THE increasing popularity in Coffs Harbour of its triathlon club has borne fruit, with the club claiming the country championship at the weekend's New South Wales Triathlon Club Championships.
The incredible win was made even sweeter by the fact that it knocked off several of the big-city clubs in Forster to finish in fifth position overall.
For the previous three years Coffs has finished runner-up behind Port Macquarie for the coveted country title but on Saturday Coffs Harbour claimed the crown in emphatic fashion.
"After three years of coming runner-up the club was ecstatic with the win," club president Jo Magill said.
"It was a fantastic effort from all of the age groups across the board," he said.
The Coffs Harbour club had had membership growth of about 30% this season and is now confident that it can seriously challenge the city clubs for overall honours in the future.
It boasts the most members since the club's inception in the mid-1980s.
Balmoral Tri Club was named the NSW Club Champion for 2012, with Warringah, Hills and Cronulla filling the minor placings.
There were 60 Coffs Harbour triathletes who toed the starting ling to join more than 700 competitors from 30 clubs across the state, competing in the 1km swim, 30km cycle and 8km run for the club rather than individual success.
Coffs Harbour had eight members finish in the top five of their categories, with Dan Stein, Richard Pearson, Ben Webeck, Michael Dougherty, Cat Benger, Aimee Sutton, Chris Lefeaux and Lyn Fulton all contributing significantly to the point score.
"It was a great way to end a very good season," Magill said.
Taking top-10 spots in their age groups were Leighton Rogan, Clint Rowlings, Hadley Black, Lyndal Green, Peter Giddins, Caron Mackie, Sharon Williams and Trish Moffatt.
Coffs Harbour had three members finish in the top 20 competitors over the line. It was the first time the club has achieved such impressive results.
Daniel Stein continued his great form to take ninth, Richard Pearson was 15th and Ben Webeck was 19th overall.
For the women, Cat Benger also took a top-20 position, being the 16th female across the line.
THIS Sunday 11 Coffs Harbour Tri Club members will compete in the gruelling Port Macquarie Ironman event.
Jason Limbert, Kristian Parkhill, Chris Limbert, Rod Jozeps, Andrew Rowlings, Jon Waites, Peter Wood, Christine Lefeaux, Caron Mackie, Jenni Williams and Anne Grundy will line up for the 1.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run.