Published on 29 January 2019

Riding the wave of success

The City of Onkaparinga’s 31 kilometres of coastline are dotted with dreamy waves, so it was only fitting our Santos Tour Down Under stage winner was presented with a surfboard.

But this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill shortboard. The unique trophy, presented to Aussie cycling star Richie Porte by Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson on live broadcasts around the world, was elaborately illustrated by award-winning Port Noarlunga artist Kayty Ferguson.

“To have been asked to put the artwork together was the proudest moment of my artistic career,” Kayty said following Richie’s win at the Onkaparinga-hosted Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 on Sunday – his sixth consecutive win on the gruelling Willunga Hill.

“I am absolutely flattered, humbled and oh so proud to have been invited to be involved in such an iconic annual sporting event.

“Thanks so much to the City of Onkaparinga for asking me to do this and giving me such a great experience.”

The one-of-a-kind trophy consists of a five-foot, 10-inch Firewire Creeper surfboard (containing sustainably grown Paulownia timber) adorned with Kayty’s intricate art, which she creates with Posca paint pens.

Take a closer look at the artwork, and tiny details unique to the Onkaparinga region will begin to slowly reveal themselves.

“The artwork features a hills, sea and vines theme in line with the City of Onkaparinga council region,” Kayty explains.

“The vines represent the wine region of McLaren Vale. The hills are primarily focussed on the famous Willunga Hill, with elements of the Onkaparinga River winding through the hills.

“The base of the board includes the Port Noarlunga jetty and reef, and Norfolk Island pine trees [that are] synonymous with the region.

“Throughout the board I’ve also included multiple tiny cyclists.”

The only question remains is how Richie fit the trophy in his luggage on the way home!

Richie’s historic stage win capped off a bumper day for the Tasmanian and for the City of Onkaparinga, which hosted the final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under for the first time in its 20-year history.

Prior to the stage’s starting gun, Mayor Thompson presented Richie with the Key to the City – the council’s most prestigious award – in recognition of his exceptional and outstanding achievement in the region.

Tens-of-thousands of people lined the streets of McLaren Vale, Snapper Point, Aldinga Beach, Willunga and everywhere in between to catch a glimpse of the action during the Southern Hemisphere’s most popular bike race, which helps bring international attention and significant economic benefits to the region.

Main image: Watts Capture
Richie Porte holds aloft his one-of-a-kind Santos Tour Down Under Stage 6 trophy (Photo: Watts Capture)