Avantiplus Hellfire Cup: Final Race Wrap

The Avantiplbus Hellfire Cup is a done deal! Read on to learn how it all went down over the final two days.

Hellfire Cup Final wrap 4

STAGE 4: OVERVIEW

The time trial course takes racers out of the village in a 6km cruise stage to the time trial start on the Marchweil property. Special access to the stunning private property has been arranged for the Hellfire Cup which follows the coast and is below the event’s namesake Hellfire Bluff. The course then heads into nearby hills via a plantation fire road. The riders then jump off via a single track gully link which takes them onto the main climb for this short and sharp 14k time trial course.
STAGE 4: RESULTS
Day 3 started cool after a clear starry night over the Kellevie race village. Tasmanian competitors wandering around in t-shirts were greeted by interstate competitors in down jackets and beanies for the race briefing. The cruise stage allowed racers a chance to chat amongst the pack – there’s nothing quite like seeing a huge pack of riders winding their way up the hills on the gravel back roads of South East Tasmania. The chance to chat with pros and just enjoy the scenery was a nice leadup to the time trial stage.
At the picturesque Marchweil property the competitors assembled again surrounded by farm houses and a sea of lycra. The competitors were put into seeded pairs based on their results over the proceeding days, and were sent off in 30 second intervals.
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For the Elite Male category Team Torq had a better outing than on Stage 3, and recorded a stage winning time of 25m 46s. They were followed a little over a minute later by Team 4SHAW who came in at 26m 57s. Team Torq’s strong performance will eat into the lead that 4SHAW and Avantiplus have carved out into the overall standings, but will not take them up a place on the overall podium at this stage. The competitive team of Avantiplus Launceston came looking like they hard worked hard for their time of 27m 12s.
The Elite Female teams Team Torq (Em Parkes & Jenni King) and Willylocke (Rebecca Locke & Naomi Williams) came across the line within 2 seconds of each other with Team Torq sneaking the stage win with a time of 33m 06s.
In the Elite Mixed competition team Jeffy & Pesta (Jarrod Moroni & Peta Mullens) came in very strong and took out stage 4 with a time of 31m 11s. Team My Mountain (Melissa Anset & David Ransom) followed in with a time of 33m 09. Less than a minute later A+ Launceston (Sam Calow & Rowena Fry) pushed across the line at 33m 47s.
 
STAGE 5: OVERVIEW
This afternoon stage is based around the classic Kelleive XC course, made famous by the Kellevie 24 Hour races. This track has been further developed and improved over the course of 2014 by new landowners Mtn Trails. The 9.5k course is all single track, which is ridden as a pairs relay for teams and lone wolves get to enjoy two laps of the course.
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After leaving the race village the riders descend into the Kellevie rainforest. This section is a fast-riding, winding path that rewards riders willing to brave the encroaching trees for an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack. The course also features a short, sharp ascent up the Shimano Switchbacks across the crest of the hill. Following a quick paddock sprint, the riders meet the 4SHAW rock garden. After that they will go into the Jeanneret Electrical Technologies luge which will
The return leg is ideal for riders with big engines as pure power here will be the determining factor on the undulating blast back into the Race village and transition.
STAGE 5: RESULTS
Team Torq has notched up a narrow win (57m 59s) just 7 seconds faster than Team 4SHAW (Tom Goddard & Scott Bowden). There was only a small gap between the top 2 placed teams and Avantiplus Launceston which followed in at 59m 32s.
In the Elite Female category Torq Girls (Em Parkes & Jenni King) continue to dominate with a combined time of 1h 09m 54s. Followed closely by WillyLocke with a time of 1h 11m 48s.
In the Mixed Elite category Jeffy & Pesta (Jarrod Moroni & Peta Mullens) have taken out first place for Stage 5 with a time of 1h 07m 33s. Team My Mountain followed less than half a minute next with a time of 1h 7m 57s. Popular local riders Ride Bellerive (Jason Mennitz & Edwina Hughes) were in top form and took out 3rd with a time of 1h 09m 56s.
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STAGE 6: RESULTS
 
