Carbonear pulls out of Targa race

Melissa Jenkins
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Towns says financial responsibility too great at this time

Targa Newfoundland confirmed for The Compass Monday afternoon (Aug. 18) the Town of Carbonear will no longer be a stop on the Sept. 14-19 popular event.

A lineup of race cars outside the Knights of Columbus at a previous Targa event in Carbonear

The Conception Bay North town was supposed to be one of three stops in the final day of competition, which sees competitors race cars of all kinds around sharp turns, along gravel roads and through narrow streets in select municipalities.

Robert Giannou, the president of Targa, confirmed the town had been dropped from the schedule last week, but it was not the decision of the organization.

“We applied to the town in November to have the contract renewed,” Giannou explained. “(But) council decided not to go ahead.”

Targa officials were disappointed in the decision, with Giannou citing, “Carbonear has run the best stage in Targa for the last two of four years.”

“We are somewhat disappointed, but we will be applying to be back next year,” he continued.

Mayor George Butt Jr. said during a round table discussion, the council decided to withdraw from the event due to the costs and man power it would take to run it.

“We completed our four year contract last year,” Butt said. “It would end up costing the town between $5,000 and $6,000, plus time lost (by town employees).”

Butt said it took nine months to determine if the project would be financially feasible for the town. The new council, voted in last September, had to wait for the budget, which had to be considered first.

“A lot of people don’t realize how labour intensive it is. I didn’t realize it,” Butt said.

Although they are out this year, there is a possibility the town will reconsider next year.

“I’m not saying another year wouldn’t work,” Butt added. “It’s just, right now, we’re going to bow out and let someone else take it,”

This year’s event will now have two stages in Brigus, and the lunch initially scheduled for the Knights of Columbus in Carbonear will now take place at the Freshwater Community Centre in the local service district of Freshwater, Conception Bay North.

For other details, including schedule and routes, visit

Organizations: Knights of Columbus, Freshwater Community Centre

Geographic location: Targa, Carbonear, Brigus Freshwater

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Recent comments

  • Gunners
    August 23, 2014 - 06:08

    Money saved should be donated to camp Mcarthy . What a sin , beautiful place , not a safe place to entertain anymore.come on get it done.

  • Derek Ash
    August 18, 2014 - 19:54

    I am very disappointed that the town has taken this position regarding dropping Targa from the towns list of activities this year. I have been a Circuit Marshall / Captain for most of the races in the town since it started and looked forward to the event with great anticipation. While the town has cited cost as the reason, I believe that it's more likely the few who constantly complain about this event, and most other events that has caused its demise. Yes, there's no doubt that every event that goes on in any community has a cost associated with it, but its also an event that a lot of people enjoy. What a lot of people fail to realize, is that an event of any type that requires an effort to produce, gets people talking and provides " positive " publicity for the town. Positive publicity brings in visitors to see what we, the community, are about. Hats off to all of the other Volunteers, who have given of their time to present this event and help the community grow. It's too bad that our town is taking this step backward - Maybe we will move forward next year - Maybe the town will never host an event that's costs the taxpayers money any more - Whats next, no more Fireworks, Bonfires, etc !