Six athletes competing in triathlon
P.E.I. sailing, swimming teams ready for competition
The sport of triathlon was introduced at the 2009 Canada Games for the first time and, as the host province, we were attempting to have athletes involved in as many sports as possible.
I can remember my Canada Games mentor Ted Lawlor and his “best ever” committee working to establish a triathlon association in the province to see if some athletes could be trained to participate in the sport.
During those Games, we had one athlete participate in the event, but it was a springboard for what was to come. In 2013, we sent five athletes and during the 2017 Games in Winnipeg we will be sending a full delegation of six athletes (three male and three female).
Jamie Whynacht coaches this team and has spent a considerable amount of time building their endurance and technique in the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running.
The athletes will compete at the Birds Hill Provincial Park in the individual sprint (750-metre swim, a 20-kilometre bike ride and a five-kilometre run), the mixed relay and team relays. The relays involve a shorter distance with each athlete completing a super sprint distance before handing off the bracelet to their partner.
The team has attended a number of triathlons in Atlantic Canada this season, including participating in the draft legal (under-26) event at the Tri-lobster Triathlon race in Summerside a few weekends ago. That race was won by Nick Robertson.
The Pan Am Pool in Winnipeg will be busy during the second week of competition as the swimmers begin their event.
The action at the pool is usually loud, fierce and competitive as the swimmers work their way through the preliminary rounds, in a variety of strokes, with the hope of qualifying for the finals.
Earlier this month, the P.E.I. swimmers attended a meet in Saint John, N.B., and the team list was released shortly afterwards. Many of the swimmers recently headed back to Saint John for a training camp.
The 33-member team includes 28 swimmers and four coaches, including Tom Ponting, Donna Profit, Sarah Paynter
and Edie Rogers, and team manager Scott Drummond. There are some athletes and coaches with Canada Games experience, but for the most part the swimmers will be new to the Canada Games experience.
The team includes athletes who will compete in the paraswimming and Special Olympic swimming events.
While both the triathletes and swimmers will be competing in Winnipeg, the sailing team will be competing in Gimli, which is about an hour north of Winnipeg.
They will have a satellite village where they will stay for the week while competing on Lake Winnipeg. The five-person sailing team is coached by Eric Dagenais, who competed in sailing at the 2009 Games.
Makena Cudmore will participate in the single-handed laser while Gavin Kerr and Jack Morse will pair up to compete in the double-hander 29er. The athletes will compete in two or three races per day, and the points tally up through the week for final placings.
The sailors have been busy on the waters preparing for the competition, and soon the boats will be loaded on a trailer to be driven to Manitoba.
Francois Caron is the central region co-ordinator for the sport, recreation and physical activity division of the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness. He has attended nine Games and will be Team P.E.I.’s assistant chef de mission during the second week of the 2017 Canada Games.
The swimming team poses for a photo in front of the 2017 sign on the waterfront in Charlottetown after the Team P.E.I. rally earlier this month. The team is preparing for the Canada Games in Winnipeg in August.