Club left in awe of he­roes

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

said the new Su­per League Triathlon for­mat would cater to those look­ing for a change to the con­ven­tional triathlon for­mat.

Mr McCor­mack, a for­mer triath­lete him­self, said the Su­per League Triathlon was de­signed to ap­peal to peo­ple who had never seen the sport be­fore.

“Un­for­tu­nately, un­der the con­ven­tional model of triathlon, it’s get­ting less and less me­dia at­ten­tion,” he said.

“So by (tai­lor­ing) the sport to TV, we are ex­pos­ing it to a new group of peo­ple who may have never seen it be­fore. It’s a very ex­cit­ing time for the sport.”

He said the for­mat high­lighted the com­pet­i­tive­ness and re­silience of the ath­letes.

“These are the fittest men on Earth. They are rac­ers, they are ag­gres­sive and they are com­pet­i­tive – the world needs to see them,” Mr McCor­mack said.

Hamil­ton Is­land chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Glenn Bourke said the event came to be hosted on the is­land af­ter a con­ver­sa­tion with his friend.

“Chris is one of the part­ners in Su­per League and he’s also a great triath­lete in his own right and prob­a­bly one of the top 10 in the world to have com­peted,” he said.

“He came to me and said, ‘We’d like to do this for our first event – we know you have a great team and we think your venue in the Whit­sun­days is spec­tac­u­lar for send­ing im­agery around the world.’

“For me it was a very quick de­ci­sion. I thought it would be ex­traor­di­nar­ily fun for ev­ery­one to be in­volved in.

“We had hundreds of guests and staff lin­ing the streets and the vibe was very pos­i­tive through­out the week­end.”

Mr Bourke said he’d be happy to host the event again if it was to re­turn.

“This was a proof-of­con­cept event. It was the in­au­gu­ral event and they would like to make it a ma­jor international event. Its aim is to be prob­a­bly the most

high-pro­file triathlon event in the world,” he said.

“We’re happy to have the first one and if it comes back we’d be de­lighted.

“They did a spec­tac­u­lar job. I think we’d love to see it again.”

The in­au­gu­ral race se­ries was tele­vised on Fox Sports Aus­tralia and through­out Europe via Eurosport, reach­ing a global au­di­ence across the three days of com­pe­ti­tion. FOR a hand­ful of Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club mem­bers, it was a dream come true to be in­volved in the in­au­gu­ral Su­per League Triathlon.

While the in­vi­ta­tion-only event didn’t fea­ture any lo­cal tal­ent, it didn’t stop lo­cal triathlon club mem­bers vol­un­teer­ing.

Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club train­ing of­fi­cer James Car­man said they were left in awe at the scale of the race.

“When the Su­per League week­end was an­nounced it gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est, both lo­cally and across the triathlon com­mu­nity. As a club, we recog­nised the huge op­por­tu­nity to rub shoul­ders with the worlds best,” he said.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club were key race crew.

“As soon as we ar­rived on the is­land, it be­came very ap­par­ent that the race was a big bud­get, pro­fes­sional race that re­quired per­fec­tion at ev­ery turn,” Mr Car­man said.

“All in all, it was a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the mem­bers of the club, hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to work with such a pro­fes­sional out­fit.

“I have been in­volved in triathlon for around 10 years, the week­end has re­in­forced why I love the sport.”

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

CHAM­PI­ONS: The top three fin­ish­ers at Su­per League Hamil­ton Is­land were Richard Mur­ray, tak­ing home first and $100,000 (mid­dle), with Mario Mola in sec­ond place (left) and Aus­tralia's Jake Birtwhis­tle (right) in third.

PHOTO: CLIN­TON BARTER

Ath­letes take the dive.

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