ENTRYEntries close: 31 March 2021

PRE RACE BRIEFING 2019 – Must Knows

Date: April 11th, 2019


Welcome to Lake Hawea and the 12th annual Contact Epic. The LMS Events team congratulates you on getting this far and look forward to you adding to the camaraderie and positive vibe this race experiences. The next is the easy bit, just hop onto your bike on Saturday morning and keep pedaling until we say stop.  If you need any help with anything please ask someone with a fluro vest.


If for any reason you have registered and decide not to race please text your name and race number stating DNS to Danielle Nicholson 0274595106.



  • For parking, drive past the front of the Hawea Hotel and turn right behind the garden bar. Follow the signs to the rear of the Hawea Hotel where, on the top level, there is a large paddock for parking. No parking please on the roads leading to or around the dam. Drivers, be aware of cyclists riding down-hill from the hotel to the start line in the dark. Bike lights are required during the hours of darkness.


  • The Centurion race starts this year with the Epic riders at 7.00am. The Centurions have yellow plates and are riding a very long way so let them draft, help them out, you are not competing with them 😉 Centurions will go straight ahead at the Epic/Classic turn around point out and back on the same course for 35km before reaching the Epic river-crossing point again and then joining up with the rest of the Epic and Classic riders. A small Aid Station will be situated at the Centurion turn around point at the top of the course.


  • The Epic race starts at 7.00am. As with the Centurion, if you wish to be near the front you need to get there early. However, for everyone’s safety if you are not a serious contender please do not stack up at the front for the start. Most importantly please do not arrive late and try to push in or jump the fence, respect the fact that some have got up early to get their spots.


  • Toilets are located at the Hawea Hotel or at the start line for Centurion, Epic and Traverse riders. The Hawea Hotel will be open for coffee, toilets and breakfast (not necessarily in that order) from 5.00am.


  • For the Classic, 2 toilets are located in the Kidds Bush camping area or via the portaloo next to the start line. The start line is on the grass on the eastern end of the reserve. For those supporters driving out, remember to leave straight after the start or stay (approx 1.5 hrs) until the Epic riders have come past as this will be greatly appreciated and reduce vehicles V cyclists on Mead Rd heading back to the state highway.


  • Classic Parking, follow the marshals’ directions to parking areas. It will take approximately 45-55 mins from Wanaka to get to Kidds Bush. There are no lights out there until sun rise, so bring a head torch. There will be some campers using the camp ground so some consideration for them would be great. For those getting the shuttle bus to Kidds Bush, the pick up is from the front of the Hawea Hotel at 5.30 am and is independently organised through Ritchies Bus service 027 511 1264. There is no return trip to Kidds Bush after the race.


  • Course deviation: About 14 km past Kidds Bush you now have to go around the Leap Hut bridge as this is closed to all Marshalls will direct you (no distance change).


  • The river crossing has changed, at the turnaround point (which is marshalled) you will now go straight across the Hunter River to the opposite bank and ride via a new track on the Dingle Burn side to just past where the old river crossing came out. It will all be well marked.


  • If you are crossing the river, spot your exit point down river before you start. Cross at a 45 degree angle to the flow. Keep your bike above the water if possible, if not, keep it on the down river side of you. If you are not sure, ask for help. Remember the first Aid Station is approx. 4 km from the river crossing and you may get wet again before you get there so if you are into changing socks etc I suggest doing it at the Aid Station.


  • The existing hazards: Bunch riding on the road and other vehicular traffic. Loose and exposed rock, narrow tracks, fast descents with water ruts at the bottom, steep exposure at the tracks edge at times, wandering stock, other passing riders and rider fatigue, very cold river and stream crossings along with marshal vehicles on the course.
  • Remember to take your donation (paper is lighter than coins) for the tea and scones fund raiser at the Dingle Burn Café (Centurion/Epic/Classic only).


