Wild Horizons draw on the expertise of a large and diverse group, collectively known as ‘The Dark Side’ – some of whom have been with us for 20 years! Their skills and understanding enable us to make the impressive claim that in 20 years and over 60 large events we have never started an event or a stage in an event a minute later than scheduled!
HUW KINGSTON, DIRECTOR
Huw is a well known figure in the outdoor and mountain bike world with a long interest and involvement in environmental issues as well as a passion for the great outdoors. He has spent over 30 years enjoying travelling by human powered means in wild places across the world. Before Huw set up Wild Horizons in 1992 he worked in the outdoor equipment industry in the UK and Australia. More details on Huw can be found on www.huwkingston.com. Believes drinking coffee should be his primary role at an event.
DAVID WEST, COURSE DIRECTOR
David, the man in the kilt, has long been involved in mountain biking, having done some of the very early Wild Horizons Polaris events. Having been heavily involved in course setting and event organisation for Mountain Biking Orienteering events he is the ideal man to be our primary Course Director for our events. When not working on events David is the Director of a company conserving ‘old stuff’ – everything from buildings to paintings.
ERICA GALEA, COMMUNICATIONS & SPONSORSHIP
Erica juggles a life of mother-of-two, plus her own marketing and PR consultancy, with an amazing ability to ‘get out’ there on the bike and on foot, taking in as many MTB races and adventure events as her busy schedule (and husband) allows from her Sydney base.
BARBARA ERTZ, ACCOUNTS/REGO
Barbara pays our dues and somehow understands the weird world of MYOB and internet banking. Everyone is nice to her or they don’t get paid. Come event time she is our Registration Master, taking over the reins from Wendy some years ago. Occasionally spotted around the streets of Bundanoon on her cruising bike.
For 4 years from 2012 to 2015 Mr Beets held the reins as our full time Operations guru, the lynchpin around which all our things rotated. Danien was born and bred a Kiwi in the mountain bike mecca of Rotorua before it was a mountain bike mecca. Still remains on the team for the events and through the year dealing with the mumbo jumbo of our IT. In his spare time he marshals bees in the pursuit of honey and turns wood in the pursuit of bowls in which to put it.
ALEX MCNEE, COURSE/MECHANIC
Starting life as a freshwater ecologist Alex soon found he preferred fixing bikes to fixing rivers and certainly to working out in the real world to working in government. Based in Canberra, Alex is a key member of our event course team and Some times accompanies our tours as a mechanic.
ROSS NORRIS, MC/KIDS RACING/DJ
With a wicked sense of humour, Ross entertains the crowds at our events when he gets behind the microphone, but he’s also an adept organiser. Ensuring the kids races at our events run smoothly is a task not to be taken likely given the potential for tantrums if things don’t run like clockwork! You can also blame him if you don’t love the playlist.
Sometime operations coordinator and long time team member, working with Wild Horizons is a businessman’s holiday for Bev as she also runs an Events/Conference business. Keeps the champagne flowing with Wendy on those long sessions at the event registration desk and well known by all our 100Milers as the hostess of the Mile High Lounge
MARK RADDATZ, COURSE DIRECTOR/EVENT CENTRE COORDINATOR
Mark, along with his partner Nicky, joined the team in 1998 and have only missed one event, so they could caretake wild, windswept Maatsuyker Island one winter off the south coast of Tasmania in 2014. Mark is a lynchpin at many of our events running the event centres and more recently as Course Director of the Bundy Run.
Nicky is a legend – at registration, running feed stations and being on hand at just about every event we’ve ever run. Nicky’s day job is as a draftperson whilst her spare time is taken up with rescuing wildlife or finding bargains at markets.
ANT SCHNABEL, EVENT CENTRE COORDINATOR
Climber, mountain biker, skier…and we can now add runner…all pale into insignificance when Ant runs an Event Centre. Whether positioning portaloos or building banner arches, Ant is ‘The Man’. Been on the Dark Side for over 15 years now.
Quietly, efficiently, non-complainingly Mr Berry epitomises the Dark Side. Merged into the team many years ago after a long time riding in our events he can always be relied upon to bang in stakes for signs and set up barriers and, importantly, take it all down again at the end when the party is over. Wields a mean tool or two as a bike mechanic too.
Denis is the only Dark Side member we know who has a road in the Southern Highlands named after his family. Yes he’s been around a while and was cutting timber in the forests long before bikes started cutting turns. If we need something made or a tree cleared off the track Denis is the man we call. Importantly, runs the bar at the Highland Fling.
THE EVANS FAMILY
If we were to name the No 1 mountain biking family in the Southern Highlands it would have to be the Evans – Karen, Steve and daughters Verity and Maizy. Karen was an age group national champion and Verity and Maizy followed in her footsteps as Natonal Champions in the junior ranks. At the events the whole family can be relied upon to come over to the Dark Side and play key roles. Additionally Steve is a key player in the Operations aspects of the Fling in the months leading up to it.
WENDY KINGSTON, REGO MENTOR
How can you replace the best? We are still trying as Wendy threatens ‘this is my last event’! She assists our event registration team both before and during an event with an ever smiling face and an eye for detail. Based in Bundanoon but making regular trips to Sydney as ‘grandmother of the year’!
In 1998, at our second ever event, a friend lent Huw his Nissan Patrol to get around the event area. For some years after Wild Horizons gained their own 4WD, Phil and The Patrol continued on the Dark Side. Then Phil sold The Patrol to Roger with a covenant that Roger must sign up on the Dark Side for as long as The Patrol patrolled. It is closing in on 20 years……..
Plus a whole host more!