The NX Sports Ballina Triathlon attracted high class athletes from all over Australia as many used it as a last-minute hit out before the 2018 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships on the Gold Coast, making for an excellent display of sprint racing.
It also attracted high class athletes from several North Coast Clubs who were looking to get their clubs off to the best possible start in the inaugural North Coast Interclub Series.
It was the Ballina Seahorses who made home advantage count. A superb club effort was well rewarded as they claimed 24.5 points, just shy of the 25 available on the day and sit in 1st place after Round 1.
Victories for Shane Flannery and Philip Cook in their respective AG, a 2nd place for Kim Churchill and a 3rd for Millie Cooke were the highlights for a united and highly motivated Seahorse outfit.
Georgia Davis and Max McGovern both came away with 4th place in their AG, with David Crosby in 5th keeping the points rolling in for Ballina.
Steve Gasbarrone, Wade Davey, Annie Whitton, Joshua Wiggins, Henk Scholtz, Lee Thomas, Alan Foley, Steve Fisher, Bradley Heard, Nico Van Wyk and Club President, John Fullerton all secured top 10’s resulting in the Ballina Seahorses announcing themselves as serious contenders for the North Coast title.
Second place on the day went to the new kids on the block, the Hat Head Hammerheads.
Rebecca Kings headlining for the Hammerheads with a 1st place finish in her AG. Paulene Kirby also had a great day out as she finished as runner up in the 55-59 AG. Andrew Kirby, Madison Sinclair and Anne Kirkwood ensured that it was a debut to remember for Hat Head as they all returned home with top 10 finishes to their name.
Another new club, the Byron Breakers, also announced themselves as one to watch on the North Coast stage owing largely to a 1st place finish for Alan Rowe, a 3rd for Georgina Inwood and an 8th for Jason Trisley. Byron are 3rd on the ladder, just a point behind Hat Head.
Joint third on the day were the Coffs Harbour Rockets. Phil Benoit, Isaiah Koopmans and Michelle McBurney finishing on the podium in their AG, with Matt Moffatt, Michael Ylinen and Michael Singleton narrowly missing the podium in theirs. Tracy Singleton, Reuben Van Wyngaardt, Chris Hodge, Alira Bayndrian and Shaun Bayndrian finishing with top 10’s making the long drive home for the Rockets a sweeter one.
Just 1 point behind the Rockets and Breakers, were the Clarence Valley Stingrays inspired by a great day out for the Adams family, with dad, Darren, finishing 2nd and son, Jay, 4th. Jason Culton started the season well with a 3rd, as did David Lovell and Veronica Baker who both finished 5th to cap off a promising start for the Stingrays.
The Port Macquarie Pelicans not featuring this time around.
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Round 1 is now in the books and teams will head to Yamba in November for Round 2.
Ballina will be hoping to extend their lead in the North Coast Interclub Series whilst the chasing pack will want to close the gap. Who is going to emerge as the main challengers for the Ballina Seahorses?
Yamba is home to the Clarence valley Stingrays and they will have this event circled on their calendar as one they must take full advantage of if they are to have serious title aspirations.
Round 3 in Kingscliff closely follows the Yamba Triathlon so heading into the Christmas break we should have a clear idea of which clubs are going to challenge for the title come the seasons end.