Club gears up for bigger Southern Peaks next year

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Austin Ridley jumps some logs in last year’s urban downhill.
Camera IconAustin Ridley jumps some logs in last year’s urban downhill. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany Mountain Bike Club is already planning a bigger and better Southern Peaks events next year, after making the tough decision to cancel this year’s events to avoid a large financial disaster.

Southern Peaks is estimated to cost roughly $110,000 with the Albany Mountain Bike Club not wanting to risk putting their club in a poor position.

Receiving funding and grants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic would have been difficult, putting a significant financial risk on the event.

The decision to cancel the event six months out allows the club more time to source funding and apply for grants to ensure Southern Peaks in 2021 is a financial success.

Brock Kiewiet in action last year.
Camera IconBrock Kiewiet in action last year. Credit: Laurie Benson

AMBC president Nick Walls said it was a tough but necessary one for the event.

“COVID-19 was the major driver behind the early cancellation,” he said.

“We run it on a tight budget and we were a bit scared going through funding and trying to get grants in these times.

“It’s such a big cost and we couldn’t afford to lose money so we decided not to put our club at risk.

“The registrations would have been down as well, if we had even 5 per cent less numbers we would have been struggling.”

Southern Peaks involves a variety of events, including an urban downhill race from Mt Clarence trails and into the Albany CBD, a gruelling XCM race, and a jumps competition.

Harper O'Donnell jumps in last year’s event.
Camera IconHarper O'Donnell jumps in last year’s event. Credit: Laurie Benson

Walls said next year’s event will still run on the September long weekend.

“We can aim for more grants and funding next year, we have a lot of time to get on to that stuff early now,” he said.

“There are more opportunities for funding next year now, we were a bit late on some last year so we missed out.

“Sponsors are already on board for next year and still happy to be involved.”

“We will run it on the same September long weekend as it doesn’t clash with anything else.”

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