Busselton, Australia – A string of world class names are set to line up at SunSmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton on Sunday 1 May, 2016.
Five times World Champion Craig Alexander headlines a stellar field for the 2016 SunSmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton triathlon. Alexander won’t have it all his own way however with 2012 Ironman World Champion and 3x winner of SunSmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton, Pete Jacobs having recently confirmed he will be on the start line at Busselton. The two have been battling it out at events this season, most recently at the long course event at Huskisson. The lead swapped and changed over the bike course, with Jacobs leading going into the run before Alexander came over the top to take out the event.
As well as Jacobs and Alexander, the field is ripe with previous winners of the event, multiple Ironman 70.3 champions and up and coming professional athletes, who will be toeing the start line at Geographe Bay on Sunday 1 May.
A number of the Men’s Pro Field come to Busselton in good form with strong results from races across the Asia Pacific region. Peter Kerr (AUS), David Mainwaring (AUS) and Guy Crawford (NZL) are all coming off strong racing, having taken the top 3 positions in Taiwan in March. Callum Milward(NZL) has shown great form with a fourth in Geelong and 2nd in the longer IRONMAN New Zealand in March. His compatriot, Mike Phillips (NZL) had a second in Bintan with WA’s own Matt Burton in 6th. It sets the scene for some fantastic racing in Bussleton.
Annabel Luxford, an accomplished ITU athlete and Australia’s top ranked 70.3 triathlete, will be headlining the Women’s field at Busselton. Annabel is coming to Busselton in stellar form with wins this season at Western Sydney, Ballarat and second placings at Sunshine Coast and Geelong. Ranked 8th in the world at the 70.3 distance, Busselton is an opportunity to further improve her ranking.
Luxford will be joined by WA local and 2015 champion, Felicity Sheedy-Ryan who will be back to defend her title along with another local favourite, Kate Bevilaqua, who took the title in 2014. “I love this race and get excited about it every year” Said Kate. “Nothing beats racing at home and the incredible local support”.
On a state level, leader of the Triathlon WA State Series Championship, Katey Gibb is looking to make it a clean sweep of the State Series, having already taken out the duathlon, sprint and standard distance titles. She will need to beat Sheedy-Ryan and Bevilaqua to do it and hot on their toes will be the new generation of professionals including Renee Baker, Alise Selsmark and Kate Pedley.
When asked about the Pro field for the 2016, Triathlon WA Executive Director, Peter Minchin said, “It’s a very strong field with any of the top 10 athletes having the form to take out the race. The class of the athletes demonstrates that SunSmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton is one of Australia’s show case races”.
There is no doubt that the hotly contested field will put on quite a show for the City of Busselton.
The event provides several opportunities for competitors and spectators of SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton to meet the professional athletes during the festival. These opportunities include;
• Chat with the Pros – Saturday 30 April, Barnard Park Busselton
• Pro Athlete Press Conference – Saturday 30 April, Equinox Café, Busselton
• SunSmart Kids Triathlon – Saturday 30 April, Barnard Park Busselton.
The event will attract more than 1900 individuals and 300 teams, totalling more than 3000 competitors participating at the event. Along with this, over 17,000 spectators will line the foreshore of Busselton to cheer on the athletes over the 1.9km swim, 90.1km bike and 21.1km run course. Busselton has been the home of this event since 2002 and has continued to grow from year to year.
Information on the SunSmart Busselton Festival of Triathlon can be found at www.busseltonfestivaloftriathlon.com.au