Knox Mountain Hill Climb set for May long in Kelowna - InfoNews

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Knox Mountain Hill Climb set for May long in Kelowna

The Leavitt Knox Mountain Hill Climb is in its 62nd year and runs this Saturday and Sunday.
May 14, 2019 - 6:00 PM

It’s been a Kelowna May long weekend tradition for over 60 years, and this year, like every other, will not be short of adrenaline.

The Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hill Climb returns for the 62nd time to the steep, winding Knox Mountain Park paved road this weekend, May 18 and 19. Races begin at 9 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.

Beverage garden, live entertainment, car shows, food trucks and vendors will be on hand, including, a major media sponsor of this year’s climb.

The Leavitt Knox Mountain Hill Climb is a sanctioned Time Attack amateur car race run under the Confederation of Automotive Car Clubs (CACC). The road, while paved, is narrow with off-camber corners and steep grades. The course climbs for 3.5 km, and 245 meters in elevation for an average grade of 6.7 per cent.

The event attracts top drivers from throughout the Pacific Northwest looking for the challenge and thrill of being the fastest around the numbered corners that include three switchbacks and steep drop-offs.

“Time Attack means the cars do not race wheel to wheel. Rather, cars are spaced apart over a course to see which driver achieves the best time. The cars are divided into classes based on horse power and modifications. There are trophies awarded in each class,” explains Bryan Fulton, chief organizer.

This is the only Hill Climb event held in Canada, so in addition to local King and Queen of the Hill honours, the fastest time also earns the CACC Hill Climb Championship, explains Fulton.

The Knox Mountain Motor Sports Society’s (KMMS) Mission is to conduct sanctioned car race events that provide opportunities for local clubs, charities and organizations to earn money to support their cause.

The society’s charity work is done through paying local groups to perform functions during the event, or by direct giving when event revenues exceed expenses.

“This year our local groups include the School District 23 Parent Advisory Council who are running the gates, Kelowna SPCA who are doing the children’s area and the Girl Guides who are doing garbage and grounds clean up. The beer garden is run by Kettle River Brewery with profits going to their designated charity. Hands Together for a Cure is auctioning rides in a Porsche GT3 race car to support Kids Care Cancer Foundation,” according to Fulton.

KMMS always donates a percentage of the gate revenue to a designated charity. This year, that will be the Kelowna Hospital Foundation’s JoeAnna’s House project. The society also works with the Canadian Cancer Society in support of Camp Good Times.

“We couldn’t run this event without the large number of volunteers who come out to work at corners, drive safety vehicles or do the many other tasks required to put on a car race event. Many of these volunteers travel from other cities year after year to help us put on this event. We are always looking for more volunteers for the weekend so go the if you are able to volunteer,” encourages Fulton.

“The generosity of our sponsors not only allows us to make the race happen, but creates the opportunity for our charitable work to take place.”

Visitors and residents should be aware of some road closures and disruptions starting Thursday.

Access to Knox Mountain Park will be limited to ticket holders only during the weekend.

Knox Mountain Drive will be closed for setup on Thursday, May 16 until 9:30 a.m. It will then be open for the remainder of the day with possible disruptions and increased traffic. Knox Mountain Drive and the base parking lot will be fully closed from Friday, May 17 until Tuesday, May 21 at 9:30 a.m. The off-leash dog park and tennis courts and disc golf areas will also be closed from Thursday, May 16 until Monday, May 21.

There will be parking restrictions on the north side of Broadway Avenue on Friday, May 17 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to accommodate event set-up. Public access to the park and the dog park will be limited on Friday, May 17 and Monday, May 20 to safely accommodate the set-up and tear-down of the event. Public access to Paul’s Tomb will be available through Poplar Point Drive.

Be sure to join the fun this weekend, and stop by the tent. Event tickets are only $25 for the weekend and can be purchased online through the web site.

To contact our events coordinator, email Stacy Pavlov or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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