Local triathletes get down and dirty

JERVIS Bay triathlete Matt Lewis took gold in the 20 to 24 age group at last weekend’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship at Callala. 

Proving he is just as fast off the road as on it, Lewis led a swag of local athletes winning medals over the weekend and has qualified for the XTerra World Championships in Maui in October.

Lewis finished the Championship 1.5 kilometre swim, 29 kilometre mountain bike and 12 kilometre trail run Olympic distance course in 2:53.57 to finish 37th overall and book his place for Maui. 

In a 1-2 for Jervis Bay, Steve Mackay finished second in 3:22.54.

In a highly technical course, XTERRA provided competitors with the opportunity to try their hands at a different form of triathlon. 

Some described the tough mountain bike course as terrifying, and the run proved almost as challenging with competitors having to negotiate tree trunks, mud, sand and other obstacles.

But all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

In the Championship event, Lewis and Mackay were joined on the podium by team Danny Buoys – Dan Kielly doing the swim, Liam Dooley the bike, and Peter Dooley bringing it home on the run – who won the men’s team event.

After a solid swim by Kielly, Liam Dooley put in a spectacular bike leg to place in the top 20 overall just behind some of the professionals. 

Laura Bowmaker’s Team Exmos won bronze in the women’s team category.

Earlier, triathlon newbie Sue Afruns kicked off the weekend’s success with second place in her age group in the 10 kilometre trail run.

In the shorter 750 metre, 15 kilometre and five kilometre sprint triathlon, Jervis Bay had a number of medal winners. 

Cathy Head and Linda Clarke won the 45 to 49 and 55 to 59 age groups, while Brooke Crossland and Joanne Warren took silver in the 15 to 19 and 50 to 54 categories. 

Kristina O’Shea finished a minute behind Crossland to win bronze in the 15 to 19 age group, while Clayton Rugg won bronze in the men’s 30 to 34 category.

Laura Bowmaker scored a podium double with her Team Bowtagson winning silver in the women’s team event.

After having perfect water conditions on Saturday, the seas inevitably turned nasty for Sunday’s ocean swim event. 

But that did not deter the Jervis Bay competitors.

Dan Kielly, Renae Watkins, and Julie Dart all won their age groups in the 1.5 kilometre event, while Josh Henry and Gemma Dart won silver and Laura Bowmaker bronze.

This weekend will see some Jervis Bay Triathlon Club competitors head to Port Macquarie for Ironman Australia. 

ON HIS WAY: Josh Henry on his way to silver in Sunday’s ocean swim event as a part of the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship.

ON HIS WAY: Josh Henry on his way to silver in Sunday’s ocean swim event as a part of the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship.

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