Stage 6 of the Avantiplus Hellfire Cup is an optional night event at the end of Day 3 – it’s an XC dash for cash over 9km. This has the first man and woman across the line racing for $1,000 each from Laser Electrical and bragging rights as the King & Queen of Kellevie for 2014.
In a tight race, the King of Kellevie was won by Chris Hamilton with a time of 24m 58s. Chris was followed by the Queen of Kellevie Peta Mullens with a cracking time on the tough course of 29m 02s.
Stage 6 is a special stage and times do not contribute to final race standings, and was just for the people who felt they hadn’t been punished enough by the proceeding stages. It was only the hardy few who could stomach the prospect of a 3rd race leg in one day, however a good portion of the race village turned up at night to cheer them in across the line.
 
STAGE 7: SUMMARY
 
A beautiful sunny morning met competitors, even though the race village was a little slow in waking up after a few days of racing. Late night hooting and hollering was heard happening at the Iron House bar after a sunny afternoon which may have had a little something to do with this.
The Tuff Torq Elevator is a nasty little hill climb designed to wring the last drops of power out of very tired legs. Tough on a good day, but after 3 days of racing? Utterly Brutal. The course heads straight out of the village and up the hill that looks over the race village. Elevation ramps up quickly and switchbacks turn into an uphill straight push sure to demoralise all but the strongest legs. Elites and punters alike found this tough, and those who got the early run at 8am were grateful when they saw the temperature rise for the noon second wave.
Pairs are split for this stage, and sent off in seeded waves.
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Peta Mullens and Jarrod Moroni – get the pair, for just $5000!
STAGE 7: RESULTS
Team Torq (Mark Tupalski & Chris Hamilton) had a good outing (18m 59s) and nibbled into Team 4SHAW’s lead who placed second with a time of 19m 07s. AvantiPlus Launceston were close behind with a time of 19m 36s.
A great stage for the Elite Women racers Willy Locke who took out the stage with a time of 25m 59s. This placed them well in front of Torq with a time of 30m 15s.
Team My Mountain (David Ransom & Melissa Anset) had blazing fast run of 23m 24s. Second place went to Avantiplus Launceston with a time of 23m 38s, which was followed by Jeffy & Pesta (Peta Mullens & Jarrod Moroni) who came in at 24m 08s.
STAGE 8: SUMMARY
 
The last hurrah for the Avantiplus Hellfire Cup 2014 is the Jettech Hectic Mayhem dirt crit. This repurposed motocross track has sweeping bermed dirt corners that allow for a final fast blast over the short course. The course is hectic and close and provides a great opportunity for spectators and team members to encourage their mates along. At around 3-4 minutes for the lap (fast riders), major mechanicals is about the only thing the elites have to worry about and this last leg is all about having a final blast to wring out the last drop of sweat for Hellfire 2014.
 
