The Avoca Kai Iwi Lakes Triathlon had the perfect backdrop for two days of tough racing.

The annual Avoca Kai Iwi Lakes Triathlon held on Saturday catered for many different triathlon options including a kids triathlon, short course, long course, teams, kayak and swim options.

Whangarei's Scott Kennedy and Mel Oliver took out their respective long course kayak option races. Kennedy won the men's race in 1:36:57 while Oliver led the women home in 2:23:21.

Whangarei's Katie McVerry flew the Northland flag in the long course women's swim section, finishing second in 1:43:57.
Sally Jackson of Auckland took line honours in 1:39:39.


The short course event consisting of a 350m swim, 9km cycle and 3.8km run was won by 13-year-old Whangarei Boys' High School student Trevor Coetzee in 46:02.

Coetzee took out a tense finish with Whangarei's Tommy Monaghan, who finished 38 seconds behind.

14-year-old Nathalie Hull of Kerikeri was just beaten for first in the female short course, finishing 21 seconds behind Auckland's Helen Turner in 47:43.

Thea Hodge and Leia Weeds from Kerikeri were the top team racing in the short course division, winning in 48:34 in a top effort.

Meanwhile Kurt Coetzee, Charlie Bacon and Levi Cohen (Whangarei) took out the open team swim division in 1:25:21. They were followed by fellow Whangarei unit David Gurnell, David Bowers and Brett Hill in 1:33.10.

The ASB Northland Secondary Schools Sports Association Triathlon was highlighted by many competitors from the 2017 edition returning to try better their previous efforts.

Diego Florez-Diaz (Kerikeri High School) and Jorja Swain (Whangarei Girls High School) won their respective Under 19 individual events in impressively run races.

Greg Hamlet (Huanui College) and Nathalie Hull (Springback School) showcased their abilities to win the Under 16 individual events.

In the junior events, Luka Clark (Huanui College) and Bree Monaghan (Whangarei Girls High School), took out their divisions.

Kerikeri High School student Jamie Doubleday and Kaitaia Intermediate's Glennis Walters showed their huge potential with wins in the two sub-junior divisions.