FAMILY SUPPORT: Dean Marsh, wife Nathalia and daughter, Alecia.
FAMILY SUPPORT: Dean Marsh, wife Nathalia and daughter, Alecia. Contributed

Late Ongmac founder's son takes on new track in his memory

FIRST-time classic road bike racer Dean Marsh of Lismore has placed second overall in the Lord of the Lake classic road race, all in the name of his late father, Alec Marsh.

Alec founded Ongmac Trading and passed away last August following a two-year battle with cancer.

He died aged 67 - the age was to become Dean's racing number.

Dean raced with the number 67 - the age his father, Alec, was when he died.
Dean raced with the number 67 - the age his father, Alec, was when he died. Contributed

Dean said his father had dreamed of building and racing a classic race bike for a long time.

"After dad died I thought it was the right time to build the bike," he said.

"I'd never done any road racing before but raced motorbikes since I was about three.

"I could ride a motorbike before I could ride a pushbike... it's in our blood."

On the track at the Lord of the Lake two-day classic road racing event.
On the track at the Lord of the Lake two-day classic road racing event. Contributed

That blood now runs through the veins of Dean's four-month-old daughter, Alecia, who had her "initiation into the world of motorbikes" at the big lakeside race event.

"We put her little earmuffs on, she was in the pits with us, my wife and I," Dean said.

"She slept right through all the noise."

He said one of the highlights of the race was meeting the other entrants, including a 78-year-old man he had struggled to pass in the race.

"I raced a guy on his Yamaha TZ350, I didn't know who he was, he was going a similar speed and he passed me, I passed him," Dean explained.

"Then on Sunday after the second race I saw him walking through the pits ... we got talking and he said seven laps was just too long for him."

Dean said the man declared this was to be his last year racing.

"I asked him how old he was, he said 78 ... that was pretty inspirational.

Dean wanted to thank his mechanic, John.

"I couldn't have done it without him," he said.

Dean Marsh and mechanic John Cafe, who is been an Ongmac employee for 25 years.
Dean Marsh and mechanic John Cafe, who is been an Ongmac employee for 25 years. Contributed

Dean's next goal is to ride in the Australian Historic Road Race Championships in Tasmania this November.

His ultimate goals are to participate in the Isle of Man TT and ride the Manx Norton in the 500cc class.

The Manx Norton is a British racing motorbike made from 1947 to 1962.



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