The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2014-04-13T01:48:49Z Australia's Best Butts Give Bushies Pause to Smile 2014-04-13T01:48:49Z australia-s-best-butts-give-bushies-pause-to-smile As the long-running drought continues to dry up spirits in Queensland's North West, the 10th annual search for Australia's Best Butt has given communities doing it tough a break to forget their troubles.This year's Australia's Best Butt Competition, held every April as part of the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival, attracted more than 100 entrants over the weekend (April 11 and 12), pitting them against each other in an outrageous battle of booty wiggling and bottom jiggling in a bid to secure the title.President of the Dirt n Dust Festival, Stephen Malone said the tongue-in-cheek competition was a highlight on the weekend's program and would do a lot to boost the spirits of drought-affected communities right across the West."It's a silly thing to ask people to line up on a stage and shake their butts for 3,000 strangers, but people go nuts for it," said Mr Malone."There's always a few new moves we haven't seen before and it never fails to make the crowd laugh. It may seem a trivial thing but when times are as tough as they have been, a good chuckle and night out with a few blokes in the same boat can give people the positivity boost they need to keep on weathering tough times."This year's Australia's Best Butt competition was won by Cloncurry's Aimie Athorn, 18, and Townsville's John Gray, 26, who were both taking their first crack at the title.Ms Athorn said her win was totally unexpected."I really didn't think I was in with a chance, but I wanted to make the most of my time at the Dirt n Dust Festival, so gave it a shot. It's pretty thrilling to be named the winner; I just tried to shake it nice and smoothly to the music and the tactic paid off," said Ms Athorn.Mr Gray, on the other hand, turned to social media for inspiration in his Best Butt performance."There's a lot of 'Do you squat, bro?' memes popping upon my Facebook newsfeed lately and I figured that from behind a deep squat might show off my assets nicely," said Mr Gray."I'm very proud to be named Australia's Best Butt; I'm going to wear my winner's shirt every day for the next year," he joked.Ms Athorn and Mr Gray beat 102 other hopefuls, over two night to take out the crown.High resolution photos are available for download here: http://bit.ly/1oWYGgl Hundreds Brave Outback Scorcher for Australia's Toughest Triathlon 2014-04-12T16:32:36Z hundreds-brave-outback-scorcher-for-australia-s-toughest-triathlon 358 brave triathletes battled scorching sun, muddy water, billowing winds, mercury approaching 40-degrees and thousands of flies at Australia’s toughest triathlon yesterday (12 April, 2014).   Brisbane athlete Sam Betten swam, rode and ran his way into Australia's triathlon history books by taking out a record four consecutive winsat Outback Queensland’s infamous Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Triathlon in 01:03:21, against a 25km/h headwind and in 38-degree heat.   Betten said the cycle leg's notorious headwind was particularly mean this year, affecting the speed he'd normally reach riding the Dirt n Dust's 25K cycle leg along the barren Flinders Highway.   "This year's ride was exceptionally tough and the wind set in harder and hotter than it has in previous years," said Betten.   "It was scorching on the bitumen and I was welcoming the wet cloths to try and keep my face cool, but it was a bit of a losing battle – that's why people come to Julia Creek though, because it's a tough event that really tests your skill, your mind and your determination.   Betten beat special guests and celebrity lifeguards Adriel 'Bacon' Young, Andrew 'Reidy' Reid and Corey Oliver from Bondi Rescue who finished 2nd, 8th and 27th, respectively.   Bacon said the outback's harsh environment turned on the toughest short course race he'd ever run.   "Jumping into the muddy creek I didn't have a great swim, then when you get out onto that highway it is tough – some of the windiest conditions I've ever ridden a bike in," Bacon said.   "Then as you come off the bike and hit the ground with bare feet on the tarmac it's boiling. The sun is pounding down on the pavement and the wind is still smashing you on one side. I heard it was going to be tough, but that just took it up a notch. It's the mental challenges that get you."   Finishing first for the women was Mount Isa's Amanda Gowing who crossed the finish line in 01:20:26 to take out her first Dirt n Dust win after four years racing at Julia Creek.   "I had no idea where I was placed coming off the bike and I spotted one of my training mates, who gave me the nod to say I was in first. That's when I knew I just had to get off the bike and start the run – there are a lot of people out there who can run a 5K quicker than me, so the whole aim of the run was to hold the other girls off," said Gowing.   "Today marks four years since I started in the sport of triathlon, so to come back to where it all began for me and claim the number one spot is great."   Gowing also claimed the North Queensland Champion prize money, along with Townsville's Connor McKay. High resolution photos available for download athttp://bit.ly/1oWYGgl Mick Lindsay to headline 20th Annual Dirt n Dust Festival 2013-10-08T04:34:25Z mick-lindsay-to-headline-20th-annual-dirt-n-dust-festival High energy country musician Mick Lindsay will headline the 20th Anniversary of the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival next April it was announced today (4 October, 2013). Lindsay filmed the music video for Crank It at the annual Dirt n Dust Festival in 2011 and says he is looking forward to returning to his favourite Outback event, hopefully with his long-awaited debut album in hand.  "I've been busy writing songs and speaking with producers this year and really hope to have the album finished and ready for release before next year's Dirt n Dust Festival," said Lindsay. "The Dirt n Dust Festival is a great platform for showcasing everything my band and I can do and, if all goes to plan, it will play a big part in launching the next step of my career. "I love the crowd that turns up to Julia Creek every year and the atmosphere is second to none. Everyone who's there is there to have a good time and that's really important because every gig is 50 per cent the performer and 50 per cent the crowd. It doesn't matter who you are, a good audience will always be the difference between a good show and an unforgettable show," Lindsay said. President of the Dirt n Dust Festival, Stephen Malone said he looks forward to welcoming Lindsay back to Julia Creek. "Mick has performed at Dirt n Dust twice already and has stamped himself in the hearts of many of our regular Festival-goers," said Mr Malone. "When it came to choosing a musician for our 20th celebrations, Mick was a no-brainer. He has a diverse musical repertoire and can shift effortlessly between country, rock and pop to get the crowd dancing and keep them dancing." Ends#Social Media: #DirtnDust Rising Country Star to Sample Songs and Seek Best Butts 2013-03-02T00:29:59Z rising-country-star-to-sample-songs-and-seek-best-butts TONIGHT (March 2, 2013):  Mareeba-born and raised country artist Jade Holland will road test songs from her debut album -  out later this year -  when she joins the touring search for the nation's best backside in Cairns tonight.Holland - whose first single Mess With a Girl Like Me debuted at No. 15 in the iTunes Country Music Charts in December 2012 - has been selected by organisers of the annual Australia's Best Butt Competition to tour with them because of her sexy, fresh and cheeky attitude.Holland said she's excited to join the tour, which will cover Cairns, Mount Isa, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville before the finals at the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival on April 20, 2013."The Australia's Best Butt tour will be a great opportunity for me to test some of my new tracks on a live audience before we begin recording my first album later this year," said Jade."I haven't played in many of the towns we’ll be visiting, so it's a great chance to hit the road, have fun and showcase my music to a new crowd."In addition to playing my own songs, I'll cover all the crowd favourites from the country and rock genres to hopefully get everyone on their feet, singing along and of course shaking their booties for the Australia's Best Butt Competition."I do hope everyone who can, will get along to the Australia's Best Butt heats when we visit their town - or better yet to the Dirt n Dust Festival in April - for a great night out in true country style - give everything a go and don't take yourself too seriously," Jade said.About Jade HollandJade Holland is one of Australia's fastest rising stars in country music. Her debut single Mess With a Girl Like Me entered the iTunes Country Music Charts at No. 15 when it was released in December 2012.Jade is currently working on her debut album which she plans to record in April 2013 and release in July. While Jade has been competing in country music competitions across Australia for more than nine years, her passion for country music was fuelled in 2011 following overwhelming success at the 15th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Jade outshone 3,800 contestants to bring home a string of awards including second in the Photogenic category, third in the Country Rock category for her rendition of Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats, third in the vocal category, and second in the Song Writing category for her own composition Make Up Your Own Mind.About the Australia's Best Butt CompetitionThe Australia's Best Butt (ABB) Competition was first conceived at the 2004 Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival when