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2011 Singlespeed Worlds to Ireland

Singlespeed Worlds Winner Garth Weinberg's new tattoo

Singlespeed Worlds Winner Garth Weinberg's new tattoo (Image credit: Mike Breen)

Immediately after the finish of the 2010 Singlespeed mountain bike Worlds on Saturday in Rotorua, New Zealand, the top two remaining candidates for hosting the 2011 Worlds faced off. Ireland defeated South Africa in the horizontal bungee contest deciding next year's hosting rights.

Four members of each team bungee'd out to place a can of Speights on the ground before being dragged back by the bungee cord.

The competition had started in the days prior at Agroventures, where five hosting candidates were vying for glory. Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and South Africa made the start line, but the Phillipines, which had expressed interest, did not turn up.

Whether that was due to sabotage will never be known, but the absence of the Philippines meant that only one team would get the chop after an arduous first round of competition. Hundreds of singlepseeders turned up to stand around and drink the first layer of a hug pile of the sponsor's ale, and more than a few took a turn on the Shweeb to see how fast they could go.

Skills required to prevail included balancing a cup of water while taking a ride in a 100kph jet boat, milking a cow into a shot glass, showing skills and coordination while riding a blast of air on top of an airplane motor, shweebing at speed, hurling water balloons at their teammates (and spectators) while dropping off a six story high crane in a sleeping bag, and herding a squad of recalcitrant sheep through a couple of gates.

After hours of strife in the gathering dusk, one team had to be eliminated, and it turned out to be Australia. "This is no reflection on their efforts, they looked about as out of their depth as all the others, but somebody has to lose and after their gold-medal gluttony at the Commonwealth Games it seemed fair it was Australia," said organizers in a statement.

Round two, held on the eve of the actual bike race, was a quiz show.  Italy and Canada were eliminated, leaving South Africa and Ireland to battle in the finals.

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