After numerous delays caused by local busy bodies, later today the Catalina Grand Prix will begin accepting payments and will officially kick off on Friday, December 3. You need to act quickly, several races are already full and the organizers will finish payment on November 12. 80 percent off and 20 percent on-road, the Grand Prix will be open to vintage and classic racers as well as certain modern bikes. It’s the first time a race has been held on the island off the coast of Los Angeles since 1958.
There’s still limited details on the race as it appears to operating on a shoe string, but eCatalina says, “The course, just shy of seven miles, includes city streets, winding dirt trails and hills. The final race of the weekend will be a 100 mile Pro Race. This once in a lifetime opportunity is for a very limited and select group of riders.”
Currently a one-off race, the City of Avalon and the race’s supporters and organizers will have to apply again for a second event based on the success of this first one.
Discussing the delays that have plagued the Grand Prix, eCatalina says, “Resurrecting the world-famous Catalina Grand Prix has not been easy. In particular, environmental concerns and laws exist today that had not even been contemplated in the simpler times of the 1950s. Permits and required environmental remediation after the event have added an estimated $30,000 to $60,000 to the costs associated with producing the event.”
Held for a span of eight years between 1951 and ’58, the Catalina Grand Prix was sort of an early ancestor of supermoto. Located 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island only has a tiny population centered in Avalon, its only town. Bicycle and even hiking access to the island’s preserved wilderness is heavily restricted.
Thanks for the tip, Doug.