STAGE 8: RESULTS
The short course was EXTREMELY closely contested by the 3 leading Elite Male teams. Avantiplus Launceston took it with a time of 6m 20s, followed a second later by 4SHAW and another second later by Team Torq. Insanely close stuff.
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WillyLocke, half impressed, took home the five gorillas.
WillyLocke continued to have a great day on the bike, with a combined time of 7m 10s on the short course. Torq Girls recorded a time of 7m 17s for their last stage of racing.
Avantiplus Launceston had a good hit out (6m 55s) and found themselves another 9 seconds on Team My Mountain (7m 06s). Ride Bellerive came in next with a time of 7m 23s.
FINAL HELLFIRE CUP 2014 OVERALL RESULTS
After 4 days of racing, enjoying the very best Tasmania has to offer in weather (read: All of the weather – sometimes all at once) the 2014 Avantiplus Hellfire Cup is done and dusted for another year. The organisers would like to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers who have contributed to the event, you are filled with the Spirit of Hellfire and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. They would also like to thank our generous sponsors and the the community of mountain biking which has got behind us in a big way. Finally, we would like to thank all our competitors for coming out and racing with us, we hope you enjoyed your brief stay in Hell and will join us next time!
The Hellfire Cup is committed to equal prize money for both genders and the winners in each elite category will go home with $5,000 in prize money, second place takes home $2,000 and third place elite team takes home $1,000.
Hellfire Cup Final wrap 3
Team 4-Shaw, surely must be pretty chuffed to have edged out the powerful Torq team for the win.
Elite Male Competition
The Elite male competition was a close run affair with the 3 leading teams looking like they could all take the event out at any stage. In the end the local knowledge and sheer power on the bike won the day and Team 4SHAW will go home as victors for the 2014 Hellfire Cup with $5,000 cash in their pocket. Their total cumulative time for the event was 6h 16m 28s edging out Avanti Plus Launceston who came in second place overall with a combined time of 6h 23m 55sAvantiplus Launceston will take home $2,000 prize money. Team Torq put in a stellar effort and were on the podium in third place overall with a time of 6h 24m 52s and will take home $1,000 prize money.
Elite Female Competition
The Elite Female competition was tight for the duration of the race – often seconds separating them on return from individual stages. At the end of play on day 4 the honours went to WillyLocke with a massive effort of 7h 39 18s combined time. This category was extremely close, in the end Team Torq trailed by only 31 seconds behind 1st place with a combined total time of 7h 39m 49s.
Elite Mixed Competition
From Day 2 onwards Jeffy & Pesta (Jarrod Moroni & Peta Mullens) looked very strong and they keep building their lead into an unassailable margin. By the end of Day 4 their total combined time was 7h 07m 01s which could not be touched by second placed team Team My Mountain (David Ransom & Melissa Anset) who recorded a total time of  7h 33m 50s. Avantiplus Launceston (Sam Calow & Rowena Fry) will take home third place overall in the mixed competition with a final time of 7h 35s 08s.

 

Avantiplus Hellfire Cup: Stage 3 Race Wrap

The Avantiplus Hellfire Cup is underway! After getting burned out of existence the first time around, then swamped by rains the next, the race finally seems to have got lucky this year! Read on for the latest from Tassie’s newest stage race. (Stage 1 and 2 race wrap here! http://flowmountainbike.com/post-all/avantiplus-hellfire-cup-stages-1-and-2-race-wrap/)
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Racers make their way out of the Kellevie race village.


STAGE 3: OVERVIEW
Stage 3 is the toughest day on offer at the Avantiplus Hellfire Cup – the Adidas Evil Eye Assault is a 48k loop that takes riders out of the race village and the onto the 4SHAW nutcracker. This climb gives racers a good opportunity to work hard on the pedals and question all their life choices that have brought them to this point, and, onto Jacobs Peak. The good news is that what goes up … must come down! Kingos tramline descent defies description – originally cut for sawmillers into the hills of Weilangta forest a century ago, the long abandoned tramlines now have a second life as a mountain bike trail.
The tramline descent is fast, flowing and goes forever. Next up riders hit the most technical descent of the race – Baby Head Alley which requires careful picking of a racing line. There is some respite for racers before heading onto Aub’s track – a great piece of lovingly handcrafted trail which leads onto the main road climb which we’ve titled the The Old Woolstore Head Cracker – this is the second major climb of the day and will really test tired legs. For the return descent, riders will return via Mill Road and Old Mill tramline which will take racers all the way back to Kellevie.
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Juliet Plumb.

