That’s a Wrap on Thredbo’s 10th Cannonball Festival –  Australia’s Biggest Mountain Biking Festival For 2024

February 19th, 2024
Thredbo’s Cannonball Festival is the biggest event on the Australian MTB calendar. Photo; Thredbo

Mountanwatch | Press Release

The 10th Cannonball MTB Festival presented by Boost Mobile took over Thredbo this week from Monday February 12 – Saturday February 17. Over 800 competitors and thousands of spectators descended on the Snowy Mountains to enjoy an action-packed line-up of events and entertainment. 

Thredbo MTB Business Manager, Tim Windshuttle said he couldn’t believe this was the 10th year of the Cannonball MTB Festival.

“Seeing this incredible event grow into what it is has been a huge highlight of my career. Thredbo’s downhill field now looks like a World Cup start line, right here in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. It’s awesome to watch our local riders and ambassadors put up such a strong fight on home turf against the internationals.”

“Bringing back the iconic 90’s style Dual Slalom event this year was such a nostalgic experience for me and the wider MTB community. The crowds were huge, and the park conditions were as good as they get this week. It’s been one of our biggest and best Cannonballs so far,” said Mr Windshuttle.

Big crowds were entertained by the Australia’s best and a host of international riders. Photo; Thredbo

The Cannonball MTB Festival is bringing in a more elite level of rider to Australia every year with this year’s line-up of international pros and heavy-hitting locals including Jackson Goldstone, Laurie Greenland, Nina Hoffman, Amaury Pierrion, Myriam Nicole, Dylan Maples, Jack Moir, Troy Brosnan, Connor Fearon, Sian A’Hern, Kye A’Hern, Caroline Buchanan, Luke Meier-Smith, Remy Meier-Smith, Oliver Zwar, Jackson Connelly, Jackson Frew, Tegan Cruz, Oisin O’Callaghan, Vali Hoell and Kasper Wooley.

Day 1 | Monday February 12
On day one, riders turned out to the park to practice for the Osprey All-Mountain Assault, Fox Flow Motion Cup and Oakley Australian Open Downhill race events. The sun was shining, and the festival atmosphere was in full swing as everyone geared up for a massive week of racing ahead.

A competitor in in the all-mountain assault. Photo: Thredbo

Day 2 | Tuesday February 13
Tuesday was the first official day of racing, kicking off with the Osprey All-Mountain Assault. Competitors put their stamina to the test across a 6-kilometre racetrack that challenged even the most avid enduro purist with rock rolls, pinch climbs and steep switchbacks. While the final times were tight, it was ultimately Ryan Gilchrist and Ellie Smith who took out the wins in the Pro Division.

Day 3 | Wednesday February 14
With perfect conditions for a heated day of gravity racing, day 3 saw the first round of competitors take to Thredbo’s famous 5km Kosciuszko Flow Trail for the Fox Flow Motion Cup. Ellie Smith took out her second win of the week in the Pro Women category and in the Pro Men category, it was Luke Meier-Smith who came out on top of the podiums.

Plenty of flow in the Flow Motion Cup. Photo: Thredbo

Day 4 | Thursday February 15
With the qualifying Pump Track laps in the morning, followed by the second round of Fox Flow Motion Cup racing and the Official Practice laps for the Oakley Australian Open Downhill, and then the electric Rockshox Pump Track Challenge Finals in the evening, day 4 was absolutely jam-packed for racers and spectators.

Ultimately, it was Thredbo Ambassador Caroline Buchanan who took out the win in the Pro Women division with Connor Mielke in second and Ellie Smith taking out her third podium of the week in third place. In the Pro Men division, Ryan Gilchrist took out first place in a heated final race followed by Bailey Meares in second place and Luke Meier-Smith in third place.

The Pump Track Challenge finals on Thursday  evening. Photo: Thredbo

Day 5 | Friday February 16
To celebrate 10 years of the Cannonball MTB Festival this year, Thredbo added a brand-new race to the schedule – the Maxxis Dual Slalom. On Friday, this old-school dual racing format saw riders go head to head on the grass at Friday Flat with the qualifying laps in the morning followed by the final races in the evening.

The huge crowd of spectators were treated to an exciting evening of thrills and spills as riders were pitted against each other and put it all on the line to score a winning time. After some fiery heats, it was Thredbo Ambassador Caroline Buchanan who took out the win in the Pro Women Category and Luke Meier-Smith who won the Pro Men’s Division.

The Dual Slalom on Friday Flat was cannonball’s newest event. Photo: Thredbo

Day 6 | Saturday February 17
The energy in the resort was absolutely electric on Saturday with the biggest crowd Cannonball has ever seen. Over 3000 people turned out for the famous Oakley Australian Open Downhill Racing Finals and the high-energy Deity Whip Wars event.

Kicking off at 11AM, the Oakley Australian Open Downhill saw the world’s best riders take on the iconic Cannonball Downhill trail to fight for the highly sought-after title of Downhill Champion. After a battle for the ages, it was ultimately Nina Hoffman who took out the win in the Pro Women’s Division and Jackson Frew who claimed first place in the Pro Men’s Division at the 2024 Oakley Australian Open Downhill.

The Australian Open Downhill was one of the week’s highlights. Photo: Thredbo

After the downhill finals, everyone headed to the event hub for the invite-only Deity Whip Wars event. As always, this spectacle brought in an insane crowd with thousands of spectators turning out to witness the pro riders send it on the jump. After a huge show of whips and tricks, it was young riders 14-year-old Archie Young and 13-year-old Indi Lambert who impressed the judges the most and took out the wins.

A big crowd on hand to watch the Whip Wars on Saturday arvo. Photo: Thredbo

Finally, at last night’s presentations, it was Luke Meier-Smith and Ellie Smith who had tallied up the most points at each event throughout the week and were officially crowned as the King and Queen of Cannonball 2024.

For all event results, please click here.