Spectacle roars into town

Thousands of bikes head off to Phillip Island. 199533_01

By Brendan Rees

Dark clouds may have threatened as thousands of motorbikes descended on High Street in Cranbourne but it didn’t dampen the spirits of riders or those cheering them on.

Crowds gathered in droves as motorbikes laden with chrome and leather waved goodbye as they headed en-mass to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday 26 October.

There were high-fives, grid women walking on stilts, outstretched arms from the crowd taking photos, chequered flags, and flashing lights from Casey Highway Patrol motorbikes as they escorted the riders.

The event, hailed one of Casey’s biggest events, also featured market stalls, food and drink vans, workshops for kids, face painting, sausage sizzles and fire brigade displays.

Casey Radio also broadcast a live-to-air coverage of the event while sixteen year-old Ebony Portelli, who was the winner of Star Search for a Cause and Casey’s Got Talent 2018, sung the national anthem.

For the first time this year, a lucky member of the public was chosen to go up in the cherry picker with the Casey mayor to help wave off the riders.

That special person was Vanessa Ferriman who was the winner of a Facebook competition to determine the waver. However, Ms Ferriman decided to give the once-in-a-lifetime prize to her brother Steve Ferriman as a gift.

He followed in the footsteps of legends like Cathy Freeman, Arj Barker, Leisel Jones and Shane Jacobson for the experience.

Casey mayor Amanda Stapledon described the day as incredible and thanked the weather gods for not spoiling the party.

“The number of bikes and the crowd was heartening to see and confirmed that no matter the weather, this is an event well worthwhile, and so beneficial to both the City of Casey families and bike enthusiasts,” she said.

“It was a privilege to be in the cherry picker with the competition winner and avid motorcyclist, Steve Ferriman; a Cranbourne resident who rides in the wave-off each year.”

Volunteers from the Casey Cardinia Foundation were also out in force rattling tins and encouraging visitors to donate.  All money raised goes towards not-for-profit charities and organisations that directly impact areas including disability, older persons, disadvantage, crisis and youth within

the region.