STAGE 3: RESULTS
The race village had a cool start for Day 2. The nearby hills were covered in an early morning mist and the mood in camp was jovial. Many racers starting the day with a well appreciated hot shower and a coffee before hopping back into racing gear. Cooler conditions met racers on the start line for stage 3 of the Avantiplus Hellfire Cup. A mixture of patchy showers which increased to rain showers meant that riders came in wet and working hard to cross the line of the 48K course.
Team 4SHAW - Winners Stage 3 (Tom Goddard & Scott Bowden)
Team 4SHAW – Winners Stage 3 (Tom Goddard & Scott Bowden)
In the Elite Male Category, Team 4SHAW (Scott Bowden & Tom Goddard – 2h 0m 30s) came in first in emphatic fashion and still had enough energy to do a little showboating with a manual across the line. Their local knowledge and supreme bike fitness came to the fore in a very competitive field. They were followed by Avantiplus Launceston who trailed the by 6 minutes 57 seconds.
For the Elite Female Category, Team Torq have continued to dominate with a 2h 32m 25s time over the 48K course. They were shadowed in a matter of seconds by Willy Locke (Rebecca Locke & Naomi Williams) who recorded a time of 2h 32m 31s.
Well in the lead for the Elite Mixed category at the end of Day 1, Trek Factory Racing (Bec Henderson & Dan McConnell have fallen out of contention due to a series of mechanicals. Jeffy & Pesta (Jarrod Moroni & Peta Mullens) sailed in with a time of 2h 20m 28s. Team My Mountain (Melissa Anset & David Ransom) followed with a time of 2h 35m 16s.

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OVERALL RESULTS – END OF DAY 2
Over the course of stage 3, the Elite Male category has had a shakeup. A very strong performance in stage 3 by Team 4SHAW has put them in the overall lead with a combined time of 4h 25m 55s. They currently lead Avantiplus Launceston by 5m 20s. Team Torq also experienced mechanical issues on stage 3, and have fallen to third place overall with a combined time of 4h 35m 15s
Team Torq stay in the lead with a combined time of 5h 19m 15s across the 3 stages so far. They are closely followed by Willylocke with a time gap of just 1m 55s.
Jeffy & Pesta now move into the lead for the Elite Mixed category with an overall time of 4h 56m 16s. Avantiplus Launceston (Sam Calow & Rowena Fry) will now move into second place with a combined time of 5h 20m 19s.

Avantiplus Hellfire Cup – Stages 1 and 2 race wrap

The Avantiplus Hellfire Cup is back for a second year. The event, held in Kellevie in South Eastern Tasmania, is a 4 day multi-stage Mountain Bike Race. Attracting elite riders as well as weekend warriors, the event has attracted people from all over the country to 4 days of racing in the Tasmanian countryside. The event offers both pairs racing and a Lone Wolves category for solo racers.

The lead up to, and the actual 2013 Hellfire Cup event, was a gruelling experience for organisers. The Tasmanian Bushfire emergency struck days before it was originally slated to run in January 2013 (nearby Dunalley was devastated by the fires) and the event was rescheduled to run November 2013. Ironically, very different conditions met competitors in November, and torrential rain necessitated a reduced race format, and a race village evacuation that truly demonstrated the spirit of mountain biking.

So, after 3 long years of preparation work, the 2014 event is the first time the full course has been unveiled. On day 1, the race village is, buzzing and full of competitors keen to ride on some of the best trails Tasmania has to offer.


 

STAGE 1: DESCRIPTION

The trails are riding fast and fun, and on return from Stage 1 the nervous smiles of competitors were replaced by grins and war stories from the first hit-out for the event. The Mill Road loop is the 25km opening drumroll to the Hellfire Cup. It showcases a mix of riding experiences, departing from the Kellevie race village on vintage Tasmanian XC trails which lead into a firetrail ascent which literally takes a rider’s breath away. On the return journey, riders are rewarded with the Mountain Trails Serpent – a hard earned downhill section of flowing switchbacks that opens out into a extremely fast riding valley descent with a stunning views as riders emerge from the bush.

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STAGE 1: RESULTS

Team Torq came out very strong and took out both the Elite Female (Em Parkes & Jenni King – 1h:25m:38s) category AND the Male Category (Chris Hamilton & Mark Tupalski 1h:12m:40s) with some blazing fast times. Trek Factory racing (Bec Henderson & Dan McConnell – 1h:20m:27s) took out the the Elite Mixed category.

