Stuart Ford

Stu Ford Memorial Challenge

The Stu Ford Memorial Challenge is in honour of Stu Ford who suddenly passed away on the 26th November 2021. He had planned to complete the Everesting challenge alone, by repeatedly cycling up Garie Beach Hill in the Royal National Park to the staggering heights of 8,848 metres, the height of Mount Everest.

This event will be raising funds for the following charities as Stu had intended. Simply click the links below to learn more about these charities and donate.

Somone you know may have shared this link with you because they will be participating in the challenge, so please donate generously to show your support.

Event Information and Registration

Sat 15th October 2022

Schedule and Information Guide
Cyclist Registraion
Volunteer Registration
Walk Registration

EVENT UPDATE

A new date has been scheduled for Saturday 15th October 2022 with and back up date on Saturday 29th October 2022

Love Mercy Foundation is empowering communities in northern Uganda through sustainable solutions to poverty. Our three main projects increase access to health care, education and income.

Donate


The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness.

We are about creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness; where scientists work to discover the causes of illness and new treatments, and where discoveries are immediately put into practice through health services, technology and community education.

Donate


For over 60 years, the Heart Foundation has been the trusted peak body working to improve heart disease prevention, detection, and support for all Australians. Since 1959 we have funded research projects worth over $670+ million.

Donate


Schedule

TIME EVENT WHO LOCATION
5:00 am PARK GATES OPENED NPWS  
5:05 am VOLUNTEER CHECK-IN & BRIEF Volunteers Governor Game lookout
5:00 am - 6:30 am EVENT SETUP Volunteers  
5:15 am REGISTRATION/CHECK-IN OPENS Riders Governor Game lookout
5:30 am TEAMS START AT 1 MIN INTERVALS Riders Governor Game lookout
6:14 am SUNRISE    
9:00 am - 10:00 am WALK, TALK & LOVE Walkers Garawarra Farm Carpark
11:00 am - 11:45 am EVENT CEREMONY All Governor Game lookout
7:08 pm SUNSET    
8:30 pm EVENT FINISH   Governor Game lookout
8:00 pm - 8:55 pm EVENT PACK DOWN Volunteers  
9:00 pm PARK GATES CLOSED NPWS  

Information

For all the information about this event please review the INFORMATION GUIDE.

EVENT DIRECTOR'S WELCOME

Welcome to the Cronulla Triathlon Club’s inaugural Stu Ford Memorial Challenge (SFMC) to be held on 15th October 2022. Following Stu’s passing in November last year, we were approached by many of his fellow tri club members, training buddies and community friends alike, all wishing to complete the Everesting Challenge for him. Whilst our challenge will not meet the true Everesting requirements as it will be completed in teams as a relay, it will bring us together as a community to remember Stu, support each other and in the process raise funds for the three charities that Stu had set out to support.

If you’re not a local, welcome to the Shire, and if you are then nice to see you again. We thank the National Parks and Wildlife Service for their support of the event and the use of the facilities. We also thank the indigenous people of The Dharawal area for the privilege to use their lands for our event and pay our respects to the Elders both past and present.

The challenge will be held in the beautiful Royal National Park, at Garie Beach. The location was selected by Stu after scouring the Shire for a suitable hill that provided a good altitude gain over a quieter section of road.

We will be abiding by the COVID-19 restrictions that are present at the time of the event and we appreciate your cooperation with any adjustments that may be required to allow this event to continue in a safe manner. Please keep an eye on our website for up-to-date COVID announcements and check your emails for any event procedure changes.

In addition to the main event participants, we also welcome friends and family of Stu to honour him with us on the day and carry on the legacy he set out to achieve raising funds for The Heart Foundation, The Black Dog Institute and Love Mercy.

We will be carefully monitoring the forecast weather conditions related to heat, air quality, and storm activity for the few days prior to the event day. Should the forecast indicate that the conditions on event day, are likely to be hazardous we will have a range of contingency plans ready to implement to protect your safety, well-being, and enjoyment of the event. Updates will be placed on our event page.

I wish you all the best in your training and hope you enjoy the day. Please feel free to come have a chat at any time and any feedback is most welcome. See you at HQ!

Regards, Adam Stroud and Adam Hummerston

Co-Event Directors.

