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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Stawell enjoys a perfect 5 day carnival

Stawell enjoys a perfect 5 day carnival

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1 Stawell enjoys a perfect 5 day carnival on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:16 pm



Gift move 'perfect'
Stawell Times-News
29 Apr, 2011

STAWELL - Stawell Athletic Club has won praise for its move to stage the Australia Post Stawell Gift over four days this year.

The club had been in talks with promoters and sponsors for several months leading up to the 2010 carnival, wanting to have a firm plan in place early for 2011, to ensure any change to a four day carnival due to the clash between Easter Monday and Anzac Day, could be achieved with the best outcomes for all.

Stawell Athletic Club president, Charlie Baird, said the move was certainly a winner.

"We haven't been able to finalise all the gate figures just yet, but the crowd numbers looked great over the four days," Mr Baird said.

"The crowd was definitely up on the first two days and Anzac Day was fantastic. We just need to finalise figures for Tuesday, but by all reports, things are looking good. The Tuesday crowd I would say was very similar to last year."

Mr Baird praised his hard working committee for the effort they put in over four days and believed the initiative actually had the impact of lessening the burden on members and promoters Jump Media.

"I spoke to David Culbert a lot over the weekend and he said his staff found it a lot easier spreading the workload over the four days," he said.

"There didn't seem to be that pressure of jumping from race to race, particularly on the final day. Usually on an Easter Monday, things can become very hectic for all."

Mr Baird said obviously the Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival would revert to three days next year, but the club would strive to come up with ways to ensure the smooth running of each event.

"We'll sit down over the next two weeks and go through everything we did, identify what worked and which areas might need a little extra attention," Mr Baird said.

"Obviously from year to year things need to change and we will work through them straight away and start planning now for next year."

Mr Baird said having record prizemoney on offer at this year's carnival certainly proved a drawcard, with entries in the 120 metre Stawell Gift up and the support events attracting star athletes, including Olympic distance runner Craig Mottram, who finished third off scratch in the Town Hall Hotel Grampians Backmarkers Handicap over 3200 metres.

"Mottram's run brought the house down," Mr Baird said.

"He ran a fantastic race and the crowd was right behind him, which was great.

"We had excellent running over the entire weekend. The Kenyan, Collins Cheboi winning the 1600 metres on Saturday off scratch in record time was certainly a highlight. You just don't get to see many runs like that at Stawell and the crowd was very appreciative. It added to the whole atmosphere.

"On top of the exciting distance running, we had excellent sprinting and this culminated in one of the closest


ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
While some went to Stawell, others stayed at home.

I read the handicaps for the races that interested me, seeing names of training partners and other SAAL athletes.

I listened live to the race commentaries (and lots of atmospherics and a few quaint advertorials).

At the end of each day, soon after the last race, I read all the results and watched the highlights reels with interviews with Steffenson and Collins and Williams.

Only a day or two after the event and I have been able to view the Gift Final action multiple times and from multiple viewpoints.

All without leaving home. All through the web. Available worldwide. Cool. Very cool.

And over the next few years the video will become better (I would like high definition in real time, to the standard of the wonderful slowmo of the BaySheff) ...

The VAL and Stawell have set a new standard.

Well done, thanks.

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