Top athletes tri-ing
Some of the biggest names in New Zealand triathlon are expected to turn out to compete at Paradise this weekend. Paradise Triathlon organiser Adrian Bailey said although triathletes were typically slow to register themselves for events, he expected another impressive lineup in the third event in the Outside Sports sponsored fivepart triathlon series. ‘‘I’m not 100 per cent sure yet but I am expecting Olympian Nicky Samuels and her husband Steve Gould and local athletes Thijs Hubber, Adam Wilson and Fynn Thompson to compete.’’ Wilson recently qualified for the world long course triathlon championships in France in June and young emerging talent Thompson is fresh from two wins in the 16- to 17-year-old male section of the Contact Tri Series held in Christchurch and Wanaka this month. Hubber is sitting fifth in the open male division of the Contact sponsored series. The triathlon is one of two offroad events in the series and offers athletes the rare oppor- tunity to compete at Paradise, near Glenorchy. ‘‘There is a novelty in doing a race at Paradise in the shadow of Mt Earnslaw.’’ With the multi-sport and triathlon calendar constantly expanding, athletes have more race options than ever before but Bailey believes the stunning setting of the races he organises helps to bring the competitors back year after year. And, the scenery makes it a lot easier to attract the allimportant volunteers, he said. ‘‘They are nice places and it helps because people actually want to come out and enjoy them.’’ Last year the event, which also includes two duathlon and two run options, attracted about 240 competitors.
Powered up: Christchurch powerboat driver Raymond Hart behind the wheel as ‘‘The Boss’’ kicks up a huge plume of wake in a recent practice run for Queenstown’s New Zealand Powerboat Federation Festival of Speed event to be held in March.