EVENT BACKGROUND

The SFMC is dedicated to the memory of Stuart Ford, a much loved member of Cronulla Triathlon Club who suddenly passed away on the 26th November 2021. Stu was in the process of planning and training to complete the Everesting challenge alone, by repeatedly cycling up Garie Beach Hill in the Royal National Park to the staggering heights of 8,848 metres, the height of Mount Everest.

This challenge is organised and run by volunteers, and the Cronulla Triathlon Club is a not-for-profit organisation who are committed to creating an opportunity for athletes of all abilities to compete against one another in a fun, organised and safe environment. All profits from the challenge will be donated in Stu’s name to one or all of Stu’s nominated charities that the rider chooses.

The Cronulla Triathlon Club has a history of delivering races and events such as this for fundraising and their premier event, the Richie Walker Aquathlon has to date raised over $100,000 for the Heart Foundation.

We shall hold a small ceremony at 11:00 to remember Stu.

PRE-EVENT INFORMATION

Event location

Start and Finish at Governor Game Lookout, Garie Road, Garie Beach.

Public Transport

Park Connections operate a limited timetable bus service from Sutherland to Waterfall via Garie. timetable

Driving

Please note that park usage fees are applicable @ $12 per vehicle - to be paid for on the day of the event- or a valid Parks Pass. The pass may be purchased at the ticket machine at Curra Moors Track parking or at the booth on the way down the hill at the toll booth.

Parking

Limited car parking is available near the precinct so where possible, ride to the event as a warm up from home or Waterfall station or car pool. In order to avoid additional vehicle traffic on the course, we request you do not park down Garie Rd beyond the Governor Game Lookout.

Parking options are:

  • On Garie Road opposite the entrance to Garawarra Farm Rd.
  • Along Garie Road from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive to the Governor Game Lookout.
  • The Start of Curra Moors Track, on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive, 1km North of Garie Rd.
  • If you're just visiting, plenty of parking is available at Garawarra Farm Carpark but the 1.4km road back to Event HQ is not suitable for riding on.

COURSE DETAILS

The course consists of a 2.7km downhill roll from Governor Game Lookout into the Garie Beach Carpark, where you will then loop back in the mid car park driveway and commence your 2.7km, 190m climb back to the start. This will count as 1 of 46 laps for your team to complete climbing the altitude of Mt Everest.

Course and Elevation Profile

Top Turn Around

Bottom Turn Around

Hazards

  • THIS IS NOT A RACE & NOTHING WILL BE LOST BY TAKING AN EXTRA 30 SECONDS TO DESCEND SAFELY!
  • At 500m a sharp right hander is made more hazardous due to a steel plate in the middle of the road. You should ride around this with caution.
  • A further 700m on, just past the tollbooth SLOW DOWN as an extremely sharp LH hairpin bend approaches quickly.
  • Another RH bend exists 500m further on.
  • As you approach the beach two sharp speed humps have been positioned to slow riders and drivers alike as you enter the car park and pedestrian area.
  • The precinct is part of the Royal National Park, and it is not uncommon for wildlife to enter the area or be on the road.
  • Whilst efforts will be made to remove much of the heavier leaf and stick litter from the course, there will likely be additional falls during the day. If you notice particularly hazardous debris, please notify a course marshal immediately and we shall endeavour to have it removed.

RIDE RULES

The success of the event will be based upon the safety of our riders, volunteers, spectators and other park users. To ensure this and the future of the event the following rules must be adhered to.

  • NO Littering – There must be no discarding of items, e.g. bidons, gel wrappers etc., on any part of the course except in the discard zone at HQ,
  • HELMETS, properly fitted and secured must be worn
  • No riders that will be taking part in the challenge are to use the course for warming up/down.
  • All bikes must undergo a safety check prior to each rider commencing; key checks being two working brakes, working lights, wheel bearing (no excess movement), tyre pressure & wear, correctly positioned helmet and handlebar tightness
  • All riders must display an operating rear red light on their bike.
  • Cyclists riding before and after sunset must display a front white light in addition to the rear red light
  • All riders must check-in at Event HQ prior to their initial ride.
  • Toileting shall only take place at the portaloo located at HQ or the public toilets at Garie Beach car park
  • Marshalls are volunteering their time to help you. Treat them with respect.
  • Riders may not use communication devices of any type including headphone(s), headset(s) or technical earplug(s) which are inserted or covering the ears.
  • Only 1 rider per team on the course at a time unless permission has been granted by the Event Director
  • All rider changes must take place at Event HQ
  • Rider must follow Covid safe practices and directions as appropriate.

