Dennis Jeff, last year?s club president, finished 11th place on handicap in Sunday?s club race.
Dennis Jeff, last year?s club president, finished 11th place on handicap in Sunday?s club race.

Ray whipps opposition

SUNDAY saw the opening of the 2005/06 Coffs Harbour Triathlon season.

Sunday's event comprised the running of the Mike Blewitt Ford club race.

This race is the first event of a handicap series, which the club runs over the season.

The series comprises 12 races, which are generally held every two to three weeks.

Club races comprise a standard format of a 500-metre swim in the calm waters of the jetty, an 18-kilometre bike leg followed by a 6-kilometre run around the jetty foreshores.

Competitors are time handicapped and are sent off in small groups generally over a 30-minute period with the fastest individuals leaving last.

Event organisers aim to have most finishers cross the finish line at a similar time.

Sunday's event saw a field of 52 individuals take to the course in conditions which where near perfect for this time of the year with a cloudless morning.

A light breeze provided good surface conditions on the water for the swim and a cooling effect for riders and runners.

The day saw competitors start in 5 minute waves so that handicaps can be worked out more accurately for the next race of the series when competitors will be sent off at there individual times.

The race included a new bike course which was modified from last year and all reports on the day seemed to be positive with fast times and greater safety.

The first place person over the line on handicap was Ray Whipps who had a consistent race on all legs and was followed closely by Melissa Bullock who clocked a sizzling time to overtake many on the run leg.

Third home on the day was Lisa Smith who also had three consistent legs.

Others who preformed well on the day and have obviously been putting in some off-season training include Neil Charles, Glen Price, James Moncada and Cath Porter.

Race Director Michael Dougherty finished the swim in quick time but leaving his bike shoes in the car made for a slow transition.

The day also saw many new members competing for the first time and showing lots of promise and this early stage of the season.

These included Peter Mitchell, Peter Hunter, Chris Shirley Bev Lerm, Angelic Mayson and Jodie Shone.

The club's next race is scheduled for the 9th of October commencing at the Jetty Yacht Club Car park at 6.30am.

Club members will travel to Red Rock on October 2 for a short course race following then to Woolgoolga who will host their annual triathlon on October 3.

Coffs Harbours Emma Moffat has also recently finished fourth in the world titles held in Japan for the under 23 women's category last week and is a fantastic effort for a local girl who has been a member of the local club for many years.

Lyn Fulton will also be representing the club at the upcoming ironman event to be held in Hawaii in October and will be the club's sole representative this year.

The club wishers her well for this major event that is one of the toughest sporting contests on earth involving a 4.2 kilometre swim, a 180 kilometre bike ride and a 42 kilometre run in usually hot conditions.

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