Kent St was flooded with team members and supporters at the completion of the race yesterday.
Kent St was flooded with team members and supporters at the completion of the race yesterday. Nat Bromhead

Volunteers powering tech challenge

IT’S A hive of activity behind the scenes of the RACQ Technology Challenge Maryborough on both the organising and racing sides.

Event co-ordinator Kim Griffith said about 300 volunteers were involved including a Maryborough State High School hospitality teacher and students manning the 24-hour Pit Stop Cafe serving coffee and cakes, Lions and Rotary groups serving food and drinks and the Moonaboola Sea Scouts group supplying carting sustenance to race marshals and volunteers around the track.

As well as the HPV race, the Technology Challenge includes displays, talks, children's activities, a jumping castle, solar powered car and boat events, CO2-powered mini-dragster races, a skate ramp, robot challenges, pushcart races and a cycle criterium.

And after the HPV race ends, the packing up begins and for at least four hours it's all hands to the pump to take away water barriers, bales of hay, signs, the pedestrian bridge and to pack up camping gear and race vehicles.

“It's been absolutely brilliant,” Ms Griffith said.

“Everybody was so organised, so committed and so special – that's everyone from competitors, volunteers, sponsors, teams and the council's event crew.

“We couldn't ask for nicer weather or nicer people.”

The racing teams also put in massive efforts with many competitors only getting four hours of sleep (and some supporting teachers and parents even less), repairing bikes at all hours, helping competitors in and out of their machines in a hurry during pit stops and barracking for their mates.

Year 10 competitor Matt Stephensen, who rode with the Gladstone High Sharks team, said fatigue was a challenge and the final morning of the race was pretty tough.

“The later in the event it is the harder it gets,” he said.

“At three o'clock in the morning it gets pretty difficult because you're all rugged up, then you've got to take it all off to go riding.”

The Sharks team, made up of eight year 10 boys, placed sixth overall and second in the junior boys division.



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