ONE of the most exhilarating and heart pumping sports, street luge, is heading to Cooma this April.
Street luge is a gravity powered sport where riders lie on their backs on a specially made board with wheels and navigate their way down hills on a paved road reaching speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour.
It’s all happening on April 13 and 14 at Mount Gladstone which will be transformed from a scenic lookout to a 1.2 kilomtres luge track.
The event, Cherry Bomb, presented by Bomb the Snowies, will attract some of the best street lugers across the country, for the two day event which includes coaching and racing in the sports of Street Luge, Classic Luge and Gravity Bikes.
Cherry Bomb will be an Australian first combining coaching available to the public and professional racing at the same event.
On the Saturday members of the public are invited to the event to take part in the offered sports, enjoying their own race then returning on Sunday to see how the professionals do it.
For the professionals it is a Regional Championship race with place getters taking home points toward an Australian title.
Two time world champion Nick Duffield, Australian champion Nick McKirdy and David Kelly from Cairns are some of the professionals who will compete at the event.
It will be the second street luge event to take place in the area following the Bomb the Snowies event in March 2011 on Rocky Plains Road. Event organiser Tim Gregory, of Berridale, was excited about the event and being able to offer members of the public the opportunity to try a sport he loves and see the professionals in action.
“We want to push it right across the board and allow people in the area to have a go,” he said.
“We will teach them [how to luge], specifically breaking techniques.”
Mr Gregory, an avid skier, took up street luge in 1998 and it quickly became his off season passion.
He has competed at three world champion events at Bathurst and travelled across Australia taking part in street luge competition.
He said there were about 13 street lugers in the area and on the south coast who came from
all different backgrounds from scientists, landscapers, car detailers, fisherman and journalists to name a few.
He said there was a sense of achievement and conquering fears when taking part in street luge.
He said there was a perception that street luge was a dangerous sport but in fact was very safe.
Riders always wear the highest levels of protective gear when riding. This includes full racing grade leathers, full face motorbike grade helmet, boots, gloves and in some cases body armour
“We want to move toward a legitimacy for our sport,” Mr Gregory said.
“We want to enlighten people that we are not out there to get killed and don’t condone riding on main roads or condone riding alone.”
At the Cherry Bomb event hay bales line the track, there are strong regulations, safety equipment rules and tech inspections.
He said the event would also be good for the tourist dollar, attracting new people to visit the town and a younger demographic.
He was hoping to have up to 200 spectators to the alcohol free event over the weekend.
There will be several spectator viewing areas clearly marked along the track and the event is free for spectators.
Anyone wishing to ride must register and pay the entry of $50 which covers mandatory insurance cover and use of equipment and safety gear. To register head to http://www.bombthesnowies.com.au/ before April 8.
Any funds raised will be split and go towards Karen and Sophie’s Big Breakfast in Berridale and the new community centre in Berridale, The Byer.