Great Southern Randonnée (GSR)

Ride Start Date: 2021-11-08

August 12, 2021

It is with the deepest regret that after long and careful consideration, we advise you of the cancellation of this year’s GSR (all distances). Riders will receive a full refund of fees.

With the current Delta COVID situations Australia-wide and the likelihood of further rolling lockdowns and reduced accommodation density limits until years-end, the demands of running the GSR and lack of long-distance training opportunities for riders make it not feasible to continue from a logistical, financial or rider/volunteer health & safety perspective. In particular, we have ~40 interstate riders signed up and 22 from NSW alone, so border closures would lead to a significant field reduction. 

For the 35+ volunteers, we sincerely thank you for your generous offer of assistance, it was very much appreciated. Fingers crossed we get to have another crack in 2024!

Regards…..your GSR Sub Committee

Great Southern Randonnée (GSR)

The Great Southern Randonnée (GSR) is a premier 1200 km randonnee with a tradition of fabulous support provided by enthusiastic volunteers. It is Audax Australia’s equivalent of the iconic Paris-Brest-Paris 1200km randonnee, similarly being run every four years.

The seventh edition of the GSR will be held on Monday 8th November 2021. 

For 2021 and unlike 2016, due to COVID-19 there will be a limit of 60 riders with a single start/multiple waves. Riders will head first along the iconic Great Ocean Road, head north from Port Fairy to Halls Gap and then return via the GoR to Anglesea, with a final 200km loop up to Geelong, west to Winchelsea and return to Anglesea.

Website details will continue to be updated as detailed planning proceeds. 

Registrations opened on April 23 2021. The field limit of 60 has been reached, therefore a wait list has been established to cater for entry cancellations (view list here). If you cannot do the ride but would still like to be involved, why not volunteer to help with the running of the event? Depending on the help provided, volunteers can receive free food and accommodation during the event.

For further information or to volunteer for the event, email gsr@audax.org.au.

There are a number of things you’ll need to do before the ride:

  • Decide whether to enter the 1200km, 1000 km or 300 km event;
  • Complete a qualifying ride;
  • Decide if/where you need pre- or post-ride accommodation;
  • Work out how you will get to the start;
  • Register (full payment is required);
  • Make any pre- or post-ride bookings as early as possible.

The Great Southern Randonnée will be held from 8 -11 November 2021. In the meantime, planning is underway and the key dates are shown below.

March 2021Draft routes published at http://ridewithgps.com/events/Great-Southern-Randonnee-GSR-2021.  Cue sheet entries to be updated.
23 April 2021Entries open 6pm, field limited to 60 riders.
30 September 2021– Cutoff date for completing qualifying rides
– Final version of routes & controls announced
1-31 August 2021Event merchandise orders open
8 October 2021Refund period closes 10pm
1 November 2021Entries close 10pm
11 November 2021 (tbc)Volunteers’ ride departs at 6am from Anglesea
8 -11 November 2021The Great Southern Randonnée!

Qualifying rides will apply for those entering the 1000km & 1200km distances.

To qualify you must have completed either a 1000 Km or greater ride (including PBP) in the 2018-20 seasons (November 1 2018 to October 31 2020), or a 600 Km or greater ride in the current 2020-21 Audax season by September 30 (extended from August 31).

See the Audax online ride calendar for some great options or consider one of the many permanent rides around the country.

Other qualifying rides may also be accepted at the discretion of the event organiser.

Riders must obey the Audax Australia Ride Rules and the Victorian Road Rules as it applies to bicycles. Riders observed breaching these rules may be disqualified by the ride organiser.

In Victoria all cyclists are required by law to wear a helmet. See https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/cyclist-safety/wearing-a-bicycle-helmet.

Between sunset and sunrise they are required to have a front (white) and rear (red) lights and a red reflector. Lights must also comply with Victorian Road Rules, visible from a minimum of 200 metres.

Audax Australia strongly recommends that a spare front and rear light is carried and that reflective clothing is also worn at night and at times of low visibility.

As well as Lighting requirements, you are required to wear reflective clothing – see the Audax reflective garments guidelines for details.

You should make sure that you’re equipped with clothing for a variety of weather conditions – weather can be highly variable and change rapidly. See the Weather page for further details of expected weather in November.

Remember the old adage – “There’s no  such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.”

A GSR polo shirt, carry bag and medal will be included in your entry fee (1000/1200/300 riders).

All other GSR merchandise will also be available when the shop is open from July 1-31.

Victoria will be in late spring in November, and typically the weather will be fine and warm – it can be a wonderful time of year to ride with great conditions. But it’s important to be aware that the ride includes a wide variety of landscapes from winding coastal roads to the hills of the Grampians, and that the weather can go through several extremes in a short period of time.

