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Stick 27-28 May in your diaries and head to Bike Territory, Narrabri, NSW for the ultimate side-by-side recreational event of the year!

AORVA have locked in their first ever side-by-side, recreational event, SXS Adventures, and it’s set to be an absolute cracker. The plan is to turn this one-off event into a series of SXS Adventures and to do that they need the services of a professional event promoter and who better than Grassroots Hard Enduro Championship (GHEC) promoter Greg Peterson. We caught up with Greg to find out what he and AORVA have in store for 2023.

Greg, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you grew GHEC.

In early 2019 we decided there was a need and desire for a formalised hard enduro event in Australia. I put a Facebook post out and we were offered a property just outside of Corryong, Victoria. We had 168 riders turn up for our first event which made us think there was potential and we were pleased with the support. From that first event we created a series, which exploded and here we are after COVID, still going strong.

What made you pivot into the side-by-side scene?

It was actually ADB’s Editor, Mitch Lees, who put AORVA in touch with me. ADB have been supporting the GHEC since its inception and Mitch has seen the hard work my team has put in to make the GHEC one of Australia’s premier race series. Mitch is also a keen side-by-side enthusiast and is eager to see recreational side-by-side events grow in Australia. So, when AORVA asked him if he knew anyone that could help them get a family-friendly, recreational side-by-side event off the ground, he suggested they get in touch with me and my team.

The idea appealed to me as there are limited areas for side-by-side owners to take their machines and I wanted to give them an area to go to and get families together for a weekend. Anything outdoors and motorised I’m pretty passionate about and like to be involved with. I can see SXS Adventures helping the industry and that also helps the families and owners within the industry.

What can we expect at one of these side-by-side events?

Participants can arrive Friday afternoon and leave Monday morning. Therefore essentially they get two full days of driving, Saturday and Sunday. As far as the driving goes, we’ll have some varying terrain including tracks through open farmland, rocky fire trails, grasstracks right through to some challenging hill climbs. Outside of the riding we are hoping to facilitate a band, some catering with maybe a spit roast or barbecue as well as some hot and cold drinks.

Why did you chose a recreational format instead of a race format?

We wanted to focus on an event that would be family-oriented. Racing tends to just attract the racers and often race events tend to have less of a family feel and a more serious atmosphere. These events are about getting the side-by-side out of the garage and onto these tracks where racing insurance or costs don’t necessarily apply.

Can you see more and more people in the future gravitating towards side-by-side?

That’s the aim for us for sure through these events. If we get you know 20, 30 or 40 side-by-sides out there that’ll be great and people will mingle around the fire and make new friends who will hopefully return. Also these families might return and bring other families with them and say to them “Hey we’ve been to one of these before they’re well run, the terrain is good and it’s very entertaining.” Hopefully it will just snowball over time and it will become bigger and bigger as we continue to put these events on.

Is there much industry support for side-by-side events? AORVA are on board but anyone else?

It’s looking really positive, from the moment I spoke with them (AORVA), they were prepared to back me with it. They are keen to promote it as well and this is the type of event where if we don’t try and back ourselves in we don’t know how they could turn out. But their support has been absolutely fantastic and they’re in it for the long haul and so am I so I’m keen to make it work with them.

Is there a date or time period people can mark in their calendars for your first side-by-side event?

We have locked in the 27-28 May, 2023 at a property near Narrabri, NSW called Bike Territory. Keen side-by-side owners should be sure to mark these dates in their calendar.

Lastly, what should the participants of these new events bring along?

Obviously bring your side-by-side along, but also some of your own food and drink outside of our catered options that we hope to have. For example, with our event at Bike Territory, we do have a few cabins available that require their own linen but in general just pack as if you’re going camping.

For more details contact Greg Peterson