The Bowral Classic was crowned Australian Event of the Year in two categories at a gala awards ceremony in Caloundra last night. Australia's newest cycling event beat all-comers to win Best New Event and Best Community Event at the hotly contested Australian Event Awards for 2017:.
Two separate judging panels each determined that the Bowral Classic was a stand-out in its category, beating hundreds of entries received from every state and territory, when handing out two of the coveted Awards.
In winning the Best Community Event trophy, Bowral Classic beat a stellar line up of finalists that included the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In winning Best New Event it crossed the line ahead of the likes of Usain Bolt who was the star attraction of fellow finalist the Nitro Athletics series. Now in its ninth year, the Australian Event Awards are considered the most prestigious prize of their kind among industry leaders and event organisers from around the nation.
From Dream To Reality
The Bowral Classic was conceived and organised by Sydney-based family-owned business Yaffa Media, the publisher of Australia's pre-eminent cycling publication Bicycling Australia.
It quickly captured the imagination of cyclists everywhere. An initial target of 1,000 riders was blown out of the water as more than 3,000 cyclists from around the nation and eight overseas countries descended on the historic township of Bowral in the New South Wales Southern Highlands on 23 October 2016 to take part in the first Bowral Classic.
Event organiser James Yaffa devised and oversaw a media and marketing campaign that generated $3m worth of exposure for the event, from an investment of just $50k.
Huge Boost For Local Economy
Nearly half of the 3,023 riders that took part brought their families to make a weekend of it, injecting $1.5m into the local economy, while participants raised $109k for a variety of charities.
"We are absolutely over the moon to have the Bowral Classic recognised as Australia's best event by this prestigious awards program," Mr Yaffa said.
"Our double success is testament to the enormous hard work from a lot of people and the tremendous faith shown in us by key stakeholders, sponsors and all the cyclists that took part on the day."
The Bowral Classic was also a National finalist for Best Achievement in Marketing, Communication & Sponsorship, a category won by the giant Tourism Australia.
Co-chair of the Australian Event Awards Judging Panel, Sandy Hollway AO said the Awards put a spotlight on the industry suppliers delivering incredible technical, design, marketing and other achievements, often behind the scenes.
"Once again, the winners of this year’s Australian Event Awards demonstrate the strength and variety of Australia’s events industry," he said.
"From outstanding events in regional areas, to events raising awareness and funds for important causes, bringing Australian brands to life with innovative activations, tourism events pumping money into local economies."
More than 3000 riders took to the start line for the debut Bowral Classic in 2016.
The Bowral Classic for 2017 is on Sunday October 22.
Current Sponsors of the Bowral Classic for 2017
South Coast BMW
Destination Southern Highlands
The Fixed Wheel
Current Sponsors of the Clare Classic for 2018
Pon Holdings (Cervelo)
Clare Valley Winemakers
Echelon Sports (SRAM and ZIPP)
Current Sponsors of the Noosa Classic for 2018