Catalina Grand Prix cancelled – again

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The Catalina Grand Prix looked like it was off to a high-flying start when organizers revived it last year, but island bigwigs have already canceled the event on its second time around.
The Catalina Grand Prix looked like it was off to a high-flying start when organizers revived it last year, but island bigwigs have already cancelled the event on its second time around. Photo: www.redbull-motorsports.com

After a 52-year wait, the Catalina Grand Prix motorcycle race was revived last December … and now it’s cancelled again.

Classic motorcycle racing enthusiasts were ecstatic last year when the off-road competition once again ran through the rocky island off California’s coast. The original race series had been the sort of event that big names like superstar Steve McQueen would show up at with his friends, but island locals supposedly got a little edgy about some rowdy, partying bikers, and cancelled the competition — until Red Bull got on board as a sponsor and organizers finally talked local politicos into allowing the race to take place again decades later in 2010.

Classic motorcycle icons like Bud Ekins made the original Catalina race famous. Photo:www.nostalgiaonwheels.blogspot.com

But like all good things, it seems the Catalina Grand Prix has come to an end — again. Hell For Leather pointed out the event’s Facebook status this morning; the page said the island’s fire chief and city manager informed race organizers that the Santa Catalina Island Company’s board of directors “declined to hold another motorcycle race in December of 2011.”

The Facebook page didn’t give any reason why the race was cancelled; Cycle World magazine reported that the Catalina race seemed to indicate everyone, including locals, had a good time at the 2010 race, but perhaps the race was putting island property owners on edge. Whatever the reason, we’re sure there will be more fallout from this cancellation in the days to come.

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