Safety, Rules & Cut-Off Times

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RACE RULES

Rapid Ascent has sole discretion to alter or amend the race format or the rules in order to increase the safety of participants or for any other reason deemed appropriate.

The following race rules apply to all competitors in the GOGG 97km and GOGG 49km races:

  • Competitors must start and finish the full course on a non-motorised bicycle.
  • Competitors must ride the complete course as marked and directed, passing through all checkpoints on your course. Taking shortcuts or using any unfair means of obtaining an advantage over other competitors will result in disqualification. It is the rider’s responsibility to ensure that the correct course is followed
  • All competitors must wear a certified bike helmet at ALL times.
  • GOGG races only: Individual competitors must use only one bike frame for the entire ride, although wheel changes are permissible in the designated time out zone.
  • If female competitors in the MTB 100km race wish to be eligible for cash prize money (including the Queen of the Mountain and Timed Descent) they MUST start in the elite womens field start. Competitors wishing to race in this category must notify Rapid Ascent at registration.
  • In order to win either the King or Queen of the Mountain or Timed Descent, a rider must also complete the entire distance of the race entered .
  • All competitors must carry the listed compulsory equipment for the entire race.
  • Riders who withdraw at any time after the start must advise a marshal of their withdrawal immediately.
  • Race numbers must be displayed on the handlebars at all times and cannot be modified or cut down in size in any way.
  • Riders may accept mechanical assistance on the course only by other registered racers, designated race officials and the specified race mechanic as long as it does not result in assisted forward progression. Outside assistance from anyone else may only be provided in the designated time out zones (GOGG riders only).
  • One competitor cannot provide assistance in forward progression (pushing / pulling / towing) or food or drinks to another competitor in another category except in emergency circumstances.
  • For the GOGG Big Ring race, cut-off times at two key points will be strictly enforced as listed below.
  • Pedal assisted e-bikes may be used provided they do not have a power output greater than 250watts or a powered speed faster than 25km/hr. E-bikes will have their own category and will not be eligible for age group or overall prizes or prize money.
  • Australian Road Rules apply at all times on all roads, tracks and trails.
  • Only registered riders, marshals or officials may ride on the course.
  • Failure to abide by these rules may result in a time penalty or disqualification.
  • Rapid Ascent has sole discretion to alter or amend the race format or the rules in order to increase the safety of participants or for any other reason deemed appropriate.
  • All protests must be lodged with the Race Director within 15 minutes of the official results being posted. A judging panel of three (including the race director) will adjudicate on all protests and other contentious matters, and their decision will be final.
  • If the race is cancelled or called off after it has started, it is each rider’s responsibility to get themselves back to either the Start or Finish areas as soon as you have been notified of the cancellation.

CUT-OFF TIMES

97km GOGG Big Ring race – the following cut-off times will be strictly enforced:

  • All riders must have departed the Kaangalang Rd/Mt Sabine Rd time out zone (33km point) by 11.00am on their outward journey. Those that do not make this cut off will be moved onto the 49km Small Ring Race and descend Kaangalang Rd to the finish.
  • All riders must have restarted your ride after the Wye River / Kennet River time out zone by 12:30pm. This point is located soon as you turn off Great Ocean Road onto Wye River Rd at approx 64km point.

TIME OUT ZONES

Both GOGG races have some time-out section(s) on the course where your race time is no longer ticking over! These are included because it’s in the style of gravel grinding, allowing you to stop and have a drink – order a coffee, regroup with your friends perhaps, and then set off again.

“Time outs” will be recorded by the electronic timing hardware set up at these locations:

  • 33km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction. (97km and 49km riders)
  • 57km point at the Grey River Rd / Great Ocean Road junction. (97km riders only)
  • 66km point at the Wye Rd / Great Ocean Road junction. (97km riders only)
  • 83km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction (same point as above – 97km riders only)

Points to note:

  • Limit of 1hr maximum to be used during the “time out”. Riders stopping for longer than 1hr will be given a time penalty. Note, it is not compulsory to stop, just an option as it’s an ‘untimed’ section of the course.
  • Riders crossing any time point with less than 1 second apart will be given the time of the first rider to cross the point (as per the Tour de France). This is to help ensure that riders know they are on the same race time if they entered / exited all timing points together.

EMERGENCY PLANS AND PROCEDURES

EVENT WITHDRAWAL FOR EMERGENCY PURPOSES – SEVERE INJURY

If you have a serious crash or injury whilst out on the course we suggest the following procedures:

  • if you are able and without incurring further injury, move off the actual line of travel so you are out of the way of other riders and cannot cause further injury to yourself or others
  • stay on the course / track at all times – do not try and find your own way to a road by cutting ‘cross country’
  • seek assistance from other riders as they come past – tell them to relay a message forward to the next marshal and checkpoint confirming your location and suspected injuries
  • stay calm, use your First Aid Kit. Help will be on its way as soon as possible
  • We will have a ‘Grim Sweeper’ following the last riders along the course.


