Take Action! Bikini track sprint

Speak out against sexist bikini track sprint

There has been a lot of media this week about the Gold Coast Turf club's idea to host a 'bikini race' where up to 150 women are released from horse stalls to compete for a $5000 prize. Contact details for racing Qld at the end of the post.

As reported in The Courier Mail

THE Gold Coast Turf Club will lock bikini-clad women in barrier stalls and run them down the straight, to mirror a horse race, as part of a new novelty event.

The Australian-first publicity masterstroke, which some believe will take the city to a tacky low, will become an annual event at the first race meeting of the summer season, The Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

Under the plan up to 150 women, who must wear bikinis and running shoes, will compete through a knockout system for a first prize of $5000.

The club hopes to attract athletes from surf and running clubs as well as fun runners.

The event is the brainchild of eccentric chairman Andrew Eggleston, and has been copied from America's famed Hollywood Park racecourse which holds a similar event with success annually.

Melinda Tankard Reist also appeared on the channel 7 Morning Show with Gold Coast Turf Club chairman Andrew Eggleston and Women in Racing director Jennifer Bartels

[Video no longer available]

It would have been good to have heard stronger words from Women in Racing

The move has the cautious support of the Gold Coast-based Women In Racing group. "Any publicity is good publicity, but I feel using ladies jumping out of the barriers is akin to someone jumping out of a birthday cake,'' said director Jennifer Bartels. ''We love anyone who will promote racing, but perhaps this isn't quite racing. Good luck to them though.
A Bikini track sprint does not attract more women to racing. It is designed to attract more men to the club. If we want more women to be involved in sport we need to stop relocating them to the role of 'eye candy.'
Gold Coast Turf Club chief executive Grant Sheather defended the politically-incorrect publicity stunt.

''There will be some people that raise their eyebrows, that is to be expected,'' he said, as quoted in the Bulletin. ''When people say 'Gold Coast' you think of beach, you think of girls and you think of bikinis, it's a marketing ploy to build racing.

Grant Sheather, when we think of girls, we think of people. Furthermore, this event is open to women over 18. There will be no 'girls' competing in this event. I guess referring to adult females as 'women' is too much to ask of a man who would have us treated like animals.

More news today

RACING Queensland is threatening to pull the reins on a controversial bikini girl race at the Gold Coast Turf Club.

The turf club plans to stage the $5000 race for up to 150 bikini-clad "fillies and mares" down the main straight of the Bundall racetrack on December 4, with entrants released from barrier stalls.

The Bikini Track Sprint has been slammed as tacky and demeaning by critics including Queensland's top female horse trainer, Gillian Heinrich.Speaking on Brisbane radio yesterday, RQ chairman Bob Bentley said the race would not be allowed to go ahead on the course-proper.

Turf club chairman Andrew Eggleston said he was seeking urgent talks with RQ.

Great to see strong words from Gillian Heinrich!

Take Action!

Contact Racing Qld and ask them to put a stop to the Bikini Track Sprint.

You might like to make the following points in your email or telephone call:

  • This event is not about racing, it is about objectifying women and is sexist
  • It is discrimination to have a requirement that women wear bikinis while competing in a race
  • It is wrong for women to have to sign a waiver to release the club from any liability for death or injury
  • Women should be invited into the sport of racing in the same capacity as men
  • This event tarnishes the reputation of the Sunshine State

As always, post your comments or a copy of any letters you send, in the comments section below.

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