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Old 09-07-2012, 03:11 PM   #76
neduro
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I pulled into the finish of Stage 2 this year, and who was standing there but Kemal. I couldn't wait to shake his hand- he has always been an inspiration to me. I rushed over to say hello.

Little did I expect that he would know who I was, from my posts here. We shook hands, laughed about the stage, and I was relieved to hear him say that he found the stage difficult. We rode the liaison into the bivouac together, and from that moment forward, he always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths. That's not saying much, though, he had a smile for everyone!

For me, Dakar is at least as much about toughness as speed. Every competitor is tough, but the marathon riders are toughest of all, and Kemal was toughest of them, the best I could tell. We shared some stories on the night of the marathon stage, I believe Robb's stories above are the least of his willingness to do what it takes to finish the race. But his efforts, even when they were extra-legal, were never outside the intent of the race, never in violation of the spirit. Always, he was looking forward to the next day.

I'm heartbroken for the young man who died as well...

When I step back, the question "why" has to be at the top of the list. I firmly believe that races like these are how people transcend trudging thru life and find meaning, not only for those who are out there but also for those of us at home, dreaming of the pink lake.

A great life isn't counted in minutes any more than great music is. It earns value from the risks taken and dreams realized. Kemal was a great because the notes he found in life struck a chord in himself, and in so many of us. The page he wrote on carries risks, to remove them would silence the music before it was ever sung.

Thanks for the tunes, Kemal, and I'll miss you.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:16 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
I pulled into the finish of Stage 2 this year, and who was standing there but Kemal. I couldn't wait to shake his hand- he has always been an inspiration to me. I rushed over to say hello.

Little did I expect that he would know who I was, from my posts here. We shook hands, laughed about the stage, and I was relieved to hear him say that he found the stage difficult. We rode the liaison into the bivouac together, and from that moment forward, he always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths. That's not saying much, though, he had a smile for everyone!

For me, Dakar is at least as much about toughness as speed. Every competitor is tough, but the marathon riders are toughest of all, and Kemal was toughest of them, the best I could tell. We shared some stories on the night of the marathon stage, I believe Robb's stories above are the least of his willingness to do what it takes to finish the race. But his efforts, even when they were extra-legal, were never outside the intent of the race, never in violation of the spirit. Always, he was looking forward to the next day.

I'm heartbroken for the young man who died as well...

When I step back, the question "why" has to be at the top of the list. I firmly believe that races like these are how people transcend trudging thru life and find meaning, not only for those who are out there but also for those of us at home, dreaming of the pink lake.

A great life isn't counted in minutes any more than great music is. It earns value from the risks taken and dreams realized. Kemal was a great because the notes he found in life struck a chord in himself, and in so many of us. The page he wrote on carries risks, to remove them would silence the music before it was ever sung.

Thanks for the tunes, Kemal, and I'll miss you.
Very Well put Ned, very well put. I was always more interested in where Kemal was during the Dakar, because like many have already said, He was the true spirit of the race. Not many people understand why people take these risks and it's their loss. Still very sad, was looking forward to seeing more of his exploits.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #78
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I spotted the news of this on Facebook earlier today. And saw this thread this evening.

Been reading through everyone's comments and thoughts and don't really know what to add.

Like many of us I never met Kemal or even spoke to him. But I felt that I knew him through this forum. He epitomised the true spirit of the Dakar for me - a privateer rider competing without assistance in the toughest race in the world yet always managing to smile and have time to help others.

RIP Kemal and Wouter. Thoughts and condolences go out to your families and friends
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #79
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Rest in peace. İ am so sad, such a big loss!

Allah rahmet eylesin
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:04 PM   #80
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R.I.P Merkit...

I'm deeply saddened to hear loss of Merkit and Wouter.... Rest in Peace & God bless your souls.... Still my mind doesn't want to accept it.....

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
I pulled into the finish of Stage 2 this year, and who was standing there but Kemal. I couldn't wait to shake his hand- he has always been an inspiration to me. I rushed over to say hello.

Little did I expect that he would know who I was, from my posts here. We shook hands, laughed about the stage, and I was relieved to hear him say that he found the stage difficult. We rode the liaison into the bivouac together, and from that moment forward, he always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths. That's not saying much, though, he had a smile for everyone!

For me, Dakar is at least as much about toughness as speed. Every competitor is tough, but the marathon riders are toughest of all, and Kemal was toughest of them, the best I could tell. We shared some stories on the night of the marathon stage, I believe Robb's stories above are the least of his willingness to do what it takes to finish the race. But his efforts, even when they were extra-legal, were never outside the intent of the race, never in violation of the spirit. Always, he was looking forward to the next day.

I'm heartbroken for the young man who died as well...

When I step back, the question "why" has to be at the top of the list. I firmly believe that races like these are how people transcend trudging thru life and find meaning, not only for those who are out there but also for those of us at home, dreaming of the pink lake.

A great life isn't counted in minutes any more than great music is. It earns value from the risks taken and dreams realized. Kemal was a great because the notes he found in life struck a chord in himself, and in so many of us. The page he wrote on carries risks, to remove them would silence the music before it was ever sung.

Thanks for the tunes, Kemal, and I'll miss you.
No better words....I'm extremely sad, Kemal was a true friend and had helped me a lot in my first ever experience on the dunes last year, for almost all the desert challenge he rode with me in the special stages and constantly look behind to see if i was there and when i had little crashes due to the lack of experience he always stopped to wait for me. He always gave me many advice and always offered his help to me and to everyone in the bivouac. I still remember when in Tunisia he had a problem with his 690 and in the special stage, when i stopped seeing him working on the bike, he had a smile and said to me "its rallies, it happens!" and at the end of the day he spent all the evening and night changing his 690 from injection to carburetor.

