After lengthy discussions with our key stakeholders, we have decided to reschedule the inaugural running of the Sunraysia Safari Rally for August 16-19, 2017 (subject to approval). This has been determined by a number of factors, not the least being the potential impact of the event on properties that have experienced excessive rainfall in the past month, but also due to the number of entries being far less than expected.
We’ve been greatly encouraged by the level of enthusiasm from competitors, and the commitment from those who have either entered this year’s rally already, or indeed have indicated they are going to. However, we have reached a critical milestone in the planning for the event, and we simply don’t have enough competitors to be able to make the event work the way we all want it to. So, rather than run the rally as it is, we have decided to reschedule, and use that time to get everything in place, so we can promote the sport in the best possible manner.
The success of the Sunraysia Safari Rally is of critical importance to Cross Country Rallying in Australia, and the one thing we're determined to do is to get it absolutely right from the outset, so we establish a firm base on which to build the sport into the future. More events give competitors more justification to invest in their vehicles, and we need to grow the sport again in a sustainable and financially viable manner. There's been too many false starts and ill-fated events in previous years, so when this event runs, it has to be as good as we can possibly make it, with the appropriate level of commitment and support from competitors and the other key stakeholders alike.
Whilst we have developed what we all believe is a fantastic concept, and set a brilliant course, we have clearly failed to generate the level of interest from competitors, and indeed a broad awareness of the event being on! This is something we need to work on, and will be our major focus over the coming months. We need your help to get the message out and promote the Sunraysia Safari Rally, and we need to find how to reach the competitors who have either found out too late to enter for this year, or who still haven’t found out at all.
Disappointment aside, this decision is not a bad thing, and there’s certainly no “doom and gloom” from our end, we don’t have time for that! We’ve already begun planning the rescheduling, putting a timeline together to make that work. We’ll be back on the ground in Mildura in early September (to give it time hopefully to dry out!), putting things in place in preparation for the event. For all the competitors who have entered already, I’ll be contacting you personally to arrange the full refund of your entry fees. We won’t be rolling entries over to the rescheduled event, and we will continue to fund the setup of the rally ourselves, and with the support of our corporate partners.
On a personal note, can I please acknowledge the outstanding commitment and support from all of our key stakeholders: the property owners, Mildura Rural City Council, ARB 4x4 Accessories, the Golden River Holiday Park, Mercure Hotel Mildura, Cooper Tires, Motorsport Safety and Rescue, Black Magic Media, Rally Safe, CAMS, Motorcycling Victoria, and of course the tireless efforts of our team of volunteers in Mildura, and my amazing team at RMA. Without the ongoing support of all of these people, the Sunraysia Safari Rally simply wouldn’t be happening at all.
So, August 16-19, 2017 (subject to approval). Don’t say this time you haven’t been given enough notice!! You’ll be seeing a lot more shortly in relation to planning for the event, and the increase in marketing and promotions we’ll be undertaking will hopefully have the desired effect. We’ll throw everything we have at this event to ensure it’s as successful as it can be, and needs to be, and I cannot stress to you how critical it is that we have the support of all competitors and corporate partners alike. I’m putting all of our available resources into the Sunraysia Safari Rally, and we’re totally committed. We need you to be as well.
Please contact me directly at any time to discuss further. All advice and assistance is greatly appreciated.