After competing at four rounds of the Australian National Series this year I can honestly say I’m enjoying the racing and travelling.
I love the Australian National Series and here’s why
- Events are evenly spread across the country – There has never been a more truly national series in Australia’s history, visiting every state in the country (except for the state that hosts the National Championships). This gives riders the opportunity to see how they compare to Australia’s best in their home state without having to cross borders.
- Open to all classes – The Australian National Series has been running for many years but was closed to certain classes. This was great to highlight Australia’s best pro class riders and some younger riders but it wasn’t enough to draw spectators at the events and lacked atmosphere at some venues. Opening the series to all classes gives everyone the opportunity to benefit from the series and in most cases has brought bigger crowds back to these events.
- Equity across classes – This is new to BMX racing in Australia, for every male class there is an equal female class. Sure some classes are combined due to smaller entry numbers, but over time I’m sure that will change.
- Meeting new people and catching up with old friends – After racing BMX for decades I have met a bunch of great people, some life long friends who I still see long after they have moved on from BMX and I still meet new people and make new friends. The Australian National Series is no different. I look forward to the road trips with the crew and catching up with other racers just as much as I enjoy the racing.
- Different tracks – One of the key draw cards for me is new challenges. Racing at the same tracks year in year out can be a little…well…same-ish. Getting the opportunity to ride new and different tracks is refreshing. I also look for local dirt jumps to get the most out of the trip.
- Different competition – As you travel around the country riders may compete at certain states due to life’s everyday limitations. So each track might draw a different crowd which is great because racing against different people keeps it interesting.
- Time is a factor – This year I had to weigh up going to the National Championships and taking about 2 weeks off work in one hit to go to a single location or compete at National Series rounds. I opted to travel to National Series races, because it’s spread through the year, offers more tracks with different competition and I would get away with taking less time off work and I could spread the cost over the duration of the series making it very affordable.
There are of course some issues with it
- Splitting the race over 2 days – I find it unusual that a single event would be run as a split event over two days. Two motos on Saturday afternoon, one moto on Sunday and finals. They run through quite quickly, and you do get on the road early on Sunday to head home, which is great, but for all that effort from riders, spectators and volunteers I feel it would be more effective to run separate events on Saturday and Sunday. Two events per stop. Sure there might be extra costs involved, but double the race action, double the excitement and double the drama that unfolds through a year long series. The final round at Launceston is set as a one day event, it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
- Not well supported by locals/low entry count – I’ve competed at four rounds of the series so far and have seen the patterns where classes are made up mostly of travelling riders and very few locals. The locals who do compete are generally those who are following the series and a sprinkling of others who aren’t. If I wasn’t following the series I know I’d be wanting to get in on the action for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that it’s another race. On top of that the entry fees are reasonable and for all the reasons I mentioned earlier.
If you have a national series event come to your state make sure you join in the fun, after all that’s why most of use got into the sport in the first place. There can be only one person cross the line in first, but we can all be winners.
Posted in: News