He gave me the inspiration and courage to attempt Dakar last year, and with all his stories about his past Dakars i was totally fascinated by his spirit, never giving up and always happy and smiling.... I think everyone will forever miss him, he was the icon of the real rally spirit.

Rest in peace Kemal and Wouter
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #82
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Condolences to the families of both!

Kemal certainly seemed like he was one of the ultimate competitors. It's a great loss to the sport!!!
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:42 PM   #83
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Sad

Thoughts to the friends and family of everyone affected in one way or another.
Sad news indeed.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #84
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Terrible news.

R.I.P.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #85
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Maybe because they are the ones we miss most, it really seems the special ones get called first

Terribly sad news. RIP
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:49 PM   #86
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Kemal lived more than most, but I don't think that lessens the starkness of the news any.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flood View Post
I'm sorry for you loss, Donald.

Thank you for introducing this community to Kemal all those years ago. It was an honor to follow him in his endeavours.
Yes, eternal thanks, Donald.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flood View Post
Like many of you said before, my first thought this morning was that you never saw Kemal without a smile on his face. I'm sorry I never met this man.




Godspeed, Kemal and Güle Güle.


Shattering.


Ride in peace, Kemal and Wouter.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:06 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
I pulled into the finish of Stage 2 this year, and who was standing there but Kemal. I couldn't wait to shake his hand- he has always been an inspiration to me. I rushed over to say hello.

Little did I expect that he would know who I was, from my posts here. We shook hands, laughed about the stage, and I was relieved to hear him say that he found the stage difficult. We rode the liaison into the bivouac together, and from that moment forward, he always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths. That's not saying much, though, he had a smile for everyone!

For me, Dakar is at least as much about toughness as speed. Every competitor is tough, but the marathon riders are toughest of all, and Kemal was toughest of them, the best I could tell. We shared some stories on the night of the marathon stage, I believe Robb's stories above are the least of his willingness to do what it takes to finish the race. But his efforts, even when they were extra-legal, were never outside the intent of the race, never in violation of the spirit. Always, he was looking forward to the next day.

I'm heartbroken for the young man who died as well...

When I step back, the question "why" has to be at the top of the list. I firmly believe that races like these are how people transcend trudging thru life and find meaning, not only for those who are out there but also for those of us at home, dreaming of the pink lake.

A great life isn't counted in minutes any more than great music is. It earns value from the risks taken and dreams realized. Kemal was a great because the notes he found in life struck a chord in himself, and in so many of us. The page he wrote on carries risks, to remove them would silence the music before it was ever sung.

Thanks for the tunes, Kemal, and I'll miss you.

Thank you for (yet again) so eloquently putting in to words what so many of us feel.


Ned, here's your call from that day:



Direct download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/rallyraidio/12D05.mp3


EDIT: you mention your conversation with Kemal around 15:20. Also, some poignant comments about riding in the dust around the 11' mark.
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They don't expect you to finish. That's why it's the Dakar. -- PPiA

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:09 AM   #88
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Wow, this is awful news.

RIP, Kemal.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:28 AM   #89
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Accident Details from Rescue Team Doctor

Last night we had contacted with one of the doctors in rescue team, who works for the government in that kind of organizations most of time in Mitsubishi Pajero which you can see in my posts. Since he's riding off-road and enduro, his aprroach to emergencies is different so he's the perfect tool.

We call 911 in Turkey as 112, and 112 system has local administration offices; I tried to reach Konya regional adm. off. I called them over normal land number, they confirmed the loss of 2 riders.

Accident scene had been seen by motorcyclists first, they checked both fellows but they were already lost their lives. They tried to call 112 via GSM but no reception. Also strange but satellite phones had bad reception, they rode a few kms. to get good reception and reached first check point in 15min. after they arrived at the scene.

Shortly 112 rescue team arrived and officially they were ex...

Rescue team doctor asked Mirco Miotto about accident he was only able tell "I thought we had been bombed"

The route through the accident scene, after a smooth descend there's a flat section of 4 kms. like a highway.Covered with white dust where gives everyone the feeling of full-throttle-needed with a open sigh.

Kemal and Mirco who were over 50s good friends that they knew each other from racing scene, started the stage together , -those small details has not been confirmed via gps & spot system yet - ; Mirco had stopped to wait for Kemal on the right. Kemal caught him and started to ride elbow elbow with 20/30kms/h. talking over next turn on plateu. And also so close enough to read each others roadbooks...

This road is wide enough to let 2 cars on it but Wouter Vaarkamp unluckily hit those guys in dust cloud without knowing that there are someone there...

Mirco's left controls and handlebar were torn apart in crash.

Major impact was on Kemal's side and his right brake pedal "twisted" down towards to rear, handlebar, all controls, navigation tower completely spread over...

Main impact was on eyes, google was completely broken and his eyes were swollen like someone beat him :( Very big scar on his eyebrow. Signs shown that he passed away immediately with this impact on head.

Young Vaarkamp had a very nasty impact on head, I guess he hit directly his navigation tower first...

Seems like low dust cover of Kemal & Mirco misleaded Vaarkamp to guess that group and fast guys had already gain distance and far. So he put full throttle on and penetrated into dust and guys without any braking...
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:31 AM   #90
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No words I could write would describe the sadness I am feeling as a result of this tragic accident. Two people that were out there living their dreams, making the most of life, doing they loved the most. Very sad time indeed for the Rally world.

RIP Kemal Merkit and Wouter Vaarkamp.

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