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The Kuratau School SXS Trail Ride was an epic event and AORVA can help you make it happen here in Australia!

In early July, Polaris Australia and Australasian SXS flew over to New Zealand to take part in the largest SXS trail ride in the Southern Hemisphere, the Kuratau School SXS Trail Ride. It was a huge success, raising over $23,000 for the Kuratau School which went towards improving the schools technology. Over 300 side-by-sides and 500 drivers registered.

The Kuratau School Trail Ride started out as a two-wheeled event over 14 years ago before switching to a side-by-side and ATV event, such is the popularity of recreational side-by-side riding in New Zealand. It has been supported all that time by the local Polaris dealer, Bike Torque, who are responsible for the track marking, vehicle recovery and general running of the event. Volunteers at the school then jump in to handle the rest of the stuff like administration, food and sign-on. There was a plethora of helping hands manning road crossings and assisting with general duties.

Camping was permitted on the Saturday night but the real fun started on the Sunday with a massive 65km loop that took a little over an hour if you were ripping in. You could do it as many times as you liked in the designated window of 10:00am to 3:00pm. The loop had everything from open farm land to tight forest sections, bogs, hill climbs and a river crossing. 

The track was laid out on a few neighbouring farms that occupied in excess of 3000 acres. The farmers were all members of the local community. In fact, some of the workers on those farms even send their kids to the very school the event was raising money for.

Everything ran like clockwork. Sure there were some crashes and broken side-by-sides but there were no injuries and everyone went home in one piece. When a section of track became too difficult to get through, a sweep rider would simply reroute that part of the track. Everyone was respectful of one another, no one got lost and no one went the wrong way. The event had a family vibe with groups of four heading out in the larger side-by-sides. 

Polaris even had a special 10km loop where people could register to jump in the all-new RZR Pro R with V8 Supercar legend Greg Murphy! It was an awesome experience for a lucky few who all came back with their hair blown back and huge smile on their face.

Do it in Australia!

While this event was held in New Zealand, there’s no reason why something similar couldn’t be held in Australia. If you’re a side-by-side dealer or a property owner and have a good relationship with your local dealer, suggest they look into hosting their own SXS trail ride. Most dealers are in rural or semi-rural areas and will have customers with access to land that would be great for an event like this. Some larger farms have non-productive scrub areas that might earn a better dollar from side-by-side recreation than from cattle or crops. 

It’s not only an opportunity to raise money for a good cause but it also helps raise awareness of the fun people can have in a side-by-side in a safe, family-friendly manner. All side-by-side users are respecful, and, like on this ride, will stay out of cropping areas and other precious or sensitive paddocks while still appreciating some fast, straightline fence driving!

And the best part is AORVA can help make it happen! If you join AORVA, then get in touch and here’s how they can help you host a side-by-side event:

• Offer advice on property entry points, length of trail, trail features, and what parts of your property might be most suitable.

• Help with desktop planning ideas and talk about scary bits like insurance models, if any other approvals might be needed and how to approach event sponsors etc.

• Help put you in touch with local side-by-side dealers to start talking about planning an event.

• Help promote your event by AORVA Website News Articles.

• Email event invitation out to their AORVA Member data base.

• If it turns out to be a huge success and you intend to run more than one, AORVA can add the location, contact details and basic site rules to the AORVA Mapping page.

• And AORVA are always willing to help anyone who wants to become more of a permanent weekend
ride park.