Multisport Magazine Issue 22 - Page 33

TRIATHLON EVENTS H alfway between Sydney and Brisbane, on the stunning NSW Mid North Coast, is the home of the popular annual multisport festival, the bcu Coffs Tri. With a protected harbour swim, closed roads for the cycle leg and a flat run around the picturesque Jetty foreshores, the course will not disappoint. The weekend of events includes races for children aged six and up as well as an ‘enticer’ triathlon for those new to the sport, and the headline Standard Distance event for individuals and teams. The Standard Distance event on March 5, 2017 is an Age Group ITU World Championship Qualifying Race and will double as the NSW State Championships. Event organiser Sinclair Black said, “Being awarded a world championship qualifying race from Triathlon Australia is not only a coup for the event but also for the Coffs region. We are excited to continue to deliver a world-class event and to add even more reasons for people from all over Australia to come and visit the beautiful Coffs Coast.” The bcu Coffs Tri has a total prize purse of $4,500 on offer for the top three overall male and female place getters and is expecting to attract a high calibre of professional athletes. Since its inception in 2013, the event has enticed some of the big names in the sport to Coffs Harbour including Michellie Jones and Brad Kahledfelt. Other wellknown triathletes who have raced the Coffs Tri course include Lindsey Wall, Clayton Fettell, Mitch Dean, Rachael Paxton, Matilda Raynolds, Anna Cleaver and Holly Khan. In addition to the popular Standard Distance event with individual and team options, the bcu Coffs Tri includes an Enticer triathlon (375m/10km/2.5km), as well as races for children aged 6–14, and promises to be a weekend of fun racing action for all ages, motivations and abilities.   The 2016 event attracted over 800 competitors from all over Australia with organisers expecting to eclipse that number this year. Lyndsey Wall claimed line honours in the 2016 Standard Distance event and said it is one of the most spectacular courses he has raced on. “This race is as good as they get – it’s one of those events that can be hard to focus on the actual race because the scenery and atmosphere are so unreal,” Wall said. The spectacular ocean swim, considered one of the most beautiful in the country, is held inside the protected, pristine harbour with spectators getting a birds-eye view from the Jetty. The two-lap bike course is fast, yet challenging on a completely closed road out towards Sawtell. The run comprises two laps around the beautiful harbour foreshores incorporating the iconic Coffs Jetty and southern break wall with views looking back towards Coffs and its stunning mountain backdrop. Black says, “Our aim is to deliver a professional event with a quality course in a beautiful location, whilst maintaining affordable entry fees. We want to attract the top of the sport as well as those just starting out.” It takes the involvement of the whole community to deliver a quality event. Volunteers from the local Coffs Harbour community, including three surf clubs, the Coffs Tri Club, SES and St John Ambulance all pitch in to ensure the event runs smoothly and flawlessly. Not only is the bcu Coffs Tri a fantastic community event, all proceeds raised are distributed to local charities including Life Education, Camp Quality, Early Connections and Coffs Coast Autism. Event organiser Village Sports has donated $230,000 to local community groups since 2011. Volunteers from each of these organisations will be playing a very important role on race day, handing out water at the drink stations, assisting in transition and cheering on the athletes as they make their way around the course. An important message from the organisers is that you don’t have to be a triathlete to take part in the bcu Coffs Tri. As long as you can swim, know how to ride a bike and can walk or run, you’ve got what it takes. And, if you’re not up for all three legs, the Standard Distance event has a team option. “For those with reservations about the swim leg, we are very fortunate to have a safe harbour for the swimmers. The buoys in the enticer and children’s events are set close to the beach so competitors don’t have to venture very far from shore and it’s more of a wade than a swim. We have invested a lot of time and money to ensure our cycl