West Gippsland to Host World Jousting Championship

Published on 08 November 2018

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Hear the thunder of hooves and the clash of wood and metal as Baw Baw Shire transforms into a medieval kingdom for the World Jousting Championships at Lardner Park in June 2019.

Fuelled by the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones, the ‘world’s first extreme sport’ – solid lance jousting, is experiencing a renaissance as medieval festivals across the globe stage real-life competitions.

Gippsland visitors at Lardner Park’s Harvest Fest 2018, on Saturday 10 November, will get a glimpse of what’s in store as three of the jousters competing in next year’s World Jousting Championship smash it up!

It may surprise some that Australia is one of the leading nations driving jousting’s resurgence, boasting our own reigning world champion Phillip Leitch from Ballarat. Knights from England, France, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands will vie with Sir Phillip and two fellow Australian qualifiers for the crown.

The inaugural World Jousting Championship took place at Sydney’s St Ives Medieval Faire in 2016. The St Ives tournament, together with the Tournament of St Michel (France) and Tournament of St George (Russia), are key qualifying events for the World Championship also known as the ‘Three Saints Tournaments’.

The World Jousting Championship, taking place at Lardner Park on 1-2 June 2019, will offer visitors a complete medieval village, Full Flight birds of prey, Viking battles, a knightly foot tournament, archery, a trebuchet and even a Shakespearean tavern. A great day out for the family.

Solid lance jousting is the original extreme sport as practised by medieval nobility. Originating in the 11th century as cavalry training, jousting evolved into the high tournament of the 15th century.

The basic concept of the event is unchanged from medieval times: two armour-clad opponents charge at each other on horses at speeds estimated at 40mph while wielding 11-foot-long wooden lances. The goal is to break your lance on your opponent’s shield.

The event is proudly supported by Baw Baw Shire Council and Latrobe Valley Authority.

For more information please go to www.visitbawbaw.com.au or www.lardnerpark.com.au

Tickets are on sale now at www.worldjoustingchampionship.com.au

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Mikaela Power

“Baw Baw Shire Council has set its sights on attracting world-class events to our region and the World Jousting Championship certainly fits the bill. It will be a wonderful experience for visitors of all ages and will put us on the map as a destination for hosting major events.”

Quotes attributable to Latrobe Valley Authority CEO Karen Cain

“The Latrobe Valley Authority is thrilled to be helping to bring this unique event to the region. Hosting this spectacular championship is a huge boost for tourism, attracting visitors from metropolitan Melbourne and across the state.”

Quotes attributable to Lardner Park CEO Nicola Pero

“Lardner Park hosts more than 100 events each year, but the World Jousting Championship will certainly go down as one of the most unique. Based on similar events held overseas, we expect up to 10,000 visitors each day to step back in time and sample food, music and activities that ruled when England’s first Queen Elizabeth reigned!”

Quotes attributable to Event Organiser Andrew McKinnon

“We are pumped to bring the incredible bone-shaking spectacle that is solid lance jousting to the good folk of Gippsland.”

“The World Jousting Championship isn’t just for show. It is THE original extreme sport. Each competitor is a world class competitor, coming from France, Germany, England, Norway, Canada, Russia and of course Australia.

“We’re looking forward to bringing this premium event to the local community.”

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Image: Competitors at a previous World Jousting Championship.

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Image: Jousting competitor Sir Phillip Leitch.

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Image: Jousting competitor Sir Phillip Leitch, Baw Baw Shire Council CEO Alison Leighton, World Jousting Championship organiser Andrew McKinnon and Lardner Park CEO Nicola Pero.