Gran Fondo Festival Organisation calls on local community

Help needed

Jamie Jansen

Feature Writer

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Volunteers needed for the inaugural Port Douglas Gran Fondo. Image: supplied
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Port Douglas is getting ready for what is to become one of the biggest events in our region. With the preparations for the inaugural Gran Fondo Festival being in full swing the organisation is calling on you, the local community.

The festival organisation has set aside a small budget to donate to various local community groups and charities who are able to provide them with volunteers to help run the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival.

Bade Stapleton, founder and managing director of Connect Sport Australia, said they can’t run these major events without the wonderful support from volunteers. 

“By volunteering to assist us to run the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival you will not only help us showcase our region to our visitors, but also provide an opportunity for our locals to experience this beautiful road like never before,” he told Newsport.

He added that they need approximately 30 volunteers on Saturday 10 September and 60 volunteers on Sunday 11 September.

What to expect?

The roles for the volunteers would range from registration, pedestrian crossings, marshals on course, aid stations, finish area recovery and assisting with signage and course build.

“All volunteers will receive an official Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival volunteer t-shirt, food and drinks and sunscreen are provided throughout the day. It will be an early start for our volunteers but your day will be over by the latest 2.00pm. You are sure to have a lot of fun too!”

Excitement is building up

With only about a month to go before the event kicks off, Mr Stapleton said the excitement is building up.

“Riders are coming from WA, SA, TAS, VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD and as far away as New Zealand,” he said.

“Plus, with our locals discount we have had heaps of locals registering for the ride, especially for the 48 km Medio Fondo from Palm Cove to Port Douglas.

“We will have close to 1,000 riders in our first year, but this event is expected to grow each year with numbers expected to grow to 3,000+.

“With riders bringing an average of 1.5 people with them we are expecting 2,500 people to be in Port Douglas in 2022.

“As the ride isn’t a race, people have plenty of time to stop, take photos and really enjoy this spectacular road that is right on our doorstep.”

The last preparations

“Everything's coming together with Saturday and Saturday night shaping up to be a great spectator event,” Mr Stapleton said.

“We have criterium racing, a 2.2km loop circuit, starting at 12.00pm where locals can come down and enjoy watching riders racing around the circuit in graded races.

“We also have a dedicated women’s race to give the ladies an opportunity to race against one another, a race for the juniors and plenty of activities for the kids.

“The Hemingway’s Brewery Sprint kicks off at 6.00pm where we see two riders at a time racing down the 250 metre straight on Wharf Street with the finish line right outside Choo Choos at the Marina.

“We will have local bands, Mark Beretta from Sunrise and 7 Sport doing the commentary as the excitement builds while the riders battle it out under lights to find our fastest man and woman on a bike.”

Would your community group like to get involved? You can send an email to Bade Stapleton at badeconnectsport.comauor call on 0407 114 439. More info about the event here.

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