Coach declares Bay is ready for national triathlon champs

FOR the first time in the Fraser Coast's history schools from across Australia will descend on the Bay for the National Triathlon Championships.

With the exception of the Western Australia team that arrived yesterday, states and territory competitors will land in Hervey Bay from this morning.

In the next few days hundreds of juniors will race in the Australian Secondary Schools triathlon championships.

Organiser and triathlon coach Brian Harrington said final preparations were complete and the region was ready.

"We're all go," he said.

"Western Australia has arrived and the rest will arrive (today)."

Today will be used to assemble the team's bikes and hold pre-event meetings before an opening ceremony at the Discovery Sphere tomorrow morning at 9.30.

Harrington said the schoolkids would travel to Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island on Tuesday afternoon for an educational camp before the racing begins later this week.

"From 6 to 11am on Wednesday and Thursday the Esplanade will be closed between Bideford St and Margaret St," he said.

Hervey Bay will be represented at the event with Todd Baldwin and Lochie Armstrong qualifying.

"I'm expecting them to go top five in national," Harrington predicts.

Year 11 and 12 health and physical education students at Urangan State High School will also officiate at the event.

On Wednesday morning the buzz of the starting hooter will be the culmination of years of work from Harrington and sport councillor Darren Everard.

"Myself and Darren have been trying for many years to get the nationals here," he said.

"It very rarely goes to a regional town and when it is in Queensland it's always been in Brisbane.

It will be fantastic, we're showing off Hervey Bay."

Bay product Matt Hauser will return to the Fraser Coast this week as a guest speaker for the event.

Hauser won four national titles but has never won one in Hervey Bay.

Harrington thanked the Torquay business community and Cr Everard for their support.



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