Catching up with Victoria Hett

RidersWest chats with two-time ISDE bronze medallist Victoria Hett of Vernon, B.C., about her plans for the 2013 season

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Photo of a girl on a dirt bike.

Victoria Hett got her first dirt bike, a Yamaha PW 50, when she was five years old and she started racing when she turned 12. — photo courtesy Victoria Hett

Victoria Hett, where to begin? In the 16 years that she has been racing off-road dirt bikes, this 28-year-old from Vernon, B.C., has won three regional championship titles, a world championship title and several first place finishes.

In 2010, she became the first Canadian woman to finish the prestigious International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) in Mexico, bringing home with her a bronze trophy to prove it. Last year, Hett came back from Germany with another bronze trophy from the 2012 ISDE to add to her collection.

After a winter of snowshoeing, snowboarding and horseback riding, Hett is geared up for the 2013 race season. Her first weekend of racing was at the Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association’s Katoom and Roots of Doom events on Vancouver Island, B.C., in March. At the Katoom, Hett finished second in the Intermediate class at the Katoom and third at Roots of Doom.

This year, Hett is supported by Husaberg and she is riding with the Alberta-based Corner Grass Racing Team led by longtime off-road racer Lee Fryberger. We caught up with Hett to see what her plans for 2013 include. 

What’s on your agenda for this season? This season, I have three goals. One of them is to try and do my best at the Intermediate Championship for B.C. so that’s racing against all the guys from B.C., Alberta and Washington in a combined series. My secondary goal will be the (Royal Distributing) Canadian Cross Country Championships and that consists of two races in Alberta and two races in B.C. The reason that’s my secondary goal is because I can’t actually make it to all four of those because one of them conflicts with an endurocross race in the U.S. I would also really like this year to try and make it to the X Games for endurocross, so I will be racing in Las Vegas on May 3 in an X Games qualifier and in Sacramento on June 8 in an X Games qualifier. With any luck, I will do good enough at both of those that I will be able to race the X Games in Los Angeles from August 1 to 4.

You will be riding a 2013 Husaberg TE 250 this year. How do you feel about switching from the 2012 GasGas EC 300 you were on last year? Well, the Husaberg is technically part of the KTM family and it feels really good to be riding for them again. I rode KTM years ago and I like the support I get from them and they are really professional and I feel like it will take me that one step higher that I need to go. 

What event are you looking forward to the most this year? I have two events that I am very excited about. One would be the X Games, if I make it, and the other would be an endurocross race in a tiny little town called Orofino in Idaho. It’s very well known amongst certain people but not nationally but there’s a couple of top racers in the world that go there just because it’s such a neat venue. They build the track in the central park in the middle of this little town and the mayor comes out. They have quite a bit of money up for grabs for a pro purse but the people that run that event are some of the best people I’ve ever met, and they put on such an amazing event. You can camp right next to the park and walk over in the morning with your bike. That’s one of the races I look forward to the most every year.

Do you have an all-time favourite track? Here at home in Vernon. My parents hosted races for about 20 years here and they built a huge course so we have maybe 250 kilometres of single track and those are my favourite trails by far that I’ve ever ridden.

Do you plan on attending the ISDE again? I do. This year it’s in Italy and the reason I opted out of going was (because of) some financial restraints. And also because I feel that it’s a little easier to raise the sponsorship and get the word out there when you have a year in between to recuperate from the last one and plan for the next one. It’s in Argentina for 2014 and I would really like a chance to race that one.

Is it expensive to go to the ISDE? It ranges on average around $15,000 per rider.

Do you have any advice for younger riders, specifically the women who are just entering the sport? I would say just stay positive and don’t give up because the better you get at something, the more fun it is. Never give up and slower is probably faster. If you can stay calm and look at everything bit by bit instead of getting overwhelmed, you usually end up being faster in the long run.

For all the latest news and updates from Victoria Hett, visit Victoria Hett Racing

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