Mansfield Courier

Wild ride from Sydney to Hobart

- By PAM ZIERK-MAHONEY

THE Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is known around the world as tough, dangerous, but thrilling.

In a different Sydney to Hobart event which took place last week - was the not so dangerous, and not so thrilling, but still very much tough cycle ride which passed through Mansfield on Friday.

The Variety Children’s Charity (formerly The Variety Club) is this year celebratin­g 40 years of supporting children’s health services and schools - empowering Australian children who are sick, disadvanta­ged or have special needs to gain mobility, independen­ce and self-esteem.

For the second year in a row a peloton of 16 philanthro­pic, lycraclad cyclists, including founder of the event Christophe­r Mapp and members of the Wild Oats yacht crew, pedalled their way from Sydney to Hobart in the epicride4k­ids challenge.

The 15 day event saw changes to the team throughout the journey but several of the cyclists rode all the way, including Mr Mapp and three members of the Wild Oats team.

Bryce Ruthenberg, Steve Motyjarvin and Nathan Ellis are part of the 11-man yacht crew who chose to ride the highways instead of riding the waves.

Mr Ruthenberg said Wild Oats set the Sydney to Hobart record with 1 day 18 hours - this cycling event would take some 15 days but also took in spectacula­r countrysid­e and views.

Other members of the Wild Oats crew to take part at various stages were Mark Richards, Ian Murray, Josh Whittaker and John Hildebrand.

On reaching Hobart some 30 riders in all would arrive in lycra and on bikes to commemorat­e the end of their challenge.

Mr Mapp said it was hoped that $1 million would be raised this year during the event.

“Each rider is doing their own fundraisin­g, some on a large scale others just micro fundraisin­g, but it all goes into the mix,” he said.

Over the two years of the event a target of $1.2m was set.

The children’s charity was first started by Mr Mapp’s father as The Variety Club, and an offshoot by Mr Mapp’s mother with Variety Ladies Club.

Mr Mapp took over the reins of the charity more than two years ago and introduced the cycling event, which adds to the Variety Bash - an annual car rally which takes in various routes around Australia.

Mr Mapp said there were 133 different special needs areas which get support from the organisati­on with many more requests added yearly.

Today, Variety delivers more than $800,000 every month in individual and organisati­onal equipment grants across Australia.

A keen cyclist, Mr Mapp is an entreprene­ur and weekend warrior who proudly points out he rides his BMC team machine - the same model as Cadel Evans.

The cycling event was supported by the Mapp family, Audi, Higer, Wiggle, Wilson Asset Management and the Tasmanian Government.

To donate to this worthy charity or to learn more about Variety Children’s Charity go to www. varietycyc­le.com.au.

 ??  ?? SETTING OFF: The 16 man team from Variety Children’s Charity set off from Mansfield’s Botanic Park on the next leg of their journey from Sydney to Hobart.
SETTING OFF: The 16 man team from Variety Children’s Charity set off from Mansfield’s Botanic Park on the next leg of their journey from Sydney to Hobart.
 ??  ?? WILD RIDE: Members of the Wild Oats Yacht Crew riding the highways for children’s charity in Mansfield last week were Bryce Ruthenberg, Steve Motyjarvin and Nathan Ellis.
WILD RIDE: Members of the Wild Oats Yacht Crew riding the highways for children’s charity in Mansfield last week were Bryce Ruthenberg, Steve Motyjarvin and Nathan Ellis.

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