Red Bull Rock Drop Cancelled

Sadly I've received an email cancelling the Red Bull Rock Drop at Wahi in January 2011, the email and press release are below, but I have to say I'm gutted:

To the riders and supporters of Red Bull Rock Drop,

It is with regret and great disappointment that we have to announce that Red Bull Rock Drop has been cancelled. Newmont Waihi Gold, the mining company who own and operate Martha mine, have made the decision to cancel due to ongoing concerns about the Pike River mine tragedy.

Official statement is as follows:

Red Bull Rock Drop at Martha Mine
- Event Cancelled
Newmont Waihi Gold has reconsidered its decision to host the Red Bull Rock Drop and has regrettably decided to withdraw from the event. ‘Red Bull and Newmont Waihi Gold originally postponed the mountain bike event after the 19 November Pike River tragedy and tentatively rescheduled for late January 2011, anticipating that matters there would have been concluded by now’, said Newmont Waihi Gold’s general manager Glen Grindlay. ‘A very real concern for us at Waihi Gold is that our Mines Rescue Team will be required to assist with ongoing efforts. The timetable for this has yet to be confirmed. This same rescue team would be required to ensure the safety of competitors at the Rock Drop. The team members are vertical rescue specialists and have a detailed knowledge of the route the bike race would have taken. It is not possible to hold the Rock Drop without them’. ‘Obviously any ongoing operations at Pike River are of the utmost importance to all concerned, and so after very careful consideration we have made a decision that we cannot allow a sporting event to potentially compromise the safe and timely resolution of events at Pike River.

Grindlay says that employees and contractors of the mine as well as many members of the community and staff from Red Bull have worked tirelessly over recent months to prepare for the Rock Drop.

‘They really put in the hard yards to organise the event and construct a fantastic course to stage the competition and we would like to thank them for their efforts’.

’This is a very difficult decision, and has not been taken lightly. We have decided to make the decision before Christmas so that competitors and spectators can make other plans’.

The reason that Rock Drop cannot be rescheduled to another date in the year is because intensive mining activity moves into the area of the Southern wall of the pit where the race course has been built. The reconfiguration of the pit from February onward takes away the opportunity to conduct an event like Rock Drop in Martha mine.

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