a power outage during a Mental As Anything concert left organisers scrambling for something to keep the crowds entertained. The first entrants were plucked at random from the crowd and encouraged to wiggle their butts by torchlight, with the winner determined by the loudest applause.Ever since, ABB has been a crowd favourite with the tour expanding year on year to find the best butts across Australia during the Heats and take them to Julia Creek for one final showdown.In 2013, the male and female winners of ABB will each win a Magnetic Island Adventure for four including return ferry transfers from Townsville to Magnetic Island, four nights' accommodation at Grand Mercure Magnetic Island, a jet ski tour with Adrenalin Jet Ski Tours, and afternoon sailing experience on Providence V, tickets to a Full Moon Party Down Under and $1,000 cash.ABB entrants must be 18 years or older and be wearing jeans, pants or modest shorts.Tour DatesCairns                      Saturday, March 2, 2013, Gilligans, 7pmMount Isa                Friday, March 9, 2013, Buff’s Club, 7pmMackay                   Friday, March 15, 2013, Ambassador Hotel, 7pmRockhampton          Friday, March 22, 2013, Grand Western Hotel, 7pmTownsville                Friday, April 5, 2012, The Barn, 7pmJulia Creek (Heat)    Friday, April 19, 2013, Dirt n Dust Central, 9.45pmJulia Creek (Final)    Saturday, April 20, 2013, Dirt n Dust Central, 10.30pm    Share on:FacebookTwitter Olympic Hopeful and Reigning Champ Conquer Dirt n Dust 2012-04-22T04:55:21Z olympic-hopeful-and-reigning-champ-conquer-dirt-n-dust Olympic hopeful Emma Jackson and reigning title-holder Sam Betten won one of Australia's Toughest Triathlons in Julia Creek, North West Queensland this morning (Saturday, April 21, 2012).The Julia Creek Cannington Dirt n Dust Triathlon saw a record 356 competitors line up at 10am to tackle an 800m swim through muddy Eastern Creek, a 25km ride across an empty highway and a 5km run through the tiny outback town.First-time competitor and 2012 London Olympics contender Emma Jackson was a last minute addition to the race following a disappointing end to the Olympic qualifiers in Sydney last week."I had a horrible race last week, I expected a lot more from myself, so I wanted to come out to Julia Creek this weekend, do something different and get away for a bit," said Jackson."It was a tough race -- and one that certainly lives up to its name with all the dirt and dust -- but I'm happy to have finished and come away with a win."I had no idea how far [second place getter] Rachael Paxton was behind me on the bike but I knew coming into T3 that she wasn't far behind so I just had to try and hold on," Jackson said.Sam Betten returned to the Dirt n Dust Triathlon for the fourth time after winning last year's event on a fractured foot. A spate of injuries had seen him sidelined for the last 12 months, with this morning's event his return to competitive racing."It was great to win this event for the second year in a row," said Betten."It's always hard to back up a win because there's added pressure to do so. I think everyone looks to you and to what you're doing and that does change how you go out there and attack the race. "The normally harsh environment wasn't too bad out there surprisingly; it's a cooler day today and a gentler wind than the infamous one Dirt n Dust regulars are used to. There was a little bit of wind, but I just put my head down and went for it."My speeds peaked at about 50k an hour which I'm incredibly happy with," Betten said.Ends# Australia's Best Butts Named 2012-04-22T04:50:40Z australia-s-best-butts-named The nation's best backsides were uncovered at the annual Australia's Best Butt Competition in Julia Creek last night (Saturday, April 21, 2012). Nathan Young, 19, from Townsville and Saskia Smith, 26, from Mount Isa shook their booties into the record books by winning over a 3,500-strong crowd at the 18th annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.The Australia's Best Butt Competition (ABB), now in its eighth year, pits bum against bum in a test of manoeuvrability, personality and crowd-pleasing ability. The mantra -- 'it's not about the size, but how you move it'.According to Mr Young, a lot of hard work and training goes into refining a winning ABB performance."It's been a long, tough road to get here tonight," joked Mr Young."I've spent a year under the mentorship of my three brothers. We've all put in hour-long training sessions after work each day, so that my butt would be as toned and as flexible as the crowd saw here tonight."However, Miss Smith proved that raw talent and some excited nerves can also go a long way in winning the ABB finals."I entered the heat on Friday night as a double dare and really wasn't expecting to last long," said Miss Smith."I was stunned to get through to the final and put in a little bit of practice with my friends beforehand to perfect the old 'bend and snap' technique from Legally