The second event of the Sovereign Tri Series went down at Roys Bay in Wanaka today. The festival attracted around 260 athletes and included a duathlon race. Athletes looking to represent New Zealand this year in Penticton and Rotterdam were also racing for selection today.
The Splash n Dash race for the kids aged 5 - 10 got underway just after the major races. There were some familiar faces in there with the Peterson sisters from Christchurch, who also raced at Tinman in November last year.
Crossing first over the line with a time of 1:55:54 in the Duathlon race was Sam Bell from Canterbury Tri Club. He was followed by fellow club member Marc Prutton (2:00:01) and Matt Summer (2:00:09) from Dunedin Tri and Multisport Club. Alice Coombs grabbed herself a convincing win with a time of 2:14:51. Melanie Mitchell came in second (2:22:06) followed by Sarah Saunderson-Warner (2:26:52).
The oldest competitor, aged 83, Ray Bennet came home strong and proud in the duathlon. "I wasn't going to clock a 'good' time so that wasn't an issue but once I start, I need to finish", he said. Bennet's time may not reflect the outstanding performance he made on the course today, windy conditions meant the ride was difficult but like all athletes today, he remained resilient.
Another stand out performance from Hayden Wilde, who was in great form off the back of his third place at Port of Tauranga last weekend. The 19 year old snatched up first place in the Standard distance race with a time of 1:48:03. "The legs were still a little frazzled from POT, especially powering up hills on hills. I was really happy coming out of the top swim bunch and heading out on the bike first, not knowing I had all time bike legend Dougal Allan chasing me," he said.
Wilde got a puncture riding on the rim in the last 1500m which put him behind Allan. The youngster managed to catch Allan's tail after 5.5km on the run and brought it home on the final stretch, with Allan just behind him finishing at 1:48:22. Janus Staufenberg, a promising Southland triathlete came in at third (1:52:42).
Returning this year was Fiona Crombie from Christchurch who took first place (2:07:05), followed closely by last year's winner and Wanaka local, Simone Maier (2:09:41). Maier struggled in the run and although she doesn't deem herself a strong swimmer, she had a great swim and overall was happy with the race and second placing. Nicki McFadzien (2:10:06), a club member alongside Crombie took a third placing.
1. William Taylor - 31:22
2. Reece Rush (Canterbury Tri Club) - 31:30
3. Leo Staufenberg (Southland Tri & Multisport Club) - 31:44
1. Rosa Blake - 37:29
2. Ella McDonald - 42.25
3. Emma Faherty - 42:31
1. Gregor Findlay - 28:21
2. Jaxon Taylor (Southland Tri & Multisport Club) - 28:32
3. Sam Thornbury (Southland Tri & Multisport Club) - 28:50
1. Anna Lindsay (Dunedin Tri Club) - 32:12
2. Olivia Thornbury (Southland Tri & Multisport Club) - 32:33
3. Sammy Burke - 35: