Florida State BMX Championship Saturday in Cape
The Cape Coral BMX Association is hosting its first state championship this weekend.
More than 1,000 racers from across Florida and the nation are expected to attend, said Bob Fain, public relations officer for the association. BMX is a Summer Olympic Sport and this weekend’s race will feature racers from six divisions — Rookie, Novice, Expert, Girls, Cruisers and Professionals.
Racers who are expected to compete on Saturday range in age from 3-years-old to those over 50, yet the majority are teens and young adults.
Fain said the local track has only hosted qualifiers in the past and never tournaments of this size.
“We have held qualifiers before, there are eight a year,” he said. “But this one is the big one, this is the championships.”
The 2010 Florida State BMX Championship starts Saturday at 9 a.m. on the track at the corner of Trafalgar Parkway and Skyline Boulevard.
Competitors are split into six divisions based on their age and skill level. All racers start as Rookies and work their way up to Professionals depending how many times they compete. There is also a separate division for female racers and one called Cruisers for adults who ride a bike with 24-inch wheels, rather than the standard 20-inch wheels.
The local track has been in existence for over 30 years, said Fain. In some cases, multiple generations of Cape Coral families have used the track.
“We have kids who say their dads rode when they were kids,” he said.
The Cape Coral track is home to three professionals and two former professionals who left the sport for awhile but are back to compete.
Even though racers from all over the nation are expected to attend Saturday’s event, Fain said approximately 100 or 1/10 of the total competitors hail from Southwest Florida.
Racers practice on Friday night and the championships start 9:30 a.m. on Saturday after an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m.. Fain said the races go quickly and at any given time there are three races being held simultaneously.
“They run them fast,” he said. “The only break they take is if there is a crash or injured rider.”
The event is free and open to the community and it will likely end at 4:30 p.m.
Fain pointed out that the city’s first professional BMX tournament will bring in over 1,000 competitors plus their families, who will stay in local hotels, dine in nearby restaurants and see what entertainment the city has to offer.
“It will have a big effect on our economy locally,” he said.
Fain is asking that local parents bring their children to the championships and see what BMX racing is all about. For more information on the sport or how to become a racer, visit www.capecoralbmx.org.