In general, prevailing winds will be from the west to southwest. You will need to be prepared to face strong winds (particularly on the exposed parts of the coastal Great Ocean Road), sudden squalls, extreme cold if the wind swings to the south and brings cold air from the Southern Ocean, or even extreme heat if the wind swings northerly and brings in hot air from the red centre of Australia.

Temperatures can reach into the high 30’s (centigrade) during the day on the coast – as high as 100F – or be as low as freezing (0C, 32F) overnight in the Grampians. Melbourne is well known for having 4 seasons in one day, so do make sure that you’re well prepared.

Anglesea

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Airey’s Inlet)

Daily average maximum temperature is approximately 20C, but can be as low as 12C or as high as 37C. Notably both of these records were set within a fortnight of each other, which indicates how variable the weather really can be.

Daily average minimum temperature is around 11C but has been as low as 4C.

Average rainfall for November is 60mm, with around 11 days with rain.

Port Fairy

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Port Fairy AWS)

Daily average maximum temperature is approximately 20C, but can be as low as 12C or as high as 38C.

Daily average minimum temperature is around 11C but has been as low as 2C.

Average rainfall for November is 45mm, with around 11 days with rain.

Halls Gap

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Hamilton Airport)

As you travel through the Grampians, the weather will be changeable. Daily average maximums are between 21C and 24C, but maximums may be as low as 9C and it has reached 40C in Hall’s Gap before in November.

Daily average minimums are around 8-10C, but again it may drop considerably lower and frosts are not unknown with lowest minimums around 0C.

Average rainfall for November is 44mm, Hamilton has an average of 12 days rain.

The Great Southern Randonnée offers three rides:

Entries will be open on April 23 2021. Please click here for the 1000/1200, here for the 300.
The cost for the 1200 km and 1000 km options is A$675.
The cost for the 300 km option is A$135.

Support at Controls for the 1200 km options is designed for the ride to be completed in 80 to 90 hours (giving maximum sleep and enjoyment).

Entry includes:

  • Assistance with accommodation for interstate entrants
  • Overnight accommodation for the duration of the ride on Monday 8 (Hamilton), Tuesday 9 (Port Fairy) and Wednesday 10 November (Anglesea).
  • Breakfast on Monday 8
  • Full support (breakfast/dinner) with bag drops at the overnight sleep controls at Hamilton, Port Fairy and Anglesea
  • Meal support at Port Campbell and Apollo Bay (limited sleeping available on return), Forrest, Wangoom, Halls Gap and Moyston(tbc)
  • Out of hours tea/coffee/soup/sandwiches support at Macarthur (tbc)
  • Sag wagon, motorcycle marshal, photographers on course and about 30 volunteers
  • Event merchandise – polo shirt, carry bag
  • Engraved finisher’s medallion

Also available (at extra cost):

  • Transport between Melbourne and Anglesea
  • Pre- and post-ride accommodation at Big4 Anglesea
  • Post-ride breakfast
  • Event jersey and other merchandise (tbc)

What are the start times?

Unlike previous GSRs, there will be a single morning start on November 8 at 6am, but with multiple waves (probably 15 riders per wave at 10 minute intervals). Waves will be assigned in alphabetic order.

The 300km ride will start on Wednesday November 10 at 6am at Port Fairy.

Is there a limit on the number of riders who can enter?

Yes, the event limit (constrained by the sleeping/eating facilities at the overnight controls) is 60.  Also, there are limits on the number of riders per wave (15).

Will there be a wait list if the rider limit is reached?

Yes, a wait list will be established. OS riders will be considered if international travel restrictions are eased prior to November.

What if I have to cancel?

Check the general Terms and Conditions when entering for Audax Australia events. 

Refunds will be provided for cancellations, the following schedule overrides the standard Audax Australia Terms & Conditions cancellation policy:

  • before 10:00 pm August 8 2021, 75% of the Ride Entry Fee,
  • before 10:00pm September 8 2021, 50% of the Ride Entry Fee,
  • before 10:00pm October 8 2021, 25% of the Ride Entry Fee, and
  • after 10:00pm October 8 2021, only the medallion fee component of the Ride Entry Fee.

If there is a Wait List, Audax Australia may, in its absolute discretion, refund the Ride Entry Fee less an administration fee of $50.

Cycling

Cycling from Melbourne to Anglesea can be done by riding down either side of Port Philip Bay. While the eastern side of the bay involves a longer ride of around 160km to get to Anglesea, the route from Melbourne to Sorrento, with a ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff and then a coastal ride to Anglesea, is arguably much more picturesque as compared to the relatively flat, boring and higher traffic route through Geelong.

Cycling from Geelong is a shorter 40km ride, you can get to Geelong by train with your bike (see below).

Hitching a Ride!

Many local Melbourne riders and volunteers will be heading to Anglesea, and it is expected that they will be able to transport additional passengers, luggage and bikes. You can put your thumb out for a ride with one of our volunteers via an email to gsr@audax.org.au.