Blonde."I don't think my life will change too much now that I’m the reigning ABB champ, but I will be celebrating with friends and family anyway," Miss Smith said.ABB organiser Margie Ryder said the Competition was as popular as ever."We had a lot of early enquiries this year and there was some disappointment that we couldn’t hold heats in Mount Isa, Brisbane and Sydney as we'd hoped," said Mrs Ryder."We'll definitely be looking to make the ABB heat tour bigger and better in 2013."The Australia's Best Butt is judged by the level of the crowd's cheers. All entrants must be over 18 and be wearing jeans or long shorts.Ends# Australia's new Bog Snorkelling Champ 2012-04-22T04:46:07Z australia-s-new-bog-snorkelling-champ Australia has a brand new sporting hero -- national Bog Snorkelling Champion Aimee Cameron.Ms Cameron won Australia's only bog snorkelling event this morning (Sunday, April 22, 2012) at the Championships in Julia Creek, North West Queensland. The event was a big draw card at the 18th annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.For the uninitiated many, bog snorkelling is exactly as it sounds -- donning a mask, snorkel and flippers and swimming a lap of a 120ft trench filled with shallow, muddy water (and the occasional toad). To make things trickier, snorkelers must keep their arms at their sides, using only their legs for propulsion.According to Ms Cameron, a tourism officer from Charters Towers, bog snorkelling is unlike anything she's ever done before."I swim laps, but I’m not normally a snorkeler so I found the whole breathing thing a bit tricky," said Ms Cameron."When you're under water, all you see is mud; I noticed a few of the other competitors hit the side of the trench and that's why -- you can't tell one section of dirt from another."I also got a few good mouthfuls of the bog water while I was going, so that was a little gross."Ms Cameron completed her lap of the bog trench in 52.3 seconds, beating out Tasmania's Jannah Wright by exactly two seconds.Event organiser Margie Ryder was thrilled to have the bog snorkelling back on the Dirt n Dust Festival's agenda following a two year hiatus due to new pool fencing laws making the event cost prohibitive."The absence of the bog snorkeling in recent years had left a noticeable gap in the Dirt n Dust program," said Mrs Ryder."Everyone loves seeing other people making fools of themselves, and that's exactly what the bog snorkeling dishes up."It's good, not-so-clean fun and it was wonderful to see festival-goers welcoming the event back with open arms."The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival is held every April. For more information, go to www.dirtndust.com. Could Longreach be Home to Australia's Best Butt? 2012-03-22T03:31:41Z could-longreach-be-home-to-australia-s-best-butt LONGREACH -- A local lad has been given a do-over in the quest for the Australia's Best Butt title in theeighth annual search for our nation's nicest backside.Stan Lees, 30, was crowned the male winner of 2012's first Australia's Best Butt heat at the Cattlemen's Bar and Grill in Longreach this evening (Wednesday, March 21, 2012). It is the second time Stan has taken out a local heat -- the first time was in 2010 -- and the judges commended him for his butt's personality, maneuverability and all-round audience appeal.Stan was one of 20 Best Butt contenders -- some in fur jackets -- who braved the cold, wet weather to warm up their buns with some booty dancing, all in the name of a good time.Karissa Gester took out the women's round in a tough competition that put her ahead of fellow competitor Shae-Ellen King by just a few points.Deciding on the tonight's finalists wasn't an easy task for the judging panel."We expected a certain amount of craziness, but Longreach went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver a very entertaining night," said Samantha Kimlin."I don.t think I've ever seen such enthusiastic butt wiggling, bottom jiggling, booty shaking, hip thrusting or pelvis gyrating. If tonight's performances were anything to go by, the Julia Creek final is going to be a cracker of a night."Stan Lees and Karissa Gester will now attend the Finals held at the annual Dirt n Dust Festival in Julia Creek from April 20-22, 2012. The overall winners will hold the Australia's Best Butt title for a year and appear on all promotional material for the following 12 months.Heat 2 of Australia.s Best Butt will be held at the Riverview Tavern in Townsville on Thursday, March 29, 2012 from 7pm. Registrations will be taken on the night. Entrants must be over 18 years and be wearing jeans, pants or long shorts. Hunt for Australia's Best Butt Begins 2012-03-20T02:39:21Z hunt-for-australia-s-best-butt-begins Longreach is the first stop for a team of lucky judges who will begin the search for Australia’s Best Butt tomorrow night (March 21, 2012) at the Cattlemen's Bar and Grill.The cheeky competition will encourage punters to don their