Powerful performances from juniors, a top triathlete on the comeback, and a former New Zealand age-group rugby representative were features of the three events that opened the 2012-13 Shed 2 Triathlon and Duathlon Series.
In the Avanti Plus Sprint Distance Triathlon (750m swim, 21km cycle, 4.5km run), junior Sam Kettle led through the swim and cycle, only to be overtaken by fellow junior Devon Beckman, world age-group competitor Steve Charles (open) and Bradley Christison (junior) on the run.
Beckman's winning time of 1hr 1min 18 sec was 47sec clear of Charles who recorded the best bike split of the day, by more than 3min.
Mike Bond (vet 1) was a meritorious fourth in 1hr 03min 06sec.
In the women's race Brittny O'Hanlon (junior) was first out of the water, but was overtaken on the cycle leg by Judy Shepherd (vet 1) who went on take first place in 1hr 10min 54sec.
Emma Mason-Smith (open) and Kathy Eggers (open) filled second and third, with O'Hanlon hanging on for fourth.
The Swim Gym Tri (200m swim, 14km cycle, 2km run) was won by David White (open) in 44min 09sec, just over a minute ahead of Abigail Hussey (junior).
In the Broker Webb Risk Services Duathlon (4.5km run, 21km cycle, 2km run), former New Zealand Under-20 rugby loose forward and Magpie Hugh Reed was first into transition after the 4.5km, and held on through the cycle and shorter run to win in a time of 1hr 06min 43sec, more than 2min ahead of Greg Morgan.
The talented Lucy Williams (open), who has resumed training after a lengthy spell on the sideline due to injury, was third overall and first woman home by more than 10min. A former New Zealand triathlon representative, she produced a cycle leg that was quicker than any of the duathlon men.
The perfect weather made for a great start to the series last Sunday, with more than 120 competitors drawn to Pandora Pond. The next Shed 2 series event will be on December 16 when an Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) will also be included.
Next week the Flaxmere Trust Community Duathlon and Family Fun Relay will take place at Flaxmere Park on Wednesday (enter on the day between 4.30pm and 5.30pm).
This event will be followed on Sunday by the second event in the More FM Bloke Free Triathlon series starting at Clive Memorial Pool at 10am.