WHAT'S ON

2020 Trial Bay Triathlon weekend set for February 8 and 9

South West Rocks is busily preparing for the annual Trial Bay Triathlon weekend which will see hundreds of keen athletes descend on the coastal town to participate in the two-day contest on February 8 and 9.

Entries are currently rolling in for the weekend event, which arguably has become one of the best entry-level distances in the area and also a race selected to be part of the new North Coast Triathlon Championship Series and the New England Series.

How to enter:

To enter online, head over towww.trialbaytri.com.au or the coastline credit union web site: www.coastline.com.au.

Two competitors, David Sewell from Taree and Steele Beveridge from Emerald Beach, will attempt their 31st consecutive race with Chris Jenkins from Port Macquarie trying for his 30th. Athletes who have completed 10 or more finishes will be recognised as Trial Bay Legends.

The Nestle Junior race series will be celebrating their 29th-anniversary race, comprising five separate tracks, with entries available online and late entries open on the day, up to an hour before race start.

Children aged 5 to 15 years can enter the Nestle Mini Tri-Series which starts on Saturday, February 8, at the new time of 10 am.

The first race has been expanded into 'The Enticer', a race for anyone over the age of 14 which consists of a 300m swim, 1 km cycle and a 2km run, catering for individuals and teams.

Due to possible heat conditions and to reduce road closure inconvenience the race format has changed to have the older age group races first. Competitors/supporters should arrive early, as there will be three different temporary road closures between 10 am and 1:00 pm for the cycle legs.

The Sunday race starts with a 500m Swim at 7.30 am from around the beach at the Goal, with six wave starts over 19 minutes to spread the field to lessen congestion. The final leg of a 6km run on road, footpath and bush track with the last beach run now eliminated due to tidal changes and erosion.

The 23km cycle will again provide a challenging ride with three turn around points, and several testing short hills which takes cyclists around Arakoon Road and Lighthouse Road with a turn on Phillip Dr at the Country Club, then back to the Gaol. This course removes the race from the town centre and presents a cooler ride through the shaded National Park.

Photo: Penny Tamblyn

Photo: Penny Tamblyn

The race distance and the course itself were designed especially for beginners, but it is very challenging for those who wish to race it a hundred per cent. Many locals, along with those who would like to try the sport of triathlon can enter a two or three-person team over the three legs of the race. All entrants will receive a 31st-anniversary finisher'stowel and medal.

Residents around the cycle course should be aware of cyclists and road access restrictions during the races on Saturday, and Sunday morning along Arakoon Road, Lighthouse Road and Phillip Drive to the Country Club.

Late entries if available will be on Saturday between 4 pm and 7 pm with registration at the Country Club. There are no late on Sunday. The Nestle event will accept entries up to 1 hour before the race start, be early though as temporary road closures are in place.

Regional competition is very strong particularly from Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Yamba, Taree, Forster, with Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah and the Hunter Region also strongly represented, along with many local Macleay residents competing under the newly formed and very successful Hat Head Triathlon Club.

The 2019 race was won by Lindsay Wall from Yamba covering the 500m swim, 23km cycle and a 6km run in a remarkable time of 1:06:09 closely followed by Brock Taylor from Cardiff South in 2nd place with Michael Ylinen from Coffs Harbour placed 3rd.

The first lady home last year was Paivbi Hanninen from Byron Bay in a time of 1:23:02 with Alison Brown from Yamba in 2nd place followed by Jess McDonald from Calala in 3rd.

The Boat Ramp at the Goal will be closed due to safety reasons and congestion with runners and cyclists on the road. Boat trailers are discouraged from the area from Saturday morning to 12 noon Sunday. Apologies for this inconvenience.

Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Macleay Argus newsletter here.

Also making the news: