FINE but tough conditions greeted competitors at Jetty Beach on Saturday for the running of the second NAB Coffs Coast Aquathlon.
With the long course being a 5km run followed by a 1.5km swim with another 5km run thrown on top just to finish the course off, the humidity in the air created some difficulties but experienced heads prevailed on the day.
In the women's long course race it looked like one of the new breed was going to steal the race after 16-year-old Nicola Bird threw down the gauntlet to her more experienced competitors and made the race a case of catch me if you can.
Like the tortoise catching the hare, the racing experience of seasoned competitors such as Sherry Coons and Michelle Randall showed with surges at the later stages of the run but Bird managed to hold on for a win.
Bird actually pulled off the Open double later in the day when she also won the short course event.
The long course also signalled a return to competition by local Michael Tonks who has been busy with parental basketball duties and he showed that he hasn't lost any of his skills in the water.
Lyn Fulton chewed up the course in what seemed an effortless pace while Steel Beveridge had the experience of 100 marathons under his belt for his two team run legs.
The youngest of the open field in the short course was 12-year-old Ryan Magill who captured the attention of many backing up after his age event.
Never having competed at an aquathlon before, Ryan took the course in a confident stride completing the distance of 2.5km run, 1km swim and another 2.5km run in under 43 minutes.