Always remember to treat other riders, volunteers and park visitors and officials with courtesy and consideration as they are important in keeping the event safe and fair and ongoing.

We know Stu himself was free spirited, loved to have fun, and personally, I’ve cycled all my life because of the sense of freedom and achievement it provides. We want all your team members to feel the same, so other than the safety aspects please ensure you have fun out there on the course, thus encouraging and supporting each and every other teammate or rider. Thank you

TEAM CAPTAINS

Timing System

Each Team is to provide a Captain. It will be the Captains role to ensure the team has a ride roster setup prior to the event, and liaise with your riders when they are required at the Event. Each Team can elect how its members will complete the laps, so long as there will be only one rider on the hill at a time.

Each team will be required to provide Marshalling assistance of at least 2 hours at some point throughout the day. If you have members that have 1st Aid qualifications, would you kindly advise the Event Directors accordingly, prior to the event should their services be needed.

Please ensure each of your members has received a copy of this Event Information Guide and that they have watched the video briefing prior to attending the event.

As your team progresses through the day you may find you are running ahead or behind your predicted times. This will need to be shared with members that are yet to arrive. Live “results” will be available *HERE* for you to keep track of how your team is progressing should you need to amend rider start times.

It is expected riders will take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes to complete a lap. Factor this into your planning.

The Event Directors will be monitoring each team’s progress, if your team isn’t able to do 3 laps per hour and keep pace with those calculations, we will likely give permission, or indeed ask you to have two riders on the course at the tail-end of the day when traffic reduces so your team can complete the challenge.

It is recommended that each team have a spare light set available for use. Be mindful that phone reception can at times be ordinary at Garie Beach and SMS messages or group messaging services such as WhatsApp may have a better chance of getting messages out.

LAP COUNTING

The SFMC is proud to provide elite-level timing results to track your ride and count your laps. The Timing Chips will act as your “batton” for the relay and must be passed on to the next rider. Individual chip straps will be provided to each rider. You will need to transfer the team chip onto your strap. If the timing chips are not worn throughout the duration of the ride your laps will not be registered

  • Timing Chips are to be worn on your left ankle – away from your bike’s gears
  • You must ride carefully over the purple mats at the top of the climb for each lap to be registered.
  • If you do not start the event or pull out of the event for any reason, you are to return the Timing Chip to Event HQ personnel.
  • If a Timing Chip is lost during the ride, you will need to inform personnel in event HQ, so that timing providers can do their best to replace that chip in order to record splits for the rest of the ride.
  • It is recommended you wear the strap supplied with the Timing Chip as using an alternative puts you at risk of losing the chip during the ride.
  • All Timing Chips and straps are to be returned prior to departing, if not your team will be charged $50 for a replacement.

A backup lap counting system will also be in use by HQ Marshalls which shall provide live online updates here, for teams to monitor and assist with knowing when to arrive for your shift. 

EVENT NUTRITION

Water will be available at Event HQ and at Base Camp. The water at the public toilets at Garie Beach and at taps around the beach is not suitable for consumption. As all water must be brought into the event, it is requested that all participants arrive with at least two full bidons of water – these can be left at HQ.

Light refreshments akin to the finish of a triathlon or aid station (fruit, lollies, gels, electrolyte drink) will be provided by the event organisers, but please organise your own meals if you plan to be out at the event for a full day. The Garie Beach kiosk will be open on the day.

POST-EVENT INFORMATION

Event HQ will have all the riders need to cool down after their ride including: shelter, water, sports drink and fruit. Trained First Aid Officers will be in attendance throughout the day, and we will have physiotherapists from club sponsor Lifestyle Physiotherapy attending at various stages during the day to assist iron out those post climb aches!!

Bring some camp chairs or a picnic rug and feel free to hang around Event HQ or Base Camp and cheer on the riders, as they climb Mt Everest. Check-in on each other and share some of your memories of Stu.

Once you have recovered from your ride you might like to investigate the area. Garie Beach is patrolled from 10:00 – 16:00.  Should you decide to have a swim during the day, be mindful as this can be an extremely hazardous beach with strong rips and heavy surf. Follow the life guards directions and swim between the flags.

