Bill Chaffey commits for the long haul
FIVE-TIME para-triathlon world champion Bill Chaffey is set to focus his energy on long-course triathlons in lieu of shorter, sprint-based events after winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games.
Some believed Chaffey, 42, would retire from international competition after the Games, but that did not appear to be the case after the Tweed legend told the Tweed Daily News he would next race on the Sunshine Coast in September.
In the wake of the Commonwealth Games, Chaffey, who has been racing intensively since before the Rio Paralympics in 2016, will now take his first break from competition in more than two years.
Chaffey said shifting his focus to longer distance courses will help him stay competitive and increase his longevity as the extended formats suit him much better at this stage of his career.
Chaffey’s next triathlon, the Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, contains a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km chair.
“For now I’m just happy to get back to racing casually and I am enjoying not having to do it for such a high prize,” he said.
Before he competes again, however, Chaffey is in a race to fix the hand-cycle he damaged in a significant crash during the Commonwealth Games Para Triathlon that likely cost him a gold medal.
The crash was a devastating double blow for Chaffey, with an estimated $10,000 damage being caused to the hand-cycle.
“I came out of the crash alright physically but the bike is just a mess,” Chaffey said. “Before I can do any racing, I’ve got to fix my bike.”
FUTURE PLANS: Bronze medallist Bill Chaffey will move toward more long-distance competition in coming events.