Crankworx Rotorua steps it up a notch again

Crankworx Rotorua has been dubbed a success in 2018 with event entries at capacity, huge international viewership and around 40,000 visitations over the course of the nine day festival (vs 35,000 in 2017).

Crankworx featured several new elements in 2018, including the addition of a new Dual Slalom course and a Redwoods DH event, a new Kidsworx Arena, a new Pump Track, an Eat Streat based Opening Ceremony and Deep Summer Competition and greater accessibility to the event for locals.

Event director Ariki Tibble says Crankworx Rotorua was keen to push the envelope as the event entered the first year of a new 10 year contract and it was great to see so many people attending over the week.

“The new additions were significant changes which created some challenges for us, but they paid off and have helped to position us for continuous improvement in the years to come.

“Our team has pulled off another incredible festival. It’s always a huge relief, and we’re poised to build on this year’s enhancements in 2019, where we will welcome back the Enduro World Series once again as part of the event.”

Initial figures show that total Crankworx Rotorua broadcast views are up about 70%, tracking over 600,000 views across all platforms (this will grow with Red Bull Media House data to come) and viewers across 64 countries engaged with the live webcasts for an average of 23-minutes.

The expo saw 60 businesses on-site with more international exhibitors this year including Commencal, UNIT, FIST, Krush and Bosch who launched their new e-bike technology into New Zealand, plus another six new companies on-site from around New Zealand.

Kidsworx saw around 400 kids (10% increase on 2017) over five days with a particular increase in the under six demographic as well as a big jump in the number of girls participating. The Giant kids runner bike demo fleet was increased and saw over double the use, moving from 100 waivers signed in 2017, to 250.

Kidsworx director Marcello Ojerio said the proximity of the new Kidsworx area to the expo was met with enthusiasm from the parents and resulted in more kids staying longer each day and increased multi-day visits, as kids woke up and put on their riding gear to head to Crankworx.

“The Kidsworx zone was a hub of activity regardless of the weather, running at nearly full capacity throughout the Crankworx festival, with occasional short waiting lists to jump on a demo bike.”

The Kidsworx competitive events were also sold out with over 300 entrants aged between 8-12 years old in the Hipster Downhill, Pump Track Challenge and the Sprint Warrior Downhill.

The Professionals NZ Secondary Schools events (XC, XC Relay and DH), were entered by 387 students from over 100 schools from as far south as Southland Boys High School and as far north as Kerikeri High School and an Educate Programme saw 227 students gaining knowledge about Crankworx Rotorua from nine schools around the Bay of Plenty.

In the Crankworx World Tour events, there were 530 pro and amateur athletes competing at the highest level for points towards King and Queen of Crankworx.

Redwoods DH event director Dave Hamilton says the new event addition attracted 110 entries and showcased Whakarewarewa Forest Downhill track, Taniwha, to international riders weaving through native forest to a high speed finish.

“The riders were blown away by the amazing soil and terrain we have.”

He says the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill finishing up the week went across four days with a strong international field containing both current male and female world champions and top Kiwi rider Brook Macdonald (aka the bulldog) described the 2.1km course as one of the best in the world.

Other events full of international stars and local heroes included the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza, the Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style, the Rockshox Pump Track Challenge presented by Torpedo 7, 100% Dual Slalom and the GIANT Toa Enduro and Challenger.

Eat Streat based community events included the Opening Ceremony and Deep Summer Photography Competition which resulted in an incredible vibe with people everywhere.

Sponsor events on-site were also filled to capacity including the GT Yoga sessions (over 40 people at both classes) and the Liv Women’s Session ride (100 attended).

The media centre saw 125 media from around the world putting the spotlight on Rotorua with hundreds of articles and videos shared online and in print.

Mr Tibble says the team will take a bit of time to reflect on the successes and challenges of 2018 and then kick into planning mode to do it all again in 2019.

“I think a really exciting part of this event is that our entire team are constantly hungry to make improvements year on year. Already we have plans for 2019 to take things to the next level and that a pretty good space to be in.”

Photo credits Clint Trahan: The Crankworx Rotorua team celebrate a successful 2018 event & Kidsworx racers pumped to hit the trails.