Public Transport

V-Line trains run from Melbourne to Geelong on a regular basis. It is approximately a 40km ride from Geelong’s railway station to Anglesea for riders in the 1200km and 1000km events. Trains have bike-carrying facilities.

V-Line trains run from Melbourne to Warrnambool a few times a day. Warrnambool is just under 30km from Port Fairy, the location of the start of the 300km event. Trains have bike-carrying facilities but capacity is limited so please check with V-Line before you travel.

Driving

The 1200km and 1000km start at the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park is approximately 90 minutes from Melbourne by car, via Geelong. Off-street parking will be available for participants during the event, but please be aware that this is not secure parking.

For 300km riders, Port Fairy is about 3.5 hours west of Melbourne by car, on the inland route, or you may prefer to drive the world famous Great Ocean Road and spend a day (or two) getting there instead. This route is a 6+ hour drive, depending on how often the stunning scenery makes you stop.

Parking

During the ride you cannot leave your car at the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park, unless you have booked a unit or tent site for the duration of the ride.

On street parking is available outside the Holiday Park in Murray Street, and around the corner in Noble Street (was used without issue during the 2016 GSR).

Off street parking close to the start (about 300 metres) is available at the Anglesea Historical Society/Commmunity House car park. They have offered us the use of 24 spaces. Cost is a small donation to these charities, payable via the GSR Supplementary Payments portal.

Flying

If you flying in from interstate, the closest major airport for both start locations is Melbourne. Bus and taxi services operate from the airport into Melbourne, and also Gull Bus operates a service direct to Geelong.

Melbourne

Melbourne offers a huge range of accommodation to choose from over the internet, whatever your budget.

We have a limited number of billets available with local cyclists in Melbourne and Geelong, but are seeking to source some more. These can vary from a private double bedroom to sleeping on a mattress on the floor. If you would like to stay with a local cyclist, email gsr@audax.org.au and we’ll do our best. Priority for these places will be given to our international guests first.

GSR transport from/to Melbourne will depart from/return to Abbotsford Cycles, 27 Swan St, Richmond (under Richmond Metro Station). The closest hotel to Abbotsford Cycles is the Richmond Hill Hotel (1 km). It is an older style 3 star hotel with a variety of room options (from economy rooms with shared bathrooms, standard rooms with ensuite bathrooms and self contained apartments), very central and close to public transport and lots of restaurants. Breakfast included, guest bar. There is no lift, but you can ask for a ground floor room. They are bike friendly – you can keep your bike in the room (so long as it is clean). But you can read the reviews and make up your own mind Richmond Hill Hotel reviews. If you contact them directly via rhhotel@bigpond.net.au, they are offering a 10% discount for the GSR (quote ‘Audax Australia Cycling Club’).

Anglesea

The GSR is being run from the very comfortable 4 star Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park. It comes complete with indoor pool, bouncing pillow, giant chess set and even grazing kangaroos. We have booked unit accommodation on Sunday 7th , Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th. This has enabled us to have 24 hour access to the Campers Kitchen for serving meals, and come and go throughout the night as randonneurs are want to do. For the duration of our stay, it will become a real randonneur village.

Accommodation at Anglesea on Wednesday 10th is included for all 1000/1200 Km riders as part of entry, accommodation on Sunday 7th (pre-ride) and Thursday 11th (post ride) is optional and can be booked directly with the park. Check in time is 2 pm on Sunday 7th (unless Saturday accommodation has also been booked). Checkout time on Friday 12th is 10 am (no late checkout available due to heavy booking on the weekend).

If you want to make additional bookings either prior to Monday November 8 or post Wednesday November 10 you can contact the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park directly – contact is Jess who is handling our booking and works on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays (phone +61 3 5263 1640, email info@big4anglesea.com.au). Quote the ‘Audax Cycling Group’ and they are offering a 15% discount.

Note: if riders book their own accommodation at Big4 on Sunday 7th or Thursday 11th and would like the same room for Wednesday 10th, a $50 refund will be applied to their entry fee.

The cheapest accommodation at the Holiday Park is a tent site (all powered), $35 (tbc) for 2 people per night. There is also the Anglesea Backpackers right next door, another Caravan Park and a motel nearby.

Anglesea

The 1200km and 1000km rides start and finish in the picturesque seaside town of Anglesea, approximately 115km south-west of Melbourne at the start of the world-famous Great Ocean Road. Anglesea is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne.

Port Fairy

The 300km ride starts in the beautiful Port Fairy and returns to Anglesea. Port Fairy is close to 300km west of Melbourne, a short distance past Warrnambool.

Riders are encouraged to have a pre-ride dinner at the Anglesea Hotel on November 7 from 5:00pm onwards. Individual or group bookings need to be made directly to the Hotel, unfortunately they are not taking a mass booking for us.

2016