There are many beautiful walks from around the Event HQ or within a very short drive including rainforest, coastal and cliff tops. Check out the NPWS Website for details.

SFMC “WALK, TALK, & LOVE”

Walk- for Heart Health, Talk- for Mental Health, and Love- Yourself, Stu Ford and his Family, and those who need our help in Northern Uganda.

Whilst cycling the height of Everest is achievable and excitable for some (arguably the insane, elite athletes, and those who enjoy the sweat and possibly a certain level of chafing); a picturesque bushwalk may be more realistic and desirable for others (those who wish to talk not puff, those who enjoy a picnic over a sports gel, and those who ultimately prefer cotton over lycra).

Come join me, Kate (Flash, Main Bar and Granny, according to running folk law); for a social walk, that will encompass rainforest scenery, and amazing views over Era and Garie.
In our running community, Stu had the nickname of ‘Shirley Temple’ due to his handsome, but alas, non-aerodynamic curls. Feel free to reconcile my glamourous titles on the walk, as I look forward to hearing your stories also.
Start: 9 AM
Course: The Burgh Ridge Track, Garawarra Farm to Coast Track Return
Can I make it? The walk is < 2.9km, descending for the first half, and then ascending on the way back. There are plenty of opportunities, for both photographic and rest stops, and our pace will be leisurely. In the majority, the track is either boardwalk or sandstone stairs, and 50% of the walk is in shaded terrain. The estimated duration is approximately 1 hour, allowing plenty of time to be back for an 11 AM Ceremony in Stu’s honour at Governor Game Lookout.

What to wear: Hat, sunscreen, Aeroguard or similar if you are concerned about bugs, or leeches that come out in wet weather.
Comfortable, casual and sun protective clothing.
Hiking boots or sneakers for footwear.

What to bring: A minimum of 1 litre of water. Trail snacks- fruit, nuts, sandwiches, lollies. Camera.

Location & Transport:

The walk starts from Garawarra Farm Carpark. Once turning onto Garie Rd, ‘Garawarra Farm Rd’ is almost immediately to the right (Governor Game Lookout is a close 2nd turn to the right.)

The 1.5km Farm Road is rough and dirty. Provided there has not been excessive rain, non-lowered 2-wheel drive cars and above should be fine at slow speed.

We ask all those attending the walk to use the parking facilities at Garawarra Farm freeing up parking closer to the Garie Lookout HQ for riders. We shall provide a ferry service following the walk from Garawarra Farm to HQ for the ceremony and then back again after the ceremony.

Cost: No need to pay upon registration, just donate a gold coin amount or more to Stu’s chosen charities. While registration is not mandatory, it will assist the organisers to gauge the level of interest.

If you'd like to have an offline copy of this information, download the PDF

Thank you

We hope to see you there!

SPECTATOR INFORMATION

Spectators are encouraged to attend the event, however, to stay safe and avoid interfering with the events, please keep the following in mind:

  • Riders may be a little unsteady following the climb, so please stay clear of bikes at the turn around point.
  • Please avoid distracting the timing volunteers and lap counters as they record each riders lap.
  • Be mindful of cars moving around the Event HQ area.
  • Take particular care around the drop offs at the lookout.
  • Please minimise your driving if possible along the Course Route
  • Should you decide to have a swim during the day, be mindful as this can be an extremely hazardous beach with strong rips and heavy surf.

Coffee & Food

The Garie Beach Kiosk will be open to provide simple kiosk type food. This is located at the beach so if you are driving down please be mindful of our riders and other road users navigating around them.

Toilets

  • There are public toilets located at the Garie Beach Carpark and Garawarra Farm Carpark.
  • There will also be 1 portable toilet available at Event HQ. Mainly used for riders or marshalls.
VOLUNTEERING

The Cronulla Triathlon Club is a not-for-profit organization, and the proceeds of this event are donated to the specified charities. To run events smoothly and safely, we require multiple volunteers. The volunteer roles are not complicated, and in most roles, you get a great vantage point from which to spectate. There will be a volunteer briefing prior to your shift commencement. The key success criteria for the event will be riders’ safety, we want to encourage participation for as many riders as possible by creating a fun and safe event.

