‘It will be quite a spec­ta­cle’

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Race fans will be given the op­por­tu­nity to watch high-oc­tane lawn mower rac­ing as part of the Be­nalla Fes­ti­val for the first time with Moorn­gag Mower Mania on Satur­day, Novem­ber 11.

Ride-on mower rac­ing, one of Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar and fast­grow­ing ex­treme sports, is still in its in­fancy with the first race tak­ing place in Har­ri­etville, Vic­to­ria in 1978.

Since then the sport has spread across the coun­try with ride-on mower rac­ing as­so­ci­a­tions in every state and ter­ri­tory.

The idea for Moorn­gag Mower Mania was given to or­gan­iser An­drew Lavis when he was ap­proached by a lo­cal group last year.

‘‘We were ap­proached by a group that was aware of our venue and thought it would be good for a race,’’ Mr Lavis said.

‘‘Noth­ing came of that, but it was still in our minds, so we ap­proached the main body of mower rac­ers in Aus­tralia and we went from there.

‘‘They came out and looked at the track and thought it was ter­rific.

‘‘We have cleared the area on the western side of the Moorn­gag Hall.

‘‘The lo­cal farmer did all the work to get the track ready.

‘‘Our en­deav­our was to get the track look­ing good and ap­peal­ing, know­ing the mow­ers will de­stroy it through­out the event.

‘‘But we are ready to do any re­pair work to the track as and when it’s re­quired.

‘‘We have pro­fes­sional cater­ers do­ing the food. We’ve got the swirly potato on a stick that ev­ery­one likes.

‘‘We’ve got a photo booth and there will be face painting for the kids.

‘‘We’ve got a PA sys­tem, and we’ll have com­men­tary on the races as they’re run, it will be quite a spec­ta­cle.’’

The event will in­clude an area where the pub­lic can get up close, have a look at the rac­ing mow­ers and talk to the com­peti­tors.

Or­gan­is­ers are ex­pect­ing more than 1000 spec­ta­tors to at­tend the event, which will be opened by Be­nalla ru­ral City Mayor Don Firth, and all prof­its will go to Moorn­gag Hall.

‘‘Our hall and the area out­side is a great re­source that we have not utilised very well un­til now,’’ Mr Lavis said.

‘‘So the ob­jec­tive here is to help gen­er­ate money to re­place chairs and raise money for the up­keep of the hall.

‘‘If it’s suc­cess­ful we want to make it an an­nual event, and all the feed­back we’re get­ting tells us its go­ing to be a great day.’’

The event takes place at Moorn­gag Hall and Recre­ational Re­serve, 2206 Sa­maria Rd, Moorn­gag on Novem­ber 11 from 9 am to 3 pm.

En­try is $2 per per­son or $10 per car.

If you would like to en­ter to race or want more in­for­ma­tion, visit the Moorn­gag mower Mania page on Face­book.

Ac­tion aplenty: Lawn Mower rac­ing will be part of the Be­nalla Fes­ti­val for the first time when Moorn­gag Mower Mania drops the flag on Novem­ber 11.

Ex­cit­ing: Burn­ing rub­ber on a ride-on mower.

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