  • The Traverse 7:30am start is the same place as the Epic start only you will be heading in the other direction. Come early to cheer on the Epic riders as they head out on your adventure.
  • For the Traverse, your biggest hazard will be crossing Camp Hill Rd at the 5km and again at the 30km mark. Marshals will manage that crossing point so please slow down and be prepared to stop if asked or if vehicles are on the road. On course, there are black printed arrows on signs to indicate any track / course deviation from the one you are on as well as orange painted arrows on the ground.
  • For the Traverse riders, the Hawea and Clutha River Tracks remains open to the public so please show the appropriate courtesy and share the space if you see other track users.
  • There are no road closures. Normal road rules apply to all roads and 4×4 tracks on all courses at all times. You may encounter a 4×4 vehicle coming towards you on the private Hunter, Dingle Burn or Hawea River 4×4 tracks. This will be in emergency cases only as they will be heading to an accident site, so always ride in control. However, there are a few private vehicles on both sides of the valley as the roar is on and they are there hunting, we cannot control their movements so keep focused and be aware.
  • Note to self; it doesn’t matter if you are coming first or last, your rubbish is your rubbish. Own it, love it, keep it. No one wants to see it on our tracks. If you are seen dropping rubbish you will be disqualified. We take a very hard line on this as it’s an essential part of keeping the land access for this race.
  • Very Important Note. Keep left on all tracks and roads, particularly so on the fast descents. Do not change suddenly from one side of the 4×4 track to the other as faster cyclists trying to pass could end up in your spokes and both of you will, at best, end up in a heap on the ground. Be prepared for the passing cyclist to call out that they are coming through on your right” and keep to your line. For this safety reason we do not recommend IPODs.


  • The above point is particularly important for the slower Classic riders that will be caught and passed by the faster Epic riders. So keep left on the descents, ride in control at all times and indicate your intentions early.


  • Weather: Frosts and morning cloud then becoming fine. 6-10 degrees. It will be cold for the Traverse riders on the Hawea River track in the morning so dress accordingly.


  • This year your transponders will be attached to your race plates, do not cut your plates as you could end up being untimed.


  • We do not accept transferred entries. For professional and medical reasons we need to know who is on the course and what medical conditions etc they may have in case of emergencies.


  • If you withdraw from the race, PLEASE inform a marshal ASAP and do not cross the transponder mats if you are back in the garden bar with your bike.


  • Bunch Riding can be dangerous: If you are not familiar with bunch riding please stay out of them. We tend to get one significant crash from the bunch riding on the road each year and we would really like none. This will mainly affect the Epic riders. Remember these rules: Be predictable with all actions, Avoid sudden braking and changes of direction or speed, Be smooth with turns at the front of the bunch, Always retire to the back of the bunch, Pedal downhill, Point out obstacles, Don’t overlap wheels, Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider, Look ahead, Obey the road rules.


  • You will receive a Contact Epic Vehicle sticker at registration. Please place this on your car for two chances to be first at prize giving to pick from our top selection of spot prizes on our models. Traverse prize giving, 11 am / Cent, Epic and Classic at 5.30pm.


  • If you want your bike cleaned after the race for $10, we have a fundraiser for the Girl Guides at the finish line. By the time you have had your 2nd beer the bike should be looking like new again. This means you can put it straight in the garage and not think about it again for a few weeks without feeling too guilty.


  • Most importantly be safe out there. Focus on the journey, not the destination. If an opportunity arises to help someone out with a break down or at crash then take it. Karma will pay you back in spades. Record your time lost and we will credit it back to you. Traditionally we have the friendliest riders and volunteers out on course, it’s a tradition well worth preserving.


  • If you are unsure about whether you will need lights, take them just in case. It will be dark just after 6.30pm. If you are not past the Dingle Bluffs by last light you will be withdrawn from the race. If you are still on the Traverse course at this time you should be calling for help!!


  • Enjoy the day 😉

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