The Final Fling Race and Fundraising Results, Thanks and Farewell
By Wild Horizons
December 08, 2017
“I have no idea what I will do in November now. It’s been a memorable 13 Flings. Well done everyone who was part of it. We have all shared a bit of Australian mountain bike history.” Andy Blair, Elite MTB rider and 13 time Flinger.
Across this past weekend the beautiful town of Bundanoon in New South Wales Southern Highlands turned on spectacular riding weather to welcome over 1200 riders to the Final Fling – the iconic Highland Fling mountain bike marathon that for 13 years captured the hearts of mountain bikers to become one of Australia’s longest running and most loved mountain bike events.
The weekend was also a major fundraiser for Save the Children Australia, with race entries, personal fundraising, auctions and fun activities on both days, all contributing to the tally, which on wrap-up of the event is looking to be over $60,000!
The Final Fling had a true mountain bike festival feel with the event HQ being set up at Ferndale Oval across the entire weekend with a host of activities on Saturday, including Kid’s Skills Clinics and the Kid’s Fling (with over 120 kids this year), as well as the return of the original weekend 1km sprint race, the Bundy Clock Challenge – which ended up being decided with a track stand after a tied 2 minute fastest 1km time between veteran elite rider Andy Blair and young-gun Harry Watson.
Saturday also saw Bundanoon host its final Rolloff World Championship. With a new course, and some exceptional trash talk, the battle was better than ever, and for the first time in race history almost saw a female, Kellie Finlay take the rainbow jersey. The final Final however saw Trent Moore crowned Rolloff World Champion by less than a metre.
At dawn on Sunday, for one final time, riders were welcomed by the traditional Highland Fling bagpipes before setting off to race their chosen distance: The Some Fling (23km), Half Fling (55km) or Full Fling (110km).
Whilst the Final Fling was a fundraiser for Save the Children this year, the racing between the elites was still fast and hard, with 2016 winner Brendan Johnston claiming his 4th Fling title, ahead of 13-time Flinger Andy Blair, and QLD rider Michael England. It was also great to welcome back Meaghan Stanton, who took the women’s Full Fling title over Brooke Darlington and Bre Vine.
The team at Wild Horizons would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of the Highland Fling journey across its 13 editions…but now it’s time to split!
A FEW COMMENTS FROM THE FINAL FLING:
“Huw and team, it’s been such a tradition. I think even though the Fling has finished, it will always remain special.” Brendan Johnston
“If I was to pick one word to sum up the day’s experiences at the Highland Fling – every singletrail, every descent, every conversation with the Wild Horizons event team, marshals, Rural Fire and other riders, arriving at the start line, riding strongly through the finish line, a surprise category podium, the post race burger and most of all, feeling like part of the endurance MTB community again – that word would be ‘delighted’. Absolutely delighted. Thank you to each and every one of you for making the Final Fling such a memorable day out.” Kath Bicknell
“The final Fling has been flung. Today I competed (and completed) in the last ever Highland Fling. It’s sad to see such a great event come to an end…the Highland Fling has a particular personal significance for me. It’s the event that got me into mountain biking in general, and in turn has turned my health and fitness around. So thank you Highland Fling.” Ian Grant
KEY RACE RESULTS IN THE 2016 HIGHLAND FLING:
Some Fling Men
Dylan George (1:14:58)
Lucas Bendt (1:07:41)
Jordan Riddle (1:09:23)
Some Fling Women
Verity Evans (1:19:11)
Maizy Evans (1:26:38)
Lucy Cavanough Quince (1:37:55)
Half Fling Men
Luke Brame (2:12:03)
Matthew Dinham (2:12:29)
Craig Gordon (2:13:12)
Half Fling Women
Lucy Mackie (2:44:28)
Allie Blackwell (2:52:35)
Sue Thompson (2:55:48)
Full Fling Men
Brendan Johnston (4:29:50)
Andy Blair (4:34:50)
Michael England (4:44:54)
Full Fling Women
Meaghan Stanton (6:03:37)
Brooke Darlington (6:21:46)
Bre Vine (6:23:51)
Full race and category results are available here.
The Highland Fling was made possible with the support of the following event partners:
- Focus Bikes: Born from a passion for the sport.
- Ground Effect: Gear for the cycling revolution
- World Expeditions: One of the world’s leading adventure travel companies
- GU Energy: GU FOR IT with fast food for athletes
- Maxxis: One of the world’s most trusted tire brands
- 4 Pines Brewing Company: Because we really, really love beer.
A full list of Sponsors can be found here.
Copyright © Wild Horizons. 12.08.2017. All Rights Reserved.