Locals surf wave of success at Callala

WHEN it comes to triathlon, Callala always has something up its sleeve for the annual Elite Energy Triathlon Festival.

Last weekend was no exception with a big shore dump prompting organisers to cancel the swim of some of the shorter races for safety reasons.

But the conditions were no barrier for members of Jervis Bay Triathlon Club, who put in strong performances and won a swag of medals across the weekend’s races.

This year, the Callala tri-festival was spread over two days with the shorter races on the Saturday and the traditional club distance, plus a new long-course classic event, held on Sunday.

Competitors in the sprint event got the worst of the surf conditions on Saturday morning, though Louise Winkler and Allison Dillon both toughed it out to win gold in their age groups.

Winkler was the first Jervis Bay woman home in 1:19:17 to win the 40 to 44 year age group. 

Dillon won her first gold medal in the 45 to 49 year age group with a time of 1:27:04. 

Brooke Crossland also mounted the medal podium winning bronze in the 14 to 15 year age group.

Gus Frank showed his potential by finishing in a blistering 1:03:25 to place third in the 16 to 17 year male age group and sixth overall. 

Frank had the fastest run of the day completing the five kilometre course in 17:30.

Aaron Lauder, Tim O’Connell and Neil Galletly took silver in their age groups.

In the shorter enticer event, where a short beach run replaced the traditional swim, Kathy Cupitt led the Jervis Bay women home to place third in the 45 to 49 year age group in 32:23.

Mitchell Stahlhut was the fastest of the club’s male competitors finishing in 26:15 to place fifth in the 12 to 13 year age group and 10th male overall. Mitchell had a killer big leg – his time of 13:19 for the eight kilometre ride was the fourth fastest of the day.

Robert Scott won silver in the 45 to 49 year age group in 26:55.

In the new classic distance event on Sunday (a gruelling two kilometre swim, 60 kilometre bike, and 15 kilometre run course), Nowra’s Josh Henry was the standout performer winning the 35 to 39 year male age group and placing third overall in a time of 3:23:17. 

Josh made short work of the longer-than-advertised swim course, recording the third fastest time of the day in 37:29 and also had the fourth fastest bike leg.

Matt Lewis won gold in the 20 to 24 year age group finishing in 3:30:42, while Simon Fitzgerald won gold in the 50 to 54 year age group in 4:18:30.

Louise Heywood was Jervis Bay’s sole female representative in the classic, but she did the club proud winning the 50 to 54 year female age group in 4:26:18.

It seems 50 was a golden age for club members on Sunday, with Annette Sampson and Bill Stahlhut also taking gold in the one, 30 and eight kilometre club distance.

Sampson finished in 1:57:24 to place first in the 50 to 54 age group and eighth female overall. 

Her 34:20 eight kilometre run time was the fifth fastest female run of the day.

Stahlhut finished in 1:46:14 to win the male 50 to 54 year category.

Paula Luke, who just missed out on a medal in the 35 to 39 year age group, was the 10th fastest female, had the 10th fastest female bike time, and the seventh fastest run.

Bronze medals went to Cynthia Trevallion in the 50 to 54 year age group and Brett Camm in the 45 to 49 year category.

Zac Sue’s Team Zac won the male teams category.

Club president, Tony Lim, said the weekend was a great opportunity to showcase the growing interest in triathlon in the Shoalhaven area. 

More than 45 club members competed in the various races and many bought their children along to take part in the Miniman event.

Lim said congratulations were due to every member who competed, with many recording personal bests or just a strong sense of achievement.

The club’s next training session would be a fun teams-based event at Iluka in Booderee National Park this Sunday at 8am. 

It will present a great opportunity for would-be triathletes to give the sport a go, as well as for members to have a lighter pre-Christmas hit-out.

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