STAGE 2: DESCRIPTION

The second stage is a fast-blast team relay, based on a 4 laps of the 6.5km Kellevie Onetonne rodeo XC Course. Pairs riders do a lap and alternate, but lone wolves find themselves doing all 4 laps. After leaving the race village the riders descend into the Kellevie rainforest. This section is a fast-riding, winding path that rewards riders willing to brave the encroaching trees for an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack. The course also features a short, sharp ascent up the Shimano Switchbacks across the crest of the hill. Following a quick paddock sprint, they riders meet the 4SHAW rock garden. The return leg is ideal for riders with big engines as pure power here will be the determining factor on the undulating blast back into the Race village and transition.

hellfire_stage1_Credit_Chris_Hardinge_3

STAGE 2: RESULTS

A gentle spattering of rain fell on competitors as they gathered on the start line for Stage 2. This went some way towards keeping the dust down and providing a just-so slightly tacky racing surface that riders love so much. The race pack steamrolled out of the village and disappeared into the Kellevie rainforest in a matter of seconds. Dan McConnell put down a blistering first lap to take the early lead overall for stage 2 for the mixed pair elite team, Trek Factory Racing.

Team Torq continues to dominate, with both Elite Female (Em Parkes & Jenni King – 1h21m:11s) the Elite Male Category (Chris Hamilton & Mark Tupalski 1h:08m:07s) on a short sharp course. In the Elite mixed category. Trek Factory racing (Bec Henderson & Dan McConnell – 1h:12m:24s) is leading the Elite Mixed category.

OVERALL RESULTS – End of Day 1.

In the Elite Male category Team Torq will go into day 2 with a 3 minute 10 second advantage over AvantiPlus Launceston (Ben Mather & Alex Lack) who are followed followed by Team 4SHAW (Tom Goddard & Scott Bowden).

For the Elite Female category Team Torq leads WillyLocke (Rebecca Locke & Naomi Williams) by 2 minutes 6 seconds.

The Elite Mixed category is predicted to be extremely competitive with Trek Factory racing leading Jeffy & Pesta (Jarrod Moroni & Peta Mullens) by 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

Racing: New and Improved AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup Is back for 2014

AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup Is back for 2014 and entries are rolling in.

What: 4 day 7 stage mountain bike race consisting of relays , TT, hill climb, crit, and adventure stages

When: November 20th –23rd 2014.

Format: Pairs mountain bike racing with options for solo riders

Location: Kellevie in the Sorell Municipality in South East Tasmania.

25 minutes from Hobart airport 50 minutes from Hobart CBD

Race Director: Duncan Giblin

Company: Stormbay Promotions

Entries open: Entries Opened on March 1

Entries close: September 7th 2014.

Entrant capacity for 2014: 500 riders

Entry: $445 per rider

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Rider Michael Crosbie, plantation single track

Services:

  • Free camping
  • Lunch included
  • Entertainment
  • On-site child care options
  • Food and coffee vendors
  • After party concert
  • Iron House bar
  • Free wifi
  • Appliance charge station
  • Onsite mechanic
  • Bike retail

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The Gig

In its second year the AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup is again based at Kellevie and rides into different areas of the Wielangta State Forest and surrounding areas each day, riding on private land and forestry land. The race course has myriad of tracks, forest trails, and awesome descents in beautiful landscapes. The event has 7 stages offering a good mix of single track and adventure riding. Our philosophy is that the course should not be too dumbed down and have should have lots organic single track and also require effort to conquer hills making it more rewarding. But we have designed it to still be achievable and enjoyable for someone new to stage races with a reasonable level of fitness.

The event is classified as a stage race but differs significantly from most other events of this type, having one base that competitors start and finish from each day to limit the logistic headaches for riders, support crews and families.

