x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

British rider killed in accident at Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Dubai-based rider Cameron Waugh was killed after sustaining head injuries after an accident 155 kilometres into the Yas Marina Circuit Special Stage 1 of the rally.

Cameron Waugh, a British expat from Dubai, was found by fellow rider Jakub Przygonski, from Poland, midway through the rally.  Courtesy Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Cameron Waugh, a British expat from Dubai, was found by fellow rider Jakub Przygonski, from Poland, midway through the rally. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

ABU DHABI // A motorbike rally racer died on Sunday after suffering head injuries in an accident during the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Cameron Waugh, a British expatriate from Dubai, was found by fellow rider Jakub Przygonski, from Poland, midway through the rally.

Przygonski attempted to resuscitate Waugh and also set off a satellite alarm calling for help.

Two doctors and a paramedic arrived by helicopter within 13 minutes of the alarm, and Waugh was transferred to Mafraq Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The accident happened 155 kilometres after the start of the 290km Yas Marina Circuit Special Stage 1, as competitors negotiated the dunes of Al Gharbia.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, said: “I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news, and on behalf of the ATCUAE and everyone connected with the event I send our sincere condolences to Cameron’s family.

“He was one of our regular competitors and a very likeable and popular one who loved the sport, and we have lost one of our own today.”

Ben Sulayem said Przygonski and other riders had done all they could to save Waugh.

“Jakub performed CPR to the point of exhaustion and was heroic in the way he tried to save a fellow competitor,” he said.

“A lot of other riders stopped at the scene of the accident and made the area safe, and assisted the medical team. We are very grateful to them all.

“Safety is always our top priority and the highly motivated professionals in our search and rescue and medical teams who responded to the accident did everything within their power.

“Our thoughts are with Cameron’s family.”

This was the first fatal accident involving a competitor in the desert challenge event, said a spokesman for the ATCUAE. 

The Desert Challenge started on Saturday and finishes on Yas Island on Thursday.

Throughout the event, a team of 16 medical staff directed by a chief medical officer are on standby to respond to any incident, the spokesman said.

rtalwar@thenational.ae