This year’s event offered a few new firsts, some desirable others not. This was the first time the event has been run over 5 days, with it being split between Juniors at the beginning of the week and Seniors racing in the second half of the week. The unexpected and undesirable component was the weather that forced the lifts at Thredbo to go on wind hold. This is the first time in the history of the event I can remember this happening, and I have been going to this event for the last 15 years.
2 teachers, 6 days, 32 boys, 5 races, 1500 competitors, 192 schools, there is so much to cover from this huge event. Mr Griffiths and myself split forces with Mr Griffiths supporting the Year 7 and 8 boys on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, while I covered the event from Wednesday onwards to support the boys in Years 9, 10 and 11.
The main attraction here is the gravity events, which included the classic downhill, Cannonball, a more moderate gravity descent on the Flow trail, that is most accessible for all levels of ability and lastly the All Mountain trail that utilises the new Thredbo Gondola. The other less popular event is Cross Country, with only a hand full taking on the challenge, and achieving some respectable results. Oh, did I say this event was massive. In Division 3, Year 7 and 8, it was common to have 300 boys competing in each of their races in their division. Division 2 numbers were even stronger with 500 boys in the Year 9 and 10 age group. And, Division 1, sported up to 120. There were girls competing in each division and even Divisions 4 and 5 representing Primary school age riders.
It might be impossible to report on every boy that competed from the College but I will do my best.
Division 1. Taj Tegart was our best senior rider, a seasoned competitor, often found racing his MTB in events across the state. Taj is a very capable and serious rider. His results were Flow 90th, All Mountain 20th and Cannonball 64th. Kalani Thompson also from Year 11 and a local rider also completed the same 3 races in reasonable times and finished in one piece, despite getting a flat tyre and then losing his front brakes on the way down in his last race.
Division 2. It was nearly impossible to look good when you just analyse the results alone. But hats off to all the competitors who readied themselves for the event. Taking opportunities to practice the trails, prepare and maintain their bikes and give it their best shot despite their experience. The results in the Flow competition give you a reasonable idea, with 496 competitors. Adam Blackbourn 282nd, Lachlan Burnell 168th, Tom Cunial 36th, Cooper Jeffree 316th, Dylan Lester 414th, Ashton Luck 101st, Andrew Silva 319th, Noah Threadgate 472nd, Jesse Tulloch 490th, Nicholas Happe 417th, Oliver Hirst 274th, Nate Long 388th, Will Mason 182nd, Oliver Penrose 248th, Jack Sheppard 405th and Corey Wilton 169th.
Some standouts in this division were Tom Cunial, with these additional results 28th in All Mountain and 89th in Cannonball. Tom is also a quiet achiever with a good handle on the MTB. A frequent competitor at state events and a very capable rider. And both Oliver Penrose and Corey Wilton in Year 9, will be ones to watch next year. With Oliver getting 54th in the Cross Country and 146th in All Mountain. While Corey getting 73rd in Cannonball.
Division 3. The weather impacted on this Division the most with Monday afternoon putting the lifts on wind hold and the whole of Tuesday. The racing on Tuesday and Wednesday were swapped. So that Cross Country was on Tuesday and Flow was transferred to Wednesday. This did not suit all competitors and some missing this event due to accommodation restrictions. Again the Flow results are the easiest to report on, with 300 competitors in this boys division. Cohen Armstrong 80th, Sebastian Curcio 20th, Nate Lewins 241st, Damian McLean 266th, Beau Rejske 157th, Bowen Sharrock 57th, Jude Kiley 285th, Lawson Long 188th and Sam Nettle 225th. Unfortunately these boys were unable to race against the clock but did represent the College by attending this event, Bailey Jacobs, Xavier Bridger, Lucas Cicero, Daimen Fiakos and Lennox Gripton.
By far the best results and up and coming rider was Sebastian Curcio. With results of 18th in Cross Country and 21st in Cannonball, this young man is a legend. In his Division, as a competitor in all the events ran over the 2 days Sebastian finished in 11th place overall. That is really something when you realise that there was over 300 competitors in his Division. Congratulations Sebastian.
I would like to thank all the parents for their support in this event. And I would like to thank Mr Griffiths for taking time out from his family to support the boys and their parents at this year’s event.
Mr Geoff Volk
Mountain Bike Coordinator