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2020 Club Champs Wrap Up

 

The long awaited 26th edition of the Triathlon NSW Club Champs was held over the weekend at the spectacular scene of Main Beach, Forster.

The event was different to previous editions of the big race, but the general vibe and feeling from those who attended was one of pure joy, relief, and happiness that commercial events in NSW are returning for our members.

In what could have been taken as an ominous sign for the event, a huge and vicious storm cell came through Forster on Friday night, just as transition was due to open. Those who visited Main Beach on Friday were met with heavy surf and huge winds. Fortunately, Saturday morning was postcard perfect, with the surf having died over night with a little on shore breeze flattening the waves down. And spirits were up even more once news of the ‘wetsuit legal’ swim rippled through the athletes, with the water temp at 20.4 degrees.

The weather could not have been more perfect for a swim, bike and run, and once all bikes were into transition the first race was off, hitting the water at 6 am.

By all reports, the swim was superb, the bike ride was tougher than expected and the run was scenic, picturesque and spot on 8 kms as advertised. Just under 400 athletes took part across the event, in what remains a unique concept where athletes earn points for their club, instead of seeking individual accolades. It also remains the only event in NSW and Australia where membership of Triathlon Australia / NSW and an affiliated club is compulsory.

Division 4 Wrap Up

Prior to the event, Triathlon NSW introduced ‘Division 4’. This division was added to ensure our small clubs had a fair and even competition, against other small clubs in NSW. Nine clubs entered athletes, but it was the Clarence Valley Triathlon Club who took out their maiden Club Champs victory. With a small and spirited group of their members making the trip down the coast and strong performances by all those who attended, they claimed their first Division 4 title. They were closely followed by the Engadine Triathlon Club, with the podium rounded out by the T4 crew from Bondi. Special mention goes to Tony Golden, who has competed in 25 of the 26 Club Championships held. At the spritely age of 64, he took out his age group and contributed to T4’s podium.

Division 4 Clubs

Performance Points

Participation points

Volunteer and Official Points

Total

Clarence Valley Triathlon Club

144

10

1

155

Engadine Triathlon Club Inc

139

14

0

153

T4 Tri Crew Bondi

87

6

1

94

Pulse

61

10

2

73

HAT Head Triathlon Club

61

8

1

70

Shellharbour Triathlon Club Inc

48

4

1

53

Brighton Baths Athletic Club Inc

39

4

0

43

Dubbo Triathlon Club

25

6

0

31

Cowra Triathlon Club

21

4

0

25

Tamworth

21

2

0

23

Australia Defence Force

17

2

0

19


Division 3 Wrap Up

There were some familiar faces on the podium in Division 3, however it was the hometown heroes, Forster Triathlon Club, who ended up victorious.

But there was a small psychological win for the Kiama Triathlon Club who despite taking out this division in 2018 and 2019, lost the South Coast Interclub Series 02 over their local rivals, the Jervis Bay Triathlon Club. Perhaps the pendulum has swung back its advantage to the Kiama Triathlon Club after taking the silver?

Division 3 Clubs

Performance Points

Participation points

Volunteer and Official Points

Total

Forster

151

20

5

176

Kiama Triathlon Club

134

12

1

147

Jervis Bay

92

8

2

102

Australia Chinese Triathlon Club

56

8

1

65

Macarthur Triathlon Club

53

10

1

64

Mudgee Triathlon Club Inc

23

2

0

25


Division 2 Wrap Up

It was a battle of three clubs for the win, but by the slightest of margins (only four points), STG took the win over the proud and consistently strong Balance and UTS. STG once again proved that their position in the Sydney Triathlon League 1 is no fluke.  The win is even more impressive when you factor in that they were the smallest club in their division yet ended up tasting the sweet nectar of victory. This new powerhouse club is becoming a juggernaut and will not give up their crown easily in May 2021.

It was always going to be difficult for the Orange Triathlon Club to defend their Division 2 title they have so proudly held for the past three years. And as it panned out, the (twice) changing date and long distance to travel did prove too much. But this powerhouse of the Central West Region will no doubt go home, lick their wounds, and turn their attention firmly to coming back bigger and stronger in May 2021.  If there is anything our community knows about the Orange Triathlon Club, it is that they have a history of travelling to events up and down the NSW coast in big numbers. Watch this space.

Division 2 Clubs

Performance Points

Participation points

Volunteer and Official Points

Total

Sydney Triathlon Group (STG)

308

48

3

359

Balance & UTS Triathlon Club

308

44

2

354

Concord Triathlon Club

279

40

4

323

Port Macquarie

185

18

22

225

Tomaree

147

24

1

172

Coffs Harbour

126

20

3

149

BRATS

115

20

2

137

Northern Suburbs Triathlon Club (NSTC)

103

12

24

139

Maitland Triathlon Club

106

16

11

133

Penrith Triathlon Club (Panthers)

80

8

10

98

Newcastle

87

8

0

95

Coogee Triathlon Club

40

6

0

46

Orange Cycle & Triathlon Club

8

2

0

10


Division 1 Wrap Up

Last but certainly not least, was the battle of the big clubs - Division 1. Hills have been dominant for the past three years, taking out the wins across 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, the word on the street was that Warringah Triathlon Club, who have not won since 2016, were coming back and thirsty for silverware. Despite the victory drought for Warringah over the past three years, they have won the Club Champs more than any other club in its 26 year history, taking it out 11 times dating back from 1997.

Cronulla took out fifth, but it’s often been said, if this sleeping giant ever turned their attention to the Club Champs and came out in force, they would without a doubt have the depth and quality of athletes to win.

Hills missed the podium, which would be disappointing to them. Once the hunter, they became the hunted on the weekend. And much like the wounded baby gazelle who has strayed too far from the herd and is taken by the hungry lion, they became dinner for the three clubs who ended up podiuming.

But irrespective, this might be a small road bump in what has become a winning culture. No doubt, the Red Army will retreat, reassemble, and attack again in 2021 to reclaim what they would deem as their title

The Central Coast Triathlon Club and Balmoral Triathlon Club took third and second respectively. They would both be chuffed with how their club and members performed and both would have plans to return to Main Beach bigger and better in May next year.

But who could deny Warringah Triathlon Club their 12th Club Champs victory? If the moto of the event is ‘Strength in numbers’, then they absolutely smashed it out of the park. With 78 athletes completing the race and maxing out their volunteer requirements, they came fully committed with their goal in mind. And they succeeded.  Congratulations to the entire Warringah Triathlon Club contingent who did an amazing job.

Division 1 Clubs

Performance Points

Participation points

Volunteer and Official Points

Total

Warringah Triathlon Club

608

156

35

799

Balmoral Triathlon Club

462

66

39

567

Central Coast Triathlon Club

355

54

2

411

Hills Triathlon Club

265

68

26

359

Cronulla Triathlon Club

292

44

13

349


A huge thanks must go to the Technical Official team for their ongoing dedication and commitment to this event and all events in NSW.

To the 90+ volunteers who attended and supported Elite Energy for no financial gain but simply to support their clubs, friends and families – thank you!

Mark ‘Emo’ Emerton and his entire crew at Elite Energy for their perseverance and desire to make this event, despite logistical nightmares of postponements, pandemics, and storms the night before.

A huge thanks to Glenn Schwarzel for assisting with the run course and pack down, and the entire Triathlon NSW Board for their support and assistance to make this event happen.

Individual results here.

 

Click here to see race photos from Liam Worth Photography.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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