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A bumper field of more than 80 of Australia's most exciting rally cars will line the main street of Bateman's Bay on Saturday, 29 June for the start of the Kumho Rally of the Bay scheduled for 10:00am.
The northern end of Clyde Street will be closed from approximately 9:00am as Rally of the Bay competitors show off their cars before being flagged away by local member of the NSW parliament Andrew Constance and Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Lindsay Brown on their day long competition in the forests surrounding town.
According to rally manager Ian Bigg, the ceremonial start to the rally will be a great spectacle and provide the local community with an opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of the event right in the centre of town.
"The ceremonial start is always an exciting aspect of the rally because it gives people the chance to get up close and see the array of cars competing before they head off onto the stages," said Ian Bigg.
"Having the start in Clyde Street makes it much more accessible for locals and gives us a better chance to showcase our fantastic sport while fostering further ties with the Batemans Bay community."
The ceremonial start's relocation to Clyde Street has already been embraced by local businesses that feel it will attract more people and improve patronage on Saturday morning.
The rally is the third round of the NSW Rally Championship as well as a round of the ACT Regional Rally Series, NSW Clubman rally Series and the Webstor East Coast Classic Rally Challenge.
"A wide array of modern and classic rally cars are entered in the event so there will be something for everyone parked in Clyde Street on Saturday morning," Ian Biggs said.
"Because the event is a round of several championships there will be cars of all different makes and models so there will be something that appeals to all interests.
"There will be plenty of entertainment for every member of the family with a chance to meet the drivers and get their autographs or enjoy a coffee or bite to eat from the great cafes in Batemans Bay as the cars are flagged away.
"I'd encourage everyone to aim to get out to one of the many family friendly spectator points out in the forests to get a true appreciation of the speed and skill of the drivers."
The cars are expected to return to Rally HQ at the Bay Waters Resort at approximately 7.30 pm when celebrations will begin.
As well as Saturday's festivities there will also be the annual Rally of the Bay dinner on Friday night at the Bay Waters Resort.
For just $45 a delicious two course meal at Eastwell Restaurant will be complimented by tales of triumph, heartache and shenanigans from three legends of Australian Rally, the good, the Bad and the Ugly: four times Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates, former Hyundai and Holden factory team driver Wayne Bell and rally larrikin Ed Mulligan. Tickets are still available from the Bay Waters Resort by calling 02 4472 6333.
Organisers of the Kumho Rally of the Bay were successful in obtaining a significant NSW sports and recreation grant through the office of communities because of the event's positive impact and ongoing commitment to the Batemans Bay area.
An estimated $750,000 is injected into the Batemans Bay and surrounding regions' economy by the Rally of the Bay in the week leading up to the event through accommodation, hospitality and services for the 160 competitors and their families, 200 officials and organisers as well as the media, sponsors and spectators. All up the event brings more than 1000 people to Batemans Bay.
Ian Biggs says the Rally of the Bay is the premier event on the rally calendar because of the combination of a great location, friendly community and excellent rally roads.
"South Coast Forest has some of the best rally stages in country because of the medium to fast paced roads through the hardwood forests with flowing bends and ridges," Ian said.
"Drivers love the challenge of the forests but enjoy their time outside the forests enjoying the beautiful Batemans Bay surrounds and outgoing hospitality from the locals.
"It's this perfect mix that makes the Rally of the Bay the highlight of the year for officials and drivers," he added. 
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