Aaron Royle onto the podium in Paradise
The Island House Triathlon is the brainchild of Luke McKenzie and wife Beth Gerdes. This year they tweaked the already popular three-day event designed to bring together the world’s best short and long course athletes and on Friday 40 of the very best descended on the island paradise in the Bahamas’ – six of them Aussies.
It was Aaron Royles' first time to the race dubbed ‘Pain in Paradise’ and earned himself third place behind Richard Murray and Cam Dye. Leon Griffin earned himself a paycheck for sixth overall.
Ellie Salthouse turned in a solid performance each day, finishing 7th in the final and overall sixth place. Emma Moffatt in her final professional race earned herself top ten. The indomitable Gwen Jorgensen won her second successive title.
At the end of day one Aaron Royle had the fastest accumulative times after the individual time trial day – 750m swim, 20 km bike and 5km run. Tim Reed and Leon Griffin were 11th and 12th respectively.
Ellie Salthouse was the fastest finishing 6th overall, Emma Moffatt 12th and Mirinda Carfrae 16th.
On day two Gwen Jorgensen and Richard Murray took wins in this brutal Enduro format, Aaron Royle continued his good form finishing 7th and Leon Griffin had a better day two to finish 5th overall ensuring they would complete in the final over a sprint distance event.
Ellie Salthouse had a smashing day finishing third behind Olympic and World Champions Gwen Jorgensen and Flora Duffy - Emma Moffatt’s 6th place secured her a top ten finish in the General Classification and a place on the start line for day three – sprint distance race.
Unfortunately, Mirinda Carfrae missed the cut but is pretty happy about finally putting her feet up for the off-season.
Richard Murray Gwen Jorgensen
Cameron Dye Flora Duffy
Aaron Royle Holly Lawrence
Terenzo Bozzone Sarah Tru
Eric Lagerstrom Rachel Klamer
Leon Griffith Ellie Salthouse
Brent McMahon Helle Frederiksen
Joe Maloy Lauren Goss
Sebastian Kienle Katie Zaferes
Lionel Sanders Emma Moffatt
Ashleigh Gentle wins fourth and Dan Wilson first Noosa titles
Rio Olympian Ashleigh Gentle soothed the sting of a disappointing Olympic campaign with her fourth Noosa title, and third on the trot. Dan Wilson twice the bridesmaid in Noosa finally added Australia’s most coveted title to his trophy cabinet.
"To finally win, after not only being so close before, but also to join the honour role of Noosa winners means a lot," Wilson says. "Especially given I live just two hours down the road in Brisbane.
Gentle, based on the Gold Coast, joins Australian triathlon royalty Emma Frodeno (nee Snowsill), as the only Australian to claim four Noosa titles.
"At times in that race I had to dig deep and think about what the Noosa title means," Gentle, who was 1:06 down after the 40km bike leg, says
Wilson, from Brisbane, who recently announced his retirement from ITU racing, finished second in 2013 and fell an agonisingly three seconds short of the win in 2014, knew if he finished the bike leg with a lead of over a minute he’d be in good shape for the win.
With long course specialist Josh Amberger, the partner of Gentle, they turned a one minute lead out of the water into a 1:30 lead over pre-race favourites Ryan Fisher and Jake Birtwhistle at the end of the bike leg.
"I knew if I could get a lead of over a minute off the bike on Jake and Ryan that I’d be in with a shot," Wilson says.
His words proved prophetic as he ran strongly over the final 10km to hold on for a 17-second win. Birtwhistle held on for second with Fisher in third.
Gentle, on the other hand, found herself chasing all race, in a carbon copy of the 2015 race the Gold Coast’s Daniella De Francesco lead from the gun, with Sydney’s Natalie Van Coevorden in tow.
After the 1500m swim the pair had a lead of over 1:30 on Gentle, after the bike the gap to De Francesco was 46 seconds, with Van Coevorden a further 20 seconds up the road.
Gentle quickly closed the gap to De Francesco and had Van Coevorden in her sights. Van Coevorden was chasing redemption after taking a wrong turn in 2015’s race, cutting the bike course by 13km leading to her disqualification.
"I wanted to be remembered as someone other than the girl who went the wrong way," she says.
By the 5km mark of the run Gentle had claimed the lead and was on the way to securing her fourth Noosa title.
"I knew I had to take my run and do my best, traditionally it’s my strongest leg, so I had to take the positives from that," she says. "When I could see Natalie I was pleased to catch her at 5km and the last 5km I just wanted to control it until I got to the finish."
Van Coevorden will now be remembered as the girl who finished second in Noosa, with Melbourne’s Charlotte McShane running strongly to finish in third.
Gentle was thrilled to join Frodeno as the only female to win three consecutive titles, and with a total of four titles move within one of the Beijing Olympic Gold Medallists record five Noosa wins.
"It’s great, I have said a couple of times I am so privileged to have my name next to hers, she’s achieved so much more than me as an Olympic Gold Medallist and world champion multiple times.
She has set the bar so high in Australia for so long now; it’s motivating for us now to keep working and chasing her achievements," Gentle says.
1. Dan Wilson 1:49.41
2. Jacob Birtwhistle 1:49.58
3. Ryan Fisher 1:51.03
1. Ashleigh Gentle 2:02.26
2. Natalie Van Coevorden 2:03.30
3. Charlotte McShane 2:05.03
Miyazaki ITU World Cup brings a close to the World Cup season and final titles for 2016 to Ai Ueda (JAP) and Uxio Abuin Ares (ESP)
After seven months of racing, covering ten host cities from all across the globe, and 17 gold medallists it was a fitting end to a stunning season of ITU World Cup racing at the inaugural race in Miyazaki, a stunning resort city on the south-eastern coast of Kyushu.
Jaz Hedgeland was at the front of the race from the outset in the top five out of the swim and on the bike really took control showing her talent and confidence as she continues on a rapid progression. Jaz shoulder a huge amount of work off the front and was in the lead group on the run, eventually finishing 6th on a hot and fast paced race.
“That was really, really, really hard, but I know I gave it all I had.
“I swam hard, I rode hard, I ran hard. I gave 110% from start to finish but as always there’s room for improvement, so I’m bloody keen for next season.”
Sophie Malowiecki and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan missed the front group but did not give up the fight finishing 18th and 19th
In the men’s race Matthew Robert’s lead out with American William Huffington. By the end of lap four on the bike the packs had merged and all the Aussies were there – Roberts, Matt Baker, Marcel Walkington, Kenji Nener and Drew Box.
42 hit the transition and Box was the one that stuck with the front group for three of the four laps but as the pace picked up he wasn't able to match it, finishing tenth. Baker 15th, Walkington 17, Nener 32nd and Roberts 32nd.
In the America’s Richie Cunningham finished fifth at Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos and Paul Ambrose 12. And at Ironman 70.3 Austin Joe Gambles finished fifth and Sam Appleton right behind him in sixth.