Australia's 24-hour race organisers seem to be battling to see who can offer the longest and most interesting race courses. A few weeks ago the Scott 24-Hour in Canberra boasted a 39km course with two distinct loops and now the Kona 24-hour (December 1-2) in Forrest, Victoria is offering 60km of trails in three loops.
Race director Kristjan “Snozza” Snorrason is raving about the quality of the trails in the area around the Victoria country town of Forrest. “[They are] best I have ever seen. I know it is a big call, but they have to be ridden to be believed,” he says. The course will feature, “tight and twisty tea-tree tracks, curvy trails that disappear around giant ferns and unbelievable berm rides through beautiful rainforest.”
Snozza plans to mix up the 24-hour race format with an unusual twist. The race will use one of the three loops during the first daylight stretch, another at night and a third for the finishing loops on Sunday morning. The idea is to have a “rollercoaster single track to get things started, a speedy flowing loop for night laps and then something fresh to test your skills in the morning,” he says.
Renowned trail builder Glen Jacobs has built many of the Forrest trails. Jacobs was responsible for the legendary 1996 world championships course in Cairns, Australia and has been working on the courses at Mt Stromlo, Canberra, Australia for the 2009 world’s. Those trails have also been getting raves.
But you don’t get great trails without local knowledge and local trail builder Jeff Fox has also been instrumental in constructing the tracks, along with Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment.
“The quality of his work is fantastic,” says Snozza. “It puts him up there with the best trail builders in the world. Jeff showed us well over 30km of different trails that were all worthy of being in the event! We can’t have a loop that does justice to all of them, but don’t want riders to miss out, hence the three course concept.”
For a flavour of the trails on offer, take a look at the video featuring local hero Jess Douglas.
Race centre will be at the Yaugher-Forrest football ground where the football club will be serving spit roast and beer. Entries are limited to 800, either as solo riders or in teams of between two and six riders or teams of 10.
For more information see the Full Gas Promotions website.