|2015 Oregon Dunes UTV Invasion
Words by Gee Armstrong
Images by Juli Miller, Dirt-N-Dunez Photography
Junes UTV Invasion at the Oregon Dunes benefitting the Save The Riders Dunes fund certainly lived up to its invasion name, drawing almost 5,000 UTV enthusiasts to the famous dunes at Winchester Bay, Oregon.
Riders from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada and Canada were treated to 4 days of events and riding June 25-28 that were unforgettable fun for the entire family. Opening night, the events vendors and the STRD hosted a meet and greet opportunity for everyone and the following night DG Offroad Center, event vendors and STRD provided a tasty feast for STRD members that even had fresh, grilled Winchester Bay oysters on the menu!
Daily daytime activities included thrilling afternoon and dusk group rides into the spectacular Oregon Dunes and their evergreen forests and hidden lakes trails, expertly guided by the folks at Dunestar Racing. Other groups of riders found themselves in huckfests during their dunes outings as spectators or participants in spontaneous UTV air shows, with some high performance UTVs grabbing major air hucking up and over some of the huge Winchester Bay summer dune faces.
Browsing product packed Vendors Row was the perfect change of pace. Vendors included performance product companies like Muzzys, who conducted an informative Performance Tips Seminar, UTV Tech, Rugged Radios, Modquad, Whipit Light Rods and Blind Beagle as well as food vendors. A Show and Shine was one of the highlights on Saturday with dozens of customized UTVs in the lineup for people to check out. Show and Shine winners received beautiful trophies provided by Modquad.
The final day of the Invasion was topped off with a Big Raffle to raise funds for the Save The Riders Dunes efforts to protect riding rights on public lands and to keep the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area riding areas open to all. Over 75 items were raffled off including a winch system donated by Warn Winch, a complete set of UTV tires and wheels contributed by Pro Armor and Method Wheels, a full set of custom UTV seats from PRP Seats as well as hats and tee shirts.
Dunes riders formed Save The Riders Dunes in 2011 in response to U.S. Forest Service proposals to close large portions of the Oregon Dunes to riding. Through STRDs input and members involvement in actual projects, Government focus has moderated to one of restoring the dunes and reclaiming areas from invasive plant species and rider made trails instead of outright closure of some areas.
Explaining how the Invasion benefit event came to the Oregon Dunes, UTV Invasion brand owner and organizer Dave Kuskie of Fullerton Sand Sports Tires & Wheels commented, Our first UTV Invasion at St. Anthonys Dunes in Idaho last year was so popular, we thought it would be worth trying at the Oregon Dunes at Winchester Bay as a way to raise public awareness of whats happening in the dunes and raise funds for the important work the Save The Riders Dunes folks are doing . UTV Invasion/Winchester Bay exceeded everyones expectations and will return to Winchester Bay in 2016 on June 23-26.
Event sponsors included Muzzys, Dunestar Racing, Rugged Radios, Whipit Light Rods, Devious Power Sports, PRP Seats, Arctic Cat, UTV Tech.com and Oregon West RV. Boondocker has signed on as title sponsor for all UTV Invasion events in 2015-2016.
The next Invasion will happen at St. Anthonys Dunes, Idaho over Labor Day Weekend, September 3-7. Adding to all the usual fun activities, Kuskie says the Fox Sports Networks TV show Destination Polaris will be filming the event for an upcoming episode and there will be a Free Concert for everyone on Saturday night. Hes also hoping to have some of the super fast Side By Side Wars cars there for an exhibition sand drag race. Visit the UTV Invasion page on Facebook to learn more about becoming part of the next Invasion!