Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 9th 2018 Contents PAGE 50 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2018
AUSTRALIA is pulling out all stops to wrest
the International Challenge trophy back from
the United Kingdom.
The team has recruited Phillip Island master
and two-times WorldSBK champ Troy Corser
for the AMCN 25th International Island Clas-
sic at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit from
January 26 to 28.
Brimming with talent and experience, the
Australian nine-rider squad also includes for-
mer national superbike champions Steve Mar-
tin and Shawn Giles, Isle of Man winner Cam-
eron Donald, Beau Beaton, 2017 race winner
Alex Phillis and David Johnson, who returns
to the Australian team for the first time since
Irish expatriate Paul Byrne and Ken Watson
join the Australian team for the first time, while
the Aussie offensive will be rounded out by long-
time historic racing campaigner Scott Webster.
Corser, whose last appearance at Phillip Is-
land was in the 2011 WorldSBK round, will ride
a 1982 Honda Harris F1 machine prepared by
Australian captain Rex Wolfenden in the Inter-
national Challenge, which has been won by the
UK the last three years.
“It’s time to get back and race at home in front
of a Phillip Island home crowd. It’s been a long
time,” said Corser from his UK base, where he
lives with wife Sam and two teenage kids, Ka-
lani and Kelisa.
“I have been doing the Goodwood events with
a great team at BMW Classic, riding some old
museum bikes. It’s been a lot of fun. Everyone
tells me the Island Classic is a great event so
with it being the 25th anniversary, it feels like a
good time to come back and give it a go.”
While Corser is making his International
Challenge debut – now to be known as the MV
Agusta International Challenge - for Aussie vet-
eran Martin it will be his ninth consecutive ap-
“It’s always a special time of year, being part
of Team Australia celebrating Australia Day and
racing motorcycles,” said 48-year-old Martin,
the 1999 Australian superbike champion and
2009 world endurance champion.
“We have a new line-up this year with Corser
coming on board, making it one of the most
competitive teams we have ever had.
“We need it too, because the Poms have a
team full of current British superbike wan-
nabes – and then there’s Jeremy (McWilliams).
He’s a bit fast for my liking but I especially hate
the fact he’s such a good bloke!”
In his first International Challenge way back
in 2010, still the world endurance champion,
Martin topped the individual standings.
Martin and Giles will ride their trusty Suzuki
Katanas in the 2018 International Challenge,
while Corser will be the only Aussie riding a
Phillis will campaign a Suzuki XR69; Beaton
and Donald will be Irving Vincent-mounted; By-
rne will pilot a McIntosh Suzuki; Johnson will
have a Ducati 750 Imola at his disposal; Web-
ster will be on a Suzuki Harris machine; and
Watson has the firebrand Yamaha TZ750 two-
stroke in his corner.
All nine riders can take part in qualifying, but
the Aussie team will be trimmed to eight for the
four International Challenge races against the
same sized teams from the United Kingdom,
the Colin Edwards-led America and New Zea-
The MV Agusta International Challenge is
held over four races on the Island Classic week-
end, reserved for machines manufactured be-
tween 1973 and 1984.
In 2017, the UK’s speed and consistency
again came to the fore as it continued its Inter-
national Challenge dominance. Five of the UK
riders finished inside the top 10 of the individ-
ual standings, compared to three for Australia
and two for Ireland – which will sit out the 2018
As a result, the ruthless UK outfit retained the
International Challenge trophy ahead of Austra-
lia, Ireland, America and New Zealand.
UK guru Jeremy McWilliams won the Ken
Wootton Perpetual Trophy ahead of Aussies
Jed Metcher and Giles – as well as setting a new
historic lap record – but his push for a clean
sweep of victories was scuppered by a flying
Phillis in the final race.
The International Challenge forms just a small
part of the overall Island Classic event, with over
50 races for bikes from pre-WWI bikes (Veteran)
through to Vintage (1920-1945), Classic (1946-
1962), Post Classic (1963-1972), Forgotten Era
(1973-1982) and New Era (1983-1999).
Tickets are on now sale at www.islandclassic.
com.au, with an advance three-day adult pass
for $80 and children 15 and under free.
Add on-circuit camping for four nights for
$75 per person, purchased in advance.