EVENT WITHDRAWAL FOR NON EMERGENCY REASONS

If you wish to withdraw from the event because of fatigue, mechanical failure, an injury or any other reason AFTER YOU HAVE REGISTERED please tell a race official. We need to keep track of what riders are out on the course, so if you wake up on Saturday morning (having registered on Friday) with the flu and will not be riding please tell us so we know you will not be on the course.

If you started the race and are out on the course and want to withdraw please tell the next marshal (who has radio communication). MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE NEAREST CHECKPOINT as indicatedon the maps above. For non emergency withdrawals we can only arrange for a ‘grim sweeper’ to come and pick you up from a checkpoint rather than anywhere on the course.


IF YOU GET LOST OR LOSE THE TRAIL

If you think you are lost or have gone the wrong way we suggest you follow these procedures.

  • STOP! Sit down, have a drink of water and assess the situation with a clear mind. Consider where you are
  • Think about where you last saw a course marker – how far back do you think it was (200m, 700m or 2km?) Are there other bike tracks along the track where you are?
  • When you are certain you have gone wrong backtrack along the exact route you came. Be aware of how far back you have gone and try to limit yourself to what you decided. Use your bike computer or look at your watch for time.
  • STAY ON TRACKS AT ALL TIMES – do not try and cut cross country back to a track or take a short cut.


MECHANICAL REPAIRS

If you have ‘a mechanical’ out on the course, you are entitled to accept the assistance of other riders and still continue. If you have a mechanical failure, cannot fix it out on the course and are taken to the Forrest Festival by outside assistance (eg in the sag wagon or in someone else’s car) to get your bike fixed but wish to continue with your ride:

  • advise an official when you get to the Forrest Football Ground
  • we are happy for you to return to the race course but will remove your number and timing tag and you will be considered as an ‘unranked’ rider. Unranked riders may complete the rest of the course but will not be listed in the official results as having finished the event and are not eligible for any prizes
  • please recommence your ride from the Forrest Football Ground and continue on the next loop.

It is the rider’s responsibility to carry sufficient tools with you and fix your own bike if you experience any mechanical failures.


COURSE CHANGES

Please note that Rapid Ascent reserves the right to change or alter the course from the description outlined (due to fire, rain, private landowners or other reasons) and that any changes will be clearly communicated to riders through any of the following means:

  • SMS sent to competitors’ phones
  • during registration via announcements on the PA and notice posted on the race notice board on Saturday evening at Forrest
  • when riders are assembled at the start line or
  • when riders pass a checkpoint.
  • Please see the Emergency Plans and Procedures section below for more emergency plan information.

FIRE SAFETY AND EXTREME WEATHER

Rapid Ascent are in constant communication with DEPI, Parks Victoria (PV) and the CFA about the prospect of a fire in the region of the event. We have made a commitment not to compromise the safety of any competitors, any CFA, PV or DEPI personnel dispatched to attend a fire, any private land owners or the wilderness and surrounding areas as a result of the Otway Odyssey Festival.

As a result, there is a chance that the course could change on the day or the event could be postponed to the Sunday or the event could be cancelled. The event will only be cancelled if there are extreme fire weather conditions in the area over the entire weekend and it is determined that the fire danger is too great to permit cyclists to go through the course. Declaration of a Total Fire Ban on race day DOES NOT mean the event will be automatically cancelled or postponed.

Declaration of a ‘Code Red’ or ‘Extreme’ fire danger rating for the South West fire district on race day will mean the event will be cancelled or postponed and Rapid Ascent’s refund policy for the Otway Odyssey will be enacted as detailed on the event website.

Declaration of a ‘Severe’ fire danger rating for the South West fire district on event day will result in discussions with land managers. Riders will be advised of the outcome as detailed below. The event MAY still continue on the Saturday or the following day OR it may be cancelled.

Any change of course, evacuation or event cancellation will be communicated to competitors as soon and as safely as possible, through any of the following means:

  • SMS sent to competitors mobile phones
  • at the event registration area on Saturday afternoon at Forrest
  • when riders are assembled at the start line
  • when riders pass a checkpoint
  • directional arrows stating “Fire – proceed direct to Finish”
  • all messages will be copied and placed on the official event notice board in front of the registration area at the Forrest Festival and on this event website.

Once again, these changes would be a last resort, but we respect rider safety, the landowners, residents, flora and fauna of this beautiful part of the world in extreme circumstances.