We request each team, provide a minimum of 2 hours volunteering throughout the day.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please register online here and notify event organisers if you have any special requirements via the online registration form and your time availability.

Volunteer Roles

Setup / Pack down

  • There will be Marquees, tables and chairs lighting to be setup at HQ and Base Camp
  • Setup Lighting as necessary

HQ Marshalls

  • Rider Check-in/out
  • Replenish nutrition/water etc
  • Chip recovery
  • Provide live web updates.
  • Monitor Marshall placement
  • Monitor UHF radio.
  • Ensure Portaloo Paper stocked

Course Marshals

  • Advise and caution park visitors of the event in progress
  • Warn riders of potential hazards
  • Monitoring wellbeing of riders
  • Cheer on the riders

Base Camp Marshalls

  • Monitoring wellbeing of riders
  • Ensure availability of 1st Aid Kit
  • Cheer on the riders

Marshal Guidelines

The role of the course marshal is to ensure the riders can complete the course safely and the event can proceed in harmony with other road users. To achieve this there will be at least two safety marshals on the course throughout the 15 hours, we have asked each team to donate two hours of marshalling time, the Cronulla Triathlon Club and other community groups associated with Stu will provide the other marshals.

The marshals will be situated near the top and bottom turns predominately to warn the riders about other road users, and vice versa. “Event In Progress” warning signs will also be placed in these locations. During peak periods we may double the marshals

Please be friendly, positive and supportive of the riders and other members of the community

As well as road safety, please check riders for fatigue and generally encourage each rider.

You will be supplied with a High Vis vest and a whistle should you need to communicate with the riders and other road users. It would be appreciated for hygiene however if each Marshal could provide their own whistle. For the sake of other visitors to the Park please do not use the whistle unless necessary. However if you sense a dangerous situation occurring please make a long (2-3 second) loud blast on the whistle (akin to a bad foul in soccer), repeated if you continue to sense danger, the idea is to warn the road users to avoid any collisions.

If you want to use the whistle just to alert road users that a rider is coming, just make short sharp continuous rhythmic friendly sounding tweet(s) on the whistle (akin to a dance party or rave)

It’s at this time we expect visitor traffic to be its busiest, the 2nd very top marshal will be situated on the top corner which is where cars will be approaching our turnaround point, they will communicate with the other top turn marshal using the whistle protocol as per above

During the hours of darkness, each marshal shall be provided with a torch. Please take care not to shine the torch in the riders eyes.

EMERGENCY PROTOCOLS

1st Aid

Basic First Aid is available throughout the event. If you require medical attention, we recommend you seek the assistance of event personnel along the route or at event HQ where medical staff will be situated.

  • We highly recommend that Australian residents hold valid private health insurance.
  • Under Australian legislation, all non-Australian residents are not covered for medical costs or ambulance transport costs.
  • If you have an accident, medical staff will attend to you as they see appropriate (which may include calling an ambulance). Cronulla Triathlon Club takes no responsibility for medical expenses and transport fees for athletes.
  • First aid, including a defibrillator, is available at Event HQ.
  • If you suffer an injury or are involved in an incident during this event, please notify the Event Director immediately and complete an incident report within 24 hours of the event finish.

COVID-19

We will be abiding by the NSW COVID-19 health guidelines that are in place on the day of the event. As restrictions continue to ease, we appreciate your flexibility with modifications to the “norm”. Please keep an eye out for email announcements and any changes that will be made to standard operating procedures will also be posted on our event website.

Weather & Contingency Plans

We will also be carefully monitoring the weather conditions (particularly extreme heat, air and storm activity) prior to event day and updates will be placed on our event website. Should the forecast indicate that the conditions on event day are likely to be hazardous we will have a range of contingency plans ready to implement to protect your safety, well-being and enjoyment of the event. Competitors should ensure that they are well hydrated in preparation for the event. If you have been unwell, we recommend consulting your doctor.

Emergency contact details

Emergency Medical: 000

Police – Helensburgh Police Station 2 Waratah St, Helensburgh NSW (02 4633 5600

Sutherland Hospital –Kingsway, Caringbah, NSW (02) 9540 711

Nearest NSW Ambulance station at Engadine which is 20 minutes (18 kms) from event.

Phone / radio coverage is at times poor particularly at the beach and teams should factor this into their planning and communications.