VIP options are available in the Club Classic
Hospitality suite above pit lane, while tickets
are also available for the 25th Anniversary Gala
Dinner presented by MV Agusta, featuring the
greatest road racer of all time, Giacomo Agos-
tini, as well as Corser and Edwards. Alan Cath-
cart will be the MC.
Qualifying and racing will be from 9am from
Friday to Sunday and tickets for the 25th AMCN
International Island Classic are on sale now at
All ticket prices quoted are in advance.
Corser leads star-studded
Island Classic line-up
THERE’S no better way to
spend a Sunday night than
having a go at catching some
But at the San Remo
pier, the strong currents
pushed the sea life away and
with them, any chances of
10-year-old Noah Grundy
catching his first fish.
It was still a good learn-
ing experience for the young
tacker – especially after he
forgot to lock down his line
and it went spinning out into
Luckily, his dad Peter was
nearby and managed to pull
it back to shore.
“There’s a 99.9 per cent
chance we’ll be buying din-
ner tonight,” said Peter.
WESTERNPORT Field and G
ame Club is set to take its game
up a notch when it comes to
dealing with an emergency on
and off the park with a new de-
fibrillator and training package
from the State Government.
Member for Eastern Victo-
ria Region, Harriet Shing, an-
nounced that Westernport Field
and Game Club was one of 301
successful applicants across the
state to receive the package from
the third round of the new Defi-
brillators for Sporting Clubs and
“We here in Gippsland are
proud of our local sports clubs
like Westernport Field and
Game, situated at Rhyll, and
their efforts to make their envi-
ronment more safe and enjoy-
able for all.
“Our roll out has been a huge
success – delivering almost 900
defibrillators to clubs.
“That means there are still
over 100 defibrillators and train-
ing packages still up for grabs.
“Defibrillators at local sports
clubs like Westernport Field and
Game Club keep players safe;
spectators protected, and are a
vital tool for the community.”
In a life threatening sudden
cardiac arrest – every second
counts, and bystanders play a
Without a defibrillator close
by, the survival rate for sudden
cardiac arrest is somewhere
between two and five per cent.
When a defibrillator is used
within the first few minutes, the
rate of survival can rise to 70 per
The great news is that more
bystanders than ever are step-
ping in to save lives.
The use of public defibril-
lators for cardiac arrests has
soared four-fold from 2.8 per
cent in 2006/07 to 11 per cent in
The new devices will appear
on Ambulance Victoria’s data-
base, so that triple zero opera-
tors will be able to direct call-
ers to the new devices available
when emergency strikes.
For more information about
the Defibrillators for Sporting
Clubs and Facilities Program
or how to apply online for fu-
ture rounds, visit www.sport.
New defib breathes life into
Westernport Field and Game
The strong current played against Peter Grundy and his
son Noah in San Remo, the two opting to buy dinner in-
stead of catching it. mm230218
Fishing for fun at San Remo
Alex Phillis won on a Suzuki at the 2017 Island Classic.
Troy Corser and his retirement bike noting his haul of WorldSBK records.
Cycle the Island
GP track this week!
THE first three push bike
ride days at Phillip Island
Grand Prix Circuit have been
a great success with families,
fitness fanatics and cycling
groups all converging on the
circuit for two hour of cycling
There are two more ride days
left for the holidays, Tuesday,
January 9 (today) then Thurs-
day, January 11 so get you
friends and family organised for
a unique way to spend a couple of
hours riding around the world’s
favourite grand prix circuit.
The track it is extremely safe
and you don’t have to worry
about cars, it’s wide enough
for passing and challenging for
the fitness fanatics. You won’t
break any lap records on the
4.5-kilometre circuit however
you will enjoy the safest and
most picturesque location to
ride your push bike on Phillip
So, get your bike, helmet,
family and friends and head
straight to the track. The ride
days are on January 9 and 11
from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
There is no need to book,
tickets are available all day or
just turn up 30 minutes prior
to the session at the Visitors
Centre to purchase your ticket
with your own bike and hel-
It’s best to arrive early and
make the most of your time on
this world-famous circuit.
Already hundreds of holiday makers and locals have enjoyed the opportunity to ride a bike
around the world famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Track and now you can too.
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