Wind, waves and hills test club members

Midwest Times - - SPORT -

Ger­ald­ton Triathlon Club had a change of lo­ca­tion last Sun­day, mov­ing from its home base of St Ge­orges Beach, to set up for rac­ing at the scenic Gran­nies Beach, Port Deni­son.

The Shire of Ir­win and Don­gara lo­cals helped with the event set-up, lo­gis­tics and pro­mo­tion, which made for a very suc­cess­ful and smoothly run event de­spite the tough­est con­di­tions of the sea­son.

There were three ma­jor dif­fer­ences to the easy rac­ing con­di­tions in Ger­ald­ton – Gran­nies beach can have rea­son­able sized waves break­ing over its sandy bot­tom and com­peti­tors with a surf life­sav­ing back­ground ex­celled at the duck-div­ing start and body-surf­ing re­turn. The spec­ta­tors also had fun watch­ing the wipe-outs.

The pretty Don­gara cycling course also has some short, sharp hills which tested rid­ers used to the dead-flat course of Ger­ald­ton. The third chal­lenge was the wind.

A stiff south-east­erly breeze gave cy­clists a 55km/h out­bound speed and a bru­tal head­wind on the re­turn.

In the En­ticer course, a wrong turn by Chloe Spence gave Lucy Os­bourne a lead, which she never lost and fin­ished very strong to win.

In the male En­ticer, there was a bat­tle be­tween some very promis­ing young triath­letes, with Wade Cuth­bert fight­ing hard to take his sec­ond win of the sea­son. In the 300m/18km/4km male short course, the bat­tle was be­tween premier swim­mer Dean Car­rol and young mem­ber Pi­eter Grob­ler.

Grob­ler had a fan­tas­tic swim to be first on the bike and, while Car­rol made ground through­out the two-lap course, a fast and pow­er­ful run got Grob­ler over the line first. In the fe­male short course, Mikhaela Byrnes once again dom­i­nated the rac­ing, post­ing the fastest time for all three legs, while lo­cal P.J Ruf­fles put in a great per­for­mance for her only tri of the sea­son to take sec­ond place.

In the 600m/27km/6km male long course, it was a show­down be­tween train­ing part­ners and friends By­ron Clark­son and Ben Freer.

Clark­son left the wa­ter in first place but on the sec­ond lap of the bike course, he was forced to stop be­cause of a bee caught in his hel­met. This al­lowed Freer to pass and, de­spite a great chase, fin­ish first.

In the fe­male long course, Deb Gil­lam took the line first for the sec­ond year run­ning while Cathy Clarke had a fan­tas­tic run in her long-course de­but to take sec­ond, with Sarah Toia close be­hind.

Toia is train­ing for a half-iron­man dis­tance race and seems to be shin­ing in the longer dis­tances.

Next week the rac­ing is back at St Ge­orges Beach, Bluff Point.

Reg­is­tra­tion is 8am for an 8.30am race start.

Pic­ture: Ger­ald­ton Triathlon Club

Ger­ald­ton Triathlon Club members hit the Port Deni­son swell for the swim leg last Sun­day.

Rob­bie Melville

Nicky Star­ling

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