South Coast Cycle Challenge postponed

2011-08-18 00:00

A LACK of funds has led to the postponement of the South Coast Cycle Challenge, which was due to take place from September 2 to 4, with organisers saying it is impossible for the race to go ahead.

The highlight of the weekend was to be a cycling race along the coast between Shelly Beach and Port Edward on the Sunday.

The route was considered amongst the best in the province after the 2009 race.

Mark Bolton, chairperson of Dura-Ventures, which is organising the event, confirmed that the decision to postpone the race was made on Monday morning.

“It simply came down to the fact that we were not able to secure the necessary funding for the event to go ahead,” he said.

“We had banked on a sponsorship from Hibiscus Tourism that they were eventually not able to deliver.”

Bolton added that the budget for the event fell short by R30 000 to R35 000 and that entrance fees alone would not have been enough for the project to be feasible.

“We would have needed around 450 riders for it to be worthwhile, and that is never going to happen on the South Coast,” he said.

Hibiscus South Coast Tourism’s Hilda Gabriel acknowledged that an approach had been made for sponsorship for the event.

“We aren’t exempt from the recession and the rand can only go so far,” she said. “It is a fantastic initiative that will be valuable to the South Coast; if it was within our targets then we would have put our money where our mouth is.”

The Witness was due to be a media partner in the event. National sales and marketing general manager, Dave Erasmus, confirmed that the postponement of the race was disappointing.

“It is a shame that the organisers were not able to find a suitable sponsor as the event had potential to be a major crowd-puller, and an annual event of note on the South Coast,” he said.

Bolton said he has not given up on the event taking place this year and earmarked December as a possible month to make a success of the Challenge.

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