THE addition of 710-metre boxes at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart will pave the way for the Hobart Greyhound Racing Club to host the 2012 National Sprint and Distance Championships.
Plans to install the distance boxes are well under way and the HGRC is thrilled with the prospects of hosting such a huge event.
Hobart has not hosted a National Sprint or Distance final since 1987 when West Australian dog Fremantle Echo defeated Tasmania’s True Vintage over 457 metres on the old Royal Showground track.
“The club is very excited about hosting the Nationals again and while it is two years away there is a lot of planning that goes into running this event so we’ve started planning last week,” said HGRC chairman Denise Fysh.
The Hobart club also will host the National Hall of Fame that is usually held about six months after each National Sprint and Distance series and in the same state as those championships were held.
“The Hall of Fame is such a huge event in itself these days so naturally we are extremely excited about hosting that event as well.”
“We have such great facilities here in Hobart these days and that is going to give us the chance to successfully host two very big national events,” she said.
Hobart boasts a U-turn track and that alone will add a new dimension to the race series.
The TasmanianState heats and finals over both distances 461m (sprint) and 710m (distance) will be run on the Hobart track two weeks prior to the National finals.
Launceston has hosted the past three Nationals series when held in Tasmania and the Launceston club will continue to hold the state heats when the national series is held on a circle track interstate.
“We have had a lot of discussions with the LGRC and it has been agreed that the two clubs will share the hosting of the nationals with Launceston to host both events when it’s our turn again in six years time and then it comes back to us (Hobart in 2024),” Fysh said.
The Hall of Fame and sprint and distance championships used to be held at the same time but two years ago AGRA adopted a new policy to run them as separate events.
“It was becoming increasingly hard to stop the Hall Of Fame event from overshadowing the sprint and distance championships so it was decided to separate them and it has proved very successful.”
“Our club is already starting to formulate some really good ideas for each event, even to the point of coming up with a theme for the race series and we also plan to devise ways to help promote the Hall Of Fame and all the other minor events that go hand in glove with the Hall Of Fame week,” she said.
Fysh said the construction and placement of the 710-metre boxes is a major project that should be completed well within 12 months.