jeans and shake their booties for the chance to compete in the Finals at the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival next month.Event organiser Margie Ryder said: "It's not about the size of a butt, but how it's used."I know there are some brilliant backsides in Longreach, but people shouldn't get complacent -- competitors should be polishing their performances, brushing up on their moves and putting together a show that will get the crowd on its feet."There are points for the butt that gets the loudest cheer, but at the end of the day the decision lies with our judges," Mrs Ryder said.The Australia's Best Butt Competition has two titles up for grabs -- Male and Female. Winners from the Longreach heat will automatically qualify to attend the Finals held at the annual Dirt & Dust Festival in Julia Creek from April 20–22, 2012. The overall winners will hold the Australia's Best Butt title for a year and appear on all promotional material for the following 12 months.Reigning female champion, Michelle Guliker of Arizona Station in McKinlay Shire says the trick to delivering a winning performance is not to take it too seriously."I had no idea what I was doing up on that stage last year. I was incredibly nervous and everything I did was the result of a belly full of butterflies," Ms Guliker said."At the end of the day, Australia's Best Butt is all a bit of fun -- so my tips for having a crack at it would be to have a laugh, have a good time and just enjoy the experience."The Longreach Heat of Australia's Best Butt will be held at the Cattlemen's Bar and Grill on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 from 7pm. Registrations will be taken on the night. Entrants must be over 18 years and be wearing jeans or long pants.Click to share:TwitterFacebookWatch the YouTube video 'Breast Friends' take on Tough Tri for Outback Women 2012-02-17T00:08:01Z breast-friends-tackle-on-tough-tri-for-outback-women Three women from Outback Queensland are redefining the term 'bosom buddies' by uniting to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer in a whole new way -- competing in one of Australia's toughest triathlons.Belinda Murphy, Sally Eales and Keri Prandolini -- who've dubbed themselves the 'Breast Friends' -- will take on the challenge of the Julia Creek Cannington Dirt n Dust Triathlon this April in a bid to better Breast Screening services for women in North West Queensland.Belinda, who'll complete the team's 5km running leg, said the Dirt n Dust Triathlon seemed like the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of Breast Screening facilities -- or lack thereof -- in rural towns."The three of us had been talking about entering the Triathlon as a team, but felt we needed a cause to light a fire in our bellies and keep us motivated," said Belinda."All of our lives had been touched by breast cancer -- my step-mum; Sally's aunt and grandmother; and Keri's colleague '' so raising funds for Breast Screening was an obvious choice."Breast Screening facilities are scarce in the Outback. A mobile screening unit visits each town just once a year and only women over 40 years of age are eligible to access the facility. Team swimmer, Sally said the Breast Friends have worked hard to ensure their fundraising efforts will go directly back to benefitting women in the West."As it is, most of the funds raised for Breast Cancer go into research or improving facilities in the big cities, so we're incredibly proud to be helping women in our own backyard," said Sally."Currently, if you miss the Mobile Screening Unit's annual visit, you either wait another 12 months or tackle the eight-hour drive to Townsville to be screened -- that's a long way to go for potentially earth-shattering news."It's great to know that our fundraising efforts could support more frequent Outback visits -- even to North Western hubs -- and potentially, help save lives."While the Breast Friends hope to raise $5,000 for Breast Screen Queensland, the Dirt n Dust Triathlon will not be a walk in the park. None of the girls have entered a Triathlon before and to start with the one that even professional triathletes find tough is proving to be a real challenge.Keri, who'll cycle 25km 'across the horizon', said she has a lot of training to do before April."I started preparation for my cycle leg by going on a few 10km bike rides, but quickly learned that it wasn't a good idea to go so hard, so fast. The first ride had me shaking and feeling absolutely awful," said Keri."I quit smoking a few months ago, so for me the Dirt n Dust Triathlon isn't just about improving early detection of breast cancer for others, but also taking the first steps to a healthier lifestyle for myself."The Breast Friends will join hundreds of Dirt n Dust triathletes in Julia Creek on April 21, 2012 for the 18th annual Dirt n Dust Triathlon. The Triathlon is a major draw card for the three-day Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival