For the first time, an Aquabike National Championship will be held in New Zealand.
As a Tri NZ National Championship, the March 25 event in Auckland will also be the primary and only qualifying event for the 2017 Aquabike World Championships held in Penticton Canada- a part of the August ITU Multisport World Championships.
A relatively uncommon event until recent years, the Aquabike race includes a swim followed by a bike leg. At the Tri NZ National Championship this distance will be a 2-3km swim followed by a 90km bike.
The National Championship race director, Tom Gethin is excited to include the Aquabike Tri NZ National Championship with the already popular Auckland Half Ironman saying "It is an honour to host the Inaugural Aquabike long distance race. The fact it is the National championships with such a generous prize on offer is extra special. We are truly honoured and grateful to Garth Barfoot and look forward to hosting both himself and all the new Aquabike athletes in NZ"
The top 3 qualifiers in each age group at this Tri NZ National Championship will win 8 nights shared accommodation at the designated team accommodation in Penticton, Canada, provided they meet Triathlon NZ National Championship and team selection criteria*. The prestigious National Championship will also award the first overall male and female with flights to Vancouver- for the World Championship event.
Garth Barfoot, Triathlon/ Multisport legend, business owner and leader has driven the inaugural event and prize package claiming "This year my wife and I have both turned eighty and this year we have both won World Championships, Judy in the ITU Sprint Triathlon in Mexico and myself in the ITU Sprint Duathlon in Spain. What better way of "putting something back" than in assisting in getting aquabike off the ground in New Zealand. There is a risk that the sport might not catch on but no more a risk than there was when triathlon was introduced as a demonstration sport in Auckland at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. With athletes competing to an older age these days there should be no shortage of folk who can no longer run but enjoy both swimming and biking."
Triathlon NZ as the national governing body of triathlon, duathlon and multisport feel the inclusion of the new Aquabike National Championship supports the organisation's 2020 vision to be "the leading triathlon Nation, providing outstanding experiences for every New Zealander."
Community Director at Triathlon NZ Anna Russell commenting that "We are so grateful for the support that Garth has shown our sport and this event in particular. This will provide the opportunity for many kiwis to experience a World Championship event and removes many barriers it takes to compete at this level."