Racing wrapped up at the Sovereign Oceania Triathlon Championships in Gisborne today, with the age group, fun races and the Junior Mixed Relay event, with Australia and New Zealand putting on a fast and frantic show for the spectators.
13 teams lined up (seven from regions around New Zealand), largely representing their States or Regions, with the Aussies bolstered by a couple of local Gisborne youngsters to ensure all those who had made the trip across the Tasman could line up again today after racing in the individual event yesterday.
And it was Australia who took out gold and silver in a great race, with the Auckland region team of Rose Dillon, Liam Ward, Katherine Badham and Trent Dodds coming home to claim the bronze.
As is often the case in relay racing, tactics played a huge part as teams looked to either gain an advantage or close on leading teams, adding to this intrigue was the nature of the surf swim, with some athletes making up valuable time by catching a wave into the shore while others lost time by not being in the right place at the right time.
The bronze for the Kiwis backed up the Junior Women finishing second and the Junior Men winning Trans-Tasman Trophy honours yesterday, in a competition that now dates back to 2004 between the two proud triathlon nations. Points are accumulated based on individual finishes for the leading 4 athletes, with the Kiwi Junior Men's team of Dan Hoy, Liam Ward, Trent Dodds and Bradley Cullen coming out on top.
Event Director Terry Sheldrake of TMZ Sport Promotions looked back on a great weekend.
"I am delighted for everyone who has played a part in bringing this event to Gisborne and then helped deliver it so successfully. The weather has been great, the location superb and the racing excellent.
"It is only with the support of the Eastland Triathlon and Multisport Club, a large number of volunteers and the support of the Gisborne District Council, our commercial partners Sovereign (naming rights partner), Eastland Community Trust, Out East, New Zealand Community Trust, Air New Zealand, Triathlon New Zealand, Elliott Travel and GIsbornespecials.co.nz that we were able to showcase the region and put on such a great weekend.
"I am incredibly proud of this region and of everyone who has contributed to the weekend, the support in the community has been superb and I know the visiting athletes and supporters have enjoyed it immensely."