which also includes bullrides, horse races, live music and entertainment, a ute muster and novelty events such as Australia’s Best Butt competition and bog snorkeling.To make a donation to the Breast Friends Trust go to www.dirtndust.com and click on ‘Buy Tickets’. An auction will also be held for the Breast Friends during the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival, with three bikes donated by BNG Sports up for grabs.Share this:TwitterFacebook ‘Dirty’ film gets Festival goers in the mood 2012-02-09T13:16:50Z dirty-film-gets-festival-goers-in-the-mood More than 120 VIP guests celebrated the Official Launch of the 18th annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival with a 'film premiere' at the Coffee Club Domain, Townsville, last night (Wednesday, February 8, 2012).Proving that the Festival is stepping up its game in terms of technology, social media and marketing campaigns the new YouTube video is a comedic take on how dirty the Dirt n Dust Festival can actually get. Dirt n Dust organiser Margie Ryder said the focus on attracting younger Festival-goers was important to ensuring the Outback Festival continued to experience growth in future years. "We brought young blood onto the committee a few years ago and their role was to really get Dirt n Dust to the forefront of social media and the internet -- something the rest of our committee had no clue about!" explained Mrs Ryder."When we were given the opportunity to have a YouTube video filmed late last year we jumped at the chance and thought 'why not get really cheeky with it?'" said Mrs Ryder.Young Julia Creek local Neil Batt and Dirt n Dust volunteer Sam Kimlin star in the video. "It was exciting to be a part of the video, but something we’re not going to live down," said Mr Batt, who is now referred to as 'Hollywood' in his hometown. "We're hoping it will build traction among the younger audience, show them what a great weekend we put on in Julia Creek and encourage them to come check it out!" said Mrs Ryder.The video is available for viewing on the Dirt n Dust website, Facebook and YouTube pages."We would love for the video to go viral and have created some equally cheeky cards in time for Valentine's Day that people can send to their partner, friend or boss to show them exactly what kind of dirty weekend you'd like!" explains Mrs Ryder. These cards are available for download from the Dirt n Dust website.Last night's launch included announcements of several other exciting additions to the chock-full program, including a free concert by hot country acts Luke Dickens and Victoria Baillie, the expansion of the Australia's Best Butt circuit and the return of the Ute Muster and highly popular bog snorkelling.Special guests included Dirt n Dust veteran triathlete Max Fegan; Professional Bull Riding (PBR) representative Glen Young, McKinlay Shire Councillor Tim Vollmer, Townsville City Councillor Tony Parsons, local media personality Steve Price and many local business people.The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival will take place from April 20 to 22 this year, offering visitors three jam-packed days of fun and entertainment, including the Cannington Dirt n Dust Triathlon and Junior Triathlon, the Clean It Dirt n Dust Bullride sanctioned by PBR, the BHP Artesian Express Horse Race, an exclusive Red Claw Luncheon, the Australia's Best Butt Competition, novelty events such as Bog Snorkelling and ongoing family entertainment. Ends#Click to share on:FacebookTwitter Challengers flocking to Australia’s most unique triathlon 2012-01-17T07:34:30Z challengers-flocking-to-australia-s-most-unique-triathlon Registrations for one of Australia's most grueling triathlons -- the Cannington Dirt n Dust Triathlon in Julia Creek, Queensland -- are up by 15 per cent on the same time last year, it was announced today (January 18, 2012). The Triathlon is always a major draw card for the annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival and comprises an 800m swim across Eastern Creek, a 25km ride over an open outback road and a 5km run through the town. This year the victors will be well rewarded for their efforts with a share of $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. Dirt n Dust organiser Margie Ryder said the inundation of registrations so early in the year is a good sign of things to come. "The triathlon, now in its 18th year, is well known in running circles as one of the country's most unique triathlon events," said Mrs Ryder. "Many competitors find themselves hooked after their first Dirt n Dust triathlon returning time and time again, however, this is the first time we’ve had so much interest so far out from the event. "It seems word is spreading about the great show Outback Queensland puts on and we have people from across Queensland, interstate and overseas all vying to step up to the plate and have a go," Mrs Ryder said. Townsville triathlon Max Fegan, who's competed in all but one