The upgrade

We have made vast improvements from the first event including a new timing system that is state of the art providing preliminary results online instantly. We have received funding from Events Tasmania enabling us to purchase this system. We have also improved rider comfort at the race village with new gas showers and more services on site so people can get comfortable and warm if we have a disagreement with the weather gods. Also upgraded is the food on offer with more substantial lunches and food vendors on site for evening meals.

The booty

The event has one of the largest prize pools for an event of its type in Australia

The 2014 Prize pool includes:

$26,000 cash for elite rider podiums divided equally between genders.

$52,000 in random spot prizes/ competitor giveaways (and growing) is on offer for competitors including two bikes from major sponsor Avanti plus.

The pointy end of the field.

From the word go the Hellfire Cup has attracted significant interest from elite riders. Titles attained by Elite riders who entered the inaugural event last year included: international Stage race title holders , national marathon title holders, world junior champions , Australian multisport champions, national xc title holders, XCO, Short course, enduro , world 24 solo hour champions, 6 Olympic representatives, Australian junior champions, national 24 hour solo champions. This year we already have current World XC Eliminator World champ Paul Vander Ploeg, Australian Women’s Marathon Champ Melisa Ansset , plus national stage race, marathon and xc enduro winners such as Rebecca Locke, Naomi Williams, National Female Masters Marathon champ Traci Lonergan , World number 2 world cup u23 Rebecca Henderson either signed up already or indicating they will be back for 2014.

The vibe of the thing

Equally as exciting for us as the elites attending is the interstate and overseas interest from your everyday riders in this years race, as bringing lots of new people together for 4 days of bike madness is what we love to see.

Last year the event culminated in presentations ceremony and after party with local bands Matt Bayes Blues, Guthrie, and MOFO curator and cycling advocate Brian Ritchie and friends. Elite rider trophies and awards were presented by Mike Tomalaris from SBS Cycling Central. This year we’ve got more entertainment lined up and for us the festival and race village environment is as important as the racing. Ride, relax ,eat and repeat.

Further enquiries: Storm Bay Promotions, Race Director – Duncan Giblin

Phone 0448 599 612

Website www.hellfirecup.com

E-mail [email protected]

F- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Avantiplus-Hellfire-Cup/128392527345522

Interview: Duncan Giblin – One Hell(fire) of a Battle

The upside is that this crew have been forced to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Flow sat down with Event Director, Duncan Giblin, at the end of the four-day race to talk about some of the battles he’d faced getting this event off muddy ground.

 

Duncan, first fires and then floods. The environmental impact on the event is obvious. Can you talk us through some of the extra challenges you’ve had in putting on Hellfire Cup that riders might not be aware of?

From the outset we wanted to put on a race that we felt suited the riding that we really like doing in this area. It’s a very beautiful area. One of the big challenges for us was the process of change within the forestry industry that was going on, so getting land tenure was pretty interesting. One of the land managers that we use was a major forest holdings group that went into bankruptcy. Then with the Tas Forests agreement going on, where there’s changes to things like logging access, there was uncertainty about who was going was to manage the land and what people were going to be able to do there. So there was a potential risk to access for stuff we’d previously been given permission to use. We now have all this resolved which is great for the event’s future.

Heavy rain before the event meant time went into remedial trail work. The event village was still in construction when competitors started to arrive.
Heavy rain before the event meant time went into remedial trail work. The event village was still in construction when competitors started to arrive.

One of the other challenges is that we’re in a smaller economy here, where unemployment’s really high. That means there’s not a lot of extra government money around for new projects or a lot of cash around for corporate sponsorship.

Financially too, running it again the second time after the postponement, you almost run two events off the one income. For your first major event like that you always take a loss anyway but that made it harder.

Do you think that following the influx of mountain bikers to the regional community over the last week, local businesses might be more likely to come on board for future events?

Yeh. A lot of local businesses and community groups have been fairly heavily involved and inundated with the bushfire recovery itself. Everybody from the mayor to the guy who runs pub are part of the bushfire recovery group. I think they’re at a place now where were they are really able to embrace mountain bike development in the area. They have been really supportive of the event and its future.

