Cancelled Race to the Sky hillclimb "held to ransom" by landowners

Organiser Tony Quinn has cancelled the 2016 running of the Race to the Sky cillclimb in New Zealand.

Cancelled Race to the Sky hillclimb "held to ransom" by landowners
Ian Ffitch
Brett Hayward
Overall winner Alister McRae
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The event returned the the New Zealand sporting calendar for the first time since 2008 this year, becoming the longest gravel hillclimb in the world thanks to Pikes Peak being paved. Alister McRae took out outright honours in an ex-Possum Bourne Subaru WRX.

However, despite a date having already been locked down for the 2016 event, Quinn has now announced that it won’t be going ahead, citing a disagreement with the landowners as the major factor for his decision.

“A recent decision by the landowners to offer up a significantly reduced term (of 3 years compared to the original 10) for the event to be conducted on their land provides me and my team with little confidence to continue in dealing with the landowner,” read Quinn’s statement.

“In short, we can no longer invest heavily in the promotion of the event when the ‘goal posts’ are changed in this manner.

“I simply see this as an opportunistic act and I will not line the pockets of others in this way nor be held to ransom! This is not how I do business, and neither myself or my team at Highlands have the time or patience to deal with this bullshit.

“Secondly, forging ahead with the event in 2016 and beyond (even to ‘simply cover costs’) is not feasible given that roading costs on the access road have almost tripled in cost from approx. $35,000 (in 2007) to over $90,000 (in 2016).

“Thirdly, some affected (neighbouring) parties are now looking for a ‘hand out’ for potential loss of income. Again, I will not be held to ransom!”


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