Triathlon excitement building as stars confirm their places

Jacqui Slack
Jacqui Slack
0
Have your say

This year the sunshine coast welcomes the introduction of a new and exciting set up for the triathlon on June 12.

The Eastbourne triathlon will consist of a 600m sea swim, starting at The Western Lawns on the seafront, contestants will then set off on a 25km bike course through the South Downs National Park and then finally end the event with the 5k run finishing in front of The Grand Hotel.

The event has captured the interest of many after its re-launch and is being organised by Beyond Sport marketing, a PR, marketing and events company.

Triathlon South-East regional technical coordinator Clare Donovan said, “As a town already blessed with several notable sports events, a professionally organised and exciting triathlon can only add to the list of attractions bringing visitors to the town. It’s great to see Eastbourne get the Triathlon event it deserves.”

Richard Campbell, the race director and managing director of Beyond Sport marketing said, “We have organised, or been involved with organising, some of the biggest triathlon events in the UK - including XTERRA England European Championships and the Hever Castle Triathlon. Having recently moved back to Eastbourne as well as seeing the wonderful venue, with all its natural resources that Eastbourne offers to a sport like triathlon, I really wanted to create a new event in my hometown that would generate income for the local area, bring new visitors to the town and have another major event in the calendar that my son and my wife could come and watch and hopefully be proud of.”

So far there are eight professional athletes set to take part in the race. Ben Allen from Australia, who has finished in the top three at two out of the last three XTERRA World Championships, boasts an astonishing 15 world tour wins and has claimed the Asia-Pacific Triple Crown twice will feature.

Brit Jacqui Slack, who became British champion after winning the Windsor Triathlon in 2012 will also be travelling from Australia to race. She is regarded as one of the best in the world and has eight world titles to her name.

Also on the start-line will be European Aquathlon Champion Hannah Kitchen and Eastbourne’s Yvette Grice, a professional triathlete since 2006. Grice added to her many accolades as she triumphed in the women’s section of the 2016 Eastbourne half-marathon and last year she placed first in the Bewl Water triathlon.

Grice said, “I wouldn’t miss my hometown race for the world and it will be a real pleasure to be able to compete from home and thank all the local clubs, friends and businesses who support me internationally.

“Triathlon is a fantastic and accessible sport and I hope lots of people will join me on the 12th of June, either to take part or spectate and support the athletes and the event.” Seven-time world champion and one of the most well-known competitors, Richard Stannard will also partake in the triathlon.

He has won two British Championships, the 2008 British Super Series and two Windsor Triathlons.

“Eastbourne is a fantastic venue for a race. To have the opportunity to race at sea level and then up and over the 500ft Beachy Head on the bike combined with the infamous St Bedes hill climb on the run will make the race a real epic,” said Stannard.

Sam Wade, Karl Alexander, Matt Dewis and Euan Adams, all elite athletes, will be competing in the race as well.

“They are wonderful ambassadors for the sport and will also be happy to give advice and answer any questions anyone might have about triathlon - Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack for example will be at some local schools for assemblies to talk about their lives and challenges,” said Mr Campbell.

As well as the triathlon, competitors will also have the opportunity to enter an Aquabike or Stand-up paddle triathlon (SUP). The event will be supporting Rockinghorse, a company that helps with fundraising for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Charity and the Eastbourne Voluntary Lifeguards.

For more information or to enter the triathlon please visit www.eastbournetriathlon.com.