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July 12, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Undie 500 to take Detour


The infamous Undie 500 will go ahead this year, after landowners in the Marlborough town of Seddon agreed to host the event. 

The annual student car rally was forced to find a new location after organisers, Caterbury University’s Engineering Society (Ensoc), were told they would no longer be welcome in Dunedin.

In recent years the traditional Christchurch to Dunedin route has repeatedly ended in violence, with a crowd of around 600 rioters and 60 arrests made last year. 

In March Ensoc president Michael Cook announced that Marlborough was being considered as a possible alternative. 

Seddon residents Trish and Chris Redwood offered their 194-hectare property after the Marlborough District Council, police and other residents publicly opposed the suggestion. 
Mrs Redwood said the couple offered their property partially out of sympathy for the students.
“It is a nice big space, the boys obviously needed somewhere to go, and we thought it would be a good solution.”

The couple are optimistic that their property won’t attract the controversy that has previously been associated with the event. 

“I don’t see how having a concert in a country venue would produce similar circumstances. The environment in Dunedin is unique—it’s a student ghetto. It’s very cold, and they need to light fires.”

Ensoc will have to pay a $10,000 bond, are expected to hire security and the event will be a “lock-in”, with no students allowed to leave and no gatecrashers allowed in. 

Despite proceeds from the 1000 tickets sold going to the local community, some residents have begun organising a petition against the event.

The Redwoods still support the rally, which will be held during September if things go as planned. 

“I don’t think it should be such a big deal… it’s really going to be a little Rhythm and Vines with far less people and more booze.”


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