Mountain bike championships a matter of endurance

On course: Jarrah Cattlin, Tyler Breust and their Sapphire Coast Anglican College mountain bike team are excited to host a championship ride.
On course: Jarrah Cattlin, Tyler Breust and their Sapphire Coast Anglican College mountain bike team are excited to host a championship ride.

Lumen Christi students will be among the riders when the Sapphire Coast Anglican College hosts mountain bike championships on November 17. 

The meet has been five years in the making, say students and teachers. 

The college will host an all-schools three-hour endurance championship – for juniors and seniors – on November 17 with students busily making final preparations. 

It’s a culmination of linking an existing 3km track with a newly crafted 2km section at the front of the college. 

“It’s been about five years coming and been the main goal to have a schools’ race here so it’s pretty good to be able to finally host that,” student and prolific mountain biker Sebastian Weber says. 

The students have had a unique hand in designing and creating the course, with a little guidance from the Tathra MTB club, and even a trip for an accredited lesson in course design. 

“So much of this course has been built by the kids and built by hand – it’s very different to the courses you’ll ride at Tathra or Mandeni,” race director Jake Lambie said.

“We’re hosting the championships so we can show off our track and share what we’ve got here.”

“The original track is fairly hilly and steep, but the new loop is a lot flatter and focused more on flow,” Lambie said. 

Weber said it’s helped the students to learn about course design, but also maintenance. 

“It’s helped us learn what lines are the best as well as course drainage and how to make it sustainable,” he said.

Heading out for a bi-weekly ride on Tuesday, both Lambie and his group of about 10 student riders said there were plenty of technical sections around the loop and a number of features that would let the students get a bit of air time. 

“It’s a nice challenging course, we’ve got some big climbs and some great technical sections,” Lambie said. 

However, the director said some of the more daunting features would be avoided for the round. 

“It’s the first time we’ve had an actual championship like this and we won’t be sure of the calibre of riders taking part – we want everyone to participate and have fun.”

Entries are open to all schools with significant local interest already. 

Entry is $15 per child, which includes a Mountain Bike Australia registration for the day and entries close on November 11. 

There are junior and senior divisions open for riders between Years 6 and 12 with entries in teams of three or four riders.

A Tathra MTB Club ride for adults will also go ahead at 6pm on the same day with a $5 entry fee.

For more information and to register, contact Jake Lambie on jake.lambie@scac.nsw.edu.au.