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Speeding Up . . . Racing at the Catlins Coast Rally last year is competitor Andrew Graves, who attended the event since it began in 1998. PHOTO: THE ENSIGN FILES.

STAFF REPORTER

After last year’s ”boomer” event, the Catlins Coast Rally will take a break.

It was the 20th time the Eastern Southland Car Club had organised the rally.

The club will organise the Rosebank Lodge Catlins Rallysprint instead this year.

Eastern Southland Car Club spokesman Roger Laird said the group needed a year off to regroup.

“Last year was a boomer and the first major rally after lockdown.

“We were very lucky as we went back to [Alert] Level 2 just days after the event.”

The club aimed to revive the competition next year, he said.

“It is our intention to hold the rally again in 2022 and we already have a tentative date to do that.”

The Rosebank Lodge Catlins Rallysprint will take place next month.

“The rallysprint is easier to organise and will still bring competitors into the area and fill accommodation.”

The event will make use of familiar roads previously used for the rally.

It will be held at Puerua Church Rd, off Romahapa Rd, and will loop 8.5km.

Each contestant will compete in three heats in each direction.

Catlins Coast Rally competitor Andrew Graves has attended the event since it started in 1998.

Graves has won the competition four times as a driver and twice as a co-driver.

He was sad to hear the competition had been cancelled for this year.

“I’m a little disappointed, but in saying that the organisers have a lot on their plate but I know the rallysprint will be just as great as the rally itself.”