The first race of summer gave us perfect race conditions. Clear skies, no wind and with the water temperature near 24 degrees, it was a no wetsuit swim. You could see the tears of joy running down Mark Garners’ face when that announcement was made. Our first long course race of the season, upping the distances to a 1km swim, 30km cycle and a 7.5km run. A closed transition allowed new members to experience the standard format for the larger non-club races. Thanks to Ellie Luhr and Ian (I’ll give you a red card) Nash for volunteering as technical officials in transition.
Fifty-three starters took on the long course. Four of those were friends of Michael Stubbs who drove up from Forster Triathlon Club to race in what they described as ‘a beautiful course’. Ex Coffs Harbour Tri Club member, Dan Stein, came down from the Gold Coast to race while visiting his family this week. Dan was the first male across the line in the long course, followed by Michael Ylinen who was less than three minutes behind, with Michael Radecki in third place. Matt Moffatt had the fastest swim leg, Patrick Brennan took out the fastest cycle leg and Dan Stein smashed out a blistering 3:28 min pace to take out fastest run leg. Shannon O’Hara was the first female across the line in the long course, with an impressive 4th overall in the swim leg, followed by Jo Fergusson and Haylee Fuller. It was a top effort by all the members who took on the longer course.
Nineteen starters flashed over the short course, with less than a minute separating them on the podium. Joel Randal came in first with a time of 39:19, Tom Ylinen second and Jack McLaughlin placing third. Well done to everyone in the short course.
Richard Hudson was involved in a collision with a vehicle at the intersection of Orlando Street and Marina Drive, while he cycled through the start of his second lap. The driver of the vehicle, who was at fault, failed to see Richard and then turned right into Marina Drive, directly into Richards path. Paramedics took Richard to the Emergency Department where he was initially treated for numerous cuts and bruises. Scans have revealed he has an internal haematoma and fractured ribs. Today he is having surgery for nerve damage to his wrist. Richards daughter Kirsti has asked me to pass on a big thank-you to all the club for looking after Richard.
The cycle leg is potentially the greatest risk of injury during our club races. Please be careful. It would be remiss of me not to mention how impressed I was with the action taken by many of our club members who stopped and assisted Richard after the accident. You know who you are, but I would especially like to thank Michael Singleton, Ellie Luhr and Chris Hodge who immediately took control of the scene, rendered first aid, comforted Richard, and the driver of the vehicle.
Thanks to all our duty volunteers and the extra help on the day from Paul Courtney, Michael & Mrs Singleton. Thanks to Jorja and Jan Rooney for the great photos.
Huge thanks to our race sponsor CEX Coffs and for that impromptu promo from Andrew Thompson.
Sunday 16 December, we race again. That’s this weekend… the final race of the year combined with a BBQ and Breakfast of Champions. Train safe and see you then.