-the-radiator-trick". Works every time.
A man of many talents, Bryan Bergey plays a ceremonial tune on Destry Abbott’s busted radiator before deploying the ‘ol “black-pepper-in-the-radiator-trick”. Works every time.
PAB calls out the afternoon game plan on day one from the stump at Acambaro
PAB calls out the afternoon game plan on day one from the stump at Acambaro

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#14 carefully preps the custom BBB graphics to his trusty HONDA CRF450X
#14 carefully preps the custom BBB graphics to his trusty HONDA CRF450X

"The Buggy" and early arrivals begin to stage out of Juan Villareal's Acambaro complex at Uruapan.

The Friday sun sets over Coyote Cals in the village of Erendira
The Friday sun sets over Coyote Cals in the village of Erendira
An unidentified Basher scratches his butt like some stray dogs might do down in BAJA
An unidentified Basher scratches his butt like some stray dogs might do down in BAJA
The Bash Riders follow the dust train to La Calavera hill climb on day one.
The Bash Riders follow the dust train to La Calavera hill climb on day one.

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The Bash Riders "burn" a new trail into Radiator Valley behind locked gates. This special access was granted by exception as a thank you from local ranchers expressing gratitude for the generous gift made to the kids of RSM
The Bash Riders “burn” a new trail into Radiator Valley behind locked gates. This special access was granted by exception as a thank you from local ranchers expressing gratitude for the generous gift made to the kids of RSM
11-Time B1000 Champ Johnny Campbell leads future champs Marc Samuels and Justin Morgan into "ShipWrecks" at Punta San Jacinto
11-Time B1000 Champ Johnny Campbell leads future champs Marc Samuels and Justin Morgan into “ShipWrecks” at Punta San Jacinto
Johnny C leads 60 riders out of the mist en route to the Circle Races at San Antonio Del Mar
Johnny C leads 60 riders out of the mist en route to the Circle Races at San Antonio Del Mar
Unidentified Basher hops out of a trench near Cuatros Casas
Unidentified Basher hops out of a trench near Cuatros Casas
Bash Rookie Destry Abbott is psyched as he exits the Kayak Trail
Bash Rookie Destry Abbott is psyched as he exits the Kayak Trail
Manny rips out of a canyon on Chilly White's borrowed SHERCO. Chilly tests dirt bikes for his website Enduro 360
Manny rips out of a canyon on Chilly White’s borrowed SHERCO. Chilly tests dirt bikes for his website Enduro 360
Experts Only on the slippery rocks of Puerto San Ysidro
Experts Only on the slippery rocks of Puerto San Ysidro

2013-baja-beach-bash-day1-race-dezert12Baja-Beach-Bash-sponsors

Photos by Ernesto Araiza

10 Comments

  1. I have been around Cameron Steele since the first Baja Beach Bash 5 years ago and watched him create unity and share his love of Baja with hundreds of people. From a distance before I met him, I had a preconceived notion of rich and famous announcer guy. After really getting to know him and watching closely how he interact with people, I can tell you my personal opinion that he is one of the nicest and most genuinely sincere people I have ever met. He and Johnny put a tremendous amount of time, energy and money into this project wile leveraging all his resources to make it happen. Don’t let those black socks and flat bills fool you, this guy is an A+ ambassador for our sport in Baja and I am honored to have been involved with this project. Can’t wait til next time

    1. I was thoroughly stoked to find out we were riding to the Rancho Santa Marta orphanage and giving them some support. What a great event put on by a group of guys with really big hearts.

  2. What an epic trip! I’m super stoked to have done this amazing ride for a 2nd year. What an amazing cause to support and way to spend 4 days roosting with some of Baja’s best. Just happy to be along for the adventure.

  3. This ride is too much fun to explain.

    When it comes around again, next-year, get on it! There are so many guys and gals from All over the World…come on down, ride wheelies on the Beach and get roosted by a Girl from Spain!

    See you in the Baja!

  4. Scotty B man you hit the nail on the head with Cameron. I met him a few times prior to this event at different functions and felt the same. Now im getting to know the real Cameron Steele which I think is pretty cool.. Cams got a huge heart and genuine desire for his passions and you gotta respect that. What he and the crew did was just past amazing. They are like a well oiled machine. Everything went smooth, clean, well organized, straight forward and no BS (you cant imagine how hard it can be keeping 60 riders in line-the crew was flawless. Cam it was perfect for me. I have a different outlook on our mistress. I was proud to be a part of this amazing journey known as “The Baja”. Cameron showed me how to treat a riding area as your woman. Lots of respect and TLC. Hats off to Cameron, Johnny, Mark, Evan (Cool dude pit crewman. Always has a smile) and the rest of the amazing DA crew. I appreciate you all!!

  5. The 2013 BBB was amazing in every way; The Leaders, the Trail Crew, the Riders, and the Chase Crews. Besides always wanting to ride the Baja, having the added benefit to help support Rancho Santa Marta http://www.ranchosantamarta.org was what made me go with the BBB Crew. Cameron Steele was awesome! His leadership skills are tremendous and his desire to have everyone experience the Baja is genuine as Mike said.
    Cameron, Johnny, Moss, Lobby, and Manny (sorry about your two-fiddy Manny) – thank you for the memories.
    To all the new friends I made – I hope to see you all again in Baja.
    JCR and DA Crews – You guys ROCK!

    Blessing to you all.

    1. Nice Posts!

      And, Robert, you are Golden. You gave me my 1st laughs of the trip and you empowered me to sling a Boat-Load of crap your way. Besides, you’re responsible for a new “Award” Category!

      See you next year…when you’re on an X!

  6. I have ridden Baja many times but this was my first ‘organized’ ride, and won’t be my last! Cameron, Johnny, and the entire crew put on an epic ride and journey into the northern part of Baja. It felt good to raise money for the orphanage and meet the dedicated people who run the orphanage. We rode a lot of fun and challenging single track, and had a blast hauling butt on the beach. There is something about mystical Baja, once you ride her one time, there is something that keeps calling you back for more. Also, are you kidding me!, I got to ride with all the pros like Johnny, Destry, Cody, Cameron, etc. AND Laia – Wow that Laia was a phenominal rider – we were all in awe. Also, who knew Cameron was a comedian??? He definately made the trip with his nightly meetings where we were all laughing till it hurt! Congrats guys, you put on a great trip for a great cause!

  7. My name is Robert aka “NRP” #49 I had a blast riding with everybody , it being my first time in Baja I have no complaints . No bike problems , no crashes . Can’t wait till next year to go on the rip. thanks for everything & sorry to everyone I “passed” doing “wheelies”!!!!

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