Dirt n Dust triathlon, said it's been great to watch the event grow steadily since 1994. "In the first year we had about 15 competitors turn up from Julia Creek and neighbouring towns," said Fegan. "Then competitor numbers doubled and tripled until we had about 300 people from all over the world race last year. "Now the Dirt n Dust Triathlon is one of those must-do events for a lot of triathletes -- you've got to tick it off at least once, because there's just nothing else like it," Fegan said. Three-time competitor and 2011 Dirt n Dust Triathlon winner, Sam Betten said the event is an exciting challenge. "The Dirt n Dust Tri is a true test of physical and mental stamina," said Betten. "There are no tree-lined avenues to run or calm coastal waters to swim in the outback – it really is just dirt and dust. "You start by diving into a muddy creek with a mix of serious competitors and people in wild costumes, spend 25km just riding into the horizon and finish running across searing bitumen. "It took me three years to walk away from Julia Creek with a win, so I’ll be hotly defending the title in 2012," Betten said. The Cannington Dirt n Dust Triathlon will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2012 and is open to serious competitors, corporate and social teams and individuals looking for a challenge. The Suncorp Agribusiness Junior Triathlon will also take place on Friday, April 20. People wishing to register can do so at www.dirtndust.com/triathlon. In addition to the Dirt n Dust Triathlon and Junior Triathlon, Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival offers three days of non-stop entertainment including a free concert featuring Country music artists Luke Dickens and Victoria Baillie; the Clean It NQ Dirt n Dust Bullride sanctioned by PBR; the BHP Artesian Express Horse Race; an exclusive Red Claw luncheon; the Australia’s Best Butt Competition; novelty events; and ongoing family entertainment. Click to Tweet.Click to Facebook. Country stars to shine at Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival 2011-12-06T14:11:53Z country-stars-to-shine-at-julia-creek-dirt-n-dust-festival Iconic outback event, The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival, will host two of Australia's hottest country music artists in 2012, it was announced today (Wednesday, December 7, 2011). 2011 Toyota Star Maker winner and Golden Guitar Nominee Luke Dickens and widely-praised country pop sensation and Golden Guitar winner Victoria Baillie will take the stage in a free concert on Friday, April 20 – the opening night of the three-day Festival. Dirt n Dust organiser Margie Ryder said Dickens and Baillie were exciting additions to the already chock-full program. "Every year, the Saturday night Dirt n Dust concert is a chance for Festival-goers to let their hair down, celebrate the winners of one of the world’s toughest triathlons – or perhaps their own winnings on the horses -- , and soak up the spirit of Queensland's outback," Mrs Ryder said. "Luke Dickens and Victoria Baillie embody everything that Dirt n Dust is about -- passion, hard work and the guts to go out and achieve their goals. "We are thrilled to have two of Australia's hottest country acts on board for Dirt n Dust, and expect they will help draw record crowds in 2012,”"said Mrs Ryder. If praise from industry greats such as Lee Kernaghan and Troy Cassar-Daley is anything to go by, Golden Guitar winner Victoria Baillie will wow the Dirt n Dust crowd with her fresh take on country music. "It's exciting to be involved in an event that does so much every year to promote the forgotten parts of Queensland," Baillie said"The wonders of the country are right on people's doorsteps, but are often over shadowed by coastal and overseas holidays. The Dirt n Dust Festival does a great job at reconnecting people with the outback and one another and I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to contribute in April," said Baillie. Touted 'Australia's best known shearer' and Australian Idol runner-up, Luke Dickens says the Dirt n Dust Festival is 'must' see event. "I certainly encourage people who've never experienced outback hospitality to come along to Dirt n Dust and find out what they've been missing. "I am where I am today because of a dare – sometimes a new experience can lead to unimaginable conquests," said Dickens. In addition to the free concert, Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival offers three days of non-stop challenges and entertainment including the Cannington Dirt n Dust Triathlon and Junior Triathlon, the Clean It Dirt n Dust Bullride sanctioned by PBR, the BHP Artesian Express Horse Race, an exclusive Red Claw luncheon, the Australia’s Best Butt Competition, novelty events such as bog snorkeling and ongoing family entertainment. The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival will be held on April 20-22, 2012. For more information, please visit www.dirtndust.com. Ends#