WHEN Michellie Jones was headline act for the 1993 Bananacoast Life Education Triathlon, it was standing room only along the Jetty Strip.
Thousands watched in awe as the leading Australia triathlete of that era blitzed her rivals.
So no wonder organisers of the BCU Coffs Tri are so excited Jones will return after more than two decades to participate in the Olympic distance event on Sunday, March 2.
Now living in California, it's a coup that Jones has scheduled this event into her still busy racing calendar.
Her career in triathlon includes an Ironman World Champion title, an Olympic Games silver medal, two ITU World Champion titles and an unprecedented seven Triathlete Magazine Triathlete of the Year honours.
Event director Mick Maley is still in the running and swimming business and fondly recalls the summer morning 21 years back when the Jones appearance packed the foreshores out with fans.
"We are delighted to have an athlete of this calibre making the trip to Coffs for the BCU Coffs Tri," he said.
"I'm looking forward to welcoming her back to the Coffs Coast and watching her race in front of us again.
"While not still competing at the same intensity as early in her career, she still follows a strict training and racing schedule.
"When not training or racing, Michellie coaches and manages a multisport team in the USA," Maley said.
Regardless of age or ability, there is a range of events including kids races, an enticer event and the big one over the Olympic distance, open to both individuals and teams.