 

Do you think that for some of the local community, having seen the amount and the type of people coming in, might be more interested in being involved in future events too?

Totally, they needed to see it first. We had a few concerns about traffic management from community members. Now people in the community are there cooking sausages for riders and asking when the next race is on. They were a major part of providing alternative venues to keep the first Hellfire going.

 

On the topic of the race just past, things were looking good for the rescheduled event, but then the rain came to town. What did you have to do, logistically speaking, in order to keep the stages running each day?

Our goal was to try to make sure that we’ve got a rider experience that people can engage in that’s worthwhile. We also had to work out competitor safety.

What a day like that looks like is we come home from the race village and we look at maps, and weather maps and we then go back out in the bush and we make changes to the trail at night. We reset a whole course while we’ve got a little bit of daylight and then drive back home and do the admin and answer the emails. We also do the work plan to get the next stage happening. We’d do that until about five in the morning, then get up and actually run the stage.

 

Did you also have to deal with road closures and permission to access different areas to hold the redesigned stages?

Yeh, so when we change a stage, people might think it would be a great idea to just go somewhere else. But to get access to the public roads and the management of that, that’s a formal process. We had to use routes within our existing road permit.  Also a big thing for us is that we use properties that have shared use, so if we change something it affects so many other people. It changes the plans and the requirement on the volunteers, it puts them under more pressure too.

We also have to look at the logistics of the race itself when we change; how do we manage our timing, how do we manage our basic rider comfort and safety, how do we manage the concerns and the requirements of the media guys and the promotion opportunities for our sponsors.

 

The event centre was relocated twice during the event. The third one was the best of the lot.
The event centre was relocated twice during the event. The third one was the best of the lot.

Did you ever think of just calling it off?

We thought about it, but basically we didn’t come this far after the fires to just pull the pin on it. People came here to ride and so we were going to ride. That’s basically that.

 

Given the time that has gone into making these decisions, do you think the things you learned from this event make for a much better management plan for next year?

Well we know we’ve got a good fire management plan, we know we’ve got a good flood management plan. Look really, I don’t have any worry about our abilities to adapt the racing, but what we are focused on is dealing with adverse circumstances and maintaining the quality of the event.

 

When the sun turns on, this is a really beautiful part of the world.
When the sun turns on, this is a really beautiful part of the world.

What improvements do you think you’d make to the event overall having seen the experiences riders had this year?

I think anything that supports that atmosphere that we have, which just makes it an enjoyable experience. I have a background putting on raves and other events, and I like to bring that whole feeling to bike races. Our 24 hour events have always had great a great atmosphere, I want to improve that, work on it more.

We’ll have an elite only option so it’s fairer on age category guys competing against them. We had hot showers that we were going to use at the race village and the problem when we had to relocate is that we weren’t able to set those up. And they should have been set up earlier.

We’ve engaged a site manager for next year so we can get earlier set up and more transferable services. The lunches will be more substantial and we are looking at increasing the variety for the evening meals including some more gourmet product. We’ll also have an electronic timing system that will be used for the 2014 event.

 

Some riders have been saying they’d like to see less prize money and more funds going into ‘all you can eat’ kind of catering.  At the same time, the amount of prize money pitches the Hellfire Cup, in terms of the public perception and marketing, as a world class event, which gets people here. What are your thoughts on that?

We are planning to improve of the quality of all services, including food for competitors, without compromising an attractive prize pool for professional riders. We want the experience to be great for all riders punter or pro.

If you build it they will come.
If you build it they will come.

What does it mean having so many people from all over the country, as well as high-profile international riders, come to the event?

It’s really nice to be supported like that. I think for us it makes us more determined provide riders with great trails and good times. It’s been really good for the local community and most people have been really happy about being part of that community recovery, just by coming here and riding their bikes. It also shows that people are interested in what we’re up to and what we want to do. Although it’s been hard over the last 18 months, it makes us more determined to actually provide a better experience and support our local community by having people here.